How To Keep Your Head In The Songwriting Game

Man vs Row

If you’re a professional songwriter living in Nashville, it’s pretty easy to keep your head in the game. It’s really easy to keep your goals in mind because it’s in your face every day.
That’s very much NOT the case if you’re working a regular job in another town. Add to that any family obligations you may have, and it can be pretty easy to stop thinking like a songwriter. One day you might look up and realize it’s been two months or more since you’ve really even picked up the pen or guitar.
Yes, there are natural ebbs and flows to the creative life. And, yes, there are times when family needs will limit your writing time (I couldn’t do any co-writing for about 3 months right after Ruby Jean was born and Emily needed me at home every night). Hey, stuff happens.
I suggest keeping your head in the game by appointment and subscription.



I don’t just start thinking about my cowrite as I’m walking in the door of the writer’s room. I’m thinking about it ahead of time. The appointment forces me to spend time gathering ideas, prepping, etc.

Solo Writing:

It’s very easy to skip out on solo writing in the midst of daily life. Try to have a standing appointment with yourself, even if it’s just every other week. Hopefully, you’ll find some other times, too. But if nothing else, you (and your family) know that “every other Thursday night” is your writing time.



Get informed, educated, entertained and inspired- all from your inbox. I humbly suggest Man vs. Row, but there are several other good blogs, too.


I haven’t found an abundance of songwriting podcasts, but I can recommend Daredevil Productions and Life In The Woods. Podcasts are great for your commute to and from work.


Try Rick Barker’s “25 Minutes From Nashville.” It’s good stuff from a guy who has had a hand in a lot of success.  There are other channels out there, too.  Just look around.


Check out American Songwriter and Music Row Magazine, among others. Turn the hall bathroom into your own personal “inspiration zone.”

What about you? How do you keep your head in the game?

God Bless,


This Thursday- Learn How To Make Your Songs More Cut-Worthy!

You’re invited to be a part of an exclusive ONLINE Google Hangout I’ll be hosting on Thursday, October 23, from 8pm-9pm Central. That’s this week! In this live event, I’ll teach from my new book, “Cut/able: Lessons In Market-Smart Songwriting.” Not only will you receive a FREE copy of “Cut/able” with your ticket, I’ll answer your questions face-to-face as we discus how you can make your songs more market-smart. Space is very limited, so click on the image below to find out more! (Or click here.)

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