The Reasons I Write Songs

by Marty Dodson
Jul 22, 2016

I once had a friend who told me he was going to write a book. Here is how our conversation went:

Him: “I’m going to write a book”

Me: “What will it be about?”

Him: “I don’t know. Anything.”

Me: “What do you feel like you have to say?”

Him: “Nothing. I just want a boat.”

Me: “You’re going to write a book about nothing so you can buy a boat?”

Him: “Don’t you think that will work?”

Me: “Not sure that’s the best plan to get a boat.”

I was 20 at the time and he was 50. Even then, I knew that a writer has to have something to say before anyone is going to throw down money to buy it.

I know – some of you are going to say that Jerry Seinfeld made millions off of a TV show about nothing. But, that is false. His show was actually about life. And he had something to say about it every week. It wasn’t always deep, but it pointed out a truth about life on earth.

I was thinking back on that story today and it reminded me of some of the reasons I write.


1) I feel like I have something to say. I grew up in some difficult circumstances. I believe that getting through them gave me some insight that can help other people.

2) I want to bring a little “light” into the world. As a teenager, there was a lot of “darkness” from anger, depression, and addiction in my home. I try to write things that might bring light into someone’s life or just into their day.

3) I love music. I can’t remember a time in my life that didn’t include music. I would listen to the radio in amazement wondering how those songs were written and recorded.

4) Words fascinate me. Putting words together in different combinations to say things I have never heard before is a challenge to me and is inspirational.

5) Creating still feels like magic to me. Walking into the room with someone and leaving several hours later with a new song that we both love is like no other feeling on earth. Each new one inspires me to try to write one even better the following day.

Those are the main reasons I write. I do get paid for it, but I’d still do it even if I didn’t.

Write on.
Marty Dodson

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


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.