Songwriting

The Little Victories

by Marty Dodson
Jul 30, 2016

I couldn’t possibly count the number of beginning songwriters, when asked “Who would you pitch this to?”, give answers like: Keith Urban, Katie Perry, Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks, Rhianna, etc.

I’ve been writing professionally for almost 20 years, I have had multiple #1 songs and over 100 songs recorded, yet I have never had a song recorded by any of those artists. What does that tell you about the realistic (or not) nature of those goals?

To think that someone without a cut is going to start with a cut on a huge artist like that is VERY unlikely. And, shooting that high is only going to leave you frustrated and disappointed.

It’s kind of like buying a lottery ticket and COUNTING on seeing the winning number in your hand the next morning. You are going to stay frustrated if you count on winning the lottery to make your career in music happen.

I always encourage people to set smaller, realistic goals. Our own PJ Ju has the goal of making 1 penny on her music this year. I have no doubt that will happen. If she set her goal at making $100,000 on her music this year, she might wind up feeling let down. Reaching that goal will encourage her to dream a little bit bigger next year.

Your goal could be to get your first hold on a song this year. Or, it could be to get a cut on an independent artist. It could be to write with a staff writing at a publishing company. Both are goals that can likely be accomplished if you continue writing better and better songs and you work really hard.
Another plus of setting realistic goals is that IF a huge cut comes along that you weren’t counting on, you have a bonus celebration. If it doesn’t happen, no problem. You weren’t even thinking about it.

When you write a great song, think about all of the REALISTIC places you could possibly get that song cut? Then, do your best to get that song to all of those people or anyone connected to them. You’ve got a much better shot at getting a cut on a new artist, a Canadian artist, or an independent artist.

And one small cut can lead to bigger cuts down the road. Set realistic goals, meet them, and then set bigger ones. Those little victories will keep you moving down the road.

Write on.
Marty Dodson

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

share

Write Better Songs Faster

Songwriting Success is Clay & Marty's 10-day video series that will help you level-up your songs and finish them faster. Enter your email address to get started!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.