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.

Posted in Blog, Career, music, Songwriting, Writing and tagged , , , .

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