Expectation ------------ Though, some artists might fear "sabotage" we rarely make the claim. So close to our work, and intimate with our songs, we sometimes claim to want "no expectation" when as a renegade, and pretty much savant of exploitative material, I've been sabotaged throughout my life as an artist. I've had songs ripped off, writing stolen, and entire song ideas pirated by other people, and the expectation still does not daunt me. I know that when I hit the stage, I am ready. I usually ask for the reverb on my vocal to be turned up, along with the highs, try and balance the two with my guitar, using a good pairing ability, or sense of sonic resonance, the sounds agree, and we perform. I've performed a lot of three-song sets where I felt satisfied, only because of one song. The rest can be the rest, while I know I did that "one thing" I truly wanted to do. Expectation is a killer feeling, sometimes, but we must rise above it. The expectation of sabotage, or of failing our art, or our song, is how we truly feel when the feeling is like dread. A good way I used to prepare for shows was to take a bathroom break, just to use the mirror, and prepare my appearance before the show. I had at least one "good show where" .. I got a double-applause, and the previous night I had written each song. I found a way to drink enough coffee, and keep moving, I had no expectation weighing down on me at all. Expectation for writers is a challenge, because we just want the work "done now." I suggest a single blank white page for writing lyrics, because it is akin to an artistic expression like the artistic craft of some alchemic form, based on the materials alone. Pen and paper. The idea of simplification helps a lot to make it so expectation doesn't bother you. To just focus on a minimalist approach to your process, and with less and less need to rely on equipment and the "things" we have, an unstoppable machine can write anything. Over time, when enough is written, the effect is that our expectations are shattered, and we continually break through each wall of judgment. No one can really "stop you" from doing a good job, if you think about it. Power might be yours, but the ability and practice of your own ability rests in your own two hands. Your free will is enough to determine the effect, when you 'don't care in a good way.' This nonchalant approach to work, also applies. I like tedious work sometimes, to my own benefit. Expectation is as simple as the best feeling, or the worst feeling, but it is still a problem for a lot of artists. I think you need to fight, sometimes, to destroy expectations. To somehow assail and attack your own problems directly. Once the fight is over, there will be no more expectation. You will live in peace, as y o u work, and all of your best work, along the flow of ceaseless unjudgable, and untouched process, you find yourself smooth enough to never stop, and just keep going. Do not fear expectation, at least, because people like artists generally. We want to do a good job, so just expect to do a good job. Expectation is also extant in many other aspects of life, which is why being an artist who may live without so much weight placed on the effect of expectation is another lesson for any other form of work you do. No need for introduction, you simply say hello. Tell them the title of the song, and then play the song. The end is okay to fade-out. It is also okay to stop on the perfect note.