The Lie and The Truth About NOT Giving a F*CK!

Here is the lie:

“I don’t care what people think.” also expressed as, “I give zero fucks!”

Stop saying this! It’s a lie and you prove that in the saying. You are convincing no one – and those who know this truth can see through your lie. Okay.. you are convincing someone. You are convincing those who are aware that you do care what others think.

We all care about what people think. We all want to be liked and accepted. That is a good thing.

When you post that you do not give a fuck about what other people think, you are screaming, “I CARE SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK THAT IT IS KILLING ME!!”

Because the people who truly don’t care… or, more accurately, care appropriately; those who are aware of their insecurity – an insecurity that we all share – have learned to focus that normal and healthy caring. They focus it on the right people. And therefore, they don’t have to mention it. It is part of a healthy feedback loop.

Again, because the dead horse is in no pain, loud pronouncements of, “I DON’T CARE!” scream the opposite.

As content creators: [songwriter, poet, author, artist, dancer, etc.] if you say you just create for you, then why are you letting anyone know you are one of those things? Why are you posting it anywhere? You are lying and it is better for you, if you stop lying.

I’m not trying to be cruel of mean-spirited. I believe being honest with yourself about what you want and what you create will make you a better creator and better at accomplishing what you want.

Here is the truth:

Plus, a better question and a lesson:

You do give a fuck! You do care what other people think.

The question(s):

Who is the person whose opinion you care about? Is it the right person?

And that’s probably not your mother.. well, unless it is my mom who was pretty harsh at times.. honest.

I’ve seen the book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a “F*ck” – the title is funny on it’s face Someone apparently gave a F*ck about not writing the word fuck.

I haven’t read it.. I probably won’t. I certainly do not need to. The title is a turn-off. NOT because it says fuck… or doesn’t.

But because on it’s face – by the title – it is suggesting something that I believe is impossible. And not just impossible… foolish. It is foolish to not care what people think. Well, at least the right people.

A better title and book might be, “The Art and Wisdom of Correctly and Appropriately Giving a Fuck.” or “How to Give a Fuck About the Right Things and People.”

The lesson:

I’ve mentioned Stephen King’s book, “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.” It was a game-changer for me. Got me moving and ultimately published. If you are a writer – or want to be – GET IT! If are a creator of some other type…. GET IT!

He suggest something similar to what I’ve told many writers and songwriters.

Avoid critique groups!!!

And I have friends who run critique groups. God bless ’em! I love those people! But I don’t agree with the format. Let me explain.

You don’t need a critique group. Too often, they contain the “wrong people” – and by that, I mean people who suck at what you are trying to get good at. Don’t get me wrong, there may be a couple decent people in the group but overall, talent in a given area is rarely found in critique groups.

Why? The people with the talent are associating with others of similar or better talent. People who stretch them. They are not typically attending critique groups.

So how do you get feedback?

Approach someone who is good at what you want to be good at. They don’t have to be the same as you in style or delivery. But you know “good” when you see (hear/read) it. Create a friendship. Add value to their life. And… see if they will provide you input from time to time. (don’t pester though)

And give a fuck about what they saybut only so much of a fuck.

I’m often asked to assess writing or songwriting. I’m happy to do so but it always makes me nervous.

First, I ask how honest they want me to be – how direct.

Then I offer this caveat:

I explain that if they were to put the same writing in front of three writers they admire and respect, they are likely to get three different pieces of feedback. Hell, they might get four or five pieces of feedback. And they should look at the feedback.

And then, they can take some or all of the input… or none of it. It is THEIR creation to do with as they please.

I don’t want them to weigh my input so heavily they lose sight of their creation… that is what makes me nervous!

Also, you may find that you reject all the input initially. That’s what I do much of the time. I’m pretty damned arrogant… er.. confident in my writing – songwriting or the written word. So, I often respond with, “What? I know that part was awesome!”

But I also know this about me… So I allow myself that reaction.

Then, a few hours, days, weeks, ??? later, I soften my response. I recognize something they saw and make adjustments… or I don’t! I’m just saying, I take their input seriously.

So… give a a fuck about what other people think. Just make sure it is the right people about the right things.

And I leave you with this idea from Brene Brown:

“If you are not also in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”

You see… I don’t really need input from the non-doers… the critic or the unconvinceable. And you don’t either. They suck – at life and input! Don’t argue with them and don’t listen to them.

Song – Can’t Let Her Go

A song about love and obsession

I wrote this in the early 1990’s.. I was married at the time.

The first time I played it, my wife was in a bible study at church with about 50 other women. I drove up to the church, walked in with my guitar, and played it for her.

Later, a couple different husbands who’s wives were in attendance mentioned that I was making them look bad.

My response.. “No.. you are bad.. I’m just revealing it.” 😉

I haven’t played it in awhile but as I sifted through old songs the other day, I was reminded how much I like it.

Enjoy!

 

Lyrics:

VERSE 1
At times she’s all that I can see
Can’t let her go
Every breath that I can breath
Can’t let her go
It’s more than my love she holds
Can’t let her go
‘Cause when she smiles she steals my soul
(chorus)

CHORUS
Sometimes I feel, she’s cast a spell
cuz it is so complete, can’t let her go

VERSE 2
And when I watch her fast asleep
Can’t let her go
And when the darkness is complete
Can’t let her go
It seems she haunts my every step
Can’t let her go
But that’s a specter I’ll accept
(chorus)

VERSE 3
I see her cross a crowded room
Can’t let her go
But she don’t know I’m watching her
Can’t let her go
If you knew my thought’s embrace
Can’t let her go
Would blush or slap my face
Can’t let her go
(chorus)

Playing the Songsalive Songwriter Showcase Orange County

Last year I performed intermittently – focusing on other writing and my technology consulting. Also, my youngest has been working on her singing and performing. More on that in a future blog.

But, I’ve been rehearsing with my drummer and guitarist – and we are speaking to a couple bass players and other performers. We have some studio recordings to clean up and will be announcing a new band project (and name) soon.

I’m also being booked for some local small venues and house concerts – including the one below:

The Songsalive! Songwriter Showcase

This coming Tuesday (June 14th), I’ll be performing a set at Sam Ash Music in Westminster (map). It is typically 2 performers – 30 minutes each. I’ve not see who the other performer will be yet.

If you are in or near the Orange County area, come out and say hello. I’ll have some copies of my CD, “Where I Belong”. Hey.. and consider sharing this page and/or the image below. I’ve heard it will add 10 years to your life and make you a better lover! (that’s just what I hear.. I make no promises or guarantees)

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Cure My Lonely (tonight)

I wrote the chorus for this song back in October 2015. The lyrics were slightly different and I had started the song as a Waltz. But over time, the timing and cadence of the lyrics necessitated some modification of the music.

I didn’t write the verses until February of 2016. That happens sometimes. I loved the chorus the day I wrote it. And I was very pleased when the verses came together…. I really like the way it turned out.

It captures the idea of a love that you cannot hold on to, cannot sustain, but find impossible to walk away from. Oddly, the song was written outside the that scenario… I hadn’t lived it – at least not in recent memory. I was drawing on common themes of love, obsession, loss, and weakness.

Life has an ironic and sometimes sick humor to it. And, in the immortal words of Forrest Gump…

“… that’s all I have to say about that.”

Here is a video a shot yesterday in my living room. It’s shot in my least favorite aspect ratio. I can’t really explain why and I’m too lazy… er… too busy to re-shoot it. The lyrics are below. Oh… if you like it, consider sharing the page or video… you know the drill. 😉

Cure for My Lonely

© 2016 – Matthew Moran

VERSE 1
Babe here we are
Moonlight in your eyes
Lace on my fingertips
Our bodies entwined

But come morning light
As I look around
No note and no notice
You are nowhere to be found

CHORUS
You’re the cure for my lonely
You’re the cause of it too
That never again girl
As I crawl back to you

You’re my resolve and my weakness
You’re the peace in my fight
You’re the cure for my lonely
Cure my lonely tonight

VERSE 2
It’s just what you do
You would think I would learn
The hotter the passion
The deeper the burn

I don’t want you around
But yeah I sure do
And walk into those flames
I’m sacrificed and I’m consumed

VERSE 3
Here I am thinking
That I’m finally through
I can’t keep doing
What I always do

But there you appear
At my door once again
I shouldn’t but I do
I know how this night’s gonna end

“Bound” – a wedding song for a friend

My friend Mike was married a few months ago. He and his new bride had their reception for family and friends last weekend. Prior to that, Christine – the previously mentioned bride – contacted me and asked if I would play a song at their wedding. I offered to write them a song – she was thrilled and the challenge was on.

What I can say is that, in pictures together, I’ve never seen the type of smile on Mike’s face as I’ve seen in these pictures. Mike taught me to fight and is not prone to demonstrate such emotions. She’s turned him silly cute… good for her. And good for him!

The video below was taken by one of our childhood friends – thanks Frank. I’ll provide the lyrics below the video and true to form, you’ll see I make one small mistake. I seem to have this issue where I make at least one mistake the first time I perform any song live. It’s in my head now and always seems to happen regardless of how many times I’ve gone through the song. However, I made a lot of people cry – including Mike it seems – and for the right reasons…their hearts. So that’s good, right?

I plan to do a proper recording of the song to give to them as a gift, so look for that in a future post.

Bound

© Copyright 2016 Matthew Moran – All Rights Reserved

VERSE 1
Here we stand, two people broken and
bound by grace, bound by hope, bound by love
And here we go, two travelers on this road
bound by grace, bound by hope, bound by love

CHORUS
And I cannot offer you a deeper sentiment
But I will sacrifice everything, there’s nothing I’ll hold back
Promises made every day, stripped of contingencies
Answer me, will you take this from me

VERSE 2
Make witness of this blessing that I don’t deserve
bound by grace, bound by hope, bound by love
And take this hand, a small warmth against a battering wind
bound by grace, bound by hope, bound by love

VERSE 3
Hold this day, the vows made come what may
bound by grace, bound by hope, bound by love
And make our home, regardless of where we may roam
bound by grace, bound by hope, bound by love

The Tide – praying that a full moon bring the tide back to me

THE TIDE

Copyright © 2007 – Matthew Moran

Lyrics below the video.

VERSE
She’s standing on the front porch, yeah looking west
Salty mist in her eyes and times like these well they put us both to the test
Cuz in her mind she’s on the California coast with wind swept auburn hair
Hearing waves, gulls, and children and wishing I would take her there
(chorus)

CHORUS
She is like the sea, her love is like a rolling tide
My heart is like the sand, it risks just being swept aside
Then chase in vain pursuit as that wave returns to the sea
Just praying that a full-moon bring the tide back to me

VERSE
Does she remember those times we’d call in sick
Drawn through the canyons by a pull way too strong to resist
She’d lay in my arms, we watch the waves roll in
I was drowning in love as the tide pulled me in again
(chorus)

VERSE
Listening to her sleep, her dreams carry her away
She won’t recall a thing when she wakes but that don’t change anything
She hears a sirens call, sees a distant shore, feels her toes in the sand
And you can’t hold the sea when tide slips through your hand
(chorus)

Sunrise & Sedona – Story behind the song

I wrote this back in 2006 or so. I could go back to journals and find out exactly when but it would have been July/August as July 29th was my anniversary.

My wife and I were staying on the shore of Oak Creek in Sedona. I woke early, took my coffee and guitar down to the creek and watched the sun come up.

I mused a story where a young women left the hustle and bustle of the city, made it to Sedona, and never left.

Enjoy! (lyrics below)

Sunrise & Sedona

© 2015 – Matthew Moran

CHORUS:
She said it was sunrise and Sedona
That made her lose her mind that way
Caught somewhere between the river and red canyon wall
And she said she didn’t need it anyway

VERSE:
She hopped a West bound plane from Chicago
Touched down in the heat of a desert storm
Not real sure, what she hoped to find
But certain that she couldn’t find it back at home

Found sanctuary in the mountains
Walking beside a clear, cold stream
And there she swears, she kissed the face of God
Spent the rest of the week like in a dream
(chorus)

VERSE:
Left the city an attorney
Now she paints and serves coffee on the street
And never regrets, the race of rats she’s left
Or the cold desperation beneath her feet

Her mother thinks she might be crazy
Her sister tried to talk her back today
But when that morning sun sets* gold across the sky
Sanity seems a small price to pay
(chorus)

* I actually sang the song wrong but after 7 or 8 takes decided NOT to redo it. The correct lyric is, “But when that morning sun SPREADS gold across the sky”

Oh well.. live with it! 😉

Cloud-based Project Management and The Project Management Blues (a song)

Last week I spoke for PMI LA’s North LA County meeting. I again covered Cloud-based Project Management Strategies and Tools – showcasing 3 specific tools and strategies on more effective team communication.

I’ve included the PDF as a download below.

Three Project Management Tools

  • Smartsheet
    Full-project management tracking.  Gantt chart and calendar views. Auto-notifications, etc.
  • Glip
    Project team collaboration & discussions in real-time.
  • Google Drive (docs and sheets)
    An amazing tool when used properly. Shared files (better than dropbox with folders and sharing using folder structure permissions) plus real-time document and spreadsheet editing.

When Microsoft started their “to the cloud” ad campaign, those of us using Google Drive were sitting there waiting for them and had been for 5 years.

All of the above products are great at what they do. They all struggle with user and group security management. That’s my knock with MANY collaboration tools. Tie that stuff into Active Directory and we’ll be very happy.

The slides

Download PDF of Slides

The Project Management Blues

I often include music in my presentations. (sneaky hint: I’m double-dipping… it makes the presentation more enjoyable plus I’ve won a few music fans in the process).

The morning of the presentation I decided I would write a project management song. Sure.. I’m probably not going to win a grammy with this but given my workload – developing 3 different pieces of software, plus a writing project – I’m pleased with how it turned out. Unfortunately, I did not have the time at the presentation to perform any music. We were up against a hard-break and there were a lot of GREAT questions from attendees.

So… here is the song for your listening pleasure. I recorded it yesterday morning at around 6:30am.  Download it here or play it below. The lyrics are below the player.

Project Management Blues – lyrics

© 2015 Matthew Moran

Deadlines loom like a coming storm
This status report is due in the morn
My assistant’s no help, ain’t doing what he can
Just posted a picture of his dinner on Instagram
Another cup of coffee, add a shot too
It’s the fuel to cure my, Project Management Blues

The CFO, she says the budgets gone
I’m left to do this on my own
She’s a pretty smart cookie, at least at math
But she don’t know squat about critical path
But I’ll buckle down, yeah I’ll see this through
It’s the just-in-time, agile, or scrum Project Management Blues

I’ve worked for hours on end, I did my best
But my  gantt chart looks like a Rorschach Inkblot test
Dependent tasks keep sliding to the right
And I got no resources in sight
But I can weather this storm and make it rain too
I’m the cure for their, Project Management Blues

Yeah I know why I’m here and I’m sure you do too
I’m the cure for your, Project Management Blues

Yeah I know why I’m here and I’m sure you do too
You’re the cure for their, Project Management Blues

Thank you Los Angeles! Good night!

New Music Project and Upcoming Performances

For most of the past couple of years I’ve performed sporadically and half-finished a bunch of acoustic versions of my songs

A few weeks ago I put my latest 12 song project online to download free.. and it’s still there.

But now we have CD’s – as evidenced by the photo below. A bit lower, I have all the CD artwork.. You can purchase a CD… or 10, here.

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Upcoming Performances:

Tuesday, October 27: 7:30pm
Songsalive! Orange County Songwriter Showcase
@ Sam Ash Music, Westminister

2015-10-30-holy-grounds-moran-emiko

click for larger poster

Friday, October 30, 7:00pm
Holy Grounds Coffee & Tea
Community Spotlight (map)
Sharing the stage with Emiko.
Join the Facebook event.

CD ARTWORK

My manager, Judi Bell, also the owner of Artistry Graphics, did the CD design and layout. You can click any of the images to see a larger version.

CD FRONT
WHERE I BELONG

CD Back
WIB-BackTrayCard01

CD itself:
WIB-CD-Disc03

Tray Insert:
WIB-IntFront04