Transforming Musicians into Songwriters

Don’t Act Like a Broke Songwriter

Build your songwriting career… focus on solutions instead of problems and get to work on fixing yourself, your career and your songwriting!

Table of Contents

You’re hurting your musical or songwriting career without even realizing it.

Focus on songwriting solutions instead of songwriting problems!

It’s not like anyone (else) will tell you, usually people are too polite to point out the obvious (to them) so you could continue to do this without ever recognizing what you’re doing.

If you’re focused on problems instead of solutions, you’re going to fail…

Don’t worry, I’ve got you!

The problem is subtle, which is why it’s so common.

I first noticed after hearing conversations with other songwriters so I started calling the problem the:

Broke Songwriter

I kept having conversations and reading FB posts like:

  • I want free [insert: publicity, ]
  • What’s the best free … DAW, app, songwriting tool
  • What’s the best cheap… keyboard, app, songwriting tool
  • But I don’t have the money to…
  • Can’t afford to record in a professional studio
  • Can’t afford to market my songs
  • Give me this, give me that that

You’ve probably heard these and similar examples before:

  • Music isn’t as good as it used to be
  • Internet has doomed music
  • You can’t make it in the music business anymore
  • It’s the music business’s fault I haven’t made it

Tragically, these musicians and songwriters aren’t going to make it…. they are doomed to unsuccess

And they don’t know it.

What They’re Doing Wrong

Here’s what they’re doing wrong and how to make sure you don’t become one of them!

(It’s not too late if you’ve done it)

They’re focused on the problem instead of focusing on solutions…

Instead of doing something about their situation, they’re complaining and honestly nobody wants to work with a complainer.

Nothing New Happens in your Comfort Zone, Border Collie sleeping, songwriting meme,songwriting advice that makes sense

The Broke Songwriter is actually telling people:

  • I’m an amateur
  • I have no idea how much work this really takes
  • I don’t know what I’m doing
  • I’m not serious about songwriting or music or myself or my career
  • I’m so special I shouldn’t have to do the work that everyone else does
  • I am not willing to invest in myself

They are focusing on problems instead of solutions.

The solution is usually to figure out

  1. What you want,
  2. How to get there, and then
  3. Get to work…

Here’s an awesome example, instead of complaining about “not enough time” to record a song in his home studio, Chris White used his lunchtime to his advantage. He used an old laptop, free software, a USB microphone and his own mixing skills to record a song during his lunch breaks… in his car.

He created an opportunity and used the story behind his recording process to get attention on the internet… 52k views on the video and his channel has 46k Subscribers now….

Check out his video…

The World Runs on WIIFM

What’s In It For Me = what do I get out of it?… why should I care?

Here’s the Brutal Truth, when you post on FaceBook, people see it and wonder WIIFM

You put out a new song… people see a post or ad or link to the YouTube video or Spotify link and…

They wonder: WIIFM?

Everyone’s busy and short on time so you’re asking a lot to get them to spend time on your music unless you tell them why it’s good for them… tell them what’s in it for them.

You subscribed to epicsongwriting emails because I offered you something you want…

(What do you mean you missed How to Write a Song Chorus? …. Click here!)

Please Understand

  • Nobody cares if you’re broke
  • They don’t care about your music
  • Nobody cares about you (in your audience, hopefully your friends and family are supportive and actually care!)
You wrote a dog song should I be impressed, cat's angry face, songwriting meme

People Care About Themselves… Not You!

People are WIIFM (what’s in it for me)… this isn’t a criticism or being judgemental, it’s just how it is!

Sure you might get a friendly helpful hint (because it makes them feel smart or fell good about helping you), but don’t expect some recording executive to hear the potential in your desperate plea for help getting a:

  • Recording contract
  • Job as a songwriter at a music publisher
  • Or an all expenses paid trip to “Success”

Unless there’s something in it for them… you’re out of luck.


So stop focusing on problems… focus on solutions.

Negativity is a turnoff…

Who would you help (or want to work with)?

1.”I can’t afford to record my songs”


2. “I’m saving up to record an album”

What About:

1. “What’s the best free DAW?”


2. “What’s the best DAW for me to start learning?”

What’s the difference?

Focused on the:




A performance demo recorded on your phone and posted on YouTube is a legitimate way to start. It might look and feel amateur, but if that’s where you are right now then just get started!

Your song isn't stuck you're looking at it wrong, border collie upside down on a couch, songwriting meme

Action Steps

Start With The Solution

  • Start with a goal
  • Start creating a plan
  • Do something, Test It and Try It and Adjust It
  • Work with what you have

Solve problems instead of examining the problem

  • Imagine “What if it was easy?” to 
  • Imagine your solution steps without all the things that won’t work
  • Don’t shoot down every idea, that’s complaining again!

Work at the level you’re at… right now

Don’t skip steps, build to success.

Get Help

Nobody is successful on their own… ask for help, pay for help, build a team!

Stop Worrying About It!

Imagine how your life could be better… then get to work


Nobody wants to hear about your problems, or your troubles.

You can craft your problems into a compelling story later when you have it under control, but for now find a better way to frame it.

  • Focus on solutions, instead of problems.
  • Pay attention to what you want, instead of what you don’t have.
  • Focus on action instead of giving in to complaining.

Music is a journey… enjoy the ride!

More Articles to Help You Straighten Out Your Songwriting

Leave a comment to help other songwriters:

What’s a solution that you’re working on?

PS. Don’t phrase it like a problem, phrase it like a solution!

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Trevor Dimoff

Trevor Dimoff

Trevor Dimoff has taught, played and written music professionally for the last 25+ years.

If you can play songs,
you can learn to write songs…

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Lyrics, Melody & Chords...

Learn a deliberate songwriting process for free...

How to Write a Song Chorus,
the lyrics, melody & chords