Transforming Musicians into Songwriters

Don’t Write a Hit

Don’t try to write a “hit song”, write a “cut”... you can avoid “Songwriting Slow Down” by using Next Level Thinking to get out of your songwriting slump…
Don't Write a Hit Write a Cut, avoiding songwriting slow down with next level thinking

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Don’t try to write a “hit song”, write a “cut”… you can avoid “Songwriting Slow Down” by using Next Level Thinking to get out of your songwriting slump…

Every songwriter wants to write a hit song, be immortal… get the fame and fortune prize.

I did too, that’s why I was sabotaging my songwriting, even though I thought I was too cool to dream about hits…

Songwriting Slow Down

I recently had a severe case of Songwriting Slow Down… 

  • feeling productive 
  • writing regularly, 
  • but not finishing mostly finished songs

You know you have it when you find yourself repeatedly playing the same piece of song without changing anything….

Songwriting Slow Down Symptoms Include:

  • Appearing productive without producing anything
  • Avoiding finishing songs / projects
  • Questioning own creative decisions
  • Hesitating to make creative decisions
  • Self Doubt
  • Negative self criticism
  • Denial, rarely notice it’s happening… will deny it if confronted with it, or make excuses

Extreme cases also include: Whining, Making Excuses, Irritating other people…. 

Songwriting Slow Down Causes

In this case I was visualizing income with songwriting royalties… financial security from songwriting… while I was writing (instead of during business planning)

The subconscious script I created:

successful writing = commercially viable = makes $  => “HIT SONG!”

Every Song is an Experiment Some Experiments Fail, Cat about to pounce on a dog, songwriting meme

A Hit Song is

Commercially viable, Mastered, Radio Ready, ready to be licensed for film, television = everyone makes money!

I was trying to write hit songs… so without realizing it, I measured every creative decision against “HITNESS”

I didn’t know why I didn’t like my own lyrics!

When a song isn’t good enough = song isn’t worthy => don’t finish the song

I played around with songs but didn’t really change anything, or finish anything… wrote some lyrics, but didn’t write any songs!

we got this face who needs a plan?, two border collies sitting in the front seats of a car, songwriting meme

Next Level Thinking

When a Plan Fails…try Next Level Thinking…

  • What is my next level? 
  • How do I get there?
  • What do I do next?

Keep asking the first question until you get an actionable answer… then the second and third

“Write a Hit” didn’t work for me because I need:

  • Hit Artist to perform my hit
  • FaceBook or YouTube audience large enough to tip my hit song viral
  • Music Journalists and Bloggers to tell people about awesome my hit song 
  • Music Broadcasters who know they should play my hit song
  • Good story DJs can tell while spinning my hit song


What’s my next level?

I won't do it ever again, I promise... border collie in a cone of shame

Don’t Write a Hit… Write a Cut

New Goal = Write a Cut, a song is recorded for the world to hear

Cut = an artist/band records your song and releases it

Write a song artists want to perform and record.

Write a song that one other person loves, instead of trying to please everyone with a Hit.

Write a song that’s so great I want to record the song!

Success = song is recorded

How to Get There

  • You cut your song
  • Someone else cuts your song
  • How do they hear you
  • How do they cut your song, teach them how to play it

Why would an artist cut my song?

  • They have a song to perform
  • Could be a hit for their audience
  • They don’t have to write it


Co-write with a performer, co-write with a songwriter in a band… 

Think and write about:

  • Why would they write with you
  • What’s in it for them

What to Do Next?

  • Write songs that I want to perform
  • Write songs other artists want to perform
  • Find artists looking for songs
  • Co-write songs with friends, band mates, people I know
  • Co-write songs with performers, new people I need to meet

I can do that!

Now… who do I know that might want to co-write?

Quit Stopping Your Songwriting, 3 stop signs at different angles

What’s your Next Level?

After a little Next Level Thinking, comment on one or all:

What is your next level? 

How do you get there?

What will you do next?

You get songwriter royalties, they get mechanical royalties for production, broadcast, sync licencing,  live performance of the Cut

When a Cut becomes a Hit everybody benefits!

More Songwriting Articles to Get You Writing Cuts You Want to Record…

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Trevor Dimoff

Trevor Dimoff

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

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