It’s been a prompt for me to finally give some thought about readin’, writin’, & race.
Oh, wait–you were expecting me to have thought those thoughts and expound on them? Unfortunately, I’m not quite there yet. But, I have considered a few back-of-the-envelope points.
I’ve put off thinking about this topic since I started spewing words onto paper five or so years ago. I had horrible visions of writing some manifesto that starts “As an Asian-American writer, I…” or writing some story about some thirtysomething First Generation Flipino.
For years I’ve been hiding behind my beginner status. (You could make a good argument that I should keep doing just that!) “Just learn how to write and get to the race stuff later,” I told myself. And to be honest, I never felt any real pressure to get to it. But not only did I feel some internal pressure, and it was a horrible push/pull situation. I subconsciously feared how much would be riding on writing “my “Filipino story.” I was probably overthinking the whole thing. Thing is, growing up Filipino and Catholic instills a fear of fucking up like you wouldn’t believe.
(or, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Race in My Writing Until I Had Something to Say”)
The only thing I can offer in my defense is that you wouldn’t have wanted to read any “Filipino story” I might’ve written 2-3 years ago. But as it happens, I’m working on a piece right now with Filipino characters. Not because of any pressure, nor to make any particular statement. I’ve got a yarn to spinl about certain characters who’ve grown up a certain way, who have made or will make choices about their life paths.
More to come later, maybe.