This book is a ghost of memoirs past.
You're juggling two minds, but you only need one.
Writing against the (Platonic) form.
It’s time to look at everything everywhere all at once.
Few and far between. But that's not a bad thing.
My best writing friends have come out of situations when I’ve just said yes.
This is for all the Asian & Asian American identifying folks who want to think more about the history of their communities in the United States.
A good workshop is hard to come by (but here are some that have).
And one path nearly without it.
What does it represent to you?
Invite the necessary uncertainty.
It is who I am.
The magical art of insomnia.
Shame may get you a result, but it will never give you freedom.
You feel split because you are.
The crowd can grow as far as your dreams make them. And not just your dreams, but your nightmares too.
There’s no practical backup for when you fail to perform as the person you’re supposed to be.
It's not about rules, but awareness.
It’s not “again” but “anew.”
A round-up of The Reading in 2022.
Three kinds of difficulty.
You can have what you want, and should.
You've got to interrupt the "plan first, work later" mentality.
Today is the last edition of The Writing. Starting next week, I am releasing, instead, one more letter a month just for paid subscribers like you.
You are missing something, but it's not what you think.
There was a point in time that I assumed that writing was just one job: to get the thoughts down and out. But as so many reader letters reflect here at The Reading, art is at least two jobs. The first is to resist; the second is to make.
My fundamental work in the classroom is building a new trust for my students, however it is they have lost trust in their own power.
Last week, I wrote on the importance of unproductive writing spaces and some initiatives I’ve started to make them. I also asked readers to contribute their own examples of gathering with other writers.
Almost two weeks ago, I posted a question on social media for Asian American writers: “What do you really, really wish was available to you that would help you as a person and writer?”
I’ve tried many possible forms—a memoir, a how-to book, and even fiction. But every iteration so far has felt hollow in its delivery.
This situation reflects your hopes and fears.
There’s a distinction between the years in which you are figuring out what it means to pursue writing professionally and the years when you actually start navigating it.
The moment I feel momentum in a project, all I want to do is regiment the number of words I will add in a day and stack them in a timeline until I know the exact day I will reach my goal. I want to know the future. And you probably know how that ends.
At the beginning of 2021, I decided to leave social media, following some close intimates of mine and watching, of course, The Social Dilemma. A few of you have written me to ask how it’s been. I’ve been thinking about it too, as recently I’ve decided to
It’s about finding presence enough to be here.
Back in May, I did a check-in with myself on my yearly intentions and set some goals for summer. I also asked about yours.
Living in the end and a secret announcement.
[W]hat happens when one’s emergency impulse is made the attitude toward life? It involves transfiguring places from what they are into what I want them to solve.
Hello, I am on vacation! The Writing will return next week. In the meantime, here are two threads I have noted in the recent past on getting a writing education outside of an MFA. Meant for poets but useful for all.
On Sunday I began a postscript detailing my most vivid memories of emerging in my career thus far. It turned out to be larger than a postscript. Here’s the next leg of the journey, on my first fellowship and my first book. My first fellowship. The same year I
Letter: ‘What’s an “Emerging” Writer and How Do I Become One?’ There are, obviously, milestones that signal to others that one has “made it” as a writer. There are also, less obviously, the milestones that signal to oneself that there is permission to continue. This is the strange journey
Welcome back to The Reading, radical empathy for writers with Yanyi. Last month, paid subscribers received the following: * The postscript to today’s letter: On finding one’s own measures (Part 1 – My first acceptance and my first writing group) [https://reading.yanyiii.com/postscript-on-finding-ones-own-measures-part-1] * Private access to the inaugural
Once upon a time I had a strong impulse to throw parties and arrange meetings. There was something in the air for me around bringing people together. I had many reasons: the thrill of the crowd; the mystery of strangers coming together; the desire to buy the flowers myself. But
Letter: ‘Will This Rejection Discourage Me Forever?’ Jurying is a serious matter and I’ve never seen it taken in another way. Most jurists are themselves artists and know the vulnerability of putting our hats in the ring. We also know the value of what it means to get this
Welcome back to The Reading. Last month and this month, paid subscribers received and will receive the following: * The postscript to June’s letter: A monthly wellness prompt for the quality of your life [https://reading.yanyiii.com/postscript-im-afraid-im-not-going-to-get-anywhere/] * The postscript to today’s letter: A little more on the
You've been taught to work harder when you need to work differently.
Writer of color and have a newsletter to share? Add yours to this list [https://forms.gle/zZNmWVHY2FjmNcNv6].
Queer/trans and have a newsletter to share? Submit yours [https://forms.gle/6woBUfrEpwocgvX18] to this form.
You have control but not in the way you believe.
This is a case of a change in heart.
Why I'm leaving Substack on Trans Day of Visibility.
Readings and events for Contemporary Queer and Trans Asian American Poetry, Spring 2021 at Dartmouth College.
On the Atlanta shootings.
It's a simple matter of kindness, generosity, and surprise.
It’s not a simple choice.
It’s time to explore your own archive.
Or, a metaphor for revision.
Consider the ways that you count them.
It helps to fail on purpose.
I am taking an indefinite hiatus from social media, namely Twitter [https://twitter.com/yanyi___] and Instagram [https://www.instagram.com/yanyi.docx/]. If you’d like to follow my work or know what I’m doing on a regular basis, you can subscribe to The Reading [https://reading.yanyiii.
On poetry and changing worlds.
An index of letters and discussions from 2020.
Hi everyone, My hope is that The Reading has touched your life in some way. The support and love you’ve shown me, both here and in the (online) world, has reminded me that even small weekly letters can assuage the lonely difficulties we encounter as writers, sometimes even change
Author’s note: Hello to those new here at The Reading. Today, in celebration of your arrival, the one-month anniversary of paid subscriptions, and the last reader letter of 2020**, the enhanced features of The Reading, usually part of the paid tier, are being sent out to all this week.
You’re working too hard for the bare minimum.
It’s better to change than to improve.
Originality comes from origins.
Certainty comes from mistakes.
Some advice and an update about The Reading.
Hi everyone, Today’s The Writing will be the last one to run for everyone. I originally started this series as an opportunity to discuss practical concerns and questions [https://reading.yanyiii.com/beginning-the-writing/] about the writing industry and writing practices. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity of getting
Hi everyone, I finished this letter earlier yesterday right when AP called the US presidential election for Joe Biden. I write to you with a sense of renewed determination for what is still possible and what the future might hold. Today’s letter is one I’ve been sitting on
Hi everyone, In the past few months, I’ve been working on an essay on close-reading and uncertainty in poetry. In the question of hateful ideologies and their transforming aesthetics, I ask Who can afford to be uncertain? Who will die if we’re wrong? There’s the kind of
Hi there, Most of us think of writing as a solitary pursuit. But today’s letter reminded me of what there is to be lost when we write without each other. The Reading started in empty classrooms and dark bars; it started on those afternoons and nights not writing, but
Hi everyone, Teaching this year has given me the gift and insight of how pivotal writing communities are for the uncertainty of our lives. The Writing is not going anywhere, but it is going to be smaller: a place for those of you who most want conversation and community wherever
Hi everyone, I’m so grateful to each of you who have written, shared, and signed up for paid subscriptions since last weekend. Thank you to each letter writer, whose questions help me clarify my own positions on what it means to write. I had no idea that I had
This Sunday, I announced the pre-launch [https://reading.yanyiii.com/im-tired-of-working-so-hard-for-so/] for paid subscriptions of The Reading. My dream for The Writing is to bring community, conversation, and direct access to practical answers on what it means to be a writer today sustainably. I’m incredibly excited to expand this
Hi there. This week, I’m kicking off “pre-orders” for paid subscriptions to The Reading. The experience you’re getting now is what you’ll continue to receive in a subscription after November 15: a Sunday letter, its audio format, and Wednesdays’ The Writing. As ever, Sunday’s letter will
Hi everyone, For those of you outside the US, the next thirty days in the US are going to be particularly harrowing. So this week’s question is all about hope: What strategies do you use when you have “nothing to say?” As usual, I’ll be here for 45
Author’s note: Since I started The Reading this summer, I’ve had the joy of giving away the help I wish I had had when I first started writing. Next month, I’m going to start offering subscriptions. Your support would help me stay independent for all that I
Hi everyone, I’ve found that part of the interest with writers’ writing processes will land, too, on the ways that we are able to write, revise, and read depending on our technology of the day. So I thought it’d be fun to hear from everyone. In the spirit
Your power is uncertainty.
Hi everyone, As mentioned on Sunday, if you’d like to answer one question [https://forms.gle/jkMDYSKLpWE39cgr6] to help me nail down my next offerings or be on the pilot list for them, please do! The survey should work properly this time. :) To end this series on the MFA
Goodness is a pyramid scheme.
Today, I’ll be reading live at The Brooklyn Rail [https://brooklynrail.org/events/2020/09/23/radical-poetry-reading-with-erica-hunt/] at 13:00 EST (e.g. right after this). Continuing the MFA series (#1 [https://reading.yanyiii.com/the-writing-should-i-get-an-mfa-ifi/], #2 [https://reading.yanyiii.com/the-writing-should-i-get-an-mfa-ifi-37c/], #3 [https://reading.yanyiii.com/the-writing-whats-the-best-feedback/], #4
Loneliness is a condition of being your only original.
Hi everyone, This week’s question continues the MFA series (#1 [https://reading.yanyiii.com/the-writing-should-i-get-an-mfa-ifi/], #2 [https://reading.yanyiii.com/the-writing-should-i-get-an-mfa-ifi-37c/], #3 [https://reading.yanyiii.com/the-writing-whats-the-best-feedback/]) and is inspired by a response by JinJin to the my first writing class thread on Twitter from a few weeks again.
Your power is precious. Do what responds to it.
Hi everyone, Thanks for your patience as I missed my own deadline at noon today whilst sweatily unloading a moving trailer. I can proudly inform all of you that I own exactly 14 “small” boxes of books of equally heavy weight and they are all towering behind me in my
Another kind of letter.
The end of summer has finally reached me and I’m here a day earlier than usual because of my moving and new class schedule. Today, I’m continuing the MFA series. You can read the first installment here: Should I get an MFA if…I want structure around my
Now is not a time to be alone.
Today I’m kicking off a series of answers about and around getting MFAs. I tried to answer this week’s answer in one go and it ballooned into something longer than one of my Sunday letters (I hadn’t even finished). So, I’ll be answering this question in
You're trapped in a mirrored closet. Close your eyes.
The school year’s getting started and I’m busy culling together a syllabus for my introduction to creative writing class at NYU. I took this question to Twitter [https://twitter.com/yanyi___/status/1290662807080521738?s=20] earlier this month and was inspired by all the answers (and tips!) others
Not everyone earns the honor of reading your work.
Last Saturday, my partner and I listened again to our Chani Nicholas horoscopes for 2020 [https://chaninicholas.com/horoscopes-for-2020-the-year-ahead/]. Little did we know in January 2020 what would be in store for us this year. Thanks to Johanna for today’s question: How are you writing (or not) this year?
Brazil needs you, but not in the way you think.
A new series for talk, craft, and teaching each other.
Write not from what you’ve learned, but what you remember.
Free yourself from the roles you've been given.
Step back from your codependence with the world.
You think you have to write what you know. Don't.
Art is a garden, not an operation.
Here comes a creative advice column.