Brian Feeney

Designer & Front-End Developer

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Resident of Brooklyn, NY. Senior Product Designer at the Wall Street Journal.

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October 01, 2014

Adding more "I"

I've come to realize that writing for a blog requires more personalization. The blogs I love are written by people with distinctively human characters. They’re able to write about things with depth and meaning while avoiding the rot of academic tone. And I think they do that by using more “I” and “me”.

As an English major in college, I made the common mistake of confusing haughty, elevated writing for better writing. I thought that if I aped the academic tone, my essays would be more quality. This is a fallacy.

The posts I’ve written which I like the least are those in which I have removed myself the furthest. That’s the trap of academic writing, the point of which is to make lofty claims about your subject and assume objectivity even if you have no claim for it. Blog writing is the opposite of this, which most people have learned long ago. Keep it simple. Keep it personal.

It feels weird because I don't very much like focusing on myself, even though I do it so much. We all do it. It’s natural. The trick is figuring out how to be personal without being self-absorbed. I’m learning. I’m learning to write from me, and not about me.