Put your ego in the drawer cheerfully

Did you bristle at that last paragraph where I said that readers should not be able to tell who wrote what on the web site? If you are writing poetry, or fiction, or your own blog, your voice as author is a large part of what you are projecting through your web site or your blog. That's fine. But if you are writing in an organizational setting, it's not about you as author. It's about communicating clearly so that the people who come to the web site can find what they need and understand what they find.

Of course, you should take pride in your work. That pride can be in working as a team with colleagues to have a web site that has a consistent writing style, a consistent tone, a consistent vocabulary, and a consistent message.

Don't get into arguments about what "I" like or what another "I" likes. Put your "I" away. Make everyone else put their "I" away. Get out your personas (see Chapter 2). Talk about the conversation that your site visitors come to have with you and what information, style, tone, and vocabulary will work best as your (collective) conversational response.

Also put your ego in the drawer when you get reviews and feedback. Listen with an open mind. Don't get defensive about your writing. That doesn't mean you have to take every suggestion a reader or editor or reviewer gives you. It just means you have to consider it carefully. (More on this in the section later in this chapter on working with reviewers.)

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