Staff Q&As: Natalie Mix
Name: Natalie Mix
Position: Marketing Manager
Semesters spent on TCT: 3
1. Why did you decide to join TCT?
“I remember the moment I decided to take Writing for Publication, but if I have to be honest, I don’t really remember any of the thoughts I was having at the time. It was the new student orientation, and I saw the class on the list, and I guess I just decided to take it. My mom wasn’t there because she had to leave early, so it was a very independent choice, but I think I could have very easily not decided to do that and my entire life would have gone differently—I’m being serious. That’s not an exaggeration. I do, however, remember the moment I decided to continue. I was sitting on the floor in Mr. George’s room, and I looked up at him—I was very nervous at the moment—and asked him if I should take the advanced class. He very excitedly told me that I should, and from that moment forward, I just didn’t question that TCT was exactly where I was meant to be.”
2. How has TCT helped you grow as a writer and person?
“Oh my gosh, in all the ways. People always say this, but I very honestly would not be who I am without this class. It’s probably one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve had in my entire life. I’ve always loved to write, but before TCT, I wasn’t writing as much. And TCT opened my eyes to a whole new type of writing. It also gave me the opportunity—that’s a nice way to say it forced me—to write legitimately thousands of words every week. My writing talent has improved immensely, and I just feel so at home when I’m writing now. As a person though, because of TCT, I have branched out and met so many new people. I think every writer needs to have a community of writers around them because nobody else can accurately relate to the stress and grief, but also the absolute beauty, of writing. I have connected with all of these amazing people, and as a new student and a terrified freshman last year, I very much needed that. There are so many other ways, but I think I’m saying too much, so I’ll stop now and just say that TCT has changed me so, so, so much.”
3. If you were a type of cheese, what type of cheese would you be?
“So, I’ll start by saying that I decided I wanted to be some type of pink cheese—because I just dyed my hair pink and I think it’s very in character—and I figured it was a thing, so I looked it up. And you would be surprised by how many cheese-related websites there are. There’s a cheese.com; I think that’s awesome. But, I discovered I am a Red Windsor cheese because it has some sweet fruitiness from the “port and brandy” and also “creamy-cheesiness.” So, I can be sweet and nice but also not. And it’s from England, and I just love English accents.”
4. What is your favorite thing about writing?
“Sometimes, when I’m particularly stressed about all the writing I have to do or when I have a bad case of writer’s block, I legitimately wonder why I even enjoy writing. But then I remember, in those moments when there are words flowing from me onto the page, why this is what I’m meant to do. I have a lot of words always. I’ve always talked a lot, so writing is just another way to get all my thoughts out of my brain because they just can’t stay there or I’d go insane. So to actually answer the question, my favorite thing about writing is the moments when my thoughts are going faster than my fingers and I’m just effortlessly spilling onto a page. It is the greatest high of all time.”
5. What’s your funniest story of complications while working on a story?
“Ok, so this one time, I decided I wanted to interview this girl because her Instagram looked interesting, and I was like, “oh, this could be an interesting profile.” So, I do this interview with her—we sat outside on the grass, and one of our mutual friends was there—and it’s really relaxed. It was one of my favorite interviews I’ve ever done. But, the thing is she starts telling me all these things about her past that were kind of risqué, you know? So, I finish the interview, go back to class, and I’m like, “ok, that interview was insane, what can I use?” And the editors and Mr. George were like, “you can’t use almost any of that.” So now, I have this whole interview, and I can’t use about half of it, and my story is due in two days. I was very stressed, but it actually turned out to be a very good profile, and I won an SNO award for it.”
6. Who’s your favorite literary character and why?
“This is not a fair question. I have to say, Sirius Black is probably up there. He’s really amazing, and fun fact—big spoiler alert—when I was reading the series, I asked my friends if he died, and they said no. So when I read the entire fifth book in three days, it was a really traumatizing experience for me. But, I really enjoy him and Remus Lupin because they are probably the cutest couple, even though it’s not canon—but I choose to believe it is. I also absolutely am in love with Keefe Sencen from Keeper of the Lost Cities. He’s just the best. I’m reading a book right now called Renegades—not the Tik Tok; whenever I mention the book, every time without fail, someone starts singing that—and I really love the main character, which is rare because main characters are usually basic, so I think that’s worth mentioning.”
7. What is your favorite type of story to write and why?
“I love short stories. I just recently started writing them for the site, and it’s about the most fun thing ever. It’s very stressful because, most of the time, it needs a solid plot, so I can’t just write it and go for it; I have to have some form of a plan. But there is something inherently magical about having this base idea in my head and watching it grow with each new idea, and then as I’m writing it, it turns into this entirely different thing than I ever thought. I also really love being able to take inspiration from my regular, everyday things to create characters, and settings, and plot points. In the end, I have this super convoluted result that was inspired by so many different things, and then people can read it, and it’s just like, ‘what?'”
8. What are your aspirations for the upcoming decade?
“Well, I would love to make it through high school without completely losing my mind. That’s number one. After that, I’m really hoping to be able to go to Hope College and graduate without a ton of debt. I want to get my master’s in Psychology, and I want to work with kids with special needs or become a counselor. I want to get a book published; that’s a big one. Not to be cliche, but I want to fall in love. Overall, this decade is a big one for everybody around my age. This is the decade where we become adults and step into real life, and that’s huge. So, I want to see my life become something I’m proud of and satisfied with. And most importantly, I just want to be happy. Maybe my life will go in an entirely different direction than I’m currently planning, and I’m actually completely ok with that as long as it’s making me happy. I just want to be content, and happy, and mentally healthy. Oh, also, I want to pass my driver’s test.”