Feb 2 • 4M

Allocation of Time: Creativity Every Morning and Where I Belong - a song demo

I either need two lifetimes or to be more diligent

Matthew Moran
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The audio component to The Arrogant Sage substack. Matthew Moran discusses songwriting, writing, creative expression, and other highly caffeinated musings.
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Image of Matthew Moran at Disney Concert Hall
Picture from Disney Concert Hall - reflections

I’ve uploaded an acoustic demo of my song, Where I Belong. Find the lyrics below.

I recorded it over the past two mornings.

That is, in part, what this post is about… an hour of creativity every day and using my time in a way that is consistent with what I claim is important to me.

I’ve always lived by my own rules
Been a captain of that ship of fools
Run aground but now I turn around and smile
- Where I Belong - by ME!!

I was speaking to my oldest son yesterday. He’s a software developer for LinkedIn and has done a good job of focusing on critical goals and time management. Far better than I ever have. We talked about attention, focus, and redeeming time.

On Monday I had already started putting my phone into Airplane mode for extended times during the day. Our conversation also corresponds with a video I saw where a YouTube creator suggested that you:

“Create first, consume later!” (or never! - my own addition)

I have a habit that I get up early - usually between 3:30 and 4:30 in the morning. I watch some YouTube video or read an article or two. But, I have 200+ songs that I’ve yet to record in any reasonable fashion. I realized that this week - Monday and Tuesday - I had watched several videos about the Rams going to the Super Bowl. Basically, the same clips of players making plays and people talking about those plays.

How many times should I watch those?

Between once and none is probably the best answer.

Redeeming Time

I decided that I would put the following barriers/objectives in place:

  • Put my phone into Airplane mode and put it in a different room

  • Spend at least 1 hour every morning creating something before I am allowed to read, watch, or listen to something created by someone else. I can create music, writing, or drawing (a skill I am committed to learning).

  • During the day, work in 50 minute committed episodes with a short break between ala, The Pomodoro Technique. During these times, my phone, as indicated above, will be in Airplane mode.

Putting your phone in Airplane mode initially creates some anxiety. How will someone reach you when the world is ending? But, I’ll see the bright flash before it goes dark so… we’re cool!

After a few minutes in Airplane mode, you forget about it and, voila, no interruptions.

The Song: Where I Belong

I wrote this song as I was exiting a period of depression. I’d never really experienced depression but after my 1st divorce, I was in a rough spot. My creative output had become ridiculous. I’d written 20 songs in about a three month period.

Where I Belong was a reflection on my goals and me working to get back to a place of personal creative achievement.

The song is perhaps more salient to me today.

And because of that, when I committed to creating for a minimum of one hour every morning, it is the first song I chose to record. I hope you enjoy! The recording is accessible via the player above (on this posts page).

About the Recording:

I recorded the following:

  • Two matching guitars - panned left and right

  • One guitar higher up the neck - playing chord triads

  • Bass guitar

  • Vocals

  • Percussion: A tambourine, a shaker, a guiro, and a clave

I recorded a harmonica but that is a new instrument to me and I need to practice it a bit more.


Where I Belong

© 2009 - Matthew Moran

I’ve stood still and I’ve stood down
Stood frozen with fear when I should have stood my ground
Stood by while others have taken the fall
Now I stand naked in my shame and I just can’t stand it no more

Time keeps rollin’
Life is movin’ me on
Climb that mountain
Get back where I belong..

I’ve lost track and I’ve lost time
I’ve lost my head, you would’ve thought I’d lost my mind
And I’ve lost love for foolish pride
But I’m not losin’ sleep for mistakes I’ve left behind

I’ve always lived by my own rules
Been of captain of that ship of fools
I’ve run aground but now I turn around and smile

If you’ve been turned and you’ve been tossed
If you’re through paying the price but you can’t stop counting the cost, listen..
Life takes no bribe against its wage
You’ve gotta start living now, can't wait another day