Writing in college used to make me nervous – really nervous. What if I don’t say the right thing? What if my professor is looking for something completely different from what I’ve written? Why is this so difficult?! That vague dread usually led to procrastination and a rushed one-night wonder – a masterpiece! Or, so I thought, until my grade showed up. A few years have passed since those early college days. There is still the rare day when I can’t find the right words, or when I need to revisit something I’ve written several times. However, writing is now a joy -- not something to be dreaded, or worse, avoided.
As I progressed from college through graduate school and into my professional life, I learned many new and helpful techniques for improving my writing. One of the most important steps I took was sharing my writing with others. Having another set of eyes look at my work, eyes without judgment or preconceived notions, made a world of difference. I’m now fortunate enough to be able to be that other set of eyes for Amherst College writers.
Yet writing requires far more than just another set of eyes reviewing your work. At the Writing Center, I’ll be happy to meet you wherever you are in your writing process, whether you’re at the very beginning steps of brainstorming, or you just want some feedback on the final draft of whatever project you’re working on. I’m also happy to work with you on non-academic projects, whether it’s a poem you’re struggling with or a personal statement on an application.
My training comes from teaching both composition and literature in many different settings: high school, the local community colleges, Westfield State University, and UMass/Amherst. I have my BA in English from the University of Michigan and my MA and PhD coursework in English from UMass/Amherst, primarily in Medieval Literature. I also learned a great deal from the UMass/Amherst School of Education, from which I have a M.Ed. in English Education. My previous experience in publishing provided me with background in formal proofreading, while my time at the Westfield State University’s Reading and Writing Center was pivotal in honing my skills as a Professional Writing Tutor.
In addition to finding me in the Writing Center, you may also find me jogging, pulling weeds in my garden, camping, travelling, or just spending time with my family and friends… I’ll be the one with the pen in my hand.
Email Lydia Peterson