So I was wrong yesterday. I didn’t recording anything. I left the computer alone and did some writing. With a pen a paper, that is. When I was a student I often wrote things out before I picked up an instrument. In fact, I had a very strict rule when composing for the guitar that I would never have the instrument in my hand when writing for it because I didn’t want my fingers pushing me around. There are some shapes that are too comfortable and some great sounds to be had when (my) technique is pushed. When I moved back to the steel string guitar, I left some of that discipline behind because my approach is more improvisational with that instrument. It’s funny that I’d never thought about it that way until last night.

Life needs balance and as such I decided to try it the old way. I’m rusty, but it felt pretty good to force myself into it. The old muscles are there, if a little weak from lack of use. I’ll see how it sounds in my next session. Maybe it will provide the spark that I need right now.

something shiny

Casting about for a new project makes for a moody guy in my case. It’s easy when there’s a plan. But what do you do when inspiration hasn’t dropped in lately? Pressfield and dozens of others tell us to show up. And they’re right. You never know when it will strike and you definitely want to be in the room when it does. I’m also making headway by tying my work to a place. Being sure that I’m physically in my studio ensures that even if I’m not making obvious progress, I’m putting in the time. There’s an association between the work and the place. I don’t think people realize how powerful that can be. We know it when it comes to jobs. When you’re at work you’re “at work.” Why should that be different for other things? It isn’t.

I’m still honoring my commitment to write down five things that I have done each day. Going into my studio always generates a point for that list. Sometimes more than one. This is great for general motivation. My current lack of direction could easily have led to a week off and I have to be honest and credit my wife’s TV show being on last night for putting me into the physical space. That simple pressure (I hate the theme music on her show…and yes, I’ve long accepted the fact that I’m a freak) coupled with my need to have five things for my notebook put me into the room physically. But once I was in there, good things happened despite the absence of a plan.

As it turns out, getting results is pretty easy when you show up. The hard part is finding the mechanisms that ensure you do.

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