I thought I would take a moment to tell you (and myself while I’m at it) a few of the things we have to be thankful for as songwriters. Songwriting is the kind of pursuit that often takes place in a vacuum with little or no encouragement and is, by its very nature, solitary. Also, given that only the tiniest percentage of the songs we write ever get to see the light of day by getting cut, it’s easy to get frustrated. The risk is that we tend to forget what a gift being a songwriter actually is. Here are a few reminders.

Be thankful you're a songwriter

1. You’ve got a way of expressing yourself

In the course of living our day-to-day lives, we are subjected to an unpredictable mixture of elation and sadness. No matter what, this is a lot to handle but having the ability to write about it is a huge advantage. Putting your thoughts in a song that will not only help you but also those who hear it, is a wonderful, constructive way of processing your life. Without the ability to write songs, you might never have the luxury of this kind of perspective.

2. You’ve got something you’re passionate about

Many people go through their entire lives without finding something that truly moves them. You’ve got a passion. While your passion for songwriting will make you crazy and plunge you into the depths of despair, it will also bring you great joy and drive you to efforts that you never imagined yourself capable of. This kind of growth can only come from true, heartfelt dedication. Never take this for granted. Being passionate about your songwriting is its own reward. This is not to say that you shouldn’t strive for any and all successes that are out there. However, it’s important to remember every once in a while that you’re lucky to have found something in this world that is so important to you.

3. You’re on a journey

Whether it’s the first time you write a whole song or winning a grammy, every step of your journey as a songwriter should be appreciated. You will only have one first time to see someone listen to something you’ve written and cry. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy each event no matter how small. The danger in putting too much significance on the end game of financial success is that you’ll miss all the incredible moments along the way.


We all know how difficult, discouraging and even scary songwriting can be. Being thankful for all of the good it brings us can help keep things in perspective. Personally, I’m thankful for my high-school piano teacher who nonchalantly asked for the impossible at the end of one of our lessons when he said, “For next week, I’d like you to write a song…”

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9 responses to “Three Reasons To Be Thankful You’re a Songwriter”

  1. Cliff, I think you have advice and observations that are spot-on. You hit the nail on the head with this one.

    Have a great holiday season🎄🎄🎄

  2. You reviewed one of my songs a few years ago at a Taxi Rally entitled, Much Too Beautiful (“I don’t ever want to leave this world, it’s much to beautiful… so I’ll live this life the best way I know how”). Your 3 reasons to be thankful to be a songwriter confirm the essence of this song. Thanks for your encouragement and good advice.

  3. Tami Pockstaller says:

    I appreciate this post. I’ve quit fretting about making any money and started focusing on touching people and having fun with my writing. My husband has always tried to tell me that, bless his heart! Thanks for the reminder. Blessings.

  4. Rick Erhart says:

    Wonderful article. The piano teacher asking you to reach for the ledge above at a time when you didn’t know the ledge was there for you is magnificent. Opening with how the craft can be solitary with little encouragement, remembering to be grateful, then closing with a gem about someone presenting a challenge to create seems to recreate what can be a common cycle. I can be on a bummer and accomplish very little, then count my blessings and presto like magic a valuable and interesting opportunity to improve presents itself. I think being grateful allows me to appreciate and have some satisfaction with my songwriting advancements which then gives me a desire to reach for the next ledge; to try. I’m glad this article came my way, improved my day, that’s all I’ll say. Thanks Cliff

  5. And your comment improved MY day! Thanks Rick!

  6. Cliff, you are a musical genius. Your ability to share your insights in a simple way is much appreciated.

  7. John Carey says:

    Cliff, I follow you regularly and this one really hit home. We have a songwriting support group close to where I live and I brought in a ballad for critique and I received a lot of good feedback . I didn’t notice at the time but a lady that normally gives a lot of feedback on my songs was silent. After the meeting to my surprise she walked up to me crying apologizing for no t being involved in the critique because she couldn’t talk. Now I’m all for financial success but I wouldn’t trade the feeling at that moment for all the money in the world. I feel blessed I was able to create something that could move someone.

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