SongTown USA: Don't Wait For Inspiration

by Marty Dodson
Posted Jan 30, 2014 at 1:33am

Often, people ask me when, how and where I find inspiration.

I generally tell them that I sit down on a couch every day with a blank word document on the screen in front of me and a guitar in my lap.

If inspiration doesn't show up at 10:30 when my co-write starts, then I start going through my idea file or playing my guitar.

Still no inspiration? I pick an idea that I believe I can make into a hit. And I start writing it. I invite inspiration to join if she would like, but I don't wait on her. I can't afford to.

Publishers don't give you the opportunity to write only when she shows up in advance. They expect regular output and they don’t wait for a muse to strike.

I pick a spot and I begin. Sometimes that's all it takes, and inspiration shows up promptly. Other times, she takes her own sweet time. She almost always finds me. Somewhere along the road, she shows up and helps me bring the song home.

I've decided that, perhaps, inspiration joins those who start the journey without her more readily than she does those who sit and wait to ride her coattails. It makes more sense to me that way anyway.

Who would you want to help? Someone who sits and waits for help, or someone who is doing everything they can, but just need a little assistance?

So, my answer to the question of when where and how I find inspiration is this: I don't find her. I begin and she finds me.

Whether inspiration is there or not, begin. Simply write on and trust that she will join you when she can.

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a songwriter, corporate trainer and entrepreneur. His songs have been recorded by artists such as Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell and The Plain White T’s. He once bumped Psy out of the #1 spot on the K-Pop charts but that’s another story for another day. Marty plays Taylor and Batson guitars. Follow him here: www.facebook.com/songtownusa, at www.facebook.com/martydodsonsongwriter and at Twitter @SongTownUSA or visit martydodson.com