How Can Asian Americans Grow as Writers?

HOW CAN Asian Americans Grow as Writers?

Hannah Chao     |     APRIL 5, 2019     |    2 MIN READ     |    2 MIN WATCH

Note from SOLA: This video was recorded during The SOLA Conference 2019. Below is a transcript of the video. It has been lightly edited for readability.

Asian Americans can grow in writing first by acknowledging the fear that a lot of us have as writers in general. For example, “I have nothing to say” or “I don't have anything original to say” or “No one's going to care about what I write.” These are just common fears that everyone has when it comes to writing.

For Asian Americans in particular, we have a tendency to downplay our own stories because we simply don't see those stories in a lot of places. Even in our high school curriculums or in our bookstores or libraries — a lot of these books are written by non-Asians, and the examples they use may be white or black or some other culture and just not ours.

God is the master storyteller.

So how then do we write? The first thing to remember is that God is the master storyteller. He wrote all of our stories uniquely from the beginning. If we remember that truth, then we know that each of us has an original voice, an original perspective, and a unique experience that helps us to remember that what we say is valid, true and can really point to another facet of who God is.

Second, we just want to write for ourselves. We don't want to worry about style too much but just get our thoughts out there. A lot of times we journal. I know people who love journaling or blogging or even thinking thoughts in your head to help yourself process or reflect. Writing is the same way. We don't have to impress ourselves when we write. We just want to think our thoughts, and that's a great way to think about writing too. It’s just getting our thoughts out there.

But then third, I do think it's writing for the church. These individual stories that God has given us are there so that we can bless and encourage the rest of the body. So when we do write, we can really see ourselves as becoming that building of the church by building one another up. It’s so important for us to share these unique, original, beautiful stories that God has given us. That's why I think Asian Americans should all write.

Hannah Chao is a writer and the editor for SOLA. She is also on staff as the administrator at All Nations Community Church. Hannah is a wife and a mom of two beautiful little girls. You can follow her on Twitter.