My Tribe: A Songwriter‰’s Sanctuary

As a songwriter, I have always felt like I was a little bit “different”.

I have never seen things the way other people see them. I related to the story of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” because I think I’m that guy. When everyone else is saying things are clearly “white”, I’m seeing “black”. When things are logically explained, they don’t make sense to me.

As a teenager, I wondered what was wrong with me.

For a number of years, I worked in a career where conformity was valued and rewarded. I didn’t fit in well in that environment. I asked the questions that weren’t supported to be asked. I didn’t agree when “everyone” agreed. I will never forget the day that I walked into my publisher’s office for the first time. The day I started my writing deal, the office was crazy.

But, as I looked around, for the first time in my life, I believed I had found my people– my tribe.

These people were making irreverent jokes. They were playing with words. I “got” them. They “got'” me. I had never experienced that before. Our publishing office became my sanctuary. The place where I fit in. I could share my crazy ideas there and no one looked at me like I had three heads. I could write anything that came to mind and people would pat me on the back for getting outside the box. It was nice to be home”.

Our goal here in Songtown is to be YOUR tribe.

We want to be the people that make you feel understood and valued. You can be weird here. You can let the freak flag fly. It’s safe here. We are glad you are here and we are glad to have the chance to join you in your quest to write your heart out. We are different. We have to stick together.

Write on! Marty

Multi #1 songwriter Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson
Songwriter/Producer/SongTown Co-founder

17 thoughts on “My Tribe: A Songwriter‰’s Sanctuary

  1. Hey,
    I am an Extension educator for Oklahoma 4-H. After 23 years of playing music in the corner with 4-H youth, we have finally begun to show “administrator’s” the importance of music in our lives. Anyway, these kids are writing songs like crazy and as a songwriter I have shared my limited knowledge.
    So Kevin Welch is helping some and Verlon Thompson has voiced interest in helping. SO the question I would like to expose these talented young songwriters to the reality of the big machine. Educate them on the now of it all. With your permission of course.

  2. For me, one of the biggest motivations to write is that I have something to say, and I feel like it is falling on deaf ears, for the most part, among people in my friends, family and co-worker circles, where being different tends to land you outside of those circles. So, I decided to see if there is an audience out there somewhere.

    This post parallels so much of my own story, it’s uncanny.

    Thank you, Marty, for letting guys like me know that we’re not the only ones like us.

  3. The great thing about SomgTown is it teaches you how to find your own voice while at the same time surrounding you with like minded folks to share the journey with.

  4. Thank you Marty for sharing a part of your life story with us. I’m amazed at the timing. I excluded myself from life because of my oddities. It was about 6 months ago I really started to look at me as inspiration and a reason to explore the artist side of me rather than get hung up on the oddity of me.
    Thanks again

  5. Hi Marty! I truly thank you so very much for sharing this on here! It takes me right back to when I was very first learning how to play guitar. It was an older acoustic guitar (I forget the brand name, I’m sorry to say) but the neck on it was so thick and wide that I had difficulty getting my hand around it enough so that my fingers could reach the strings. At that particular time in my life, I really “thought,” at least mentally that THAT was my biggest…AND ONLY problem. I later discovered that IT WASN’T and, that what you you wrote about on here WAS MY BIGGEST PROBLEM. So I really do thank you for writing this. I will confess that, today (although my guitar playing, I am really grateful to say, has very much improved over the years, I am still very severely “blocked” in writing lyrics for songs that I REALLY FEEL GOOD ABOUT and I really need a lot of help with this. Thank you, Duncan.

  6. Thanks for sharing that post, it is very much like my own life. Rarely feel at home anywhere. Played trombone in grade school (by ear). Got married right out of high school, raised two kids and helped with 5 grand kids and after 42yrs as a carpenter contractor I hurt my back and had to quit working. I looked around and thought, What ? You really nailed that feeling of different.
    Really gotta work listening to people talk about trivia and so forth. I just think about things, like realizations, feelings of friends and family, grateful I can still breath and little spurts inspiration
    from a phrase in a book or someone said on TV. My wife says I’m always somewhere else in my mind. She’s right. I’m in songtown where I’ll get help with song. Thanks.


  7. Great post Marty, and I agree that artists are aside from the norm. I understand as well that it is that very difference that gives us cause to express it. From many of the replies above, I sensed that each person who thought they were different considered it a hindrance. I guess I just skipped over that part and appreciated my uniqueness. Take for example an office break room. I never felt different in a confining way, but break room conversation made me think more deeply. “What makes them say that? Is their life THAT boring and so far from anything that would interest me? Why does she/he stay with that jerk?” Maybe I just always thought about how those conversations might inspire a song 😉

  8. I think the reason that Songtown is so great is because you have substance. You’re not just about making a few bucks in a diminished music industry, but you truly are coming from the right place. I appreciate that through posts like this, you’re connecting with people on a real level, from the heart. So I have no doubt that your wishes to be of service to all of us songwriters out there is genuine. What’s amazing is that you make those intentions come through the cold technology of the Internet. But your warmth and generosity do come through. And that’s awesome. I guess it’s because you’re truly great writers. So thank you! You are appreciated.

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