Songwriters: Inspiration For Those Days Of Doubt

Darius Rucker, songwriting doubt songtown


Songwriters… When you have those days of songwriting doubt and wonder why you are chasing your dream….


I wasn’t exactly young that day I realized I wanted to be a full-time songwriter. I knew no professional songwriters. Also, I was in my mid thirties and had little money to support my dream. I was the poster child for songwriting doubt!

12 years later, after much persistence, I get to hear artists like Lady Antebellum, BabyFace, Darius Rucker or Keith Urban singing my songs for thousands of folks!

If you ever doubt dreams can come true, remember, if I can do it, anyone can.

Marty Dodson and I founded SongTown to share with you all the little pieces that go into the craft and art of writing songs and, yes, the steps we’ve taken along the path to becoming professional songwriters. Hopefully as we share with you our journey, it will make yours a little easier. I know this beautiful community makes me feel inspired daily. Watching our members grow their writing/co-writing skills and land their own big recordings with superstars like Tim McGraw has been amazing.

Thanks Chip Gall for sending me the video below of Darius Rucker and Keith Urban performing my song “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.” I never knew this video existed. And it’s a definite memory I’ll cherish and recall on my days of songwriting doubt!

Write On!  ~Clay

clay mills, hit songwriter, songtown

Clay Mills is a 16-time ASCAP hit songwriter. He has 2 Grammy nominations and is the co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Co-writing. 


29 thoughts on “Songwriters: Inspiration For Those Days Of Doubt

  1. Thanks for the continued inspiration Clay! When I’m able to do something on writing every day, it makes a big difference. I’m not in the position to do that now, but that day’s coming. In the meantime, I’m trying to learn as much as possible in Songtown University! Write On and Rock on!

  2. Back in the Middle Ages, when alchemists were trying to refine base metals into gold, it wasn’t to get rich; it was to refine themselves, performing the same process/ritual over and over. It’s always the inner work that is the most important.

  3. Thanks Clay. I needed that reminder. I have “up” days and “down” days. Up when writing comes easy and down when it doesn’t. But I keep plugging along because I love it when I’ve finished a song 🙂 Love your song,”Don’t think I don’t think about it.” Nice work!

  4. Great story. What was the timeline…from the time you DECIDED until you had your first song sung professionally? Hopefully, I’ll be able to share a story about a 50-something grandma some day….of course it may be 60 or 70 something by then, but….oh well.

    1. Go for it Lisa! I’m a sixty something and writing every day. For me it’s not so much about having some one else record what I have written as much as it is about using the craft to distill my thoughts and emotions into the most effective form of communication possible. If others get it than I’ve done my job if not, time to keep at the rewrite until it works.

      1. I was glad to see this post today. I may be the resident “old geezer” here (75) and had thought about hanging it up, but thanks to a little pep talk from Marty last week, I’m going to keep writing. Marty reminded me–and I know Clay would say the same–that if songwriting brings you joy, you’re a successful songwriter. Commercial success is probably what most of us dream of–who wouldn’t want to hear there song on the radio? But I continue to get pleasure from putting words and music together, and that, for now, is reward enough. As Clay says, “Write on!”

        1. Danny I so agree with you. Commercial success to me is not the goal, but songwriting is a challenge and a joy at the same time – to create something that expresses your innermost self is the true measure of success, in my view. You are never too old to create and pursue your dreams. Thanks to Marty and Clay to give us this forum and the tools to hone our craft, as well as the inspiration we sometimes need to keep going.

  5. Thank you so much Clay for the inspiration. Thank you for sharing! Guys/whoever is reading this with a big dream and in need of inspiration, I advise you to read ‘The Magic’ from Rhonda Byrne. It is a 28 day gratitude challenge and it reminds me to be thankful for all the inspiration I get when I write songs. Thanks again Clay!

    1. Thank. You guys so much for this article. Wow!! I’ve never felt so blessed to be a songwriter and to keep pressing forward towards the goal. I am also an ASCAP writer. Thanks for the encouragement.

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