read + write

By Anna from Twitter

Michelle, Walter, and Jewel



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read + write
hi there.
Welcome to the second issue of read + write (formerly The Week in Newsletters). Today, we’ll have reading recommendations, inspiration, and writing advice from Michelle Hyun Kim and Walter Thompson-Hernández. We’ll also hear from Jewel Wicker, who writes the newsletter As Told To.
read + recommendations
Each week, a writer will join us to answer some questions about what they like to read.
Our first guest is Michelle Hyun Kim, a writer, editor, and curator. Her most recent piece, “33 Albums We Can’t Wait to Hear in 2021,” was recently published in New York magazine and her work has appeared in Pitchfork, Teen Vogue, MixMag, Crack Magazine, and them
What’s the thing you’ve bookmarked and are excited to read?
Oh gosh. This question feels like the equivalent of someone asking me to show them the pile of dirty dishes in my sink that I haven’t gotten to yet! I have an embarrassing amount of features in my “To Read” tab section: This T magazine cover profile of Hayao Miyazaki, New Yorker essays on what a cult is and internet celebrity and Parul Sehgal’s case against the trauma plot, and randomly, this 2010 Wordpress interview with producer Yoo Young-jin, who has worked under the Korean label SM for over two decades and helped shape the sound of K-pop.
What’s the thing you read when you want to remember how to write?
Lately, I’ve been returning to Hanif Abdurraqib’s 2017 collection of essays They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us. Poets who work in other mediums are the best writers in my opinion — Ocean Vuong is another one. When I’m working on profiles, I’ll read E. Alex Jung for inspiration, and for arts and culture criticism, I read Doreen St. Félix.
You’re at the newsstand and have decided you’re leaving with four magazines. What are you picking up? (from any era, be as oddly specific as possible).
I have a copy of the BTS issue of this relatively new Asian American publication called Burdock, but I need to get a new copy because my old one got water damage. It would be great to get my hands on this issue of the now-folded queer mens magazine Hello Mr. that had a beautiful spread in memorial of the late photographer Ren Hang. I want to check out Hyperlink Press’ now-out-of-press zine called Remembering LB City, which is an archive of LGBTQ+ Korean websites from the early 2000s. This week, I was doing research on the legendary singer-producer Hikaru Utada, and I saw that they were a cover star for this 2001 special Global Music issue of TIME, alongside Björk and U2’s Bono. Mostly, I’m curious to see what wild things people were saying about “global music” at that time.
What’s the thing you read when you need to feel something? 
Sometimes I reread the lyrics of my favorite songs or whatever I’m into at the time. “Acura Integurl” by Frank Ocean or “Venus as a Boy” by Björk are good standbys. Recently, I’ve been habitually reading the lyrics of my favorite K-pop group Seventeen, who co-write all their songs; some of their stuff is poetic and sentimental, and other songs are energizing and encouraging. There’s a lyrics site that puts the Korean lyrics and English translations side-by-side, and that’s one way I study Korean.
What newsletters have you continued to happily subscribe to?
I absolutely love The Reading by Yanyi, a critic and writer who gives advice about the craft of writing, but also the emotional parts of the process as well. I also really like Alice Sparkly Kat’s astrology email dispatches. They have a fascinating blog, which I interviewed them about for The Creative Independent last year.
newsletter time
Every other week, we’ll include an established Revue newsletter (established = at least a year old or 60+ issues). 
As Told To
She’s also the Editor-at-Large of Capital B Atlanta, a local-nonprofit newsroom centering Black voices, audiences, and communities. As someone who has had her newsletter since 2020, we asked Jewel to offer some advice about how she decides when it’s time to write, in 280 characters or less:
It can be difficult to find the motivation to write when life feels so chaotic personally and professionally amid this pandemic. I know it’s time to write when I feel I can be honest & produce something that will be beneficial to readers. 
write + inspiration
Each week, a writer will join us to answer some questions and give their perspective on writing.
Our second guest is Walter Thompson-Hernández, an author and multimedia journalist. He published his first book, The Compton Cowboys: The New Generation of Cowboys in America’s Urban Heartland in 2020 and has written over 20 pieces for The New York Times. Last month, his short film, If I Go Will They Miss Me, won a jury award at Sundance. 
What’s a piece of writing advice that’s held true for you?
This is a really big paraphrase attempt but I think David Ritz once said something like this in an interview: “When I’m writing, I’m playing the keys. How can I get writer’s block when I’m playing the keys? When I’m invoking the spirits of the jazz greats? I’m playing. I’m playing.”
What’s the thing you read when you want to remember how to write?
I read my journals from when I was nine. And think about writing from a really pure place. I feel like our best art comes from the purest places. And what’s purer than the things we were creating when we were kids?
What’s a writing strategy you’ve developed that’s worked for you?
I have to write in the mornings. It’s really hard for me to write after 3 pm. I also have to go on a long walk or exercise before writing. 
What’s your one tip (that doesn’t get discussed) for a writer trying to grow their audience in 2022?
I’m kind of on this anti-social media tip right now. And I know it’s hard because we have to promote what we work on. But I want to believe that the people who are supposed to engage with your art will find their way to it. So maybe write or create things with a single person in mind — not an audience. 
What’s your one tip (that doesn’t get discussed) for a writer trying to improve in 2022?
I think we should be talking about how the notes section on our phones is really important. So many great things have come from our notes section. Write in your notes section. 
Is there a thing you’ve written and have actually enjoyed going back and reading?
It’s hard for me to engage with things that I’ve created in the past. But one story was a big road trip series that I wrote for The New York Times. I covered youth culture from San Diego to El Paso and it was one of the fondest experiences I’ve had as a writer. I think the story came out really nice, too. 
Each week, in addition to hearing from writers, we’ll also give an update about what we’re doing for readers and writers at Twitter.
Last August we launched a feature that lets people subscribe to your newsletter directly from your Twitter profile. We wanted to build something for writers that makes it easier for people to find newsletters on Twitter and subscribe with ease. 
It’s good real estate, between the bio and the Tweets. And it’s simple, which is great for everyone. To see an example of it, check it out at @Revue
wrap up
Issue 2 of our revamped newsletter, done. 
Thank you for all your feedback so far — if you haven’t let us know what you think, drop us a reply or use #readpluswrite to reach us. We’d especially like to hear if there’s a question you want to see us ask future guests.
Looking forward to hearing from you! 
See you next week,
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Anna from Twitter
Anna from Twitter @revue

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