Will You Be Ready When Your Songwriter Door Opens?

by Clay Mills
Sep 27, 2022

“He got lucky. That will never happen again.”

After celebrating my first number one song, “Beautiful Mess,” a friend of mine told me that a big successful songwriter spoke these words about me. I can’t blame him, he had been writing big songs for years and he’d seen a lot of young writers come and go. He understood that while it’s not easy to write a hit, and it’s even rarer to write another. That many are not prepared when their songwriter door opens. If you don’t believe that, there are lots of examples of one-hit wonders to back up his theory!

Here’s what usually happens when the songwriter door opens…

A writer writes a great song, has success and the door opens. All of a sudden, artists, producers, and A & R folks notice him and say, “Show us what else you have.” This is where 90% of writers fail.

They play everyone the few songs they have, and often, there are no songs on the same level as the hit they wrote. And so, the door closes. Their success comes before they have developed their skills.

Now here’s a few things that “big successful songwriter” did not know…

I’d been knocking on that door a loooooong time before “Beautiful Mess” became a hit. Therefore, I’d put in my time writing a lot of songs: 750 at that point! Having been raised by a family that believed in hard work, I worked hard to become a better writer. When that songwriter door opened finally, I was able to take advantage of the new opportunities coming my way. I could sit in a room with Lady Antebellum or Darius Rucker and write songs worthy of being on their CDs. I could write new songs worthy of hitting the top of the charts. Now, I didn’t write a great song every day, but I was ready for the gig.

A Hall of Fame writer once said, “Great writers write great songs.”

Marty and I want to help you all become better writers. So that when you write that magical song and the door opens, you will write many more great songs! We will do everything we can at SongTown to help you grow and be ready for the opportunity when your songwriter door opens. We are paying forward what we’ve both been blessed with.

Write on! ~CM

Clay Mills

Clay Mills

Clay Mills is a 16-time ASCAP hit songwriter, producer, and performer. He is the co-founder of SongTown and has 2 Grammy nominations for “Beautiful Mess” by Diamond Rio and “Heaven Heartache” by Trisha Yearwood. Clay is also the co-author of Mastering Melody Writing and The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Co-writing.


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