Roxane Gay, the prominent cultural influencer, novelist, and New York Times bestselling author of Hunger and Bad Feminist , provides the tools necessary for everyone who wants to make their voice heard. Roxane Gay receives numerous requests from aspiring writers: "Will you please read my work and tell me if I have the talent to pursue writing?" What these hopeful wordsmiths all seek is encouragement and validation in a culture that is eager to reject creativity and those who pursue it, especially artists from underrepresented communities. These fans are desperate for someone to say, "Yes, you are good enough." They are looking for permission to use their voice. In this invaluable guide, Gay provides realistic, frank, and humorous advice for inexperienced writers and those who aspire to the writing life. From the beginning she makes clear that anyone can be a writer--so long as you actually practice the craft. She also offers insight on what's really required to succeed at virtually every endeavor: imagination, ambition, and perseverance. Gay covers a range of topics to help you define the kind of writing life you want, making clear that writing is an art--and a profession. She gives you the inspiration and practical tools you need to find your voice, use it, and be heard. If your dream is to become a published author, Gay walks you through the publishing process, letting you know what to expect. While there have been numerous writing guides, few speak to those whose talents have been overlooked or dismissed. Roxane Gay addresses their needs and aspirations while offering advice and insights useful to everyone.