In many ways, I am the least likely person to become a hit songwriter.
I grew up with serious self-esteem issues. I’ve always been short and was self-conscious about it most of my life. I was never popular in school. I am painfully shy and introverted. I grew up believing that you should ALWAYS make the safe choice.
So, how in the world did I become a hit songwriter?
For me, it was a process. I believe it began with dissatisfaction. When the pain of being shy, afraid and self conscious became greater than the pain of trying something new, I gained the courage to step out and take some risks.
My first ventures into the unknown were baby steps.
You would probably laugh if I told you what they were. But, for me, they were HUGE steps. I did some things that scared me. Looking back, it’s laughable that they scared me, but they did. They terrified me. But, I lived through them and that gave me strength to keep broadening my horizons.
Each little victory helped me see that failure wasn’t fatal and that risk had rewards.
I felt better about myself when I tried new things – even when I didn’t do well. The first time I played the Bluebird, I totally forgot how the bridge of my song went. It was gone from my brain. I was sweating bullets, but I said “If you want to know how the bridge goes, you’ll have to get the demo from my publisher – he’s right over there.” Everyone laughed and I moved on. I screwed up – BUT I played the Bluebird. I learned that people are cheering FOR me, not against me. And I left there stronger than when I walked in the building, even though I didn’t perform well.
In the beginning, I got literally hundreds of rejections.
They were crushing at times, but I was stronger than the rejection. I lived through it. I proved people wrong. Several publishers who rejected me wound up asking me to write with their writers after I had hits.
Little by little, I began to believe in myself and my ability.
I took control of my life. I embraced who I am, how tall I am and WHO I am. And, I’ve learned to welcome failure as a learning tool. I’m happy. Whether or not I get another song recorded – I’m happy. I believe that the self acceptance and happiness allow me to write my best songs. I’m writing better than ever and enjoying it more than ever.
If you ever struggle with the “Am I good enough” question, I encourage you to stop and wrestle with the big question while you let the little questions take a break. You are good enough. You have what it takes.
Your worst enemy is your self-doubt.
Go to battle with THAT and you will have the ultimate victory.
Marty Dodson is a multi #1 songwriter and co-founder of SongTown USA