People To Thank This Thanksgiving: A Songwriter’s Perspective


Being grateful and giving thanks is a discipline that I try to practice daily.

From a songwriting perspective, here are some things I believe all of us creative types need to be thankful for:

The Believers

My mom was a huge believer in me and my music.  When everyone else was telling me “no”, she encouraged me to keep on and told me how talented I was.  My wife believes in me and encourages me all the time.  Kim Williams believed in me and gave me my first shot in the music business. I have a publisher in town who has believed in me and challenged me to write better for more than 15 years now.  I am SO grateful for each of them because they kept (and keep) me going when I thought about quitting.

The Non-Believers

I have a LONG list of people who didn’t think I could make it in the music business.  Hundreds of times, they rejected my songs and me personally as a writer. Instead of giving up, they made me even more committed to proving them wrong.  A little bit of vindictive revenge can be a good thing.  I still see many of those people at industry functions and it is very sweet to shake their hands and share my accomplishments with them.

Anyone Who Will Listen

I believe songwriters should be thankful for anyone who will listen to their music.  From the casual fan who walks in to a writer’s night off the street to the uber fan who would buy anything we put out, we owe a debt to the people who listen to our music.  Without them, songwriting would be a thankless pursuit.  When they buy, stream or show up, they are validating what we do.

A Higher Power

Songwriting is a gift that not everyone is given.  Whatever your belief system, I would suggest that most of us believe that extra-ordinary abilities come from some source outside of ourselves.  Wherever you think that comes from, be thankful and grateful that you showed up on this planet with the skill set that allows you to create music that never existed before you arrived.

Your Support Team

Even if they are not real “believers” yet, most songwriters have a support team around us that includes spouses, significant others, children, and extended family.  Thank those people.  It’s not always easy to love a songwriter.  And it’s not always easy to help support one until they start making money.  I’m thankful for the people who supported me financially and emotionally while I chased this crazy dream.  I’d encourage you to give them a big hug or phone call and express your gratitude today.

Today, take a break from the music and just be thankful that you get to do what you do and show lots of love to the people around you who keep you going.

Blessings from SongTown ~Marty


Marty Dodson
Co-Founder SongTown
Songwriter/Producer/Thankful Dude

40 thoughts on “People To Thank This Thanksgiving: A Songwriter’s Perspective

  1. I appreciate your heart and transparency, Marty. I was actually brought to tears, as I can relate to much of what you described. You and Clay do a great job of encouraging and building up. Thank you for that. I am very grateful for the second chance I’m being given at Songtown after having left Nashville years ago. Happy Thanksgiving and God’s blessings!

  2. I give thanks for SongTown practically daily. Without a doubt I wouldn’t be the songwriter I am without you guys – from community to classes to personal contact I really appreciate everyone in my life bc of ST. Happy thanksgiving to you.

  3. Marty and Clay… I hope you both know how much you are loved. We appreciate and are thankful for all you do to keep our songwriting flame burning. You fuel our creativity in ways most of us could never have imagined. Thank you!!

  4. On a personal level, as well as songwriting, thanks to you, Clay, my co-writers, and all the ST peeps. Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

  5. Thank you Marty for this beautiful post. As someone who had their dreams of becoming a recognised artist & songwriter cut short by a series of life’s events outside their control I still give thanks daily for the blessings I have in my life. I am also am a firm convert to that Garth song ‘Unanswered Prayers’. I just hit 60 and am re connecting with my music & songwriting – this time around I am blessed to have the total support of my wife & family and I can do this just for ME thus time. Nobody to please – except myself. Life works in mysterious ways. Thanks again to Marty and all at Songtown where EVERYONE is treated equally and wiry SO much respect.
    Here is my favourite gratitude quote

    “At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think about with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer

  6. I, too am thankful for “getting over myself” and finding the group at SongTown to help me grow and polish what I’ve always wanted to do. There’s been so much growth already and it’s only just begun. I LOVE the feeling when I’m writing, when something spills out of me and I have no power over how that made it to the page… but I know it was meant to be there! Thankful for these posts and encouraging words!

  7. Hi Marty and Clay! I also agree with you that any of our musical gifts do come from some kind of a higher power. I choose to call mine God, so I, from the bottom of my musical heart do thank you Marty for sharing this with us. Happy Thanksgiving! Duncan..

  8. Many thanks to you, Clay Mills, Clay Meyers, Michael and Jamie, the pseudonymous pro feedbackers, and all the others who have helped me improve my sonwrifing here at Songtoown.

  9. Marty Dobson, Thanks for sharing beautiful thoughts from your personal/professional life experiences. As President of Knoxville Songwriters Association, I can appreciate the inspiration, challenges, and victories associated with the craft of songwriting. Kim Williams was having songs critiqued at our KSA meetings before he took the bold step of entering the Nashville scene. Also, I appreciate Marty Dobson and Clay Mills for sharing inspirational facts and challenges during a songwriters’ workshop I attended. Happy Thanksgiving to all. // Edna Riddick

  10. Happy Thanksgiving Marty! I am grateful to you all and to the great friends that I have made through Songtown. Thank you for the gift of community and belonging.

  11. The Believers – Thank you SongTown members and Marty & Clay!
    The Non-Believers – Almost everyone else – maybe I’ll thank them when I’m on the other side of the mountain 🙂
    Anyone Who Will Listen – Thank you SongTown members and Marty & Clay!
    Higher Power – Thank you, Jesus. Please help me to get better and be able to devote more time to do this.
    Support Team – Thank you SongTown members and Marty & Clay!

    Also, thanks to my sons who do care about my love of songwriting and encourage me and are happy when I show them my successes like winning a song contest or getting a really good demo done. I also pray they continue their piano lessons through high school so they have a great skill that will help them immensely in life and if they decide to be songwriters as well.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everybody at SongTown!

  12. You and Clay are among the people for whom I’m grateful. You have given me a realistic perspective on what I need to do to get better as a songwriter, a boatload of helpful mentoring and instruction and a kind, friendly hand of support and encouragement. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. I love that message and am a firm believer that our gifts, whatever that may be, come from above!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  14. Nice one, Marty. And Happy Thanksgiving to all my American cousins from a Canuck who isn’t gettin’ any turkey today. (Canadian Thanksgiving is in October.)

  15. Happy Thanksgiving Marty. Thank you for all the encouragement and helpful teachings you share with all of us here at Songtown. I feel like I know you even though we haven’t met yet. You’ve been very gracious to bare your soul in your attempt to make us all better song writers and to prepare us for that day we all hope for. That day when, we too, can make a living from our songs.

  16. All great “thankful” reminders. My piano teacher told me when I was about 11 years old, “You should let people listen to you play, even if you have to pay them!” Ha. I had no idea what she meant at the time, but it always stuck with me. She was trying to get me over my hesitancy to play in public. I’m still learning that lesson. I’m thankful for Songtown for helping me continue to “get over myself”. Hopefully I won’t have to pay anyone to listen for too much longer. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. I am grateful for Songtown and all the good you do for creative forces.
      Townes Van Zandt, when asked about how he got his songs, said the good ones he didn’t write, they were just given to him from above, it was just his goal to write them down 🙂

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