SongTown USA: It's About Heart

If you ever get discouraged - with your writing, with your job, or even with your situation in life, I want to give you three words to hang onto. It's. About. Heart.

I learned early in life from watching my mother that the key to life is not how much money you have, how much talent you have or what kind of situation you find yourself in.

The key is having the HEART to drag yourself out of the mud and make something of whatever you have. I'm not talking about making lemonade when life hands you lemons.

I'm talking about making lemonade when you don't have ANY of the ingredients.

My father began struggling with his drug addiction when I was about 10 years old. By the time I was 12, he couldn't keep a job. My mom had not gone to college. She had married him when she was 21. She didn't have many job options.

She started a daycare in our home so that she could be home in the mornings and afternoons with my brother and I. When it became clear that we weren't going to be able to survive from the income from the daycare, she got a job as a nurse’s assistant. While she worked full-time, she started nursing school.

Over the course of 3 years, she got her degree and a great job that supported us through college and kept her and my dad afloat until she passed away.

I learned by example that the ticket to succeeding in life is not talent or luck. It's heart. Heart causes you to persevere when you feel like quitting. It causes you to do everything in your power to succeed at WHATEVER you are trying. Heart keeps you going when ALL signs indicate that it can't be done. Heart defies all odds. It trumps all cards. And heart CAN’T be stopped.

Write on!

Marty Dodson

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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:, at and at Twitter @SongTownUSA or visit

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