by Marty Dodson
Oct 8, 2016
One of the most common questions people ask me is “Do you think I have what it takes to do this?” They are usually referring to their music. In reality, the current quality of their music is not the primary factor in answering that question.
When I got my first writing deal, I didn’t have any songs that my publisher wanted to pitch. And, none of the songs I brought in ever got cut. Zero. I got signed on potential. My publisher told me that he signed me because:
1) I was a hard worker
2) I was driven – I wanted it badly.
3) I was teachable and willing to learn.
Notice he did NOT say that I wrote hit songs, that my songs were better than the ones on the radio, that I was the best writer he had ever heard, etc. None of those things were true.
Still, he predicted success for me based on those 3 factors. If they have those qualities, almost anybody can learn how to write a hit if they put in enough time. Will it happen quickly? Not likely. It took me almost 6 years to get a hit. And it took Clay around 7. So, instead of playing me, or anyone else one of your songs and asking if you have what it takes, do a little self-inventory. Ask yourself:
1) How hard and how long am I willing to work at this?
2) How bad do I want it?
3) Am I honestly willing to learn, or do I think I have it all figured out?
The answers to THOSE questions are better gauges of your chances of success in songwriting or in anything you try. Work your tail off, want it with everything you’ve got and soak up every chance to learn. If you do all that, you’ve got this. Write On!
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