I’m so pleased that you’re here.

My name is Esmé. I am a writer who believes that the flotsam of life is made meaningful through storytelling: both the act of telling my own stories, and in collaborating with you to tell yours. Without storytelling, I believe that we become adrift, lonely, and lost; through the art of powerfully elegant writing, we can come again and again to shore.

Through my work, I serve those who strive to flourish despite challenges. I stand beside communicators and entrepreneurs who have a vision for change, and use writing as a tool with which to share that vision. Such work is inspired by my business and life ethos — Tell your story. Be your dream.

…as it applies to my belief in the transformative power of Radical Sincerity — a movement that relies on vulnerability in storytelling as a vehicle for social change. Stigma-busting mental health advocacy? So-called authenticity in Instagram? Let’s talk about it.

…as it applies to the Chronicles, where I tell my stories, and with permission, the stories of others, about mental health and illness, compassion and care, soulful business, and the writing life. When people ask me why I write, I tell them about the woman who wrote to say that she was contemplating suicide one night, spent the dark hours reading the Chronicles instead, and then decided that she was going to live. Some may call it a schizoaffective disorder blog, or a blog about coping with schizoaffective disorder, but I believe that it’s so much more than that — storytelling about surviving, and thriving, with serious and chronic illnesses is both a balm and a call to action for everyone to live their best life, no matter the circumstance.

…as it applies to my Editing & Copyediting Services, which are directed at visionary entrepreneurs— visionaries who, as I do, dream of changing the world, and need to tell their stories with powerful elegance and clarity.

…and finally, as it applies to my Rawness of Remembering: Restorative Journaling Through Difficult Times — a multimedia program in which I bring you through the act of moving from coping to thriving.

Yes — stories do heal. And they also rocket us into magnificence.

“Your biggest strengths are storytelling, aesthetic reverence and a kind of curated compassion that is unparalleled. I’ve learned that we are the ‘More Story’ — not more than our stories, but that my story matters and I matter — in combination.” – Dyana Valentine, Oracle

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To hear more from me, get inspired missives via With Love & Squalor. Written like secret letters to all of my favorite people, these musings, sneak peeks, and treats aren’t seen on the site. You’ll also receive a copy of my book, Radical Sincerity, described as "a work of art worth your time” (Laura Simms) and “a road map that always leads you away from the shine-and-shimmer, and back into the movement of your heart” (Grace Quantock).


I was born in a small Michigan town to two Taiwanese immigrants before being shuttled off to California. My father drove ahead of my mother and me. In his broke-down car he forgot about the tea eggs that my mother prepared for him. She’d put them beneath his seat in a bag and they went
bad, smelled foul. While we waited to meet him there, my mother and I lived in a rented room and shared Whoppers every day. So now neither of us eat Whoppers.

Later I went to schools that some would call prestigious, but even though I met my husband at Yale, and have some fond memories of sneaking into lecture halls in the middle of the night to watch 1960s French films, those college years were also when I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, had immediately moved cross-country without a treatment plan, and had no idea how to take care of myself as a person with said disorder. Eventually I was hospitalized, to some degree or another, repeatedly until 2012, although I did manage to succeed in getting both a BA and an MFA from, respectively, Stanford University and the top-tier Writing program at the University of Michigan.

In 2013, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia; my diagnosis of bipolar disorder was also changed to that of schizoaffective disorder. (I tend to explain it as a marriage of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.) I’m a member of SOLVE, a speakers’ bureau for the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, and will spend much of 2014 traveling around the city to raise awareness about a cause that’s truly rife with stigma. Meanwhile, I’m also working to start a national movement regarding the way colleges and universities treat their students with mental illness, and involve philanthropy in my business when I can; portions of revenue from the first session of Rawness of Remembering were donated to MHASF, which then used it to purchase gifts for those in the hospital during the holiday season.

I write for a living. I read voraciously. My background is in literary fiction, which has given me a particular sort of snobbery — but also ensures that my editing work is both business-oriented and aesthetically driven. I was also employed as a full-time copyeditor for years, so I know whether or not adjectival phrases should be hyphenated. (You’re welcome.)

For fun, a few lesser-known facts:

  • I used to be on a children’s television show. I was “let go” from the show because I couldn’t stop laughing during one of the tapings.
  • Though I was a class clown in high school, being a brainy kid saved me from punishment; the pinnacle of my comedic career was making it to callbacks for Yale’s oldest sketch comedy troupe, in which I spent about five minutes reciting the alphabet while pretending to withdraw a tapeworm from my mouth. And I want to try stand-up comedy at least once. I’m also a total introvert (INFJ).
  • A popular Taiwanese miniseries was created about my father’s family. Skeletons in the closet, ahoy!
  • The first writing residency that I ever went to had a ghost problem. When your friend tells you that a residency is great, “but is haunted,” brush that off at your own peril.

I used to be known under a different name. This name was legally changed on September 29th, 2011. All of the media photographs of me on this site are by the ultra-talented, lion-hearted Kristin Cofer.

A few last things with that final sip, if you don’t mind. I hope you’ll sign up for With Love & Squalor (at right), poke around in the Chronicles, and get to know my Services. Move around my knickknacks. Peek under the curtains. And, finally: I challenge us — both of us, in it together — to be meaningful.

See you around.

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If you’ve been feeling the effects of small-talk overdose, cringe from social media gloss, and yet wonder how to actually implement openness in business and life, fill out this simple form to get your free copy of my li'l book, Radical Sincerity.


I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:  e@esmewang.com

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