how to decrease


i know some of you out there wonder, “what’s with the lower case letters?” and most of you could probably care less, but for those of you who do, in short, i loathe and detest capital letters. as a poet/writer they’re just not my aesthetic.

that was the reason for most of the past few years, why i rarely use a capital letter in my writings–i just don’t like them. however, i did have to train myself to use small i’s to make my writing more uniform. lower case i’s just looked strange to me. despite their strangeness, a lone, lower case i is always striking because, it looks like it’s striving to be something–striving to be a part of something bigger.

all through our lives we are taught the by itself stands taller than the other letters–all eyes on i, or all eyes on me. we are taught the does not need anything to be everything other capital letters are with the support of other letters and punctuation. aside from lower case letters’ aesthetic properties, in the last nine months or so, i’ve been thinking more and more, and looking back on some of my poems; the only capitalizations are of God, Jesus, or any disambiguation of He or You (referring to God). under this principle, i found a new use for lower case letters, especially since i began trying to take music and writing seriously. i want to keep myself away from the mentality that i can do anything by myself away from God, or be bigger than the community of support He has placed around me. i keep hearing, “He must increase, and i must decrease.” i know it may be a bit silly to some, and the idea isn’t necessarily novel, but for me it’s just a physical reminder there is Love greater and bigger than the things i think i’ve accomplished.

the title of this post is “how to decrease,” and i am in no way saying if you start putting everything you write into lower case letters, you’ll miraculously be less arrogant, less selfish, or less whatever. the only way i truly decrease is practicing humbleness; striving to live in the mentality that i am a speck of dust that often drifts with the first wind to pick me up, and that i need a big God to settle me. i need a God who gives me other people to help, and other people to help me so we can learn from each other. i need a God who challenges me to do strange and uncomfortable things no matter how small. i need a God who reminds me rule number one of decreasing is realizing i don’t know everything, in fact i don’t know anything.

decreasing means a constant hunger to have the heart of a Man who did no wrong.


i’ve finally done it…


i’ve labeled myself. for months, the space labeled “Genre:” on facebook remained blank. it’s a bit strange, i feel like i’ve declared my college major, and that if i’ve picked wrong i’ll end up on a miserable path to reinvent myself. however, i do realize that “declaring” a genre in no way defines all my music–there’s always room for deviation. plus, not everyone defines genres in the same way. 

so, without further pretense, i’ve decided to label myself as….singer/songwriter. i know there is plenty of back-and-forth coursing through the interwebs about whether or not singer/songwriter actually exists as a genre, or if it should exist in that way–some argue it’s just a job description–but i say, why isn’t it a genre? giving a genre to an artist is just a way to evoke a certain feeling, or set of beliefs that cause the consumer to quickly determine if they like their music or not, and of course, everyone isn’t going to like everything. 

the reason

i chose singer/songwriter because it evokes the feelings i want associated with my music. i’m a mostly acoustic artist with storyteller lyrics, heavily driven by the guitar and generally chill vocals. i also associate this intimate stillness with the genre, even during upbeat songs. i think of coffee shops, live music, music that’s about something–that causes a reflection of some sort, whether that reflection be about a cloud or the inter-workings of a heart. i think singer/songwriter is deliberate; it’s real life. 

i aspire every day to live deliberately and in the now, and i need my music to be that way too. 

so whether you agree with singer/songwriter being a legitimate music genre, or not–or if my music should be labeled as such–i only want you to know that i make music borne out of my insides, that seeks intimacy with yours.

more on songwriting

When I’m writing a song, if I don’t finish it all in one sitting, I like to at least have a chorus written—whether it’s a verse and a chorus, or a chorus with no verse(s), or a chorus and a bridge. I believe the chorus, or some type of refrain (repeated words, phrases, etc.) is the main factor in setting the tone of the song. Repetition in song, or anything for that matter, is usually there to guide the audience to the heart of the work, even if meaning is not explicit. A song’s verses can say one thing, and the chorus can say another—seemingly. But, usually, the unifying factor is there if we listen close enough.