5 Things Songwriters Should Quit


Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more.  He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

It’s hard to quit.  Society says, “never quit.”  Maybe you’ve invested so much in whatever it is that you feel it’s too late to quit.  Pride doesn’t want you to move on.  But sometimes, the only way to win is to quit.  Here are 5 things songwriters should quit doing.

1. Toxic relationships.

If you have “friends” or cowriters who habitually belittle your dreams or always point out why something won’t work, it might be time to find new friends and cowriters.  Yes, we need people that love us enough to be honest with us even when it’s unpleasant.  But some people are energy vampires who will only drag you down.  Figure out who’s who, and act accordingly.

2. Whining.

Don’t be somebody else’s toxic relationship.  A negative attitude not only drives away positive people, it blinds you to opportunity.  If you always focus on the closed door, you might miss the open window.

3. Misaligned cowrites.

You want to write hit country songs, but she wants to write niche novelty songs.  Or you both want to write hits, but his songs sound like 1952 and he refuses to update his sound, meet with publishers, rewrite, or pitch his songs.  Those might be fine “hobby writes,” but you should quit thinking they’re “hit writes.”

4. Lazy artists.

An aspiring artist may have a great voice and be a good writer, but if they don’t want it badly enough, it doesn’t matter.  If they don’t take their career seriously, you can’t take their career seriously, either.

5. Demoing & pitching mediocre songs.

Mediocre songs will not change your life.  But they can take your time and money if you demo them.  Then, if you make a habit of pitching them, you’ll be known as a mediocre writer.  (You don’t always know before writing your song if it’ll be mediocre.  That’s fine.  But you should know it’s mediocre before you demo it.)

Part of the advantage of quitting is that it makes room in your life for better things.  Negative relationships can be replaced with inspiring relationships.  Misaligned cowrites can be replaced with properly-aligned cowrites.  Lazy artists can be replaced with serious artists.  The time and money you spend on mediocre songs can be spent finding, writing, and demoing better songs.

Win by quitting.

God Bless,



I wouldn’t pretend that this list is exhaustive.  What would you add to the “quit list?”


If you like this blog post, please share it with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:  http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

11 thoughts on “5 Things Songwriters Should Quit”

    1. Hey Brent. Really enjoyed reading your post. I lived in dc area. i am much singer-lyricists. I’m negotiating with a publisher right now. Wish me good luck. Check out sample songs on my website at your spare time.


  1. Hi Brent,
    I always enjoy your well-written posts! Found some of your music on Reverbnation this morning! Thoroughly enjoying it–and your lyrics–after reading many of your posts in the past. A couple fresh, strong lines stay with me today and make me smile… From your song, Armadillo: “Plowed me flatter than a West Texas town!” I’m not a Texan, and I’m about to get out of here, thankfully! Yes, West Texas is flat in every way imaginable… Nothing quite like it. The long– and now the short; I’d love to listen in on your live songwriting workshop! Look forward to it!


    1. Hi, Jan. I have a couple coach-writing sessions available. Check under the “coaching” tab under the drop-down boxes.

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