How Not to Write for the White Gaze

A guide for Asian American writers to make sure you aren’t whitewashing your stories.

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“White Gaze” by Loso F. Perez

I am a hyphenated American. I am South Asian-American and write stories about my culture and the immigrant experience. Growing up in the United States, I knew of ZERO South Asian-American authors. I read books written by white authors until I got into AP English in high school and was finally exposed to writers of color. That was many years ago. Since then, I have been seeking Black American, Native American, and Latinx authors to help me learn the real story of this country I live in. I majored in English in undergrad and earned an MFA in Writing. My MFA thesis was a memoir and it was the first time I was learning how to honestly write about my family, culture, and race. I read so many books by Asian American authors like Scaachi Koul and Eddie Huang to help me learn how to talk about my culture. …


The Manifesto of the Digital Woke Warrior

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While we might be on the brink of another world war, one thing is for certain, the Woke Wars are in full effect. Are you one of the brave people on the front lines of this war? Are you one of the people willing to sacrifice your social media to deliver the urgent truth to the people? Then you, my friend, are a Woke Warrior. To make your battle easier, I have inscribed the ten declarations you must follow to continue fighting the good fight. Stay woke.

The 10 declarations of the Digital Woke Warrior…


How to apply the KonMari Method to people.

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“Tidying Up” by Loso F. Perez

Marie Kondo changed my life. I didn’t know about her until her Netflix show, but once my husband put me onto her, there was no turning back. My husband and I move a lot. We are pretty nomadic which forces us to be minimalists. After reading Marie Kondo’s book, we realized we still had too much stuff. We cleaned out our closets. We reorganized the house. We thanked everything we had before donating it or throwing it away. We even sold things like old electronics, books, and clothes and made hundreds of dollars. We ended up with less baggage and more money in the bank. …


The Most Authentic Indian Curry Recipe Ever.

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“Curry” by Loso F. Perez

Before I reveal my recipe for a quick delicious bowl of hot curry, let me give you a brief history of this exotic dish. India is a melting pot of languages, cultures, religions, and races so the food varies greatly from region to region. The word curry is derived from the Tamil (South Indian) word kari which means sauce.[1] The British took this word and began using it to refer to all Indian cuisine. According to an article in the BBC, “Once [curry] just meant Indian food, but “it now denotes various kinds of dish[es] in numerous different parts of the world, but all are savoury and all are spiced.”” …


The big mistake brands make in digital marketing.

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You find yourself putting out tons of content. You pour your heart into it. Blog after blog. Instagram post after Instagram post. But no one seems to care. No matter how much content you put out, you can’t seem to get likes from anyone other than your Mom. Sometimes not even from her.

Why is this happening?

The big mistake you could be making is not paying attention to what your audience is actually interested in.

Unfortunately, it isn’t enough just to put out content regularly. Yes, that is an important part of building your brand, but it just isn’t enough if you are trying to build clients or a social media following. You need to take a good look at the content you are putting out and think about why anyone that isn’t you would want to read it or engage with it. …


Dear Abby, Let me tell you a story about my Indian name. Yes, that weird difficult one with all the As and Ns in it…

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“Unlike Any Other” by Loso F. Perez

When I was born, my parents forgot to give me a name. It wasn’t because they didn’t love me. They just never got around to it.

Okay. Okay. As my mom always says to me, “Ananya, you’re just exaggerating. You always exaggerate.” I don’t always exaggerate, but this time I might be. Just a little.

My parents loved me. Maybe not as much as my brother, but they loved me. My parents were happy when I was born. Maybe not as happy as when my brother was born, but they were happy. My parents did give me a name, eventually. It took them three years and nine months — nine months incubating in my mom’s belly. It wasn’t long enough for them to come up with a name. In 1988 in India, a child was not required to have a name on her birth certificate. …


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Being a writer means a completely different thing today than it did fifty years ago because of the internet. Yes, we still write novels and magazine articles, but there are so many other ways to build our writing careers today online and most of them are fun! You may already know some of these, but here are a few ways you can put your writing skills to work in the digital age.

  1. Build an audience in your pajamas. I’m working on a memoir the old-fashioned way (by typing it into my laptop), but I’m maximizing on it digitally as well. Before, we had to go through our writing process alone, but now we have the ability to share it with millions of people online. I write blogs every week about my writing process (the challenges and successes). …


9 ways to develop your brand as an expert.

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“The Google Guru” by Loso F. Perez

When I was in grad school, I remember my professor saying “do not use the word ‘guru’ to describe yourself on LinkedIn.” The more time I spent in the professional world, the more I realized how many people needed to hear this advice but clearly never received it.

When did the word ‘guru’ become associated with cheap branding and self-promotion? As an Indian-American, it personally hurts me to see this word, historically used in my country of birth to refer to someone highly esteemed by the community, taken by Americans and turned into cheap marketing. …

About

Ananya Vahal

Desi-American writer who likes funny stuff. I have an MFA in Writing with a focus in digital content creation. Find me on www.ananyavahal.com.

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