I coached college students in writing for three years. Here’s what I observed.

For three years, I provided writing counseling services to undergraduates at a highly ranked university, including humanities students, pre-med hopefuls, future lawyers, athletes, and beyond. From literature papers to med school applications, I reviewed anything with words.

The program that I worked for targeted students from underrepresented and/or underserved communities…

Writing is an art — and so is giving writing feedback.

“I’m a bad writer.”

As a writing counselor at a top university, I’d start my sessions by asking clients about their relationship with writing. My clients were high-achieving students, so you’d expect them to have more confidence. However, the vast majority of my clients made this same self-deprecating claim.


Traveling has expanded my worldview — but so has quarantining.

Like many others — quarantined indoors while the summer sun shines outside — I’ve mourned the people lost, jobs terminated, goals postponed, and trips cancelled. And, like many others, I’ve reminisced about past travels and dreamt up future travels, finding ways to be anywhere but here, now, in this Black…

I didn’t consider myself an Asian American writer until someone called me one.

I walked side by side with my classmate, who I’ll call Nick, through the valley of brick buildings at the center of campus. We’d just discovered that we were the co-winners of a major creative writing prize, judged by a panel of professors.

I could tell that the co part…

How unemployment led me to redefine career success.

I sat across from a senior technology executive at my company. He was one of those chill executives, the type to wear jeans and chat with interns by the coffee machine. His casual posture told me to relax. My sweaty palms clearly didn’t get the memo.

My boss had arranged…

My mixedness fascinates and frustrates people — including me.

In first grade, my teacher asked the class to make a heritage box. My mom and I found a shoe box and glued the Japanese, German, and American flags to the outside; we filled it with dolls, a tape recording of a folk tune, photographs. “This is my heritage,” I…

A closer look at the language we use to craft our personal brands.

In college, I took an Asian American studies class, focused on the civil rights movement of the sixties and seventies. Our final assignment asked us to interview someone from a previous generation to capture an oral history. I interviewed my mom, a third-generation Japanese American. It was the first time…

JoAnna Schindler

Writer & technology professional, based in Los Angeles | I also write at jomiyoko.blog

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