How To Make A Fortune In Songwriting



Fortune (noun): Chance or luck as an external, arbitrary force affecting human affairs.

Synonyms: chance, accident, coincidence, serendipity, destiny, fortuity, providence, happenstance, luck, (esp. good luck).

Example: "This astounding piece of good fortune that has befallen me."

I've had some very good years as a songwriter and some generous record and publishing deals. But the older I get, the more I'm thinking about these other definitions of “fortune”. As you can guess, I'm not talking about money here as much as the things that happen in life. The experiences that build your real fortune.

My Fortune

I've been fortunate enough to grow up in an era of life-changing music. To witness the Beatles, to turn on a transistor radio ( you may have to look this one up ) and hear Smokey Robinson followed by Roy Orbison followed by The Beach Boys. To see Jimi Hendrix and Chicago, The Faces, and Elton from the beginning . Thanks to an old friend and amazing writer, Shelly Peiken for writing a piece last week that sent me down this road.

Fortunate to share a stage with Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers, The Allman Brothers, Hall and Oates, Peter Frampton and many more in my days with The Faith Band.

Fortunate to meet the Stones, Sting, Wynonna and so many artists that I admire.

Fortunate to work with some gifted songwriters, producers and publishers that helped me to improve my craft.

Fortunate to have lifelong friendships with creative people I'm still in awe of.

Fortunate enough to hear an idea I shared actually sung by the voices in my head and the artists in my early dreams. Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Diana Ross, and Chaka Khan are a few that make up my fortune.

Fortunate to see a couple #1 records and to write with current artists.

Fortunate to realize a dream of writing songs in all different styles of music and have them actually connect.

Fortunate to have songwriting take me places in the world I never thought I'd see. Especially 20 some trips to London over the years, a place I love more than any other.

Fortunate to have family and people in my life to help keep all of the above in perspective. This one is HUGE!

Most recently, fortunate to be able to coach and encourage writers and artists and have them feel I’ve shared something worth passing on.

Check list

Chance, accident, coincidence, serendipity, destiny, fortuity, providence, happenstance. Yep.

Luck, fate, destiny, predestination, the stars, serendipity, karma, kismet. Check!

All of these things went into building my fortune.

As Benjamin Desrali said, “Diligence is the mother of good fortune”.

I've worked hard at it but so many good things happened as a result of chance, coincidence, providence and luck. Right place, right time, stars aligned, and my personal favorite: answered prayers.

Your Fortune?

If you're networking, social, or old school, if  you've ever written a song that connected with another human being... you're making your fortune as far as I'm concerned. Show up, build relationships and it starts to grow.

May fortune smile on your songs and your life in 2014!

How would you define your fortune?


-Mark Cawley


Nashville , TN


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Mark Cawley of iDoCoach

Mark Cawley of iDoCoach


Mark Cawley's songs have appeared on more than 15 million records. Over a career based in LA, London, and Nashville his songs have been recorded by an incredibly diverse range of artists. From Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Wynonna, Diana Ross and Chaka Khan to The Spice Girls, Tom Scott, Kathy Mattea, Paul Carrack, Will Downing and Pop Idol winners in the UK. He has had #1 records in the UK and throughout Europe as well as cuts in Country, Jazz & R & B. His groundbreaking website Song Journey created with Hall of Fame writer Kye Fleming was the first to mentor writers from around the world one-on-one online. He is currently writing and publishing as well as helping writers and artists worldwide with a one-on-one co-active coaching service, iDoCoach.