Schlitz' first hit as a songwriter was Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler", which became a crossover country hit upon its release in 1978, later becoming one of Rogers' signature songs. Since then, Schlitz has written numerous country songs and penned several hits for other country artists. Among his biggest hits are two Number One songs which he co-wrote with Paul Overstreet, "Forever and Ever, Amen" by Randy Travis and "When You Say Nothing at All" by Keith Whitley.
United States President George H. W. Bush also commissioned Schlitz to write a theme song for his "Points of Light" program.This song, "Point of Light", was a No. 3 country hit for Travis in 1991.