Songwriter’s Journal: Silence Out Loud

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Sometimes I find myself in the position of having something to say, but with no one to say it to. Worse is the feeling that something should be said, but I’m just not sure what it should be. Silence is often golden but too much becomes oppressive. While it’s not the greatest character trait to ramble your every thought out loud to a willing, and sometimes unwilling, audience, it is a good practice to hear yourself express thoughts. I have become a proponent of journaling but not for the sake of documentation. For the sake of uncluttering my mind of thoughts and ideas. Writing my thoughts forces me to place them in a relatively linear narrative. Once laid out, it becomes easier to fit them into a bigger picture.

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Songwriter’s Journal: Atlas Will Shrug

Jake Wardius is probably my favorite songwriter on the planet. I’ve known him for many years now and we served in Iraq together during our Marine Corps days. He has warehouses full of songs and a very recognizable delivery of them. I hope this is the first of many guest posts by Jake.

Enter Jake


Atlas Will Shrug was an attempt by a novice songwriter to explain how he feels about a complex epic tapestry that dealt with class, culture, and capitalist structure in twentieth century America. When I first started writing songs, it was strictly motivated by love or angst. I was in the formative stages of the craft, which I have yet to gain much more ground from, and held the belief that those two topics to be all-encompassing and final. However, life has a strange way of showing you down an alternate route that makes you see sights you otherwise would have not.

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Responsibility And Independence

In my early twenties I recognized that those that were highly independent were also highly responsible. I decided that in order for one to be truly independent they must be significantly responsible. As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that responsibility isn’t merely necessary for independence, but independence itself is simply a high level of responsibility. Just as you rise through the ranks of a specific source of employment, picking up more and more responsibility as you go, ultimately the absolute top leaves you independent of other management within the company. It also carries the entirety of the responsibility for the company and all its actions and decisions.

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