Give 110%. Don’t expect it to be 50/50. I can’t count the number of times a first time co-writer has come into the writing room and said “I’ve got nothing – what have you got?” That approach is not likely to lead to a second date in the real world, so why would it work in the co-writing world? It won’t. Bring your best to every co-write and you will get a reputation for being a very desirable co-writer. Give every write everything you have. And be prepared. You don’t want to show up on a date with slippers and messy hair and then complain why she doesn’t want to go on a second date with you!
Life is not a party. A lot of people have his image of the music business as one big non-stop party. Nothing could be further from the truth. The people who are succeeding are not generally the ones at the party at 4 AM when they have to write the next day. I’ve never once had a professional writer walk into the room and say “Man I’m hungover and I just went to bed at 4 AM”. But, I have had a bunch of aspiring writers do just that. Keep your partying and your work separate. You don’t show up for a date with the homecoming queen and say “Sorry I’m hungover and didn’t sleep”. So, don’t do that in the co-writing world.
Don’t steal from me. If I throw out titles that we don’t use, they remain my titles. You don’t have a right to go write them with someone else. Should go without saying, but it doesn’t, unfortunately. Don’t use lines from our song in another of your songs. Don’t take our title and write it with someone else – even if it was a title you threw out. If we write it, it is now our song. Treat it that way. None of us is allowed to do anything with it, without telling the other one. Consider this as a married couple. None of them alone is not allowed to sell or rent out the house which belongs to both of them and they both purchased it together!
Give me credit as your co-writer. If you are talking about our song, tell people who you wrote it with. I will be doing the same for you and we will both get good publicity. Don’t say “Here’s a song I wrote”. Word gets around. You might actually end up writing by yourself next time.