author highlight: karen chee

As I try to get back into humor writing, I thought that it’d be best to start compiling links of hilarious works and note how I should emulate them (read: copy) their work.

First up is Karen Chee, who I “discovered” while watching Late Night with Seth Meyer’s. I enjoyed this segment and had no idea that she was also a writer until I stumbled upon Keep Scrolling Till You Feel Something and saw that Karen Chee was listed.

Cue a pleasant rabbit hole on a Tuesday afternoon. As I browse through her writing section, I’m going to take some note of her writing techniques.

Freelancers of the World, Unite in Despair!Freelancers of the World, Unite in Despair!

She took the realities of freelancing — working out of a coffee shop, constantly checking emails, comparing oneself to others with “cushy” jobs, mental fatigue — all in self-deprecating funny humor, and then hits you with a ridiculous proposal, like wearing different hats as you go from one role to another.

And then slowly goes back into the realities of freelancing, such as invoicing clients, lack of health insurance and finally, signing this contract.

What I’ve Learned as the Daughter of a Father

Another sarcastic piece where she basically takes all common complaints of men and turns that around as if they are in the right — such as their over representation, taking up two seats on the subway, income inequality, etc.

It’s amazing how she’s able to take something mundane and a common complaint into a hilarious thought provoking piece.

A Month Of Microaggressions

Smart to write about collection of events and experiences of micro-aggression. I once started a list of the type of people I meet on subways should revisit that to see if I can make it into something as hilarious.

Welcome to the 2017 School of Journalism

These recommended classes are hilarious mostly because they are so true. The more I read Karen’s articles, the more I realize what a sharp observer of current times and reality she is.

I tend to live in my own head and just think about my experiences but it’s worth looking at holistic / collective experiences too so that we can all relate to it.

And there were a lot of New Yorker pieces that I couldn’t read because I don’t have a New Yorker subscription. I spent twenty minutes trying to decide if I wanted to subscribe to digital only or print and digital.

Obviously, decision making was overwhelmingly difficult for me. Just in case you weren’t aware, Asian female who’s used to having men in her life that makes all the calls have an incredibly difficult time choosing for herself. So, I just closed the window and ignored the giant “New Yorker” section on her website. I guess I’ll just have to wait until my husband wants to read the New Yorker.

Note to self: Take conventional style and turn it upside down with lots of research and humor.


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