Good News For Songwriters: Hard Work Beats Talent

by Marty Dodson
May 1, 2018

Some of you have heard me tell this story before. Early in my writing career, I had enjoyed all the family activities I could stand and I needed a little break. So, I went to our publishing office to work on some ideas and plan my strategy for the upcoming year. The music business in Nashville shuts down from about December 20th until January 3rd or so. I wasn’t surprised to be the only one in the office.

When I got to the office, I began working on ideas. As I was working, a fax came through on the fax machine. It was from John Michael Montgomery, who was a big star at the time. The fax said – “Urgent – I need an uptempo hit by tomorrow. Going into the studio day after tomorrow to finish my record – JMM”. The fax told where to drop CDs. So, I got to work going through my catalog looking for an uptempo song that might work for him. I found about three that I thought might fit him, so I made a CD and dropped it off within an hour of getting the fax.

To make a long story short, 2 days later, he cut my song. If I had not been working when everyone else was NOT working, it never would have happened. And it was one of my first cuts of any significance.

Was I in the right place at the right time? Most certainly. But, I PUT myself in the right place. Throughout my career, I have seen it proven over and over…

Hard work trumps talent.

It didn’t matter if I was the most talented writer in Nashville on that particular day. I was one of the ONLY writers working. So, I got the cut. If you want to set one big goal for the new year, I would suggest making your goal outworking everyone else. In my experience, that is the best and quickest road to success. You can pass by hundreds of people more talented than yourself if you outwork them. Take a look around at the people you are competing with. Outwork them. You will be amazed at your results! If you want to hear the song that became one of my first cuts, check out the link below.

Write on! Marty

Love Is Our Business by Rob Matson, Rebecca Lynn Howard, and Marty Dodson

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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