A Songwriter’s Reality

by Marty Dodson
Jan 27, 2017

I am a realist. I don’t spend much time worrying about or even thinking about things I don’t like or can’t change about my reality.

Several weeks ago, my oldest daughter got married. I can’t count the people that asked me if I was “OK” or if I was “going to make it”. Here are the thoughts that were running through my head –

“I raised this little girl to be a loving, caring person”
“She has found someone who loves her deeply and that she wants to love for the rest of her life”
“I’ve done my job”
“This is the way the world works”

To me, it would be a little bit “off” to sitting around wishing that she would never get married or that she would stay with me forever. I raised her to be a strong, independent person. She is living that out beautifully. So, I move on to the next chapter of being her dad. It’s going to be more of a friend/advisor and less of a care-taker. I think that’s going to be nice.

Do I wish I had spent even more time with her when she was little? Sometimes. Are there things I wish I had said or done as she was growing up that I never got around to doing? Every now and then.
But I don’t dwell on those things. I spent a lot of time with her. I did the best i knew to do at the time. So I give myself some grace, and I move on.

All of that to say – the music business is hard. Writing great songs is hard. I have been in publishing deals where I didn’t like some of the conflicts of interest going on. I have lost cuts to politics, not a better song. But worrying about and whining about those things has never done anything for me except stifle my creativity.

That’s why Clay and I are always saying “Write a better song”. If I keep writing better songs, I can overcome ALL of the roadblocks or injustices in my way. Complaining about them will only leave me bitter, angry and with nothing to show for my efforts.

I encourage you to look at the reality of whatever you are trying to accomplish with your music. If there are things you can change, try to change them. If you can’t, find a way around them. If there are things that are just simply out of your control, then let them go.

Do YOUR part (writing a great song) to the best of your ability. Keep growing and learning how to be better. And give yourself a little grace at the end of the day. Tomorrow you get another chance.
Write on,


Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi #1 songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing


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