Quincy Schmechel

  • Peer Tutor

Quincy is a senior from Montana majoring in English literature with a concentration in creative nonfiction writing and linguistics with a minor in anthropology. In her spare time, Quincy loves working on her own writing, crafting the perfect top to bottom shelf ratio in her personal library, and being outside every chance she can get. On campus, Quincy serves as the President of the Linguistics Club, an Aspirational Peer Mentor for the Deneb STARS program, and a member of the Sigma Tau Delta English honor society and the rock climbing club.

What brought you to The Writing Center?

I decided to apply for the position of Peer Tutor because I found myself always editing friends’ and friends’ of friends papers, and loved doing it. So, I figured, Why not get paid to do this? I want to go into publishing and editing after graduation, and working at The Writing Center gives me a perfect opportunity to build the necessary skills and resume.

What do you like most about working with writers at The Writing Center?

One of the things I am most sad about in regards to my college experience is the seemingly perpetual lack of time I have — most importantly, a lack of time to explore and take all the interesting classes that Wash U has to offer. Working at The Writing Center allows me to still participate in some of those classes, see the assignments, and think through prompts while also helping other writers reach that wonderful Aha! moment in their writing.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

For me, the most challenging part of writing is always the two questions that come up at the beginning of the process: “What do I really have to say about this?” and “Is it interesting/worth saying?” When the answers to those questions are negative, I know that motivating myself for the assignment is going to be an uphill battle (and usually a battle in which the reinforcements of The Writing Center can come in handy). When the answers are positive, I get excited about writing the paper.

What advice do you have for writers?

Know that the idea of the Solitary Writer is bogus. Sometimes, you’re simply not going to achieve anything by sitting in your room and forcing the words out. Make writing social. Go and talk to your friends, professor, or a tutor. Know that the best ideas don’t happen in a vacuum; they happen by conversing with others and exploring new perspectives, and then translating the best parts of those conversations into prose. Writing is a form of communication, a social practice. Don’t be afraid to treat it as such!