During my free time, I like making playlists, driving with the windows down, and watching trashy TV. Recommend me music — I’m always looking for something new. 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 writing, 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 like to listen to some music and take a walk: on campus, in the gardens; in my hometown, down to the bayfront. Spending time mindlessly scrolling through Twitter also helps though.
I’m a 4th-year Ph D student in Music Composition. Besides writing / writing about / reading about / making music, I like to bake, hike, and ride my new skateboard! My favorite thing about writing is its ability to transmit information, knowledge, and ideas. I love reading something and having it change my view on something. When I’m avoiding writing, I busy myself in my kitchen or play with my cat.
I’m interested in ways that people work - our minds, our relationships, how we construct social reality. When I’m not writing, I am doing yoga, going on hikes, planning events, or binge-watching some cheesy TV show. My favorite thing about writing is being able to share my perspective and ideas in a clear and compelling way. There’s something special about re-reading something you wrote awhile back and connecting with your past self. When I’m trying to avoid writing, I tend to find things to clean and organize or, my favorite, sleep.
I grew up in Los Angeles and enjoy driving for hours, listening to the radio, and rooting for the Dodgers. Driving, like writing, demands that we both have an idea of where we want to go while also requiring attention to the steps necessary to get there. You can, however, still get lost doing both! My favorite thing about writing is how it allows you to have conversations with people across space and time, whether you’re writing an email to a friend on another continent or responding to a philosopher from the 19th century. Whenever I get some free time, I enjoy taking my dog to the park and experimenting with new recipes from the NYT cooking section.
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.
My hobbies are doing challenging puzzles (I've done up to 2,000 pieces, but my graduation present to myself will be a 3,000-piece puzzle!), listening to cheesy romance audiobooks, and mixing teas to create new flavor combinations. My favorite thing about writing is the discovery that happens as I go. Often, I don't know what I want to say or how I want to interpret a text until my fingers are already moving across my keyboard or notepad. But when I'm trying to avoid writing I scroll through dog videos, take naps with my dog, or really anything else related to dogs.
I’m interested in how to communicate science effectively especially through creative genres. When I am not writing, I love reading (almost) everything, experimenting with allergen-friendly recipes, playing with puppies, doodling, and wandering around new places on the verge of being lost (which my horrible sense of direction makes very easy). My favorite part of writing is when I can surprise the people who know me best. When writing becomes more of a headache than a hobby, I tend to either go on walks outside or make tea.
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)
Matthew's hobbies include listening to music, reading, and running. I also enjoy watching sports on TV. My favorite thing about writing is when I finally find the perfect way to express an idea that I've been working through in my head. When I'm trying to avoid writing, I'll usually clean something, read, or binge watch TV.
My favorite hobbies are playing and watching soccer. My favorite thing about writing is finding out what I think. When I'm trying to avoid writing I go for a walk.
I like how writing sharpens my attention even outside of the time and space I devote to writing. When I am working on a piece, whether that is for a class or for myself, I find myself paying more attention to the world around me, forming and reforming sentences in my head, trying to give a linguistic shape to what I can see, hear, and smell. Writing just makes the details in my world pop out a bit more for me. When I am not reading and writing, I like to cook, code, binge-watch TV shows, and take care of my plants!
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.
Shahrazad Shareef is a PhD candidate in Duke's graduate Program in Literature who studies post-war European intellectual history and economic development projects. Her favorite genres of writing include political journalism, intellectual biographies, history, and historical fiction. She is interested in historiography, the way history is deployed in political debate, and the research and writing issues related to the construction of historical narratives.
Sullivan loves 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!
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.