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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Write Woman



The Write Woman: Geraldine Estevez Interview
 
Geraldine Estevez, photo by @gidelvia



Geraldine Estevez is a Dominican author and blogger from New York who has written articles for LatinTRENDS and The Huffington Post. Geraldine is also the founder and sole writer of the blog The Write Woman where she encourages women to live fearlessly. She documents her journey to write her first novel, gives great tips to fellow authors, and covers an array of topics.  With passionate posts and insightful thoughts Geraldine Estevez is the right woman to write your next favorite novel. 

Age: 25

Hometown: New York City

How has your Dominican heritage and upbringing influenced your writing?
I am able to bring realistic and relatable characters to the novel I’m writing now, in part, because of my Dominican heritage and upbringing. I know what it’s like to have to work for things, as opposed to being born with them – which is not to say that this is something limited to Latinos. All in all, I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for my upbringing.

How has your work in public relations helped you in your journey as a writer?
I majored in advertising and public relationships and because I have that experience, I understand the importance of marketing.

When did you decide to begin your blog The Write Woman and how did you come up with such a clever title?
I originally launched my blog as The PR Woman because I had just gotten accepted into the advertising and public relations program at the City College of New York, I was looking for PR student blogs to follow and couldn’t find any. When I can’t find what I’m looking for, I tend to create it – and so that’s exactly what I did.

Then, as time passed, my perspective changed, and I felt my brand name was limiting. I knew that the one constant in my life – the thing that hasn’t changed and I highly doubt will ever change – is my love for writing. For this reason, I knew I wanted to incorporate writing into it. The Write Woman came to mind on the second day of brainstorming new names, maybe the first. It was a pretty organic decision. I’m a sucker for puns!

Reading your post 'The Day I Quit My Job' you expressed your desire to pursue your dreams and focus on writing your novel, which took a lot of courage. How difficult was that decision?
It’s easy to overlook just how difficult it was until I talk about it. That day, I felt – for lack of a better word – sad. I didn’t want to be ungrateful – I’d landed a job straight out of college (a rarity in itself), yet I wasn’t happy, and I knew I couldn’t give my all if my heart wasn’t in it. Early that day, I asked the universe for a sign, for something that would let me know (despite my incessant gut feeling to do so) that quitting was the right decision.

After handing in my letter of resignation, I went to lunch and then planned to stop by Barnes and Noble to relax a little and get my mind off of things before heading back to the office. I’m not sure how amidst so much angst I was able to spot one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, with her husband. I was in such disbelief that I quietly walked up to her and asked if she was indeed Elizabeth Gilbert.

When she said yes, I stammered to express my admiration. When I told her I’d just quit my job to focus on my writing, she said, “Bless you, sweetheart. God bless you on this new chapter of your life.” I’ve carried those words with me ever since. Needless to say, Elizabeth Gilbert was that serendipitous sign I’d asked for, because in her I saw part of what I’d like to accomplish – I want my writing to reach and inspire people around the world, but I also want to be able to walk down the streets of Manhattan without being harassed by paparazzi.

I’m sure writing down your thoughts as a writer is cathartic and provides perspective. What inspired you to document your process of your first novel through your blog The Write Woman?
It is indeed cathartic. There are days when I’m overwhelmed with stress and uncertainty, and when I sit down to write, all my worries recede. I get chills because if there is such a thing as a calling, writing is definitely mine. As for documenting the process of writing my first novel, it was a natural decision. Since I started blogging, I said I would share my journey – regardless of how bumpy. There’s no need to sugarcoat things and make them appear easy when we all know dreams, like anything else in life, demand time and dedication.

One of the tips you gave in 'How to Become a Freelance Writer' is become your own publicist. How important is it to take command of your own brand as one embarks on freelancing?
When you’re a freelance writer, promoting your own work is crucial to your income.

How did your opportunity to write and be a correspondent for LatinTRENDS come about?
Last year, I received an invitation from LatinTRENDS’ to attend their 100th Issue Celebration, an amazing networking event full of successful and inspiring Latinos. Since then, they’d kept my email on file and when they needed bloggers, their web editor reached out to me. At the time, I was still at the agency and had to work out a few things. Months later, I reached out and the connection blossomed. I believe in LatinTRENDS as a brand and a vision. Juan Guillen and the rest of the team are always working to improve. Good things stem from hard work and dedication.


You’re a fearless writer, which is exhibited in your Huffington Post article, 'I Don’t Want Children'. What compelled you to talk about that particular subject?
It wasn’t as much about the topic itself as it was about empowering women to live fearlessly – which is the mission of my brand. Whether a woman chooses to have no children, one child or ten – the choice should be hers to make, and society shouldn’t feel entitled to dish out any judgment. I had no idea the post would resonate with so many. Thirty-seven-thousand likes on Facebook is insane! I have to catch my breath when I realize just how powerful words, my words, can be.

In your blog you discuss your love to travel the world. What have been your favorite destinations and which places are you looking forward to go?
It’s hard to distinguish my favorite destinations, as I’ve loved them all – from California and the Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico and my country, the Dominican Republic. I don’t think there’s ever a year when I’m not itching to visit California. Lately, though, I’ve been dreaming of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic – where I was born. I haven’t been there in a few years! I also want to travel to a lot more places, but my top three are: Italy, Greece and France.

We are a little past the halfway point of the year, how are you doing on your '14 Goals for 2014' so far?
I love setting goals, in part, because it’s interesting to see a shift in perspective. I’m still working towards some of the goals on that list, but some of them have changed. I’ll be sharing a post at the end of the year when I’m able to sum up just how much has changed.

As readers, what can we expect from your novel and upcoming work?
I promise to share every step of my journey. I want my readers there when I start pitching my novel, when I get an agent and the magical moment when I’m contacted by a publisher. Then, I’d like to share the cover design process, the logistics and my first book signing. In short, the only thing I’ll share for now is that those who continue (or begin) to read The Write Woman will be in for a treat!

How do you maintain your positive energy and optimistic mindset when you face doubt as a writer?  
Staying optimistic is a challenge not just writer’s face, but anyone chasing dreams does. To this point, I make a conscious effort to remain in that place, a place of optimism, and when I feel like I’m not there, I put in the work to get back there. I write if I feel I need to write, I pray when I feel praying will help, and I also meditate. I don’t just let the moment pass, but I do what needs to be done to shift my perspective – even if it’s something as silly as watching a feel-good movie, listening to inspirational songs (I love Coldplay!) – whatever it takes.

Where can people reach you?
People can reach me via email: Gera@TheWriteWoman. I'm on Instagram: Instagram.com/TheWriteWoman, and I am addicted to Twitter: Twitter.com/TheWriteWoman. I love connecting with others, so please, give me a shout!

Geraldine Estevez, photo by @gidelvia






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