Asking for Help: Tutoring and Vulnerability

Asking for help is, for many people, a deeply uncomfortable experience; many people are worried about appearing weak or vulnerable, and so they never ask for help.

The act (or art) of tutoring is one that necessitates, arguably, asking for help. Most writers that come into the Writing Center do so willingly and ask for help in re: their writing. I’ve been tutoring long enough to know that this isn’t always a smooth or comfortable experience for some writers, and even I struggle with making an appointment with one of my co-workers. There is something about sending your writing to someone else to be judged that I think a lot of people have trouble getting over. Luckily, here at the UCWbL, we specialize in providing judgement-free feedback on writing of any level of completion, and we also happen to be a friendly, welcoming bunch of people.  We’re here to assist you in achieving your writing-related goals, not pass judgement.

But, writers have to meet tutors half way: submitting your writing for feedback requires a certain amount of vulnerability and trust, and we know that that can be intimidating. It still is for me, even though I know what a friendly environment the UCWbL has. However, if writers are willing to put up that bit of trust and vulnerability, we’ll do our very best to repay that with honest, constructive, helpful feedback aimed towards meeting your writing goals. That’s what we’re here for, after all.

So, if you’re on the fence about writing tutoring, I encourage you to take the leap and make an appointment. A little bit of trust and vulnerability can yield high rewards in the form of an open, constructive tutoring appointment. We hope to see you soon!


Join the discussion One Comment

  • Andrew D. says:

    Totally agree with the point about writers meeting writing tutors half-way. I think that before progress/improvement in writing can be made, a writer (anyone) has to be amenable to constructive criticism. Once a writer accepts this responsibility, their writing will have the potential to make vast jumps. For instance, I was incredibly stubborn and angsty my Sophomore year of high school — I felt my writing perfect and I got offended from feedback. Then, my Junior I had a teacher who lectured about how the greatest writers opened themselves up to feedback. They made themselves vulnerable to improve themselves. I also think Writing Centers are a great place to do this.