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Things that matter to me 

I watch some guitarists and I smile. I smile a lot. Out of all of my talents, my guitar playing is the area I spend a lot of practice in improving, about an hour a day. 
The balancing act between songwriting, arranging and singing, as well as accompanying myself on guitar sometimes suffers a bit as I focus on my guitar. 
Prior to taking the stage, I strive to produce a polished product. I know for some, spontaneity is their touchstone but for myself, that's a lesser consideration. Reproducing what I rehearse, in a manner that makes it sound fresh, is one of my talents. I've failed if I'm merely calling it in. 
Performance is a necessary, critical area - I will not disappoint.

When the dry land appears 

It is inevitable, unavoidable - the seas of wonder crash and thunder against the sands for a time, a magical, ephemeral, brief period of time.  Ideas cascade down like so many cresting waves, pouring into each other, rushing and gushing forth.
And then, slowly, the dry land begins to appear.
You shudder with dread.  The familiar is gone, the strange quietness of a desert begins to chase away the remembered ever changing song of the muse and you are left bereft and alone, parched with the thirst for one more new idea to slake your growing doubts.
I sit and wait for the waters to rise again, I know they will. If I but wait, they will return.  A thousand times more majestic than the last.
If I but wait and not concern myself.

Backing into a song 

Late night, picking through a pattern, a theme emerges, I mine it, digging, digging... a day or two later, after about a hundred repetitions, I have a fleshed out  "piece" but what the hell is it?
Yes, I know, it's music but I'm a songwriter, so I start to hold up the kaleidoscope I just made and start examining it in the light.

And then it dawns on me, I've written the instrumental to a new song.

Good to know! Now I have a framework of chords and transitions that I can shape a song over, oh joy!
Usually the most time consuming part of a song is figuring out the turnarounds, intro's and outro's and an instrumental break - and now that's all done.
Sometimes, if you don't pay attention, some wonderful stuff happens
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When stuff you have no control over changes 

OK, so life is what happens while you're making plans. I've always been a bit stoic about this, at times it's irritated the hell out of me, but not so much lately.  It's all wasted time. Time I could have spent jotting down hooks or first lines, working on progression or a riff, a rewrite, a first draft, rehearsal, etc.  I've got so many better things to do with my time. Even just sitting still and trusting in the process, that's a better choice as well.
Do the next thing and remove the rear view mirror
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I don't wait for the muse 

Relaxing into the numb buzz that washes up around me sometimes, blank mind staring, just not caring about the disregard my muse is showing me right now. I'll keep at the digging and the discovering until she comes back, shows me some loving. 
She can't leave, the only way I'll ever lose her is to believe she's gone. 
Surprise my heart, give me what I need, make it beat, beat, beat ..