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Common Issues with Writing from Inside the Mind of the Tutor

Updated on January 12, 2012

During my last two years of college, I worked at the university’s writing center. I was able to work with not only my peers, but also with professors and other faculty members who needed help. We tutored writers with every type of writing, and we worked on any aspect of the writing process. I feel fortunate because my ability to see such a vast amount of writing has helped me to grow as a writer. Throughout my time there, I noticed some trends:

1. Confidence – This is probably the major problem with most writers. Writing is usually a very personal thing, and people have a fear of rejection. They are timid for someone to read their writing if it is not up to par. They find it easier to say, “I’m just not a good writer.” People tend to be very adverse to any sort of criticism. However, you must put the fear aside. It is not the easiest thing to do, but it is one of the best ways to help advance your writing. If you plan on writing on any large scale where many people are going to be viewing your work, you have to be willing to accept the criticism. It’s impossible to please everyone, so there will always be someone who doesn’t like what you write. Take ownership of what you write and have some pride in it.

2. Criticism – Use this to your advantage. This goes hand-in-hand with confidence. When people receive a little criticism, they tend to back away. Criticism can be a very positive thing. By listening to your critics, you can grow as a writer. It can help to have someone to give your writing to before you make it public. Let them serve as your personal critic and editor. Critics can offer valuable suggestions and help you to realize flaws that you usually gloss over.

3. Read Aloud – Now this one may sound a little strange to some of you. Whenever you write something, sit back and read the piece aloud. Yes, I literally mean for you to speak the words as if you were telling it to someone else. When we write, we become so used to seeing what we have composed that our eyes can often overlook mistakes. If we read the writing to ourselves aloud, our ears can often catch many of the mistakes that our eyes missed.

4. Patience – Writing is not something that happens overnight. For some people, writing is natural. They can sit down at the computer, and their fingers just type. It is second nature for them. However, for the majority of people, writing is a process. It is difficult and time consuming. Most people are not born as natural writers. It takes a great deal of practice to develop into a quality writer.

5. Individuality – As much as people like to streamline things, it does not always work for writing. There are so many different styles and genres of writing. Be yourself with your writing. Do not conform and try to emulate someone. It is okay to pattern yourself after someone’s style to help you grow as a writer, but you still need some uniqueness. Everything from your first idea to your final draft, do it in your own special way.

Most of these ideas may come across as obvious or common sense, and that’s because they are for the most part. However, we often forget to do these simple things that could vastly improve our writing. I am guilty of not always following through with the same advice I give. We often get in a rush and forget to do the little things that could help enhance our writing. If you already partake in these practices, than I am happy for you. I realize some of these suggestions may not work for everyone though. Give it a try, and maybe you will be able to help yourself become the writer you want to be.


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    • changer22 profile image

      changer22 6 years ago

      I really like your hub! I especially like what you said about being yourself when you write and not conforming or copying someone else, this is great advice.

    • Joelipoo profile image

      Joel 6 years ago from Ohio

      @Gypsy - Thanks!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Great tips! Voted up! Passed on.

    • Joelipoo profile image

      Joel 6 years ago from Ohio

      @wheelin - I am so happy that you found this to be such a useful hub. Writing is very personal, and I'm glad you are willing to share yours. Keep building up your confidence!

      @turness - Thanks. I am hoping to do well.

      @rad - I'm glad this hub was useful for you. I hope you continue to read and enjoy my work.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 6 years ago from Mumbai,India

      I learned so many tips to grow well as a writer from this hub. A timely guide for the newbies in writing field. Great hub! Voted up as useful.

    • turness profile image

      turness 6 years ago from North Aurora

      Your writing is very well thought out and well constructed. You will do well as a writer.

    • wheelinallover profile image

      Dennis Thorgesen 6 years ago from Central United States

      Writing is a growing experience, no one is even capable until they learn to read. Some seem to have a natural talent while others work on it for a lifetime.

      I have heard it's all been written before yet college students continually come up with 21% or less "copied" material. This means to me a slightly different direction makes something new.

      Reading aloud is a good idea, I have a tendency to write sentences backwards by American English standards. This tendency they say has something to do with my first languages Spanish and Cherokee putting their sentences together differently. I have had this problem since learning English.

      The worst criticism I have had is people not reading what I have created. Believe me this hurts worse than anything anyone can say about what I have written.

      With each piece I write my confidence has grown. Errors have been pointed out and corrected in prior articles, I have looked at the pointers given as exactly that, ideas that would improve any finished product.

      If at first something doesn't turn out the way I want it, it is put away and polished later. I have few deadlines so this is very possible.

      There is almost always part of me in anything I write. In an internet business people follow people. Why would they follow someone who never shares anything about them?

      I enjoyed this article because it was just the basic steps to becoming a good author. You would be surprised at how many people I come in contact with on the internet who could use this very information.

    • Joelipoo profile image

      Joel 6 years ago from Ohio

      @parents - Thanks. I'm glad you could enjoy it.

    • parentsreview profile image

      parentsreview 6 years ago from Lansdowne, PA

      Some great tips! Learning to hear someone else's critiques about your writing, and think of it as a benefit and not an attack is a big step towards feeling free to write and improve. Great hub!

    • Joelipoo profile image

      Joel 6 years ago from Ohio

      I have heard that too, but you can always put a new slant on things. Plus, the world changes so much that new things are happening everyday. There is plenty of original material to write on.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image

      HattieMattieMae 6 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      Think my thing is trying to be original, but once someone told me everythings been written before, so trying not to be like others is hard to do. lol