Olivia is a senior from Kansas City, Missouri majoring in African and African-American Studies. On campus she serves as co-outreach coordinator for the Campus YMCA and is a writer for RIZE independent Black magazine. Off campus, when she isn’t napping or catching up on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Olivia can be found checking out thrift shops, trying to read three novels at once, teaching herself calligraphy, or hunting down her next round of Chipotle.
What brought you to The Writing Center?
I’ve enjoyed reviewing and giving feedback on others’ writing for years, but the big draw to The Writing Center for me was the opportunity for collaborative learning: even as another person comes to me for suggestions and feedback on a paper, I’m learning a lot about different segments of and approaches to writing and scholarship. What made me most excited about The Writing Center was this form of out-of-classroom, hands-on learning.
What do you like most about working with writers at The Writing Center?
Finding common ground with another student! There’s almost always something relatable to talk about during the session, from struggling with an element of writing to just figuring out how to be a college student properly, and it’s relieving to be in a space where people feel more comfortable to be honest about how they are doing.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Knowing when I’m done! I’m a pretty tough critic on my own work, and I can always find room for improvement—I revised these responses about six times! It’s always challenging for me to figure out when to take my hands off a piece and say, “okay, done!” I have had to learn the merit of “good enough,” especially when it comes to time constraints.
What advice do you have for writers?
Don’t worry about something being “good” the first time, or second time, or third or fourth time you write it. That’s why revising exists! If you’re writing your first draft and something is sounding so off that it’s distracting you, make a note of it and keep moving. Get all the ideas you have down on paper first and come back to the weak spots later!