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The Frettie Journal
A collection of interviews, updates, tips and resources for songwriters.

Fail. Fail again. Then win.

Tips & Resources by Brent Baxter, Pro Songwriter on August 29, 2018

Let me share some failures with you. But don’t worry. There’s a happy ending.

Elvis Presley was booed off stage in Batesville, Arkansas (my hometown). Garth Brooks got passed on by every record label in Nashville.”Bless The Broken Road” was a non-hit single for an artist named Melodie Crittenden in 1998. A songwriter named Brett James gave up on the music biz and moved back to Oklahoma. A young songwriter named Kenny Chesney was told by a cowriter they should hire a demo singer for their song because Kenny “can’t sing.” “Monday Morning Church,” written by two unknown writers, failed to make NSAI’s Pitch-To-Publisher Luncheon.

What a bunch of losers, right? What a bunch of nobodies who never made it and songs that failed miserably.

Of course, we all know that’s not how these stories end.

Garth, Elvis, and Kenny became hugely successful artists, selling millions of records. Brett James started getting cuts, moved back to Nashville, and has written a ton of hits. “Bless The Broken Road” became a multi-week #1 and career song for Rascal Flatts. “Monday Morning Church” went top 5 for Alan Jackson and got me into the music business.

That’s how life often works. Fail. Fail again. Then win.

Obviously, not every song and songwriter that gets rejected will eventually find major success. Honestly, most won’t. Some songwriters have countless “fails” before a win. Some don’t have very many at all.

So, if you have some failures on your ledger... so what? Dust yourself off and try again. Learn from your failures. Fail again. Fail better.

The truth is, we rarely know when we’re close to a success or a breakthrough. We just keep working hard, plugging away. Fail. Fail again...

I know, I know. It’s easy for me to say. I’ve been blessed with some wins to go along with my losses. And I can’t promise you that your next (or first) win is just around the corner. But I can promise you that failing is just part of the process. It’s a part of every success story.

Don't Fear Failure

Maybe it's time to try again.

On September 25, I'm hosting Songwriting Pro's quarterly "Play For A Publisher" event with hit music publisher, John Ozier of Ole Music in Nashville, TN. John has worked with several #1 hit songwriters, and he's landed many, many songs with major artists. This is YOUR opportunity to connect face-to-face with a hit music publisher and have him hear YOUR song! And since it's an online event, it doesn't matter where in the world you live.


Ozier P4P Poster 9 18

God bless,


PS- Thanks for stopping by Frettie! I appreciate it. As a matter of fact, I want to give you a special little something just for your visit. It's my FREE ebook "Think Like A Pro Songwriter," and it reveals valuable I-learned-it-the-hard-way-so-you-don't-have-to tips to help you succeed at the art, craft and business of songwriting. You can download it at

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