At the Joni Mitchell song night at a local poetry venue I played Carey and He Played Real Good For Free, and one of my own songs: Love Makes You Free.
The following night I went to the Hideaway Cafe which by the way GAVE AWAY CHOCOLATE COOKIE SAMPLES. Mickel Rae Driscoll who runs the open mic kindly asked if I was wanting to play. I was having nervous night and dreaded the idea, but as a discipline I went up anyway. I did Carey this time from memory and Love Makes You Free which I feel confident about and that went well I thought.
Anyway, back to my epiphany --- the acts I enjoyed the most, not only had authenticity but a very connected rhythmic structure. I knew right then, I had to go home and break out my metronome and get to work on smoothing out my guitar work and coordinating it with the voice. No more sliding by on this, because lack of preparedness makes me nervous!