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#156783 - 08/18/08 08:19 PM "I" question
Di Offline

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 2798
Loc: NM, transplant from NJ
Although I am not a "real" writer, I do have to write stuff!

How do you get out of the habit of not starting a sentence with "I"? Realizing it's sort of a 'no-no' in writer-eze, I just need some tips.

Anyone have any??

#156829 - 08/19/08 05:21 AM Re: "I" question [Re: Di]
gims Offline

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 3404
Loc: USA
Using the quote in your signature:
"I am not afraid of tomorrow; I have seen yesterday and love today!"

......and hoping I understand what you mean, I've reworded it, eliminating "I" as requested (struck through the "me," because it can be left out, too... only needed if the writer wants "I/me/my" to be understood.)

Tomorrow brings no fear to me?; yesterday's memory is still in sight, and but I love today!

There are other options, but this will give you a starting point... this is a good exercise for everyone.... I'm not a writer... the wonderful writers @ BWS are sure to have better scripts... OK, now you give it a try.

#156854 - 08/19/08 06:06 PM Re: "I" question [Re: gims]
Di Offline

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 2798
Loc: NM, transplant from NJ
Ahhh, thanks gims! Seeing how you did that, I believe I can work through it.

#156885 - 08/20/08 01:35 AM Re: "I" question [Re: Di]
Princess Lenora Offline

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
Gims, that was an excellent response! The use of "I" is expected in memoirs and auto-biographies.
I often use the word "It" to start: "It saddens me beyond my tears that love was lost within the fears."
But I don't know if that is correct grammar.

#157195 - 08/22/08 08:09 PM Re: "I" question [Re: Princess Lenora]
keyholes Offline

Registered: 09/08/06
Posts: 178
Loc: Ohio the heart of it all
I have to throw another opinion here lol...

I'm a long time technical and marketing writer. Di's question really doesn't have a straightforward answer since she really didn't state the purpose of what she was writing. "I" statements are PERFECTLY acceptable if you want to put out your experiences and opinions in any setting or if you are writing biographical materials. For some reason, many writers feel it is being egotistical, but it isn't. You are simply stating your truth and putting it in your own words with the word "I" does lend your truth more strength. In other words, you are teaching the world about yourself and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

If she were writing procedures or policy for her company, then no... it's probably a bad idea to use the first-person point of view. Procedures and policy are typically written in second or third person. ("You must submit your expense report each Friday by 5:00 p.m." or "All employees are expected to be punctual.")

Or if Di were writing someone's memoirs, it would be unacceptable for her to state the person's points of view and experiences in first person, unless of course she were quoting them. That too I suppose would depend if she were ghost-writing them or presenting the material as a biography and weaving her own interpretations in there.

For me, I love it when I see writers put personality into their writing. I used to test newbie tech writers in a previous life. One of the tests asked them to write procedures on how to make excellent toast for breakfast. Mundane topic, but look at how it was modified, we "teased" the applicant's personality out LOL. Some of the BEST tests I got back from applicants were those who wrote them in first person ("I recommend you try honey butter on wheat toast because it's scrumptious.")

As for starting a sentence with "it," that is perfectly acceptable grammar-wise. I MIGHT edit you though if it were a vague reference within a technical document or a business document though lol!!! That would all depend upon the idea or the thought you wanted to emphasize with your statement. Saying "I am saddened" lends a bit different of a point of view and emphasis than saying "It saddens me that..."

#157196 - 08/22/08 08:11 PM Re: "I" question [Re: keyholes]
keyholes Offline

Registered: 09/08/06
Posts: 178
Loc: Ohio the heart of it all
Dang, I can't even edit myself. I meant to say if she were writing auto-biographical materials LOL. After all that windiness too... crazy

#157197 - 08/22/08 08:17 PM Re: "I" question [Re: keyholes]
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
keyholes, I recommend you teach the next writing class at BWS! Great response.
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.

#157661 - 08/26/08 03:43 PM Re: "I" question [Re: Dotsie]
Mama Red Offline

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 676
Loc: Wauconda, IL
Hi Keyholes!

Great to hear this description from another technical writer. I've been writing for an IT environment for about 25 years...although I'm now moving into motivational speaking and coaching (my passion, even tho' I was too chicken to go that route until last husband gave me a great 50th birthday present by saying "go for your dream!).
Love and light, hugs and blessings

MamaRed (Jerilynne)
Coming Summer 2009 "Kick-Butt Kindness: 52 No Cost Ways to Ripple Kindness 'Round the World"

Let's create Kick-Butt-and-Take-Names Lives!

#157798 - 08/27/08 04:30 PM Re: "I" question [Re: Dotsie]
keyholes Offline

Registered: 09/08/06
Posts: 178
Loc: Ohio the heart of it all
Hi usual LOL my mouth gets me into trouble wink

I'd love to teach the class...but right now I am swamped with work and a few side efforts. I'm also a volunteer adult ed instructor and also am involved in Moose Charities. Fall is a busy season for me and unfortunately I have to work full time to pay the bills at the same time wink

Would it be ok to delay this until winter? Post holidays are usually my slow time of year.....and it sounds like something that a bit of time would need to be devoted to it.

#157799 - 08/27/08 04:35 PM Re: "I" question [Re: Mama Red]
keyholes Offline

Registered: 09/08/06
Posts: 178
Loc: Ohio the heart of it all
Hi MamaRed! I love that name, it does convey passion alright.

Tech writing has pretty much been my life...I've been in it for nearly 20 years now. I have to say though I work with a bunch of young'uns and they keep me young and on my toes. I don't know if I could do motivational writing/speaking...I'm such a geek and homebody. That is a great birthday gift...go for it! Good luck wink

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