Rolando Gómez

Writer, Producer, Photographer, Director

A Visual Scribe

You often hear, “write what you know,” still others say, “write what you don’t know.” I fall in the first camp, I write from what I’ve touched, seen, heard, smelled, and tasted. For example, I saw and smelt death by the thousands when I documented the Rwanda genocide in 1994 in Africa as a U.S. Army combat photographer.

Before Rwanda, I spent 26 months deployed as a soldier in the Latin America drug war where we tracked Pablo Escobar and other narcos. I documented that drug war in Central and South America right after my deployment in Desert Storm, and after Rwanda, I documented the Haiti invasion—even got bit by a tarantula.

I write from the joy I saw in people’s hearts and tears from their eyes as the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and I still cherish a piece of that wall I brought home. I write from the silence I felt when I flew back from Hanoi with ten U.S. flag-draped caskets in a U.S. Air Force C-141 Starlifter aircraft on my way to Hickman Air Force Base in Hawaii as part of Operation Full Accounting in 1994.

As a photojournalist with assignments to 45 countries, civilian and military, I’ve heard different dialects and languages, saw different cultures, touched the Berlin Wall as it fell, tasted plus smelled food most of my friends would say, “I ain’t eating that.” I’ve stood on the Israeli, Egypt border in 120°F heat, and on the equator in “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo,” Ecuador after I spent the night in the Galapagos Islands where I photographed “Lonesome George” before his death.

I grew up in a family with an alcoholic Father who abused my Mother, and I’m a victim of parental alienation as a parent, toss in an occasional PTSD tear, and you can say I’ve lived far more than my fair share of darkness than the average person—and I “draw” from it in my writings and my photography.

Have I seen it all? Nope. Good times? Yep. I’ve experienced some positives too, but I prefer to write about what most people have never touched, seen, heard, smelled, or tasted. I write from what I’ve known, not just what I know. What do you write from? Better yet, as they say, “in the room,” what’s your story? This is only part of mine.

Impact Creative Network Member
TV Pilot and Feature Writer
Published Author
Quora Top Writer 2016 – 2018

Dept. of Defense “Top 5” Military Combat Photographer
Cover Story, Parade, 32M Printed
Worked in 45 Countries

Degreed Professional with Life Experience

Understands Research

While I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication, summa cum laude, from the University of Texas, San Antonio, I also bring life experience along with bilingual skills and non-commissioned officer military leadership.

Speaks Spanish, English, and Some German

Decorated Military Veteran

Trained Mediator in Conflict Resolution

Industry Contacts

AP Stylebook Trained

Goal Setter

I give you my best to achieve all goals.

Team Player

It takes more than one to tell a story effectively.

Committed

I value commitment with integrity.

Selfless Service

While awards are nice, telling the story matters most.

Advice to Writers

Every writer starts with a notepad, but must hone their craft, write from experience, and chase rejection for inspiration.

Hone Your Craft
The first piece of advice is to hone your craft, which comes when you read what great writers have written. Learn to properly edit with  proofreader’s marks and a red pen, and write every day, anything that comes to your mind. Just write, edit, then input your corrections, then edit again, and continue to repeat that cycle at least three to 10 times per written piece until you get it right.
Experience Life
The second piece of advice, experience life, as you can’t write about life unless you experience it first. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing science-fiction or a historical romance, you can’t describe life in prose and dialogue unless you’ve lived and witnessed it yourself. You are who you are because of life, and a creative creates based on their life’s experiences.

Need to write how to dance in the rain, go dance in the rain, though make sure there’s no lighting first, then write about how it felt when the cool raindrops on a warm summer day bounced off your nose. You can’t write with authority and authenticity about the briny taste of sea water if you’ve never swam in the vastness of the ocean anymore than the cool wind and how it blows through your hair if you’ve never put your face into a breeze.

Accept Rejection
Finally, learn to accept rejection and use rejection to push yourself forward to improve your writing skills, to inspire you. This rejection applies to all scribes, whether you write songs, screenplays, articles for periodicals, literature, sermons, or even technical writing, you will be rejected more than you’ll be accepted — just keep writing and it will keep you going plus improve your writing craft.

About Rolando

Desert Storm army veteran, Rolando Gómez, served almost nine years as a soldier including 26-months in the Latin American drug war during the Pablo Escobar era and the height of the Shining Path guerrillas. Gómez was personally thanked by President George H.W. Bush and awarded a Dept. of Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his actions. Gómez also served in the Rwanda Refugee Crisis and other deployments. He’s authored six books and as a photojournalist, he’s been on assignments in 45 countries plus he’s a 2016, 2017, and 2018 Quora Top Writer. He continues to work on several TV pilot and feature screenplays to include LENS DIARIES, inspired by his book of memoirs.

Testimonials

“There is no stone unturned and is a worthwhile read for both men and women.” — Marsha Collier, author, radio personality and educator, over a million books in print

Self-Help Book

“This informative guidebook’s wealth of information belies its farcical title and entertainingly demonstrates that ‘there is much more than snake skills to being a real man and a gentleman. Practical, perennial direction for the modern man.” — Kirkus Reviews 

Self-Help Book

“Address[es] many of the issues presented to the glamour photographer, from basic composition to posing and lighting techniques.”  —Amateur Photographer Magazine

Photography How-to Book

Find My Writing Here

Top Writer

Over 4 Million Reads on Quora
Top Writer 2016-2018

Webmaster & Blogger

Over 100 Photography Tips, Plus Designed Website

Master of Arts

Over 100 Photos, Audio and Video Casts!

Experience. Veteran. Team Player. Published. Credentialed.

Available as a screenwriter for television and features that brings life experiences to the table along with quality research as needed to tell the stories visually.