Consultant Bios

Andrew

During my free time, I like making playlists, driving with the windows down, and watching trashy TV. For academic writing, my favorite thing about the writing process is finally finding the right words to something I couldn’t explain before; for fiction, my favorite thing about the process is writing a joke that’s actually funny. When I’m trying to avoid writing and want to clear my head, I put on some music and take a walk.

 

Chris

I enjoy cultivating plants, riding/working on bicycles, and playing music. Writing is my favorite way to communicate with the world; I enjoy having the opportunity to spend time with my thoughts and working out problems while writing about them.  When I’m trying to avoid writing, I like to play my guitar and tinker on little projects in my yard and garden.

 

Donald

When I’m not doing homework or hanging out with friends, I like to play video games or listen to spooky podcasts (sometimes at the same time). I also love to read and write poetry, and I often scribble my thoughts or ideas into a tiny green notebook. For me, the best part of writing is the feeling of creating something I can be proud of, especially if I was stuck and had to push through a mental wall to finish a piece. Often, though, when I hit those walls and need a break from writing, I’ll listen to music at hazardous volumes, go for a walk, or take a nap.

 

Elayna

I like to draw, watch TV, play Sudoku, and go on long walks. I also like to spend too many hours on the Internet. I like that with writing, I can convey what I want to say after giving it more thought and intention than if I were to simply talk. When I’m avoiding writing, I will lay down, scroll through my phone, and maybe even take a nap until I decide I can write again.

 

Jamie B.

My pronouns are she/her/hers. Some of the things I like to do but don't usually get paid for are reading and watching science fiction, cooking interesting food, hanging out under the full moon, and wandering around in swamps. My favorite thing about writing is when I can surprise my audience. I also love that feeling of finally getting something down on paper that's been banging around inside my head for days. When I'm trying to avoid writing, I usually clean something. 

 

Joanna

I enjoy reading, gardening, swimming, and traveling. Music has also been an important part of my life. As a writer, it is satisfying to produce prose that is lucid, insightful, elegant, and yet subtle in individual expression. My best work usually comes after long periods of contemplation and multiple drafts – the latter always involving paper and a great pen. For breaks, I read and reread works by wonderful authors, peruse an issue of TLS, take walks, or shift gears by tackling lighter areas of my research project.

 

Joseph

When I'm not in the writing studio, I enjoy biking and exploring different parts of the Triangle region, especially its parks. To break up the hours of study, I like to work in the garden where I grow flowers, vegetables, and herbs, and on our indoor plants, where I have learned to propagate bamboo, with some of it now rising to three feet in height.

 

Kaycee

What I love most about writing is the ability to transcend the realm of what is possible or realistic. Writing has always offered me a sense of freedom, and I hope that I can give others that feeling. When I'm not writing, I enjoy spending time with my friends, overanalyzing movies and film, and listening to podcasts. 

 

Kelis

I enjoy reading (especially short stories), going to the gym, and discovering new music. What I love most about writing is the exchange between the gratification of putting your thoughts out into the world and watching as your thoughts gain a life of their own through writing. When I’m trying to avoid writing I am usually cooking while listening to a good podcast, hopefully on a different topic than I’m writing about. 

 

Kobi

When I’m off the clock, I enjoy hiking and getting away from things. A bit closer to home, I enjoy cooking, eating, and even (to some extent) doing the dishes. And beyond that, I always enjoy socializing with friends and watching Philly sports teams (usually lose - but sometimes win). For me, writing is an opportunity to refine ideas and discover new ones. That constant back and forth with myself forces a kind of challenging introspection which is both exhilarating and sometimes unsettling. But throughout, writing remains the best way for me to learn what I think and how I think it. And naturally, that means I avoid writing a lot. And when I’m avoiding writing, I am usually going for walks, cooking, eating, drinking, or doing the dishes. Really just about anything.

 

Lucas

What I enjoy most about writing is the hard part that leads to something I didn't think I could do. I find writing challenging when I have to start or finish something, or when I'm stuck in the middle. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, thinking about writing, or watching long, slow videos of skilled people expressing their craft.

 

Maile

I am a big extrovert, so anytime I’m not in the center, you can find me in pretty much any large crowd (although this has changed since COVID). I am also a Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast, which may come from my love of fantasy novels. Writing, to me, feels like my most accessible form of expression and creation. It feels both productive and subversive at the same time regardless of what I am producing. I have a knack for procrastination and I usually end up writing something I think is fun when I am supposed to be finishing an assignment. To avoid writing altogether, I typically fall into a netflix binge-watching hole or I stream SNL skits on youtube.

 

Margaret

Some things I enjoy are reading (especially fiction and history), walking (especially in the woods), cooking and eating Indian food, and spending time in the mountains or with my wonderful cat. My favorite thing about writing is using visual techniques, such as concept mapping and color. Laying things out visually really helps me with all kinds of writing process and problems, including brainstorming and organization. When I’m trying to avoid writing, decluttering my apartment becomes appealing. If I’m avoiding writing it usually means I’m feeling stuck, so I try breaking the writing task into smaller parts. (pronouns: she/her)

 

Rebecca

When I’m not writing, I enjoy going to the gardens, exploring Durham with friends, and listening to music. My favorite thing about writing is the way it allows me to express my thoughts in ways that are more creative and tangible than simply speaking. Most of all, my love for writing stems from my love for reading. Reading opened the world to me in so many ways, and now writing is my way of sharing my story with the world. When I’m trying to avoid writing, I’ll listen to music really loudly so that it fills my head with lyrics instead of the words that won’t come out.

 

Sullivan

I love reading (specifically 19th century British novels, but I promise I’m tolerable!), drinking coffee, working with middle school kids, ziplining, and baking cookies/cakes/etc.! My favorite thing about writing is being able to make sense of my thoughts in a concrete manner. Writing provides a completely unique opportunity for one to express their own perspectives to an audience of their choosing – where else can you do that?? When I’m trying to avoid writing, I have a special aptitude for spending copious amounts of time in the grocery store and talking incessantly about my summer job!

 

Vladimir

The writer Lydia Davis draws her inspiration from old phone books, early maps of Manhattan and other bookworm curios. I try to follow suit and in my spare minute I usually leaf through Medieval treatises on the problem of communication among angels, contemporary monographs on extraterrestrial languages, or just a random textbook on, say, geomorphology. I see writing as the process of carving a statue out of words which, in spite of their immateriality, can be more unyielding than marble. When my mind is fried (and my hands are blistering after chiseling my draft), I enjoy the loneliness of long distance running or good company.

 

Xuanyu

I really enjoy making music, binge watching, and traveling. I enjoy music in all genres and one day, I hope to embark on a road trip with my friends someday on a whim. My favorite thing about writing is the space, serenity and imagination it brings. When I’m trying to avoid writing I read something of a different topic to take my mind off the subject, then, I’d resume writing.