Look Around: Don’t Underestimate Your Songwriting Peers!

by Marty Dodson
Mar 12, 2023

One of the biggest mistakes I see aspiring writers make is that of overlooking their peers.

When we are trying to get things going with our writing, too many of us are so busy looking up that we forget to look around. There are people at your level right now that are easily accessible to you who will be the biggest writers in town someday.

If you spend all of your time trying to set up co-write with writers higher up the ladder from you, you will walk right by these people. And, in walking right by them, you will seal your fate. When they DO become successful, they will remember that you didn’t have time for them when they had nothing going on.

My first publisher was a writer as well. He had written with a young artists who was working days selling boots down on Broadway and writing at night. This artist had been turned down by every label in town. He had NOTHING going on. Still, my publisher believed in him and wrote with him when no one else would.

Several years went by and the artist finally got a record deal. His first record sold almost 18 million records. My publisher went on to have more than 10 #1 songs with the artist. And he was on over 100 million records with the artist.

Look Around: Don't Underestimate Your Songwriting Peers! - SongTown

Imagine the cost if my publisher had been looking up instead of around.

The same thing happened to me. Not quite to the same degree, but still a life changing experience. My publisher hooked me up with a young artist who had just moved to town. I had never heard of him, but my publisher told me that he had a “cool” voice.

I took a chance and wrote with him a couple of times. We didn’t write anything great, but we became friends. We eventually had both of our first #1’s together. And another #1 after that. Those cuts saved my writing deal twice AND changed the whole course of my career.

Since then, I have had several opportunities to write with new artists that I passed on because I didn’t think they were all that good. A couple of them went on to be HUGE. Costly mistakes.

All of that to say, don’t overlook other writers and artists at your level. They are much easier to get co-writes with now. And they will remember if you wrote with them when no one would.

You could overlook your career making opportunity if your nose is in the air. Bring it down. And look around.

Write on! Marty

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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