Sometimes people push back when you start talking about songwriting as a "craft", as opposed to referring to it as some type of a divine creative consciousness only certain people have.

There can be an automatic repulsion from some when you mention writing formulas, techniques, tools...Saying that there are formulas and techniques smacks of conformity to some people, and they will often mention the similarities found in something such as country music.  They would get no argument from me if their goal was to write purely for their own gratification in hopes they have a breakout song that is unique in everyway!

But what ABOUT conformity?  What about these formulas?  Why do they exist if they are so abhorrent to the creative process?  Simple: follow the crowd.  These formulas are actually another name for style.  Pandora's Music Genome Project exists to help define and recognize traits that are unique in all the genres and sub-genres of music.  Any particular song or production can have as many as 200-400 traits that define it's appeal.

Because at the end of the day, songwriting is the very same process you followed when you learned your instrument.  Your first note wasn't very pretty, but as you practiced over and over, repeating the same excersises, followed mentors and took lessons...and listened to your favorite performers hour after hour, you became good, then great.  Write everyday!  If you're stuck, pull out the "tools" and finish the song.  Become good and then great!