yesterday i came across an article by rob hardy called lowercase magic.
for the last three months, i've been experimenting with writing in all lowercase.
first on twitter. then in my private writing. and now here in public. and lemme tell you, this seemingly small, inconsequential thing is blowing my mind. it's no stretch to say this has meaningfully changed my life.
this immediately resonated with me. for years now i’ve had autocapitalization turned off on my phone — my texts, emails, journal entries, even new contacts — everything i write on my phone starts with lowercase letters. but every article on Gold’s Guide (until this one) has been with traditional capitalization. suddenly i thought... why?
so now, here i am, writing this entire article in lowercase to see how it feels. and i like it.
this is the kind of nitty-gritty stylistic detail that many people miss entirely. but there’s a certain personality type which notices and entirely overthinks these kinds of things. rob self-identifies as one of these people, noting that he rarely experiences the flow state:
i'm what you might call "tightly wound." i've lived most of my adult life in a perpetual state of overthinking. and it's afflicted every area of my existence—from relationships to business, and from fitness to finances and beyond.
there’s nothing necessarily wrong with being like this. but there is something wrong with knowing you are a certain way, disliking that, and not putting in the effort to solve the problem.
i liked this article because it essentially describes rob's process of solving a personal problem. he noticed an issue (or perhaps was painstakingly aware of it) and had the faith in himself to try something which he found weird and different.
and boy, the first few days were awkward as hell. not only did i have to override the muscle memory of holding down the shift key, but i had to ignore that part of my brain telling me i was wrong for doing so.
after a while though, he found that something clicked. there was a newfound sense of ease and clarity of expression, like fog being wiped away from a mirror.
in many ways we have to unlearn what we have been taught. lots of marketing best practices are actually a bunch of bullshit.
so much of the marketing advice we unquestioningly follow leads us in the exact opposite direction of emotional connection.
twitter threads from allegedly successful gurus demonstrate what worked for them, not what will necessarily work for you.
rob has a very punk rock attitude about this whole thing. he talks about how the formalities required by school and work “push us towards conformity,” going on to say that school is a system which teaches students to think the same ideas instead of prioritizing creativity. it only gets worse at work, where your livelihood entirely rests on your ability to fit in to a formal workplace culture. teachers grade us on grammar, then our bosses judge us on it.
writing in lowercase, therefore, feels like a blatant middle finger to those decades of conditioning. it's like saying "i refuse to be a cog in your machine anymore. i'm my own person, and i don't need your approval."
the coolest part about the internet is that you don't need permission to publish an idea to the world (within reason).
haters will say this is overthinking things. but in the end, rob has figured out a way to reframe a narrative that held him back, turning his overthinking into a thoughtful, earnest article which demonstrated his process.
figuring out a way to tell yourself a different story about a challenge is an incredible superpower — the power to literally change your mind about an idea. when a perspective is holding you back, change your perspective.