Songwriting

Songwriters: Do You Want Something You’ve Never Had?

by Marty Dodson
Jul 2, 2016

The Definition of Songwriting Insanity…

I’ve read that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. I believe there is a lot of truth in that statement.

If you want something you’ve never had, then you are going to have to do things you’ve never done.

It’s shocks many people to learn that I am an EXTREMELY shy person by nature. I’m very introverted and, given the choice, I would almost always choose to hang out with my inner circle – my wife, my children and a handful of close friends.

It is totally against my nature to play shows in front of hundreds of people, to speak before a large group, or to “work the room” at a party and talk to strangers.

I really struggle to get out and “network” in the music business. I don’t like going out and making small talk with people I don’t know very well.

We all have things we must make ourselves do to succeed…

But, I realized early on that I was going to HAVE to do those things if I was going to succeed in the music business. I need to get out and play my songs for people. I need to talk to strangers and “sell” my music to people who can get me cuts.

At some point, I realized that my desire for success in the music business was greater than my desire for comfort. So, I learned to play some of my songs well enough to do songwriter nights. I began working at getting booked on shows and challenging myself to get better at those things that made me so uncomfortable.

I also forced myself to get out and sell my songs to people instead of counting on my song pluggers to do all of that.

I was not happy with the level of success I was achieving within my comfort zone, so I had to do some things I had never done if I wanted different results.

Making the necessary changes…

Making those changes changed my life. I DID get different results when I did those things that made me uncomfortable. Over time, I have learned to embrace discomfort as a friend that brings positive changes to my life at times.

Now, I purposely put myself in uncomfortable situations just to challenge myself. Those situations actually give me an adrenaline rush and energize me. It has become fun to raise the bar and challenge myself to jump over something I’ve never jumped over before.

Take a look at your goals for your writing. If you want different results, then identify some different things you can DO to get those results. Challenge yourself. Step out of your comfort zone. Make the phone call you’ve put off making. Set up a meeting that scares you to death. Reach out to some new co-writers. Doing different things is the best way to get different results.

Try it and write on! Marty

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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