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.

If Mom Were President – a poem for Mother’s Day (and more)

This is for those who are moms, have moms, or have ever had a mom… or know a mom… the rest of you do not need to read it. 😉 Oh.. if you like it, please share it with your friends. If you don’t like it, share it with your enemies.

IF MOM WERE PRESIDENT
© Copyright 2006 – Matthew Moran

If Mom Were President
She’d set things straight
She would battle for causes just
She’d teach the whole country how to share
She’d restore the public’s trust

She would give every enemy a time-out in the corner
Until they saw how they’d been at fault
She’d balance the budget with change left to spare
For an ice cream cone or a malt

And Congress she would make write 100 times
“I shall not take money and lie.”
Then send them to bed without any supper
Perhaps a cookie or two when they cry

And all hungry children she would feed
Peanut butter and milk cuz she knows what kids need
She would easily win two terms in a row
And then be elected as king

And she would kiss little babies not for camera
But because that’s what babies are for
Her cabinet would be a place to store snacks
And gifts she had picked up at the store

And nations at war she’d not tolerate
Because the pain and the damage they bring
She’d disarm the foes
Trade a knife for a rose
Saying “you’ll poke an eye out with that thing.”

Yes, If Mom were President I do believe
There would be lots of changes we’d see
Our national treasure would be our children
Hugs and kisses our GNP.

===========

About this poem – a note from the author

Back in the early 1990’s I wrote this poem for Mother’s Day one year. I put it on a card for my mom and for my wife at the time. Years later, a rough out was done on a children’s book concept – and I actually was awarded a book deal. That floundered after the “Flood of ‘07”. It has been half-revived a few times. I’d still like to see it done.

I’ve been told to start a Kickstarter campaign or something similar to get this project funded and self-published. My schedule hasn’t allowed for this – or, more accurately, I have not properly allocated my time. But I do feel the project has merit and hope to undertake it. If you want to help this happen or know someone who can, message me.

Thanks,
Matt

Songwriting tips plus dissecting a song line by line

Videocast: Throw Away The Box #3

It took me until Friday afternoon to publish my Thursday morning update. Don’t ask… well…

I cover songwriting tips, including:

  • My thoughts on critique groups
  • How I find the right lyric
  • Avoiding easy or obvious rhymes
  • Writing the last line first
  • and more..

Finally, I dissect my song, “Do It Again” – line by line. In a separate video, I perform the song straight through and will publish that separately.

In case you didn’t pick up on this, I’d like you to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Thanks. 😉

Moby's Coffee & Tea

Sleeping at the coffeehouse

This makes me chuckle to think about.

I love coffee! I love naps! I like making people laugh. In fact, I like falling asleep to the ambient noise of people talking. This story involves all of it.

Yesterday, I was meeting a friend for a comedy show in Hollywood. Her business is in North Hollywood-ish and we were driving together. So I drove over early and found a coffeehouse on Cahuenga… Moby’s Coffee & Tea.

It’s a cool & casual place. I’d never noticed it before. I grabbed a decaf latte and got to work. Continue reading

overcoming fear

I Want To Be Fearless Again

I originally posted this on medium.com but it makes sense to have it here. It is about writing… and performing… and parenting… and entrepreneurship… It is about overcoming fear!

When writing was easy

The truth is, writing is pretty easy for me…. but I’m afraid, too.

My path to professional writer

It started out fearless!

I’ve been blessed with a gift. It’s been that way since I was young. I had teachers cultivate that in elementary school, Jr. High (Middle School), and High School.Continue reading

the-many-things-I-dont-do-well

The many things I don’t do well

I coach people and I do it well. I guess I am known as a bit of a hard-ass. I don’t coddle my clients and I do NOT tolerate inactivity or poor effort!

And apparently, I have a pretty strong leadership quotient. That’s a fancy way of saying that I often am asked to – or end up – leading projects and people due to force of personality and decisiveness.

However, a bi-product of dispensing with advice that is clearly in my wheelhouse – playing to my strengths – is that readers and those I coach get the impression that I do everything well; that I never feel down or depressed, anxious, fearful, lack confidence, get angry, or deal with frustration – at myself and others.Continue reading

I want more than 9 to 5

Wishes, Wants, and Needs

I was going through some old photos and found this picture that my older daughter took one day while we were on walk near my house.
I want more than 9 to 5

I love the sentiment. I’m not a big fan of graffiti, although, it is on a dumpster and is NOT gang related, so… I’m okay with it. Plus it gave me a blog topic. WIN!

I Wish, I Want! I Need, I Got!

I heard this phrase years ago from a motivational speaker. The idea is that if we “wish” we had something or could do something (I wish I was a writer.), we’ll always want it. On the other hand, if we make that “wish” a need (I need to be a writer), we’ll make it happen.

I don’t agree. That is far too simple!

There are all sorts of things people “need” that they do NOT go after with the focus necessary to achieve them. And there are plenty of “wants” we make happen that are clearly not needs.

I know many people who want things… wanna be I.T. professionals I’ve met through my book, wanna be performing musicians, wanna-be consultants and wanna be authors. But they are not those things.

The difference between the “wanna-be’s” and the “be’s” is sort of simple.. It’s the “being”. It’s the work.

There are a LOT of people who want more than 9-5. – but are not willing to put in the work needed. Incidentally, if you want more than 9-5, you are going to “be” more than 9-5. What I mean is that it is going to require more than 9-5 to get more than 9-5.

Especially initially. Unless you are a trust fund baby (if you are, contact me please, I have  wants too), you are likely going to have to work – sort of like a regular Joe – an everyday job to pay the bills, while simultaneously and in your “extra” time, putting the things into place that allow you to get that want or be that thing.

For instance, if you want to be a writer – you are going to have your regular job, paying your bills, and then, mornings/evenings, you are going to write.

As I wrote many years ago in my blog entry – A writer defined, “The Noun is wrapped up In the verb.” In order to be the thing (the noun), you must do the thing (the verb) that the thing (the noun) does.

  • Writers write!
  • Performing songwriters write songs and perform them!
  • Consultants consult!
  • I.T. Professionals learn and put technology into place!
  • People who want more than 9-5, put in more than 9-5.

What is stopping you?

I’ll give you a short-list of things I see that stop people from doing the work that turns “wanna-be” into “be.”

T.V.

This one always gets me. “I don’t have enough time in my day.” And then, in speaking to them, they’ve watched an entire season of “Breaking Bad” or “The Sopranos” or “The Dome” or whatever! Football, baseball, hockey, dancing with the stars, etc. Hey, I like Justified! I’ve seen most of season #1 and some of season #2… some.

Sports teams/fantasy football, etc.

I’m talking playing on a team or spending hours each week on your fantasy football. Hey, I get it. But I don’t really. At least not until you’ve done enough time-slicing and allocation of effort to put things into place. Don’t tell me, for instance, about your great book/story idea that you just cannot get to because you are too busy – and then tell me about your various sporting activities – watching or playing.

Time-sucking friends

There are friends who are more than willing to steal your time. They will even tell you that you can do whatever it is later. Stop hanging out with them. The real friend is going to say, “Why don’t we get together at the end of the week AFTER you’ve done X work towards what you want to be.”

If they say, “You can do that later. Come out with us tonight.”BEWARE!!!! Or don’t complain that your “wanna be” is still just that..

This image was posted on Facebook recently. I re-posted it because it made me laugh. It’s true not just for writers but for anyone who wants to turn their wanna-be’s into be’s.
the muse writers really need

Inspiration is NOT your problem. Perspiration is… ie: DO THE WORK!!

The noun is wrapped up in the verb!

What Tomatoes Can Teach Us About Encouragement

I was inspired to start a garden after visiting my daughter in Phoenix and I talk about it here.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3cDvxCmfd8]

I mention Ron Finley’s TED Talk about turning food deserts into food gardens. Worth watching for sure. And my daughter writes about Hope House Farms and why she needs the farm more than it needs her.

Takeaway ideas.

  1. Get Gangsta with your shovel
  2. Unwilt someone today. It unwilts you in the process.
  3. I’m giving away FREE BOOKS and FREE MUSIC.

 

[Friday Recap] Being myself and being creative

Friday recap will be some of my observations, websites, articles, and anything else I saw during the week.

On Being Myself

I had a conversation yesterday with my friend, Val King. She is editor/owner/founder of Rock Revolt Magazine. It is pretty cool – I began speaking with her a few years back.. about songwriting, my music, her writing, and WordPress. Now she has a site that is getting thousands of views every day. I won’t take credit (well. for the tagline I will).. She is a fine writer and has thrown herself both feet into hacking wordpress as needed.

We talked about my dilemma non-dilemma of branding/positioning/who am I. Her take (paraphrase), “Matt.. you are Matt Moran. Stop over-thinking it and just be Matt Moran.” I asked for her permission and she gave it.. Thanks Val.

Note: I didn’t press her on why I haven’t been covered as an artists at Rock Revolt. It is obviously my lack of tattoos and hair.. and I don’t flip off my audience enough.. Mental note taken..  I’m buying some stick on tattoos this weekend!

My oldest daughter freaked out, visited me last week, got a plan, returned home, freaked out, got talked off the ledge and felt better – and then blogged about it.

Oh.. then she freaked out again but I’m pretty sure she is talking herself off the ledge this time. I’ll know for sure in a few hours as I am heading out to visit her and my other kids.. Pictures will be taken.

As though on queue, Ze Frank, posted a few videos… on worrying too much and on becoming a new person or growing.

About Creativity

I am often asked how I think the way I do – how to be more creative.. I don’t know how to answer that.. Kyle Cease explains – but it is always there.

Social Media/Content Strategy

My friend Dave pointed me at http://contently.com/blog/ I signed up for their Beginner’s Guide To Blogging Content Strategy but haven’t had time to give a thorough once over.

Karen pointed me at Unclutterer and Jolidrive. I signed up for jolidrive to see how it works but have not really been able to test it.

With the imminent death of Google Reader, here are two RSS Readers I’m checking out. The Old ReaderNewsblur.

And now we head into the weekend.

My book gets some reviews.. both bad and good, plus other stuff

There is a danger in reading book reviews…. well.. specifically, my own book’s review.

In this video I talk about a bad review, a good review, my content schedule, and some t-shirts for my song, This Star-Spangled Life of Mine.

Per the video.. my content schedule is (for now):

  • Monday: Video update (what’s coming up this week plus anything else)
  • Tuesday: Tech Tip Tuesday or Tech & Tips Tuesday
    I might cover more than simply technology.. but something useful.
  • Wednesday: The I.T. Career Toolkit Podcast
  • Friday: Friday Recap
    Things I’ve seen, read, done, or thought about this week.