I have been reflecting on self-deceptions in my writing. A fine analysis can be found in Noah Lukeman’s excellent A Dash of Style: The art and mastery of punctuation under the subheading “What your use of the comma reveals about you”:

The writer who overuses commas tends to also overuse adjectives and adverbs. He tends to be repetitive, won’t be subtle, and often gives too much information. He grasps for multiple word choices instead of one strong choice, and thus the choices he makes won’t be strong. His langugae won’t be unique. Commas are also used to qualify, offset, or parse, and the writer who frequently resorts to this tends to be reluctant to take a definitive stance. He will be hesitant. His characters, too, might not take a stand; is plot might be ambiguous. It will be harder for him to deliver dramatic punches when need be, and indeed he is less likely to be dramatic. He is interested in fine distinctions, more so than pacing, and is likely to write an overly long book. He writes with critics in mind, with the fear of being criticized for omission, and is more likely to have a scholarly background (or at least be well read) and to consider too many angles. This writer will need to simplify, to take a stronger stance, and to understand that less is more.

In my defense, an Amazon reviewer says these sections are “presumptuous and insulting”.