Podcast

Evaluating Our Own Work: 5 Questions for Charlotte Gullick

“I go back to the original reason I got started: I love stories and how they can pull me into other worlds and other perspectives.” -Charlotte Gullick

Charlotte Gullick is Chair of the Creative Writing Department at Austin Community College. She holds BA in Literature/Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz and a MA in English/Creative Writing from UC Davis as well as a MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her awards include a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship for Fiction, a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, and residencies at MacDowell and Ragdale. She is the author of the novel By Way of Water.

On Saturday, June 17th, Charlotte Gullick is teaching a class for the WLT called “The Art of Revision: Seeing Our Work Anew. In this class, you’ll learn more about how to approach the process of revising your work.

Here’s what Charlotte had to share with us:

Scribe: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you write? How did you come to writing?

Charlotte Gullick:I write because it helps me find my meaning in the world. I started writing because when I first went to college; I was so out of my element (I’m from a town of two hundred people), so I started returning to the stories I grew up with.

Scribe: In your own work, how do you approach overcoming the challenges that come with writing, be it writer’s block or craft or business-related challenges?

CG: These days, three are three things I do to help me stick me with any element of the writing life:

1) Be grateful for the ways writing has enhanced my life, how it has created path for meeting new people or insights.

2) Read other writers. I go back to the original reason I got started: I love stories and how they can pull me into other worlds and other perspectives.

3) Journal on how the current project is important to me: what value can this piece offer the world? That sense of value and meaning can help me work through most if not all barriers.

 Scribe: Has there been a moment of epiphany in terms of your work, when you thought, “This is it! Now I know what I’m doing?” How long did that feeling last?

CG: That feeling has come every now and then, and it was the best 7 seconds of my life! It’s rare for me to have that kind of certainty; most of the time, it feels like I’m moving in a direction of maybe knowing, of maybe finding the right phrase or image – and I’ve learned to trust that movement.

Scribe: What piece of advice do you find yourself giving to writers again and again?

CG: That there are three personas when we write: the child, the architect, and the judge. The child will take risks, color outside the lines, say the thing that an adult would not. The architect looks at structure and order, and the judge critically evaluates everything. It’s important to know which persona you need when; if all three are present, we can become paralyzed.

Scribe: What is one thing that people will take away from this class?

CG:

  1. Renewed excitement about their project and a clear plan for revision.

Thanks, Charlotte!

Click here to learn more about Charlotte Gullick’s upcoming class.

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