How Hard Is It to Write a Country Song?

Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Jimmy Yeary won song of the year honors at Wednesday night's (Nov. 6) CMA Awards for writing the Lee Brice hit, "I Drive Your Truck."

Have you ever wondered if it's hard to write a great country song? The answer is, "Very hard."

I know that because I asked all the top songwriters I saw at Tuesday's BMI Country Awards what the most difficult part was about their job, and they all had so much to say about the starting, finishing, second-guessing and angst of the entire process.

Lee Brice: "I guess finishing it is the hardest part. It's so easy to start a song and so easy to get a groove going and get one halfway done. But if you stop before it's done, it seems almost impossible to get back into it."

Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild: "Chasing a good idea. Then following through with that good idea. Saying something that means something is the hardest part. And the older I get, the harder it gets. Maybe it's because I put more pressure on myself because I want to be better and better and better. But, to me, it gets harder and harder and harder."

Dean Dillon: "Finding a great hook. The rest of it's easy."

Kacey Musgraves: "Sometimes finishing a song is the hardest part for me. Other times, something clicks, and they happen really fast. But it's just different every time."

Justin Moore: "It's hard as hell to write a song. The entire process is hard. But if I had to pick one piece that's the hardest, it's having the idea. To me, coming up with a great idea is always hard. I could go write a song in 10 minutes right now, but it wouldn't mean it was worth crap."

Kip Moore: "There are no easy parts in songwriting. Making yourself dig deeper for something better. It's so hard to dig deeper to get better lines and to never settle."

Brantley Gilbert: "There's a lot of pressure on you every time you put pen to paper. So making it good, that's always the challenge, but that's the beauty of it, too. It's therapeutic."

Cole Swindell: "For me, it's just wondering if it's any good and wondering if that's what people want to hear. You gotta write what you feel, but sometimes you second guess yourself. Like, 'Is this the right line, or could I say this better?'"

Lucy Hale: "Taking my guard down. Breaking down the walls. So being completely vulnerable, for me, is the most difficult part because it's so new."

Thomas Rhett : "As writers, you write all the time, so you feel like you're out of ideas a lot. So finding an idea is tough. You go into a writing room with a lot of song ideas, but I co-write all the time, and sometimes it's hard to agree."

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