Why I write about me instead of you

A recent portrait Caroline made of me in front of some ivy.

As a technical writer, I’m accustomed to telling users what to do using imperative phrases such as “do this or do that.” More recently, in my tech docs, I’ve adopted the practice of directly addressing the user by saying “you.” Many organizations have embraced this practice because it improves comprehension and establishes a warmer relationship with the user you, the reader.

In this personal blog, telling you what to do feels arrogant and high-handed. Instead, I want to move things further along that continuum of trust and familiarity. You know what’s best for you. If you find something meaningful in what I share, you’ll find a way to use it. If I still use imperative phrases, I do it out of habit and because that is how I tell myself to do things.

When I’m talking to you, I’ll say “you.” Nothing I say here is written in stone. I adapt and improve the ideas I discuss here to fit different needs and circumstances. It would be best if you did the same.

Published by Rolfe DH

I've been writing since I had my first pen and a notebook. I've played with open-source software since I had my first computer. Now I apply these skills to making the world a better and more exciting place.

2 thoughts on “Why I write about me instead of you

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