Songwriting

Songwriting Is TOO Hard

by Marty Dodson
Mar 27, 2017

Legendary songwriter Kim Williams

Kim Williams signed me to my first writing deal For that, I’m forever grateful. I absolutely wouldn’t have the life I now have if Kim had not believed in me and given me a chance. There is no way I will ever be able to repay the time he spent mentoring me and teaching me how to write a song.

One day when I was feeling down on myself and doubting my ability to EVER write a hit song, I was whining a bit to Kim about how hard it was to deal with all of the rejection, how frustrating it was to write an awesome song only to discover that it had a “fatal flaw” that would insure no one ever recorded it, and how I just didn’t know if I could continue, Kim looked at me and said three words that changed my life.

He quietly said “Look at me”. I looked at him. He stared into my eyes and said “No really LOOK at me.” I still didn’t get it. My head was so deep into my own “woe is me” that I couldn’t see it.

You see, Kim had been burned over 80% of his body in his former life as an electrical engineer. His face was disfigured and scarred beyond recognition from the handsome man he had once been. When I looked at him, I no longer saw the scars. I just saw my friend and mentor, so I missed the point.

As I “looked” at him without really “seeing”, he said “Being burned over 80% of your body and spending a year in the hospital is HARD. Songwriting is a breeze.”

I was humbled and ashamed. I gathered my things and called an end to the pity party. From that moment on, I stopped feeling sorry for myself. Songwriting is challenging but it isn’t “hard”. Having a drug addict father is hard. Being abused is hard. Having someone cheat on you is hard. Being a single mom is hard. Fighting cancer is hard. Songwriting, not so much in comparison.

Kim’s point was that whining and complaining would never help me accomplish anything. Putting my songwriting “struggles” in perspective and working to become better could change everything. So, I worked to become better and I caught a dream. It’s been challenging every step of the way, but not really “hard” in the big scheme of things.

If you ever fall into the pity party trap, think about things that are really hard and you’ll soon gather a better perspective.

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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