Aimee Harrison, Peer Consultant

Major: MFA Creative Writing and Poetics

As a kid, I was never praised for my communication skills. I was the predominantly silent third grader who other students only sat next to so they could (non-discreetly) copy math tests. It wasn’t until I was fulfilling a humanities requirement in my undergraduate program that I received the encouragement to suggest I might make a better writer than scientist.

There is a common generalization that we use the right side of our brains for creativity and the left for logic and analysis. I don’t buy into this separation. Though the end products bear little resemblance, for me the process of composing mathematical proofs, java scripts, lab reports, videopoems, or surrealist short stories are not all that different. Each starts with putting basic thoughts onto the page and taking notebooks full of outlines, charts, and notation before being finished.

When someone tells me they are an incurably bad writer, I never believe them. Neither though do I believe someone who tells me they sat down after twenty years of not writing and wrote a perfect short story. I don’t think good writing is something that simply falls onto a page without effort. Spilling out is the first step, but my favorite part of writing is what comes next: revision. I love looking at a huge tangle of words and pulling out the moments of wisdom and beauty, then rearranging, deleting, and rewriting until there is clarity.

I am primarily a surrealist short story writer and narrative poet. As a tutor, I will examine your work, regardless of genre, the same way I examine my own pieces: as never bad, but also never done, as a logic problem to talk through and solve.