Alfredo Gutierrez: Aspiring Writer

Name: Alfredo Gutierrez

Hometown: Bronx, NY

Major/Minor: English and Creative Writing

Year: 2018

Favorite Film: Either Forest Gump or Cloud Atlas

Favorite Show: "Currently, it is definitely The Walking Dead.  I'm a big fan, but I have to catch up on this week's episode."

Favorite Quote: "Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood." - George Orwell, 1984

Go-To Repeat Song On iPod: "Coals" - Modern Baseball

Fun Fact: "I've never left North America, but hopefully will be going to Paris to study abroad."

HC NYU: What are your activities and interests?

AG: Well, the obvious one is writing. I sometimes play video games, but mostly writing, reading—very generic English Major things. Although, right now it is probably more writing than reading. I haven't been reading much. I'm currently reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, but there is a lot of other stuff I want to read. In terms of video games, I like to play "League of Legends", but also other RPGs [Role-playing games].

HC NYU: When did you start writing?

AG: I started writing non-seriously sophomore year. I wrote occasionally and had a couple journals I kept, but I started keeping my first real journal that I recently finished up around second semester senior year. Until then, I had been writing on and off. I tried to keep a journal on my off time, but I started writing more seriously in my senior year. My mom always tells me that I was really good at reading in Kindergarten. She always tells me about how she remembers my Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Rodriguez, telling my parents that I was one of the best readers in the class and I was just like, “Oh, well I guess that's where it started.”

HC NYU Why do you love writing so much?

AG: I always feel like I can express myself a lot better in words than in speaking. I'm sure you've noticed that I do a lot of these pauses and "ums" while speaking. It's easier to not do that in writing. I feel like everything is more calculated in writing. At least I try to be careful with the words that I use, and this is common in every type of written word like texts and emails as well as with creative writing. Writing is just more precise and to the point. It can be cathartic, but it's a good way to have a dialogue with yourself. 

HC NYU: What is your favorite topic to write about?

AG: That's tough. I usually don't write about a particular topic. I try and journal, which is difficult because it can become a diary almost. A diary is written in every day, but a journal doesn't have to be. Most of the time, I write what happened on a certain day. Recently, I've been writing more poetry, but I've also been writing about people, events and feelings. Writing about feelings in poetry is hard for me because it just gets very middle school, very juvenile in my opinion. I'm trying to work on more descriptive poetry, not just writing about feelings. 

HC NYU: What is something you're currently working on?

AG: Recently, I've been writing a thing about a few people that I know. I'm writing about three different girls who I've met during college and who have affected me, for the most part, positively: my best friend Elise, this girl Kayla, and my friend Christine. I have a rough draft for all of them, but I want to patch it up and make it better. On top of working on that, I'm working on a poem called "Knitted Hat". 

HC NYU: Do you ever let other people read your work?

AG: Yes, actually. Whenever there is something I championship or something that I really like, I'll let a lot of people read it. I don't think this is conscious, but I usually don't let guys read it [my work]. I feel like just in general, guys are less "artsy" so it's harder for them to read my poetry. Poetry is harder to interpret, but prose is probably easier [to interpret]. Poetry is emotional and guys don't talk about their emotions. I almost never let my roommate read my things, but I've shown my friend Elise a lot of the things I write. I was just telling her today that she is my unofficial editor because she helps me out. She's not much of a writer herself. She writes, but she wouldn't consider herself a writer. I think she has talent and I like the feedback she gives. I really like sharing stuff, but only selectively because sometimes I don't know if it is good. It just depends. 

HC NYU: What is something you've written that you're proud of?

AG: There are a couple things—I really like the memoir I wrote last year for my writing class. It was about my dad. I was telling Mary, the professor, yesterday that I like writing something like that because it [the memoir] sort of rose and it was dynamic. It's not the static, write-something-for-a-class, submit it and then it's done sort of writing. I wrote it, I handed in a draft and then a couple weeks afterwards when I came back to it, the dynamic had changed again so my essay continued to grow. I was also proud of my college essay for a while which was about my sister, but I think I've written better things by now. I also like the research paper I wrote senior year about [George] Orwell's 1984 and how the themes and motifs in the novel continue to be relevant. I spent a lot of time on that and it's probably one of the better things I've written, even though it's not creative. 

HC NYU: Future goals and aspirations?

AG: Definitely becoming published. I also want to enter a few writing contests. Some personal goals would be to become more comfortable in my writing and after that, it would just be…I need to write more and revise more. I tend to write stuff and then just kind of let it sit instead of working on something for a while. I also want to start a BlogSpot and start posting stuff. I occasionally post things on my Tumblr, but I want to get one place to have everything. 

HC NYU: So—changing topics abruptly—tell us how you'd show a girl a good time?

AG: That's a very loaded question. I like walks? No—I would definitely take her to dinner. It depends though. I took Christine on our first date to a launch party for "Minetta", this literary magazine on campus, and that was cool because we got to dress up. In general, probably dinner and walking around. It's been a while since I've been on first dates. I would also take a girl to the bookstore probably—I like bookstores. Dinner, coffee, walking around and bookstores. 

HC NYU: What do you look for in a girl?

AG: Hopefully, similar interests…someone who is easy to talk to. A lot of times, the conversation just seems forced and there are only a few people where the conversation kind of goes organically. If I'm being picky, similar music tastes would be great because I have a very particular music taste that most people don't have. I don't even know how to describe it, but I'm going through the genres on my phone now and I have: shoegaze, rock, punk, punk-rock, funk rock, indie, indie-folk, indie-pop, emo-pop, minimalist, electronic and alternative. It's sort of cliché to say someone who is smart, but I want someone who I would be able to have more than just a surface level conversation with.