One way of thinking about composing is that I was born with a pretty solid ability to write and I’ve cultivated that for many years – no so much recently but I would composer for hours a day in the past. If I do have a gift, you can make an argument that says it is in fact my responsibility to use it. I have to marinate in this idea for a while to see if I believe it fully.
I think another thing I need, and I felt this from Be Still but not what has followed, an element of detachment. Here I am not talking about detaching myself from the music and process. Not one bit. But I need some detachment about what happens to the piece when I am done with it. It might become popular, it might never be performed. If I have a thought in my head that says “this piece will never get done” what will kill motivation one day at a time. So I need to be clear in my head that I can’t control what happens after I’m done. The more I write the higher the chances are that I will have “successful” pieces but that’s about all I know.
So – using a talent can be a responsibility and I have to not worry about what happens to a piece after I write it. That’s my thinking today.