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You, Me, I

Brian Austin
Brian Austin Email Newsletter

When writing novels that involve you directly - an autobiography for example - you'll most likely use the first person ("I" and "me") in your writing and communications. For most other types of writing however, although your readers may want to read about or hear what you have to say, they may not necessarily want to hear about you or me as individuals. At least, not yet.

Why? Usually by default, we humans are naturally self-centered. For most of us, we have to learn how to consider the needs of others, to empathize on the plight of another, and so on.

We need a concrete reason to be especially interested in someone else directly. With some folks, for a variety of reasons, their favorite celebrities can often supply sufficient motivation to keep fans spellbound - at least for a few moments.

Your Most Sacred Words

Key tip: for each of us, some of the most sacred words we ever learn are those that make up our own name. A completely natural outcome. That's why, when we read or hear "You" within a communication, that "You" seems to us to sound much like a close substitute for our own name. "You" is indeed, the next best personal address to that of writing or speaking our own name.

Some Tips And Suggestions For Using "I", "Me" and "You" Your Communications

Therefore, for those publications that don't especially call for the first person style of "I" or "me":

  • Whenever you actually do opt to use "I" and "me" in your writing projects, re-examine carefully why you have chosen to use one or the other.
  • Better: whenever possible, avoid using "I" and "me" words or ideally, remove them completely, unless they're essential to the nature of the document. A great fiction story or novel for example will often contain "I" and "me" words.
  • By default and especially if you're unsure, use "I" and "me" sparingly or not at all.
  • For most types of explanatory or instructional documents, speeches, presentations and general web pages, before publication, do use the more personal and relevant address of the second person ("you") liberally throughout your communications. We do, of course: this website has been created to help others first and foremost, so "you" is one of our primary words.
  • If necessary, don't be afraid to start again; to completely rewrite your document or sound script to move the focus to the more personal "you" of your reader, listener, presentation or web page.
  • Be ever more mindful of the words you choose and use, to help search engines better understand what your web pages are truly about. For web pages, smart search engines today can of course detect how we use these kinds of words, much more than simply counting the number of word instances.
  • New technology is analysing our word choices more closesly. Search engines seem to be getting ever more sophisticated, even delving into the true meaning of sentences and paragraphs. Soon, Artificial Intelligence (AI) may become applied to the web pages that make up websites. And that will be especially helpful, if you're writing great web pages.