My favourite month of the year is February. It is February Album Writing Month. The idea is to challenge yourself to write 14 songs in 28 days. 14 songs is enough for an album plus a couple of spares :-) Since discovering FAWM back in 2020, I have fallen in love with it. The ethos and community spirit of the site is amazing and so inspirational.
The idea of FAWM is that you should write, write, write. The most important thing is that you write. it doesn't matter how good or bad your song is, as long as you write a song. Too often, songwriters are so critical of their work that they don't even finish songs they start. We end up with piles of ideas that we never use because we couldn't turn it into a perfect song. That's pretty wasteful. Song writing is like a muscle: You need to work on it if you want to get better. Nobody expects someone to say: I think I might take part in the Olympics this year. We all find that ludicrous. We find it obvious that they would need to spend hours and hours training, getting better, polishing their techniques, falling over multiple times before finally. slowly, getting better and better. Yet with art most people, including many songwriters, think that you either have the skill or you don't and that if you write a bad song, it means you are not a good songwriter. But they are wrong. You have to work on your craft to get better.
It certainly is what I try very hard to remind myself of. And FAWM really helps with that. It has fun challenges such as Skirmishes, where you are given a topic and have to write and record a song, ANY song, in an hour. Other challenges might give you a chord progression or a tarot card as a starting point. You can collaborate with people you have never met.
And on top of that, once you have posted your songs, people listen and comment on them. There is only 1 rule in FAWM that matters: Be kind. If you don't like a song, don't say anything. Everyone understands the songs people post are mostly rough demos, ideas for songs that are not polished yet. So the feedback is always positive. Every song, even bad ones, has a good line, or a good melody bit or chord progression. It is all about the song, not the performance.
So, February is over for another year. I managed to get to 11 songs. Not quite 14 but that's the great thing: it is not a competition. Some people post over a hundred songs. Others write only 1. FAWM is what you make it. If you write songs, I would encourage you to check it out and join in next year. It might just change your life.