A Blog for Writers: Women and Adversity: Charlene Pollano

Charlene Pollano, Author

Charlene Pollano, Author

Charlene Pollano is a freelance writer and editor, coordinates the Wilmington chapter of North Carolina Writers’ Network and moderates Writers Block Party in Wilmington, N.C.   She is co-author of “A Group of One’s Own: Nurturing the Woman Writer.”

The book inspires women to follow their dreams to become a published writer and is replete with personal stories.  She is also co-author of “interlude,” [sic] a collection of stories, poems and other works by members of the Sea Quills, a writers’ group she founded in Wilmington. Her short stories and personal essays are published in literary journals, most recently in the Editor’s Choice edition of “Prime Number: A Journal of Distinctive Poetry & Prose.”

When asked what the biggest obstacle she had to face when she decided to be a writer, she said:

Charlene:  Finding the time to do so. I had three children, a husband and a full-time career as a high school counselor. The balancing act was difficult, to say the least. I became adept at sitting down whenever I could and learning to get “in the zone” rather than wait for the muse to visit me. I began by signing up for a Creative Writing Workshop offered by a local published author. I met several women in similar circumstances. When the published author moved after several years, we banded together and formed my first writing group, the Southern New Hampshire Women’s Writing Group (SNHWWG). These women helped me commit to my writing simply by being there. By joining a writing group, I was publicly saying that I was a writer and that it was important to me. They helped me carve out the time to devote to writing and to living a writing life. And, of course, my wonderfully supportive husband provided much-needed time for me to devote to writing.

2)  What was the biggest obstacle she had to face when she and her co-authors decided to publish “A Group of One’s Own”?

Charlene:  After five years of being together, the SNHWWG decided we had developed a system that worked for us. We had all become published authors. We began work on a book proposal and sent it off to 22 publishers. Story Line Press contacted us and offered us a contract. Now we had to write the book! All of us were career professionals, wives and mothers. How would we find the time? Well, we did! Between night meetings and weekend retreats, we wrote our hearts out. A year later “A Group of One’s Own: Nurturing the Woman Writer” was published. Then, the problem became how to find time to promote and market our book. We traveled all over New England for six months, doing readings and workshops on how to start a writing group. Not all five of us were able to attend each event, but we managed to cover them, even if there were only two of us. And we were all working full-time and raising families. One of the women even delivered her first baby during this time! My point is that if you really want to write, and if you have a good support system of some kind, it’s possible! You need to begin by saying “I am a writer.”

3) What is the biggest obstacle she faces now?

Charlene:  Now I am retired from the counseling profession, my children are grown and married, and I don’t have to share my writing time with another career. After fourteen years with the SNHWWG, I moved to North Carolina and started another writing group, the Sea Quills. I am a true believer in the power of like-minded writers to support me in my writing endeavors as I would support them. The Sea Quills recently published “interlude,” a chapbook of members’ writing. I would have to say that there are no major obstacles I must overcome in this stage of my writing life, but I am grateful that I know how difficult it can be as well as how rewarding!

Both books are available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and goodreads.com. Charlene can be reached at charvp@hotmail.com and on Facebook at Charlenepollano.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I’ve been a professional freelance writer for several years and specialize in writing feature stories. I have more than a 1,000 bylines to my credit and have written on countless topics from autism to zoology. My columns on fashion and the Internet appeared in a Chicago area newspaper in the 90s. “Brunswick Buzz,” the column in The Sun News, the Myrtle Beach, S.C. daily, ran for seven years then “Events on the North Strand” took over in October 2013, also in The Sun News.

    Write a Reply or Comment About This Article

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Archives

    Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 760 other subscribers