the case for lowercase
how to unlock your writing
they say to start your essay with a sentence that will grab your reader’s attention. the point is to make them want to read the next sentence. then you follow it up with a sentence that makes them want to read the one after that. this continues until you decide you’ve egged your readers on enough already and you should probably get to the point, so you stop.
okay, so now that you’re sufficiently hooked and I have your attention, I’m going to totally change the subject.
you might’ve noticed something about the opening sentence. and the sentence after that. and even the very sentence you’re reading right now.
that’s right, I’ve been writing in lowercase (if you don’t count the word I, which I can’t seem to stop capitalizing).
it’s a thing I’ve been doing a lot recently. the main reason why is because the crypto/web3 learning community that I teased in last week’s newsletter publicly launched this past tuesday. we went from about 500 members in our discord group to over 1,600 as of this writing. that’s over 1,100 new people in just three days. it means that I have been in our community furiously typing out welcome messages to new people, answers to questions, and engaging in interesting discussions about anything and everything web3.
now, I’m a really bad typer. like, really bad. if you watched my hands while I’m typing, you would probably cringe. if a by-the-book typist is like a perfect, classically trained musician, I’m like the jazz pianist Thelonius Monk who would play random, off-sounding keys. except he became famous for his unique style and somehow made it sound incredible, and I should be openly mocked for my typing form. so maybe that was a bad analogy. yet despite my awful form, I’m somehow competent at typing, albeit a bit slower than most. every once in a while, I can get in a good flow with it. but when I started caring less about capitalization, the speed of my typing increased by a lot.
there’s this magical thing that happens when I type in lowercase. it’s as if the act of capitalizing is a clogged drain that’s slowing down the flow of thoughts from my brain to my fingers. I can cruise along and let the creative energy from my brain flow through my body uninterrupted. for the most part; sometimes I’ll have a random thought pop in there. like right now I’m thinking about tacos, for some reason. even though it’s 11:45 pm and I’m not really hungry.
when writing my pieces, I usually like to stop at a point where I essentially know what I’m going to write next. it’s somewhat counterintuitive. most writers think it’s best to stay in the flow as long as possible. but I like to stay in it until I have a basic direction for the next part I want to write, but not much beyond that. the idea is that the next time I sit down to write, I’ll be able to pick right up where I left off. it’s a writer’s block hack I stumbled on.
when I employ this hack, I start with a bracket like this [, and then I blurt out a stream-of-conscious run-on sentence onto the page all in lowercase before closing it out with the other bracket ]. I highly recommend it to writers who get stuck too easily and too often.
also this. after reading this far, doesn’t capitalization feel super formal in comparison?
If I write this paragraph in the usual way, it feels more stodgy to me. There’s less personality to it. I’m also finding it harder to quickly move from one sentence to the next like I was before, which means I might miss a quick flash of insight during the milliseconds between stopping this sentence. And starting this one.
okay, I guess what I wrote in those last two sentences was pretty clever. capitalization isn’t all bad, I suppose. but of course, as I’m typing now I thought about a way to reframe the last part that I like more.
when I write in lowercase, it doesn’t give my inner critic any time to butt in and screw things up.
so the next time you’re stuck, try writing in lowercase.
if you’re at all curious about crypto/web3, you should check out the project I hinted at in last week’s piece. the project is called Invisible College. I’m leading the community team there and having a blast doing it.
click on the button below to check out the intro video and join the community via the link at the bottom of that page:
and lastly, thank you to everyone who reached out and joined last week. see you around in our discord community!
if you enjoyed this one, could you please let me know by giving the heart below a tap?