What did I achieve by doing FAWM?
I wrote 7 songs last year. This February I wrote 24 songs.
Ah, but are they any good?
Of those 24 maybe 6 are as good as anything I’ve written. My first FAWM song If You’re Here This Morning has already become one of my most downloaded/streamed. I co-wrote songs with people from Texas and California, as well as about 60 of my pupils.
I also had a great time on the forum. I learnt all about strangle disco, chiptunes and mountain dulcimers. I found out that having your zongs busted is not as painful as it sounds and I busted lots of other peoples zongs. I saw one well-known fawmer have an online meltdown and cybersulk, and another suffering from kidney stones and being plagiarised by another band. I tuned in to a podcast only to hear someone say they had “a total man crush” on me before playing one of my songs. I wrote a song using only two strings on the guitar and I challenged others to have a go. About 15 people took me up and wrote some great songs. I got a lot of kind comments about Beatles Songwriting Academy and a few people even used the tips there to write songs. I made virtual friends. I met a great songwriter who lives in the same city as me. Things happened. It was fun.
Things I did right
Paced myself and hit the ground running
I tried to get writing straight away and managed to do a few tracks fairly quickly. That helped a lot, because knowing my temperament if I’d been 5 songs behind by the second week I would have given up. The 1 song every two days is really simple to keep track of.
Had a basic plan for the project
I decided to co-write with some pupils and gather the finished songs as an album. That changed during the month but it was nice to give it some shape. Other FAWMers had goals of writing thumpy palm muted songs, co-writing with their Dad, doing a concept album about Dr Faust or writing a valentine’s song for their wife.
Included my family and my job in it
I didn’t plan it that way, but once I spread the word to my pupils about what I was doing so many were keen, that I was overloaded with song ideas. That meant I could legitimately do my job and FAWM at the same time. Getting my kids to make a mash up track of their toys with me meant that at least Dad wasn’t off on his own for the whole of Feb.
It’s getting to be a habit now, but I gave my FAWM songs an album name (even if I am changing it) and put all my details on them (check out my post on making your song available online if you don’t know how to do this). Many FAWMers are kind enough to make their songs available for free download, but it’s very common to download a great song only to have no clue who wrote it. I’ve been chasing up files, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Anonymous and her song ‘track 2’ is one of my top tunes of the year.
Contributed on forums & left song comments
It’s one of the things that helped me get to know people, and got them interested in my songs and blogs. Doing FAWM is a wonderful experience like going to live on another planet for a month or at least a foreign country if you take time to participate rather than just dump your songs and disappear.