"Every little word mattered to me. I have books and books at my house, notepads, front and back. The front was country; the back would be bluegrass, and I'd just fill both sides of these yellow legal pads. I was trying to learn the craft of writing songs," Bentley recently told AmericanSongwriter. "Songs are everything. If you ain't got the song, you ain't got anything."

19 Top 20 hits later, the system seems to be working for Dierks. 11 years after releasing his self-titled major label debut album, even the unreleased songs he wrote on all of his seven studio albums showcase his songwriting skills.

The only thing Bentley enjoys as much as he does writing songs is laying them. "I'm still the same kid that's eaten up with it. The chance to play it for any sort of living, it's unbelievable. For me, back in the day, just playing for free beer, that was the coolest thing ever, like 'I'm gettin' free beer to play music at this gig. Wow. I've made it!' And here I am now, 10 years in, and it's still growing; I get to do this for a living," Dierks said. "There's no other gig like it."

There's nothing like finding a successful formula or two and sticking with them.