I’d love to stay in touch with you.
If you’ve poked around this place and feel yourself to be a kindred spirit, perhaps you’d like to stay in touch, too. I’ve got a little letter that floats into inboxes every few weeks. I try to keep them in the vein of a thoughtful letter to a good friend–and in particular, a good friend who might be curious about what makes up a creative legacy, gung-ho about good writing, or intrigued by the interplay between resilience in difficult times and the mastery of an art or skill. And because our inboxes can be scary places these days, I always keep in mind how much I want my letters to make your digital life brighter.
As a welcome present for saying yes to With Love & Squalor, you’ll receive a PDF workbook called the Creative Legacy Check-In. It’s a deceptively simple tool to help you see where your body of work is currently taking you, where you want it to go, and what steps you’ll need to take to get there.
Because life is short. And every one of our days builds the story of our life’s work.
From writer, editor, and teacher Sara Blackthorne:
“Esmé Wang shares with her newsletter the Creative Legacy Check-in, a tool I have used to examine my own creative output and to determine the future of my work. It’s from this workbook that I created my upcoming 12-week writing intensive, a course focused on building the foundations of solid writing. My teaching approach comes directly from the classroom of my mentor, and her commitment to safe creative spaces. As I work on the curriculum today, I feel blessed to continue and add to her legacy through my own work.”
Once you’ve confirmed your subscription, you’ll receive a link to download the Check-In. You’ll also receive a psychic heart-hug and high-five from me.
“Thanks so much for this [Creative Legacy Check-In]! It was very helpful for me to simplify my creative standpoint at the moment; my mind gets so filled with odds-and-ends on top of creating and the rest of life. Nice to have a straightforward ‘what are you doing, where are you going, what are you going to do about it now.’” —Tamee Thomas
“It feels like coming home to a great cup of tea and a friend who knows just how to cheer you up without you even having to say something is wrong.” —Keah B.
“It feels as lovely as getting a letter in the mailbox to receive a With Love & Squalor email; they are notes of quiet, honest, reflective encouragement that always end on a slant of sunshine.” —Jennifer
“I love the honest and open sharing about the writing life, how to persist through struggles while still taking care of yourself. The messages in With Love & Squalor are consistently uplifting and motivating, while also feeling like a big sigh of relief. I so look forward to them.” —Caroline D.
“I love @esmewang’s newsletter, a welcome chunk of goodness amidst my higgledy-piggledy mess of an inbox. Sign up.” —@juliaccarpenter (Washington Post)
“I love With Love & Squalor’s vivacity and transparency, its insistence on both the most beautiful and devastating facets of everyday life. Because it looks bravely at the mind and the body, illness and triumph, it distills reality in an inspiring, refreshing way.” —Linnie G.
“Esmé’s letters are a gift wrapped as half personal essays, half casual reflections, the kind that you may overhear while walking around and that you keep on thinking about for days and days. There’s always something there for you—and that, really, is love.” —Bianca B.
“What I love about With Love & Squalor is that it is, quite simply, a heartfelt message from a friend I’ve never met. Reading it, I feel a connection to you and a glimpse into how things are in your life. I can celebrate your good days and empathise with your harder ones. Your words are always honest and welcome.” —Caitlin P.
“It inspires me to write. Almost always, after reading With Love & Squalor the creative juices flow right out of me and onto the page. It’s a magic I can’t explain and I can’t get enough of. I read all the articles recommended and they usually do the same.” —Anais C.
“With Love & Squalor is like a little nugget of sunshine in my inbox every few weeks.” —Rine K.
“The design of it is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s always like receiving a little gift in my Inbox! I swear I’m always at least 17% calmer after reading WL&S.” —Eileen H.
“I want to continue working with teachers to make a difference in their lives and the lives of their students—basically, to change the world (just a small task). The Creative Legacy checklist was so helpful for me because it helped me see the connections in everything I’m doing and gave me a new way to look at what’s important—what I would like to be remembered for. I have been thinking about my work, my message (story) for a couple of years through different approaches, and this one helped me see it in yet a new way, reinforced some ideas I already had, but most importantly made me think about the relationships between the “work” I am creating and how it best ties into what I want to accomplish!” —Jennifer J.
“I know what I’d like to be remembered for. I want to make sure that what I’m putting out into the world matches up with this inner vision. This line of thinking reminded me powerfully of Esmé Wang’s newsletter… It’s one of the few that I’d highly recommend, as it gives me a lot to think about every time it pops into my inbox.” —Reina F.