Well February has come round again already; I must be getting old as time seems to be passing so fast. This will be my 5th year of doing FAWM (February Album Writing Month) the online community challenge to write 14 songs in the month of February. The idea is that you start the month from scratch and generate 14 songs. Some people write lyrics so there is the opportunity for collaboration with musicians; some produce music so they are able to link up with lyricists; some write complete songs and record a vocal and guitar line on their phone; and others create multi-tracked masterpieces of studio quality all within the 28 days. Some will complete 1 song others will create far more than 14. There are also lots of forums for discussions on related topics and you get the opportunity to receive feedback from the community on your songs. It is all done in a very supportive and friendly manner which I have found to be a real boost to my song writing process. It is a personal challenge and some people enter it with an aim of completing a personal project, maybe to complete some songs they have not had time to work on and some start with a rough set of ideas or song titles. They don’t have the FAWM police checking everyone is sticking to the original aims so it is up to the individual to set their own challenge and work the way that makes them happy.

Like most things online this can become all absorbing and you can spend hours listening and commenting on other peoples’ music, taking part in forum discussion and finding time to write songs, record and post them. February tends to pass in a bit of a blur but I have always managed to achieve the 14 songs, whether that will happen this year I don’t know and that is not really the point for me. It is the act of focusing on the writing and getting some new songs out there that did not exist in January. I also love to interact with the other musicians and it is a community where friendships are made and we then keep in touch throughout the year on social media and follow each other’s musical journey.

Song writing can be a lonely isolated experience, I normally write everything myself and don’t get the chance to mix with other song writers. February is a great opportunity for me to converse with other song writers and to realise that although I work alone, I am not alone and my trials and tribulations are common and shared by other musicians all over the world.

If you have any interest in song writing I do recommend taking a look at the website www.fawm.org hopefully see you there!

My demos created so far can be found here: http://julesbryant.bandcamp.com/album/fawm-demos-2018