Starting at this moment and for the next three weeks, I will endeavor to write and speak without equivocation, to kick away the crutch of caveat, to eschew over-reliance on qualifiers, and lash myself so tightly to the edge of callousness that I no longer require courage to write a simple opinion.
In times past, I have watched my thoughts transform to toothless arguments on the page.
Let me restate: My writing is weak because I fear misinterpretation and dislike.
I use multiple adjectives where one would suffice, or none. I list a dozen exceptions or counterarguments (as I was taught to do in academia and persuasive writing so as to render my opponents' attacks ineffectual) and watch as their length nearly exceeds that of my original point. I acknowledge that I could be and am often wrong before nearly every opinionated statement I make. The power of my own words is lost in elaborate clauses, parentheticals, and cowardly lists of why, even if you disagree with my opinion, you should still like me.
While I am proud of myself at examining a situation or contentious issue without prejudices, I shall no longer be a flaccid writer in an attempt to convince you that I'm a good thinker.
I will be direct. I will no longer be overly polite to people out-there-in-the-great-wide-internet whom I may never meet.. Nearly (see! a qualifier! If I generalize, I should at least do it fully!) everyone has lost their appetite for directness. I point out the public's overuse of the words "like", "seem", "sorta", and "almost".
I have given this challenge a time-span of three weeks, not because I wish improvements to cease after that time, but rather to force myself to re-examine my performance - whether I fail, succeed, or over-succeed by being too callous.
I will also try retrain my brain to stop treating my statements as confessions. I will fight back the feelings of exposure and fear of reprisal even when it is likely that they may come.