Arriving: In Life And Songwriting

by Marty Dodson
Aug 13, 2015

The longer I live and the more I write, the more I realize that there really is no “destination” in life, unless it is death.

Short of the grave, we are all still on the journey, trying to figure out the world and our place in it.

In regard to writing, we all (or most of us anyway) have hopes, plans and dreams.

We have places we want to go. Things we want to achieve. Accomplishments we want to grasp before we leave the planet.

There is no aspect of my music career that has gone according to my plans. I’ve determined that I may not be smart enough to come up with a plan for life or a career and that, perhaps, I do my best work when I just take each day for what it is.

When it comes to songwriting and life -I have dropped most of my destination ideas and I simply try to enjoy the journey every day.

No plans. I have vague goals out there, but I’m not going to be devastated if I don’t reach them or elated if I do. This morning I was profoundly happy to wake up and write a song that I’m proud of with someone I enjoy working with.

I had a great day. In the big picture, it really doesn’t matter if the song I wrote today gets cut or not.

If I was happy and satisfied when the day was over, I’ve succeeded today. Tomorrow, if I get a chance to do it again, I will soak it all in and make the most of it.

My hope is that some of those songs get recorded. But, that’s not the end game. The end game is a life of day-by-day happiness and satisfaction.

If you find yourself paralyzed by destinations that seem too far away to reach…

…allow yourself the freedom of dropping the ideas of destination and plans in exchange for peace and satisfaction today.

When I think of “arriving” as making it to the grave, then I’m in no hurry to get there. I want to take my time and savor every moment that I’m given. Each day that brings me happiness and peace is a successful day.

Don’t worry about where your writing takes you in the end. Enjoy it today. Make the most of it. Dig deep and open your heart. Bleed for it. And grant yourself the gift of looking back on a day well spent as you write on.

Write on! MD

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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