I think.

You know the thing where putting lots of qualifiers on your statements– “I think”, “it seems like”, “I feel like”– is disproprtionately common among women rather than men?

And occasionally you hear people encourage women to stop using these phrases and try to sound more confident?

I use them a lot, probably partly for gender reasons and for anxiety reasons, but also because (it seems like) if I don’t, I come across not as confident but as too terse or pushy.

Comment/message character limits are bad for me, because I try to be concise and (I think) if I were actually speaking out loud I could make it come out reasonable, but in text it looks short and snappy and unpleasant, or like too much information all at once.

I can be really damn concise, but if you don’t read with the understanding that I’m trying to be as concise as possible, it’s confusing and sounds bad.

It’s like the “narrative zoom levels” thing, except I need people to zoom in on each word and people don’t normally read that way.

People don’t normally say something once, as well as possible, and just let that stand. They explain by repeating, they show all the different nuances of the idea in slightly different phrasing throughout the explanation. You get one idea from a five-page essay, one big complex carefully fleshed-out idea, sculpted in your mind by a whole bunch of different words.

Why did anyone ever encourage me to be concise? Why do I feel like my natural inclination to write in ways that fit in with the above, that circle the same idea multiple times in different language, from different angles, is wrong? I mean, sometimes I keep going longer than I need to, but. My natural, “disorganized”, circling, rambly composition is, overall, more like other people’s good writing than my conciseness is.


This is also why I (ab)use line breaks so much. It’s another way of adding space, of making people pause and think between a bunch of compact sentences.


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