I just fired the writer of my diary.

I just fired my writer who had been writing my diary for as long as I remember. Don’t get me wrong. She IS a good writer. She is detail-oriented, analytical, and insightful. Very good at finding problems. Her skills got me many jobs. The strategist jobs, the researcher jobs. The thing is, I am not sure she is the best fit for diary writing. She likes nitpicking about my decisions. She likes scolding other characters that live with her inside of me: the wife, the daughter, the friend, the colleague — you name it. They were dreading reading the diary because entries often ended with a long list of bullet-pointed action items like a quarterly roadmap meeting note. Everyone was intimidated.

My new hire is who I like to call “the bestie.” She doesn’t have much writing experience but I know she gets empathy right. She has a lifelong experience of conversing with my friends. She knows when it comes to comforting someone, it’s often better to empathize with the emotions of others rather than making suggestions. But when asked, she may share her perspective, something positive my friends don’t notice of themselves or of the situation. It turns out, she had a lot to say about me — I just never asked her. Of course, she felt awkward about her new task in the beginning (“u sure it’s not cringey?” she asked) but soon she made my diary the best place to have a conversation with myself, to take a break from responsibilities, fear, and expectation.

Writers emphasize the strategic importance of point of view in fiction writing. Depending on who narrates the plot, a story can be a romance novel, fantasy, or even a psychology thriller. We don’t think this way about everyday writing. But you always implicitly choose a narrator of your message. Read your diary like a stranger who’s come across this strange book in a bookstore. It doesn’t matter what genre your diary turned out to be, as long as it aligns with how you want the story to make you feel and do. Even if you are not a diary person, the same applies to any kinds of writing such as a letter to friends, a whatsapp message to parents, or an instagram caption. So, yes, lay off your writer if you have to.

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A Foreign Girl in San Francisco | UX Design Researcher & English-Korean Translator

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Juwon Kang Taylor

Juwon Kang Taylor

A Foreign Girl in San Francisco | UX Design Researcher & English-Korean Translator

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