“Do what you’re made to do. There’s a lot of country music being made in Nashville, so a lot of people think ‘I can make a living writing that stuff.’ They see other people doing that, and they think it's easy, like following a formula.
“Maybe some people can do that, but most can’t, not if the music isn’t in them. Actually, I think you start to forfeit what is unique to you if you copy what other people are doing. Most successful country songwriters that I know only started having hits after they stopped trying to be like somebody else.
“If you’re a true country songwriter and you write what's natural to you, that’s when it’s going to work. I think people can tell when you’re trying to fit into a certain box, and they recognize what you’re doing as sounding forced.”