Words that inspire, amuse and encourage.

Take care of the depth of your ministry and leave the breadth for God to take care of.

John McArthur

The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired but becomes inspired because he is working. Beethoven, Wagner, Bach and Mozart settled down day after day to the job at hand. They didn't waste time waiting for inspiration. Mary Kay Ash

Ernest Newman

It takes more talent to write music, but it takes more courage to write lyrics.

Johnny Mercer

What brings a listener to a song is melody. What keeps them is lyric.

Ralph Murphy

To be a songwriter in Nashville is to have the heart of a poet and the hide of a rhino.

Bob Morrison

The hardest meeting to get with a publisher is not the first meeting. The hardest meeting to get is the second.

Dwight Liles

Songwriting is the way of perpetual want. Songwriters are the blessed/cursed people. You will never have a moment's peace in your life. You will always be wanting the next song.

John Stewart

Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.

Lawrence Kasdan

It takes a lot of courage to show your dream to someone else.

Erma Bombeck

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

If you're not failing now and then, it's a sign you're playing it safe.

Woody Allen

One of the benefits of success with new songs is that some of the other songs will get a chance to see the light of day whereas they wouldn't have before.

Dianne Warren

You ain't that hot when you're hot, you ain't that not when you're not.

Brett James

Focus the emotion but generalize the details.

Dave Clark

More people get struck by lightning each year than have a #1 song.

Chris Wallin

Which do you like more – writing or having written?

Niles Borup

Well-managed hearts and lives are diligent about solitude.

Nancy Beach

To paraphrase Paul, if I speak with a thousand A&R people but have not songs, I am nothing!

Jeff Peabody

If I waited for inspiration every time I sat down to write a song, I would probably be a plumber today.

Barry Mann

Being a good writer is 3% talent and 97% not being distracted by the internet.


There are hot streaks, then there’s a cool off. Then there are peaks for a while. The back side of being hot is as difficult to deal with as the beginning. Actually harder.

Chris Lindsey

Ask a songwriter what his favorite song is he’s written . . . he’ll say “the next one.”

Vince Gill

I got to the top the hard way . . . fighting my own laziness and ignorance every step of the way.

James Thon

Nothing destroys contentment like comparison.

Lloyd Shadrach

I wish there was one grand depot where the artist need only hand in his artwork. As things stand now, one must be half a businessman and I don't know if I can endure this.


The highest price one pays for pursuing any calling or profession is an intimate knowledge of it's ugly side.

James Baldwin

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

Pablo Picasso

When people call something "original," 9 out of 10 times they just don't know the references or original sources involved.

J. Lethem

Writing is an art...but publishing is a business.


When the reader hears strong echoes of his or her own life and beliefs, he or she is apt to become more invested in the story.

Stephen King

Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.

Gustave Flaubert

You start out by re-writing your hero's catalog.

Nick Lowe

The reading of the song is vital. The written word is first always . . . first. Not belittling the music, but it really is a backdrop. To convey the meaning of a song you need to look at the lyric and understand it.

Frank Sinatra

Let me write the songs of a nation and I do not care who writes the laws.


It is the writer's privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart.

William Faulkner

I'm starting to see that there's something about a three and a half minute song that really injects truth deep down into people. Because they hear it over and over again, it becomes part of their thinking. I think, more than ever, I'm starting to be convinced that there really is a great value to what I'm doing on this side of my life.

Chris Rice

I do keep little scraps and I think writing writing-wise I'm probably more of a quilter that a weaver because I get a little scrap here and a little scrap there and I sew them together.

Rich Mullins

Do what speaks to your heart and that'll work it's way down to your wallet.

Craig Wiseman

Over a period of time it's been driven home to me that I'm not going to be the most popular writer in the world, so I'm always happy when anything in any way is accepted.

Stephen Sondheim

Hack writers don’t get writer’s block and paradoxically neither do hungry ones.

Jimmy Webb

To love what you do and feel that it matters - how could anything be more fun.

Katherine Graham

Somebody pointed out that hymnody took a downward turn when we left the great objective hymns that talked about God and began to sing the gospel songs that talk about us.

A.W. Tozer

Sue (Smith) did all the work. I just wrote the music.

Joel Lindsey

Starting out to make money is the greatest mistake in life. Do what you feel you have a flair for doing, and if you are good enough at it, the money will come.

Greer Garson

Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.

Peter Drucker

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.


In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of.

Robert Schumann

As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11

Composing is like driving down a foggy road.

Benjamin Britten

I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by it's tail outside a window and trying to stick to the panes of glass with it's claws.

Charles Baudelaire

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Berthold Auerbach

Copy from one, it's plagiarisim; copy from two, it's research.

Wilson Minzer

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

John Steinbeck

The reason someone writes is not because he wants to say something but because he has something to say.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Somebody said to me, ‘But the Beatles were anti-materialistic.' That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, ‘Now, lets write a swimming pool.'

Paul McCartney

I figure as an artist the best thing you can do is follow your heart - and if your heart is marketable, then you win.

Rodney Crowell

Enjoy the process or get a real job.

Hugh Prestwood on songwriting

No thinking - that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is to write, not to think.

William Forrester (via Sean Connery)

I spend three hours a day writing and the rest of my day getting over it.

Flannery O'Connor

Most people die with their music still un-played. They never dare to try.

Mary Kay Ash

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is that I was made for another world.

C.S. Lewis

All we can do is try to arrange those twenty-six letters in a different way than anyone else has ever done before.

Bob Greene

A songwriter preaches from an obscure pulpit to a faceless congregation but God somehow makes the impact personal.

Dave Clark

Music as a living, to me, is more like sports than we ever want to say. Creativity is a lot like a muscle and you’re gonna have some incredible years when that muscle is at its peak. When that muscle is 19-30 (whatever that scale is in creativity) you’re gonna feel amazing; you’re not gonna get tired during the games; you’re gonna have high output; you’re gonna see your best seasons . . . but . . . it’s gonna wane. You’re gonna have a really good streak for a while . . . it’s gonna go away. I think it would just make this life as a creative so much better if (someone would say): There’s gonna be a beginning that’s gonna suck, there’s gonna be an end that sucks . . . and in the middle it’s probably gonna be really awesome and fun. Things are gonna work and you’re gonna do work that yields results. And then there’s gonna another side of that . . and it’s ok. It’s not your fault; it’s not the industries fault; You didn’t lose anything . . . it just changes. Anyone who gets to do this past 50, you are an anomaly, a unicorn. I think there’s so much grace in it that way. You don’t walk with the shame of “Have I lost it?”

Dave Barnes