The Me, Myself and I Challenge

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To discuss the whole meme of nihilism in social media would be pointless. It’s been beaten to death. Bloggers are by their very nature self centered creatures. One could joke that Me, Myself and I are a blogger’s favorite words! In some top tier blogs, you can count 30, 40, even 50% of the ten visible posts beginning with the word I.

While I’ve morphed my style to my ego, err to the medium, I’ve learned to write in many styles over my professional career. I’ve published poetry, wrote over 500 news articles and columns in the wireless industry, have written two professional books, have written research reports pretty frequently, so many sales proposals, and yes, I am also a complete failure at novels (but I got some roadkill if you want to see them).

Point being, experienced writers can change styles pretty easily, in my opinion. And that provoked the thought, “What would happen to a blog if the blogger couldn’t use the words me, myself or I for a month?”

In some ways, it might be like robbing a drug addict of their fix. You could watch the blogger convulse as they wanted to talk about themselves.

But then after reviewing the amount of times “I” has appeared in my most recent five posts, I thought it might be a healthy thing to do. Things might get more interesting around here with an intentionally outward focus. In many ways, it would be a return to journalistic style and overtones with less opining, and more links and facts. So from Thanksgiving until Christmas, look for me to take the Me, Myself and I challenge on this blog.

P.S. If I really have to talk about myself I may go Bob Dole on you. How annoying would that be?

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  • http://mary8078.posterous.com Mary Catherine

    Your challenge is accepted! Blogging without using those words will be a piece of cake – a large, tempting chocolate piece of cake – which will remain off-limits until Santa arrives (just in time for a diet to begin). Practice makes perfect. This is hard. Prayer may help . . .
    Good luck to you! What does the winner get by the way? =)

    • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

      I have not even thought of that, Mary. Let me work on a winning prize. Maybe it should the Me 2.0 from Dan Schwabel (just kidding). We have to find a judge to see who did the best job, I’d have to be disqualified as challenge organizer. This will be fun. Looks like there are five of us in…

  • http://helenmosher.com Helen Mosher

    Sometimes I wonder what would happen if us failed novelists working in social media suddenly clicked as fiction writers and wound up blogging about that circuit instead.

    In other words, I have roadkill too, and since Jesse came along I’ve been thinking about resurrecting that muse.

    This post had wayyyyyyy to much “I” in it. Carry on.

    • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

      Had to get my last licks in, you know. You may not like me, but I’m the only me I’ve got!

      • http://helenmosher.com Helen Mosher

        Actually, I meant ME! I should have said “this comment had too much.” I’m a dork. And of course I like you, cause you’re my hero. *cue cheesy wind beneath wings baloney*

        • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

          Enough about me, what do you think about me? LOL. Thank you, Helen.

  • http://www.human1.com Francois Gossieaux

    I tried to always write without using I, me or myself and I think it made for better reading – more like a magazine article and less like a personal viewpoint. Lately I have been slacking (been slacking in writing in general)’ but now seems like a good time to get back to that habit…thanks fornthe suggestion!

    • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

      Style is always a good thing to think about as a writer. I wish I did it more, too. I will check out what you are doing, and look forward to it! Thanks for coming by Francois, see you soon I hope!

  • http://www.tidallife.com Nancy Bartlett

    I … strike that.

    You have come up with a brilliant idea. Look for the I/me count on Tidal Life to go down significantly, for the next few posts anyway. While it’s fresh in someone’s mind.

    Thanks,

    Nancy

    • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

      I look forward to reading your work, and seeing how you are working through the project, too! Looks like there a re a few of us. Perhaps a wiki is in order. Hmmm.

  • http://cloverdew.com Sara Halperin

    I haven’t been writing lately, but my blog is not about myself; it’s strictly about creativity. I do think examining my *style* of writing is worth it, though, and I will accept your challenge. I want to get back to blogging, anyway, so once I work out the kinks with the site itself, I’m going to head right into this challenge. Thanks for the push in the right direction, Geoff. Right on point.

    • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

      Thanks, Sara. Please shoot your posts at me, I’d like to read them and see how you are working through the project, too! We can do it together!

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  • Will

    Geoff–here’s an idea I’m playing with apropos of this post and after getting called names this week for apparently appearing to be self-important. http://vimeo.com/groups/71252

    • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

      LOL. Why not?

      • Will

        You’re more than welcome to take part (not that I think you need to) anytime!

  • http://www.stogied.com Bob Woods

    At my Stogie’d site, I’m usually in journalism-style mode when I’m writing news and information pieces. When I write features, they’re mainly in that non “I” style. With my reviews, though, I’m usually all about the “I,” especially because most of them are on video and are about my experience with the product in question.

    That being said, I did just write a “non-I” review for my Examiner.com blog, and that came out pretty well: http://www.examiner.com/cigar-in-national/cigar-review-nub-habano-460-review . I wrote it purposely like that, just to prove to myself I can do it (and that was before I even knew this blog post existed!).

    My background is in journalism (TV and Web, mainly), so I can float between both without much difficulty.

    So I think it can be done, and your challenge is a good one. Of course, I hope that doesn’t apply to replies (like this one … I’d be in big-time trouble ;) ).

    • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

      Bob, a bunch of us are doing this together. If you’d like, I’d be happy to add you to the email conversation! Let me know! And thanks for sharing the Stogie’d site.

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