This episode first appeared on Craft Your Content. You can listen to more episodes of Writers’ Rough Drafts at craftyourcontent.com/podcast.
Victor Yang is a queer writer and organizer, who grew up, in his words, in Canada, rural China, and Kentucky. A former Rhodes Scholar, he has focused a large part of his career and experience in giving a voice to those who don’t have voices, or who often have those voices taken away. Whether it is his volunteer work in family casework for single mothers of color, direct action AIDS activism, work with low-wage workers unions in the Northeastern United States, or efforts to push the administration to launch the first summit on race in the 800-year history of Oxford University—he has been fighting for immigrant and labor justice for over a decade.
He shares his own stories, some of the stories of the folks he has encountered (whether broadly or specifically), and his difficulties, defeats, and joys as an organizer through his short essays and articles in a variety of publications like The Rumpus, Tahoma Literary Review, and Gulf Coast magazine. Victor has landed residencies and awards for his writing, including the coveted 2018 Chertkov Fellow with the Blue Mountain Center in upstate New York.
What You’ll Learn About Writing This Week:
— How writing out your thoughts and feelings can sometimes give you a sense of control
— Why we should actually be selfish when we are writing
— That sometimes it is in being inconsistent that we find our creative consistency
— How different languages shape our voice and personality
— Why a change in scenery is important to a strong writing habit
Mentioned in This Episode (Links and Resources!):
— BlueMountain Center (2018 Chertkov Fellow)
— “Q&A with Victor Yang, Alumni Award Recipient” (Iceland Writers Retreat)
You Can Reach Victor At:
Tweetable Quotes From This Episode:
“My purpose when I revise for three or four drafts is often trying to get much more explicit, so what’s climbing and hopping around in my subconscious can actually land in text for the reader.” – Victor Yang on #WritersRoughDrafts
On Writing Routines: “I need to write first thing in the morning, usually with tea or coffee, then I bike over to a coffee shop or work from home. It makes the rest of my day feel better.” – Victor Yang on #WritersRoughDrafts