Maybe It’s the Writing Center? Maybe It’s Maybelline?

Most of us have heard the tagline for the make-up commercials. The witty, “Maybe she’s born with it. Or maybe it’s Maybelline.” It’s pretty memorable, right? But I find more depth within this seemingly insignificant source of advertising. As an English major and lover of all thing English-related, I spend what some people would consider an unhealthy amount of time pondering life’s metaphors. A basic metaphor is defined as “a direct comparison” between two things or ideas. Since I have already stated that I spend a lot of time thinking about metaphors, it is no wonder that I like them. They intrigue me, and I like to apply them to my life. So that is why I have been attempting to come up with a solid metaphor for the Writing Center.

You might think there are countless metaphors for the Writing Center. And you would be correct! I have created quite a few myself as well as having heard some pretty great ones from the other writing consultants. None of them have to stuck with me as being particularly grand or overwhelmingly impressive, though. So the hunt for the perfect metaphor has continued.

This brings me back to the Maybelline make-up. When I was trying to find an interesting, unique topic to write about for this blog, that tagline was the first thing that popped into my head. Do not ask me why because I could not tell you. But as I sat there at my computer thinking about those two lines of advertisement, it struck me like a baby, mental lightening bolt. And I thought to myself, “Hey, Maybelline could be a metaphor for the Writing Center!”. Now, that might seem pretty far-fetched but let me explain.

What that tagline is saying is that the beautiful lady in the ad did not simply wake up looking like a goddess but that she had some help. This brand of cosmetics boasts that it was their products that made her look that way. The more I thought about it, the more I thought that this same idea could be applied to the Writing Center.

Maybe it is peculiar of me, but I do not think people are naturally born amazing writers. I think there is a basic level of talent that can be present, but the best writers need help getting to be national best-sellers. It takes years of practice and learning to become the best writer that you can be. And I think with dedication, anyone can become a good or even great writer. I certainly know that I haven’t always been a good writer. Heck, I’m not really sure I am decent at writing now! I have always loved writing so that is what has driven to strive to become better at it.

I think it is possible for every single person on the entire planet to improve their skills at writing. You just have to do one thing: write. You have to write, practice, and listen to the feedback you receive. That is where the Writing Center comes in handy. My epiphany while I sat staring at a blank Word Document was that the Writing Center is like Maybelline! We can help you make your writing “beautiful.”

Now, I am sure some people might disagree with the metaphor of make-up because not everyone needs it to be beautiful. And they would be absolutely right! Every person is beautiful in their own way, and no amount of cosmetics will change that. The thing about a little make-up is that is doesn’t add beauty but enhances one’s natural beauty. If you have a striking eye color, why not add a bit of eye liner to make those babies pop even more? The same goes for the Writing Center. Your paper already has beauty to it even if you don’t see it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use some help making its strongest elements even better. The idea of receiving help with your paper centers around the fact that you want your paper to be best that is can be.

Becoming a a good writer is a process, as is realizing your true potential and inner beauty. So don’t just assume that because you weren’t born the next Shakespeare that your writing has nothing to offer or that it cannot be improved. Because it can be! And we can help you. Just remember as your writing gets better, ours (the Writing Consultants’) gets better too. Good writers form through practice, effort, and passion. Do not despair!

What I have learned from writing this blog is something unexpected; metaphors can be found everywhere. As much as this one interests me and inspires me, I will no doubt remain on the hunt for more metaphors of the Writing Center. But for now, I leave you with this…

“The Writing Center can help you enhance the pages of your writing, and maybe you’ll see the true beauty that lies within those pages.”


I Get It: A Consultant’s Writing Pep Talk

I get it. I really do. We all have those assignments that we get from our professors. This “gift” is almost always followed by a collective groan and the small urge to cry. I’m talking about those assignments that make us say to ourselves, “Oh my gosh, why do I need to do this?” Often these sentiments are related to the idea that our professors, in fact, hate us and live to torture us. Contrary to popular belief, I assure that is not their goal in life. It may not always seem like it, but I promise you that they care and want you to succeed.

So maybe you have resigned yourself to the fact that you have to write this paper. You’ve accepted this. What you haven’t figured out, however, is why you should care. Writing has nothing to do with your major, right? Well, let me try to convince you that this may not be true. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, writing is an ever-present part of life, both in the academic and “real-world” spheres. It can take many different forms such as writing an email, thank you card, or even making a speech. That is all writing. And writing does not have to be torture. If you change the way you think of it, it can actually become something really beautiful.

Now, I realize you may not believe me about that. You don’t have to. But perhaps I can at least get you to see why you should care about your writing assignments. There are the obvious reasons of course. Maybe you have to get good grades or your parents will be mad at you. You know how important your GPA is. Maybe you have to keep up good grades in all your classes in order to play a sport. These are all good reasons, but what else is there? What if turning a paper you are proud of makes you feel more confident? What if developing your skills as a writer could help you in the long run?

Well, now you are probably wondering how that is possible, especially if you are not an English major. It doesn’t matter if you become a nurse, a psychologist, or a lawyer, writing will always be there. Improving your skills as a writer will help improve your people skills and the way you communicate with others. Being able to express your thoughts on paper means you will be able to do it in person. Learning good writing skills in college is something that can stick with you for the rest of your life. Now is the time to cultivate what you learn and improve, not only your writing, but yourself as well.

The more you write, the easier it becomes and the better you get at it. Don’t be afraid to put pen to paper and to quote the movie Frozen, “Let it go”. Learn to express yourself and set your feelings and thoughts free. I bet you never thought of writing as an act of liberation, did you? Well, it can be! It can be so much more than tortuous homework. And the more effort you put into those assignments, the more effort you put into yourself. That is why you should care about your assignments. Let them be something you are proud of, something you feel good about. You are capable even when you think you aren’t. You just have to try.

10 Reasons Why YOU Should Apply to Become a Writing Consultant


Not sure if you want to apply to become a writing consultant? Well, here are 10 reasons that may help convince you:

  1. It’s great opportunity to improve your own writing by learning from others’.
  2. You get to meet new people and start interesting conversations.
  3. You get paid.
  4. It will look fabulous on your resume or graduate school applications.
  5. All the consultants are really fun and excited to welcome a new person to the crew!
  6. We have nifty name-tags.
  7. You can better your own education by helping people with theirs.
  8. It is a relaxed environment where you meet with your peers.
  9. It is an awesome feeling when you have had a good, productive appointment.
  10. You can start to develop a rapport with the students that continue to visit over the course of the semester

If these reasons appeal to you, and you think you would make a good consultant, apply now! Applications are due by November 24th!!!