FAWM: It Was Ten Years Ago Today
I feel a bit of a cheat writing about February Writing Album Month (FAWM), seeing as how I'm not a part of that community any more and haven't been for at least four years now. However, the FAWM community is a very special one, and one that is well worth promoting.
In January 2006 I was feeling bored and restless, and was searching for a way to create more music, more consistently. I read somewhere online about a 'competition' that challenged participants to record an album during the month of March; the RPM challenge. I did some digging as you do, and found out about FAWM along the way. Since I didn't have enough songs to record an album, FAWM seemed like a much more realistic fit.
Fast forward to today and although I'm not FAWM-ing anymore, I have only wonderful and positive things to say about the challenge, the people running it, and the folks who participate. If you have the slightest passing interest in writing songs/music/lyrics and are in need of fresh impetus, a new challenge or some encouragement, check it out. It doesn't matter when in the month you join, and 2016 is a leap year, which means you have an extra day to be inspired. The forum conversations go on long after the final song has been posted, and when I think about the 14 or so songs that I wrote every year for a five period, many of them are among my favourites.
I never (ever) thought it would be possible to write 14 songs in 28 days, but I did it three out of the five years I participated. It definitely gets easier as you go, and if you take the challenge side of it seriously (although you really don't have to), the discipline required to maintain such an output will invariably make you a more creative writer, able to rocket off into the sunset and harness the best of whatever tools and circumstances you have available.
So, in fact, there is a little hint of a life lesson to be gained from FAWMing.