My goal is to help writers become more confident. I am usually very self-conscious of my writing and for as long as I can remember, I’ve always hated sharing it. I feel like a lot of writers have similar thoughts. Although I still sometimes struggle with wanting to share my writing, I just keep in mind that if you don’t share your writing you can’t grow and improve as a writer. So, I want the writers I work with to feel confident in what they have and I want them to feel like they are bringing something important to the table. One way I plan to accomplish this is by encouraging writers and by providing them with reassurance. A lot of times it seems like writers have ideas about their piece but are unsure if they’re “good” or even a step in the right direction. What I want to do is give writers the confidence they need to know that they are capable of creating something wonderful.
Another major thing I find absolutely necessary is making the line between tutor and writer very thin. Although I am a tutor, I wouldn’t want my level of “authority” to overshadow the conference. It is always a peer to peer ordeal. I never see it as I’m the tutor so I’m smarter, or I know more than you. This simply is not true. A way to establish this peer to peer feeling right off the bat is to greet all writers with a warm and friendly smile and hello when they come in to the writing center. Many first year students are starting to use the writing center for the first time and I know that it can be intimidating and scary to share your writing with a stranger. That being said, I think it’s best to try to make them feel comfortable right away and establish trust. I want writers to feel like their ideas matter and that they can be good writers independently, without help from me!