Be a tortured genius… without the torture.
My name is Esmé. I’m a novelist and essayist. Through education and devoted practice, I strive for mastery of the writing craft. I create work that I hope will affect people, and will perhaps even outlast me.
Maybe this seems outrageously hubristic.
Or perhaps you have a similar aim. You want to be brilliant. And you want to leave a mark.
(Did you just feel a twinge? Did the voices rise up: “Who are you to say such things?” But it’s true, isn’t it?)
I’m also an example of what it means to be sick and successful. As someone who lives with schizoaffective disorder and late-stage Lyme disease, experiencing both chronic mental and physical illness has taught me hard-won lessons. I’ve learned about redefining ambition. I’ve been schooled in ass-kicking with limitations.
At this website, I provide resources for writers of all kinds to develop both mastery and resilience while building a legacy. I do this with a high value for compassionate excellence, and a sensitivity toward the need for emotional and physical health.
Because if you’re an aspiring or working writer, it is likely that, despite what some may think, you work insanely hard. After all, you’re not only honing your craft and exploring new frontiers; you’re also figuring out how to earn money while doing so. Your efforts to build a powerful body of work come with the demands of building a life for yourself, and somehow managing to stay sane while doing so.
Here, writers and aspiring writers can develop into self-assured, high-achieving professionals who have strategies to deal with the ups and downs of a creative life.
You can begin by signing up for my e-letter to receive a PDF copy of the Creative Legacy Check-In, which provides questions that allow you to ponder–with intentionality–how your creative body of work currently stands, and where you’d like for it to go.
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
Subscribe to Legacy Notes, and you'll receive missives about compassionate life and business, as well as living as a working writer while working to leave your mark. As a bonus, you'll receive a copy of the Creative Legacy Check-In—a tool that allows you to thoughtfully examine your recent work, determine where you're heading, and to course-correct (or celebrate) as necessary.
AND NOW FOR A BIT OF LAGNIAPPE…
[Esmé’s] blog is beautiful, smart, and thought-provoking.” – Gala Darling, writer & founder of the Radical Self Love movement
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 an INFJ, a 4 on the Enneagram, and a Gemini with a Taurus moon and a Capricorn rising. According to the Voice Bureau’s Voice Values paradigm, my top Voice Values are Excellence, Intimacy, Legacy, and Transparency.
- A popular Taiwanese miniseries was created about my father’s family. Skeletons in the closet, ahoy!
Esmé Weijun Wang is an award-winning author and advocate. At esmewang.com, she provides resources that assist aspiring and working writers in developing both resilience and mastery on the path to building a creative legacy. Wang’s emphasis on resilience originates from her own experiences as a writer, having learned the importance of adapting to difficult times from living with schizoaffective disorder and late-stage Lyme disease. She studied creative writing and psychology at Yale and Stanford, and received her MFA from the top-tier Creative Writing program at the University of Michigan. The author of THE BORDER OF PARADISE (Unnamed Press, 2016), as well as the e-book LIGHT GETS IN, Wang has been published and seen in Salon, The New Inquiry, the New Yorker Online, and The New York Times. She delights in organizational tools, handwritten letters, and her home base of San Francisco. Find her e-letter, as well as the complimentary Creative Legacy Check-In, at esmewang.com/e-letter.