Did I Wait Too Long To Start Writing Songs?

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Many of our SongTown members put songwriting aside for years while they raised a family.  The dreams from their 20’s only really started to get a chance in their 40’s or 50’s or beyond because life got in the way. So, they come to us and ask “Did I wait too long to start writing songs?”

My answer is always a hearty “NO!”.

In my view, there is no “too late”.  There is just reality.  My reality was starting to try to write professionally in my 30’s.  Some of the people I write with started in their late teens.  Others started in their 40’s or beyond.  And, it’s possible to succeed from any of those starting places.

If you are 18, you have plenty of time to make mistakes and experiment.  If you are starting later in life, you may need to focus more quickly on what will help you succeed, but guess what?

Maturity and age actually help most people focus in on what is important.

There are advantages and disadvantages to starting songwriting young and to starting later in life.  Starting young doesn’t give you much life experience to draw on when you write.  Starting older may mean you are not as contemporary as you need to be.

In either case, I encourage people to look at the positives of their starting point. And to have fun!

If you have raised a family, worked for many years and dealt with some adversity in life, you have a RICH experience base upon which to draw from as you start writing songs.

You have also likely learned some things about communication and people in general that can help you write songs that connect with listeners.  All of those things are huge advantages you have.

So, don’t let your age or your starting point hold you back.  Figure out how to use those things to your advantage and you’ll be off to the races.

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been” to quote George Eliot.

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson - pro songwriter/instructor - SongTown

Marty Dodson is a multi-hit songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing

11 thoughts on “Did I Wait Too Long To Start Writing Songs?

  1. WOW!

    First, thanks Marty for the article that was very helpful!!

    Second, thanks for the comments, especially from Mike and Jim!! I’m 57 (almost 58 in August) and progressing along with my music/ministry, but sure needed this encouragement (shots in the arm) from you both! THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH!!! Blessings to all of you: )

  2. Marty, thanks for the inspiration. It’s easy to get discouraged because you read about some thirteen-year-old who wrote a hit in three minutes. The truth is good songs know no age and learning craft takes time. The only way to see what you’re capable of is to start running and see where it takes you.

  3. Funny, I recently got my degree in Music Industry Recording Arts at the age of 55 after the very situation you describe. During my songwriting class I wrote a song called “Late to the Dance” with this idea in mind. Ha!

  4. Marty. Always enjoy your articles. How about this one… 18 year old boy with an acoustic guitar , coffee house touring, compelled, haunted by a gifted pen. Puts aside his Fender F-65 and picks up a hammer. After a brief hiatus from playing( all the while collecting inventory for song library, journaling) he’s back! Releases that album at 60! Touring , collaborating, recording, loving every aspect of the music world! I’m living proof, it is never too late. Thank you again for your viewpoints. Keep writing, if only for yourself! An untold story is an injustice! Mike Petroff

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