Songwriting

Pivotal Moments: Can Change Everything For A Songwriter

by Marty Dodson
Apr 28, 2019

Looking back on my career, there have been a number of pivotal songwriting moments that really changed everything.

There was the day when, after trying to get the songwriting thing going for 2 years with no success, a friend of mine offered me a job. Actually it was a career. Great salary, benefits. Writing instruction manuals for companies.

I agonized over the offer. I was making ZERO money. And I had three children. My wife was pressuring me to quit and take the job. I told him “no”. I was not put on earth to write instruction manuals. God bless those who do. But, that is not my mission. Looking back, I would have DIED doing that. It would have killed me.

Then there was the moment when a co-writer said “Hey, my publisher likes what we write. Would you like to meet with him?”

He offered me $866 dollars a month compared to the $4000 a month I turned down. I took it. Co-writing opens doors in the music business and mastering the art of co-writing is one of the best ways to meet publishers.

There was the moment when they told me a new group called “Rascal somebody” had recorded one of my songs.

At the time, I was happy to have ANYONE record my song. “While You Loved Me” became my first top ten hit.

Then, there was the pivotal songwriting moment when I turned in a work tape of a song called “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right”.

One of my pluggers flipped out over it and said she thought it would be perfect for Billy Currington. She played it for his record label the next day and it became my first #1 song.

I could go on and on. The pivotal moments kept coming. Since, I’ve learned that you couldn’t plan for them. You just worked hard and they eventually came.

Even today, I can’t always tell if something I have written is a hit or not. But, I know that ONE pivotal songwriting moment can change everything.

On any given day, I may get with the right co-writers and throw out the right idea and BOOM – magic happens.

I have learned to trust that those moments will come and to just keep working my butt off until the next one occurs.

If you work at this long enough, and smart enough, you will have pivotal moments. It doesn’t happen overnight. It is slow and agonizing at times. But, persistence pays off. If you listen to feedback and continually work at writing better songs you will see things begin to happen. Songwriting is not magic. It is hard work and creativity joining together to create something unique.

So, don’t give up. Work hard. And anticipate the pivotal songwriting moments that will come.

Write on! MD

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi-hit 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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