Imposter syndrome support thread - free hugs!

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  • @brrrse  Jan 25

    Mods: if the title or the location needs changing, please reassign as needed without worry. 😀

    Imposter syndrome - that feeling that everyone is gonna find out that you don't have a clue what you're doing.

    Imposter syndrome - that feeling that everyone else has it all together and you never will.

    From Wikipedia: Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud".

    It's much more common than you think. I was scared to speak up about it - and suffered long and hard lonely times because I was too afraid. It has nothing to do with the quality of your work - just how you view your work.

    Need a hug and a little reminder that you're awesome? Check in here. Hugs!!

  • @unpronounceable  Jan 25

    <3. Love you for this!

  • @sheamiejay  Jan 25

    Hugs, indeed. Well said.

  • @brrrse  Jan 25

    My favorite pep-talk about imposter syndrome.

  • @unkept Jan 25

    Checking in. 😀 Thanks!

  • @spinhead  Jan 25

    Ira Glass: the gap between taste and ability.

    Saved my sanity more than once.

  • @skittycat  Jan 25

    Hi, long time imposter syndrome person here. FAWM really pushes aaaalll the imposter buttons for me and yet still I'm here not having the first clue what I'm doing but pretending anyway.
    Love you all. Have some mighty hugs {{{{hugs}}}}

  • @tesla3090  Jan 25

    This is a great thread idea! It hasn't hit me yet (I'm still in the hype phase), but I usually get it bad the second week of FAWM, so I'll probably be back here.

  • @andygetch  Jan 25

    Aka comparing my insides to others outsides. Some days.....

  • @snoozin  Jan 25

    Nice to know I'm in good company.

  • @tootoobee  Jan 25

    Thanks for the hug <3 ... but well, for you all it's imposter syndrome, but in my case it's for real ...😖 🤫

  • @nuj4x Jan 25

    I absolutely suffer from imposter syndrome. Thanks for the hug!

    I spend pretty much every day nervous as hell that no one will like my first single. They'll say its dated. They'll say its lame. I worry I'll wind up like one of those guys that pours his heart and soul into his music and only like 13 people ever hear it.

    Why do you think I wear a mask? Kidding lol but I feel like such an imposter sometimes and it doesn't help that I don't want anyone to know who I am!

    That's of course because I don't want fame. I want to go to walmart and grocery shop if my single is successful. It's about the music for me. I just want to make people dance.

    Does that make me an imposter?

  • @guatecoop  Jan 25

    Big hug to you @brrrse ! I am always wavering between its going to be awesome again and I may not even write one song...completely irrational, but it persists--often multiple times per day before Feb 1.

  • @plainwhitetoast  Jan 25

    This my life. It's certainly why I drift in and out of participating in the forums and the overall FAWM and 50/90 challenges. Not sure if it has anything to do with why I cover up the mirrors in my house, but may be related.

  • @stephenwordsmith  Jan 25

    Sometimes I feel I shouldn't be here.

    Like when a fine FAWMer sends me the updated demo of a collab, and I listen to it and think 'Yeah, I love the twinkly bit you've added in', and wonder how someone with any sort of musical education would articulate 'The twinkly bit'.

  • @brrrse  Jan 25

    @stephenwordsmith twinkly bits are easy - any good musician should get that part. *hugs*

  • @brrrse  Jan 25

    You are ALL AWESOME! Bravery isn't always physical life or death -

  • @mkd  Jan 25

    As a fawmling, I feel hugely like an imposter - I’ve never taken part in anything like this, and I have big ideas but who knows if I’ll get them out there the way I might imagine them to be in my head... just hoping nobody finds me out! 🙄

  • @brrrse  Jan 25

    I won't tell anyone, @mkd

  • @mkd  Jan 25

    Phew! Thanks @brrrse!

  • @roxya Jan 26

    I always find reasons to downplay what I can do and obsess over what I can't. Its just that everyone else always seem so competent relative to me. *sigh* I'm trying really hard to not let it get to me. Surely I also have something of value to offer.

  • @headfirstonly  Jan 26

    To anyone out there suffering from this: you are not alone. I get it every time I pick up a musical instrument. And more than one talented professional musician that I really respect and admire piped up with "me too!" when I mentioned it on Facebook a while back. One of them (who is at the level where he's played with luminaries like Les Paul) recommended reading Barry Green's book "The Inner Game of Music": so I followed his advice. It's not a perfect book, but it helped me and it *will* help you.

  • @metalfoot  Jan 26

    Yep. It's real. For me, it is part of what drives me to improve but there are times I find it paralyzing. Hugs to all my fellow impostors!

  • @unkept Jan 26

    “I spent a good amount of time with David Bowie, and I was talking about getting the band back together. He said ‘does it make you uncomfortable?’ I said ‘yeah’, and he said ‘good, it should, you should be uncomfortable’.

    “The first thing that popped into my head was ‘what do you know? You don’t know what it’s like to be uncomfortable’. I was imagining that if I was David Bowie, I’d just be walking around flipping everybody off – unless maybe Lou Reed is there. There are literally one or two people where nothing can be said about them. But that’s not who he was ever in his life, he was always making himself uncomfortable. There was such a great feeling of ‘you just don’t know what you are to anybody else’."

    James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem talking about his experience with David Bowie.

  • @ustaknow Jan 26

    The biggest issue, as I see it, within this great subject is that, in my anecdotal observance, -- "75%" of the "people out there" are more than happy to shit all over you for even showing a smidgen of ability that then makes them uncomfortable. So that when one does make efforts to manage this, "that's" what one will run into.

    Consider as well that, again as I see it, "90%" of people who think as you do will not speak up. Or as happens on-line, do not want to "be the first" to speak up, --waiting for what never occurs.

    In my observance, again anecdotal life experience is, "three" things occur:
    1) That's your life, -- done (sad and frequent)
    2) Suicide, -- or some other messy slow death self abuse method occurs -- pick one (and "they" won't care)
    3) You start to see the reality of the "other" people, who assert their krappe smells of roses and looks like heaven, -- does not. And so you endure and reverse it.

    However, with that commented, -- it's a shame there are not more who ID and Mentor those out of this, and act as barrier to the other.

    This topic, thread, never seen previously by me, -- maybe "that" starts "here", and persists proactively. (Naive maybe, but one can hope.)

  • @spinhead  Jan 26

    @ustaknow I just finished re-reading Seth Godin's "The Icarus Deception" which, though aimed at business people, is about daring to make art, especially since the knee jerk reaction of most people when you do is "Who do you think you are?"

    Artists are invariably accused of hubris. Killed my art for 40+ years until I married someone who made me feel safe to create.

    @roxya It's the artist's nature to get it 99% right and only see the 1%. I remind myself that even Van Gogh had to learn how to draw; he wasn't born a brilliant artist, he became one.

    That's barely workmanlike. It's no Starry Night. But that's where he ended up.

  • @brrrse  Jan 26

    @ustaknow Here's your free hug!! Thanks for showing up here!
    I am running under the principle of "be the change you want to see" "less talk, more action" and "anything is palatable with a healthy dose of compassion"

    I never imagined this thread would take off like this, I figured it would bounce around on page 2 or 3 of the recent posts until a midnight skirmish where 17 amazing writers out of catfood and creativity scan the forum with tears looking for someone to make them feel validated. What?? Just me? Okay well. yes. I did it for entirely selfish reasons. but I believe my intent is honest and pure. 😀

    Keep the hugs going folks. You are ALL enough just as you are. You can work to be more, but only if you choose. You can also be content where ever you are. Hugs!!

  • @chrishope  Jan 26

    hooray for this thread and hugs to all
    @spinhead the Ira Glass quote is so great ... maybe it was you who put it up 2 years ago

  • @spinhead  Jan 26

    @chrishope Probably 😉 That quote means so much to me. Besides FAWM I've written 9 business books, a children's book, and I'm working on my 6th novel. (Note: biz books are easy. Fiction is hard.) If you think sharing a 2:36 song is hard, try spending a year on a book and sending THAT out into the void.

    A fairly well-known book coach shut down my writing for the past two years with a well-meaning (possibly accurate from one perspective) but completely useless and damaging criticism of my work. Talk about feeling like an imposter—I had professional confirmation!

    Then I read this quote in Stephen King's "On Writing" (I read it every couple years) and realized I was in pretty good company:

  • @yam655 Jan 26

    I focus on crapcapella and keeping the bar low so that imitators can easily reach my level. It makes me a little cautious every time I talk about my work to other people. So far, I've been pleasantly surprised. It turns out that when you do stuff that scares other people, but you do it fearlessly, it doesn't seem that hard to be treated with respect. Of course, it is hard to know what scares other people, so the easiest option is to continually find ways to explore my art that scares me.

  • @rayboneor  Jan 27

    I spend all my time telling people that I don't have a clue, so there's nothing to figure out. I just wanna surprise myself and make myself feel something. It turns out that having a clue is not a prerequisite for finding that kind of success.

  • @brrrse  Jan 28

    Thanks again for opening up and sharing your stories!!
    Great advice and opinions here. Hugs to you all!!

  • @flutterby42 Jan 28

    I feel like an imposter every year, especially when I see all the pictures of home studios in my FB feed, since I just have a laptop and not even any editing software. But I do it anyway, and end up with at least one song that I enjoy playing (even if there's no audience) and the joy I get from that is worth the self doubt. That, and all the support and encouragement I get from everyone else here. Thanks folks!

  • @debrandio Jan 28

    @brrrse Wonderful , Thanks!!!
    Hugs 2U!!

  • @echovoodoo Jan 29

    Every time I listen to music I've made in the past, I'm a little amazed that I actually made it, because it doesn't seem like I can make anything remotely that good again, like it was a fluke I made it in the first place and no one keeps getting that lucky. Never mind comparing it to other people's amazing work - that way lies madness. Somehow, I manage to make something new periodically anyway, and after some time away, it becomes part of that body of work that I can't believe I actually made, but certainly can't make again.

    Joan Jett has a nice little song about this, incidentally: .

  • @julesbf Jan 29

    @brrrse great thread, thanks for starting. I get this all the time and think it is quite common among artists of all types. I cant offer any advice though so a hug to all will have to suffice!

  • @brrrse  Jan 29

    @julesbf Hugs are more than welcome! Thanks for speaking up!

  • @bithprod Jan 29

    Thanks, @brrrse! *hugs back* My first "real" album is set for release tomorrow, and I produced it and did practically everything myself, and I'm not looking forward to it. I just know people are going to hate it, because I'm not "musically educated" and frankly have no clue at all what I'm doing.

  • @brrrse  Jan 29

    @bithprod I've "released" couple albums, privately - but they are albums and I produced them. I've not received any negative feedback on them - and I suspect you won't either, unless you submit it to someone for critique or review. Chin up honey - no one is gonna hate it. *hugs*

  • @pfoo  Jan 29

    I get this every time I participate in FAWM and 50/90. I’m starting to have little tugs of anxiety, but for the most part I am really excited about FAWM this year.

    I keep noticing myself adding disclaimers when I talk about playing instruments and writing songs. I started to add to my profile that “I’m not really a musician” so that listeners would understand why my songs aren’t very good. I don’t think the disclaimers are helpful for me or anyone listening. I'm making an effort to stop doing that.

    @spinhead that Ira Glass video about taste and ability was great - I'll have to watch that each year! I feel perpetually stuck in beginner mode because I haven't made as much time to learn and practice as I would like.

    @headfirstonly I just ordered the book you recommended. I think a change in mindset will make a big difference.

    @brrrse and everyone - hugs!

  • @philkmills  Jan 29

    I get a massive dose of this every time I hear the word musician. I have an image of what that means and the image doesn't include me. No matter how much music I create by writing, recording, or performing, I think I'll always look at what I've done as some kind of parlor the chicken trained to win at tic-tac-toe with no actual understanding of the game.

  • @spinhead  Jan 29

    @pfoo I've stopped issuing disclaimers. They started sounding like when I'd go to someone's perfectly clean house and they apologized for the mess. What mess? What wrong notes? What gravelly voice?

    Make the art. Love the art. Share the art. Love your audience enough to let them love the art.

  • @headfirstonly  Jan 29

    @pfoo - let me know if it helps!

  • @guatecoop  Jan 30

    @echovoodoo you just nailed me completely...good Lord. Pitiful...luckily I get over it. It's just the prefawm thing for me. I would love to skip those thoughts and feelings one year. Maybe it's necessary, but unpleasant nonetheless.

  • @aprilm  Jan 30

    This is why I love it here! Keep the boost going Fawmily! Hugs for all!

  • @brrrse  Jan 31

    And as we enter the last few hours before FAWM - I see others ramping up and getting ready and all of a sudden - I can't remember anything about music - I don't recognize anything on my soundcloud page - the panic hits - what the pumpkin am I doing? - The imposter syndrome hits like a full force landslide and a hurricane at once. And I feel so small.

    Whew - it feels good to say all that out loud! Hugs to you all! Here's to the fear being fuel!

  • @cynthiawolff  Jan 31

    Fear has started to creep in...I get it especially when I see people's amazing studio set ups and see that all I have is a 5 year old iPad and a free four track recording app..
    My abilities are so limited...but then I try and remember the old days when people just sat on their porches are made up is about making music and hopefully finding something you’ll look upon with pride..and it’s about the doing and not the end product

  • @cluebird66 Jan 31

    @brrrse thsnk you for bringing light to this shadow side of creativity. Read a wonderful book about the battle all creatives have with ego called “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. Bottom line, if it weren’t so threatening to the ego - which is the illusion of separateness from each other - it wouldn’t be so vehement in it’s attacks; imposter syndrome being just one facet of it. Which tells me it’s worth the struggle, the uncomfortableness. After all, aren’t we all just spiritual beings having a human experience together?! [Wow— maybe I should’ve warned everyone to get their scuba suits on. This just went deeep! ] Anyway spirit is calling you to create something from nothing, which is an incredibly gorgeous thing to do, no matter how it “turns out”. Hugs from a fellow imposter.

  • @spinhead  Jan 31

    @cluebird66 I've been following Pressfield for something like 15 years. I read that book yearly. His follow ups are also great.

    For anyone who wants to dig into the same concepts from a brain science perspective, Roseanne Bane's "Around the Writer's Block" explains why our brains do this to us, and more importantly, lays out a reasonable practical way to push back and get art made.

    It's not necessarily the perfect piece for FAWM, but read it during the next year and come Feb2019 you'll be in a better place.

    And, for what it's worth, my first FAWM I was such a non musician that I literally recorded songs like this:

    1. Record all the "A" chords for the song.
    2. Record all the "D" chords where they belong.
    3. Record all the "E" chords in the holes that leaves.
    4. Record the vocals, tight, high-pitched, and flat.

    Because I couldn't play guitar well enough to change chords and keep time. Nor could I play and sing.

    Fast forward 12 years to last Saturday, when I played 4 different in

  • @spinhead  Jan 31

    ...instruments and sang 90 minutes of my original music for a room full of enthusiastic fans. (Blasted character count wrongness. @burrsettles?)

    Then drew suggestions from a hat, and wrote and performed a new song 15 minutes later.

    I'm no artistic genius. I'm just doggedly persistent about art. If you're even slightly artistic and develop some persistence, in a few years you'll own this songwriting thing and kick impostertude to the curb. Of course, you'll have to kick it to the curb again tomorrow and the day after that, but at least you'll know you can.

  • @brrrse  Jan 31

    With only hours left before FAWM starts - I'll reiterate the one direction for FAWM I have seen repeated by old timers, founders, and FAWMlings - Just do it. Sit down and knock out one song and put it up. If it isn't up to your standards, you can say you got the gutter ball outta the way. If it's pure gold, you'll realize the sky is the limit. Just do it. Go sharpen the pencils. 😀

  • @jcameron Jan 31

    Phew. That old impostor syndrome kicks like a mule, don't it? Just posted a link to a bit of warmup improv I recorded and now I'm shaking in reaction. Look here, self: you're allowed to share stuff with everybody, even if it's just 10 minutes of you randomly bashing piano keys and even if there are real musicians here on the site. FAWM is a friendly place and nobody's going to laugh at you. Got that, self?

  • @cairobraga Jan 31

    "I always find reasons to downplay what I can do and obsess over what I can't."

    oh @roxya, this is too relatable, hahahahahahshahsgshshshsh


  • @spinhead  Jan 31

    I love us. I do.

  • @cairobraga Jan 31

    I love us too. 💙💚❤️💓💕💖💝🖤💜🧡♥️💛💞💝💟❣️

  • @dorit Feb 1

    I feel like I never know enough, and it kills me.

  • @spinhead  Feb 1

    @dorit According to brain scientists, when we begin, we feel confident. As we progress, we keep realizing how much more there is to learn. It is a classic symptom of expertise to feel LESS confident over time. (This applies to open ended endeavours, of course; an accountant or computer programmer can reach a point where they know pretty much all there is to know, and have ultimate confidence. Art, on the other hand, is always out there growing.)

  • @apertome  Feb 1

    Great thread!

    FAWM is like meditation. There is no need to worry about whether you're doing it right, or if it's having the intended effect on you, or if this is worthwhile, or any of that noise.

    Just DO it. If you are doing it, you're doing it. There's no wrong way to do it or feel about it.

  • @brrrse  Feb 1

    Did you just do it? If you haven't, why not? I promise you you'll feel so much better if you just let the music out!!! 😀 HUGS!!!

  • @spinhead  Feb 1

    Personally, I tore it up this morning. Dove in, wrote like the wind, made people wait on me (they're glad to, because it's FAWM and they know it) and wrote a 2-minute song that's exactly what it needs to be.

  • @chrishope  Feb 2

    🍎💔💩🍷😎 ...there is no hug icon ... fawm is immensely challenging to our psyche ..but here we are breaking it down and fighting ...hugs

  • @brrrse  Feb 2

    FAWM - OH how I have missed you - so much - Today has been so fulfilling! Like a monsoon in the desert. HUGS!!!

  • @jcameron Feb 2

    I just did it. I swore I'd shut myself in the back room and not come out until I'd recorded a song, and I did that very thing. It is a good song. Also I took the bit out of my profile about playing the guitar "very badly indeed" because it isn't true. Right?

  • @mkd  Feb 2

    I can’t wait to get started tomorrow! I am so impressed by the sheer wealth of music already produced in just one day, I’ve listened to some super tracks today, all different and all adding something to the world. Loving it!

  • @brrrse  Feb 2

    Day 2 - I've posted that first song - and wow what a backfire - instead of being the horrible gutter ball to get it overwith, I"m now faced with the fact that I've written my best song ever and I could never follow that first song and do anything any justice, so I paralyze myself with my own greatness LOL So today's hurdle is, yet again, getting OUT of my own way. There are skirmishes today - where I can give myself permission to just music. Hugs to all of you. You showed up. thats all anyone expected. anything else is the cherry chocolate cheesecake.

  • @unkept Feb 2

    @brrrse It was really good! Paper boats...

    I feel so much better having gotten a first song done! I'll try and do some skirmishes tonight and tomorrow, and then hope for smooth sailing (internal screaming.)

  • @spinhead  Feb 2

    @jcameron Excellent profile edit.

  • @jcameron Feb 2

    Skirmishes aye. First skirmish is 10pm my time, which is about the time I expect to be getting back from the pub. As long as I'm not too drunk to hold a guitar it should help get the creative juices going!

    @brrrse Success is a lot scarier than failure. Once you succeed you start feeling under pressure to succeed AGAIN. Anyway, firstly, with an initial success under your belt you're bound to go from strength to strength, and secondly, even if you don't write anything as good as Paper Boats, you'll still have written Paper Boats. Now I get the feeling I've written my most badass guitar riff ever and it's all back to plinking random scale passages from now on ...

  • @stevenwesleyguiles  Feb 2

    Great post!
    Crippling self doubt? Check!
    Supportive FAWM Family? Check.

  • @brrrse  Feb 2

    And the key to bouncing back advice I got from @stevenwesleyguiles my first FAWM - JUST DO IT. writing implements in hands and write....I've already broken up with Paper Boats, and am in a rebound relationship with 3 new songs now - LOL 😀 KEEP WRITING HUGS HUGS HUGS HUGS HUGS!!! Man, I needed FAWM so badly -

  • @jcameron Feb 2

    @spinhead Thanks! I do tend to self-deprecation (a very English habit) but I'm trying to wean myself off it a bit.

  • @cynthiawolff  Feb 2

    I'm here for the hugs that I do not get in the other 11 months of the year...

  • @frenchcricket Feb 2

    All the imposter syndromes. Trans woman in a cis world: check. Mature student at university with a bunch of super confident 18 year olds: check. Debilitating anxiety every second of every day...sigh

  • @sbs2018 Feb 2

    Yep, first experienced this in early days as a writer. Now trying my hand at songwriting, I feel it even more in music because my writing skills are stronger than my music skills. Have to fight the temptation to stop the music and go back to writing fiction.

  • @ianuarius  Feb 2

    I don't think anyone believes that I have any clue of what I'm doing. I don't. And I'm very upfront about it. 😁

    It's ok to be clueless. You don't need to "know what you're doing" in order to have fun.

    Keep doing your thing. It's important that you find the process enjoyable.

  • @skylermf Feb 3

    Hugs all around! I often find (probably because I'm younger and newer to songwriting) that the better I get the more I feel like a fake. I thought I was great when I first started, and it was all pretty amateurish. Now that I've written songs that I actually like, my biggest fear is that it was all a magical stroke of inspiration that I'll never get again. That's part of why I'm doing FAWM - to prove to myself that I can inspire myself, and that I can create on my own schedule.

  • @cblack  Feb 3

    OMG, I needed to read this thread so badly today...

    I put together an EP in December / January, and felt the songs were "good enough". I've done 2 songs for FAWM so far (haven't posted either yet, though). The first one felt too boring. The second one made me question my musical abilities. Then one of the EP songs came up on my playlist, and it sounded awesome! Like, FAWM song 2 failed in exactly the way that EP song succeeded. (That's what it seemed like anyway.)

    I suspect I'll always feel this way - the latest song sucks, the earlier songs sound better with time.

    It happened with 3 songs on the EP, too. At first I thought they weren't good enough, and now 2 of them are my favourites on the entire EP!

  • @cblack  Feb 3

    Just proved my own point to myself... Relistened to FAWM song 1, and it was actually a good song (this time, from my perspective). This also led me to think, a big problem for me is being happy with a song for what it is, rather than being unhappy with it for not being what I originally wanted it to be.

    Like, song 1 (and especially song 2) didn't turn out the way I had planned, which led to being unhappy with it. But on this listen, I was happy with song 1 for what it actually is. Listened to song 2 again, and my reaction was slightly better than before, even if I'm still not 100% happy with it. But to go from "It sucks" to "Hmm... Not terrible", that's a big leap forward. 😀

  • @gazebo Feb 3

    I feel I write different versions of the same song, and that all of my guitar solos sound identical ☹️

  • @brrrse  Feb 3

    @gazebo some would say you've found your style then! If you pick any popular album on the charts today and listen to the whole thing, you'll hear an album full of songs that all sound the same.

    SRV's guitar solos sounded similar too - it's called style 😀

  • @brrrse  Feb 3

    I want to remember this feeling - this FAWM feeling - I want to feel it year round. I want to remember this. Hugs to everyone!! You guys are awesome. You deserve your best behavior! Start treating yourself the way you've been treating everyone else - You're enough and you're worth it.

  • @cynthiawolff  Feb 3

    that's why capo's were invented!! lol
    perhaps use one or a partial capo to see your "songs that sound the
    same" turn into something else...
    I am friendly with the same chords...not a brilliant a capo does help to change things up...
    Or get a Uke! and use that once in awhile...

  • @spinhead  Feb 3

    Non-guitarists who'd like to explore and expand might consider the tenor guitar. Short scale length (frets are closer together, easier fingering) and being tuned in 5ths instead of 4ths I've discovered the chords are so much easier. I've struggled with guitar for 45 year, but in the time I've had tenor guitars I've quadrupled my interest and ability.

  • @tinattd  Feb 4

    About the last 5 songs here I've heard are professional standard which is sliiiightly intimidating for a wee amateur like meself with my ukulele and ghetto YouTube videos.

    Lyrics are forever a struggle. Out of the singer-songwriter triad, the "writer" part is where I feel the most impostery. But I'm too stubborn to collab at this stage, as I feel like it's something I have to do.

  • @brrrse  Feb 5

    @tinattd I know this feeling of which you speak - different but similar. Hugs! Just keep writing - don't even judge it or qualify it - just write the songs inside you. hugs. You are enough.

  • @ianuarius  Feb 5

    @tinattd I know bands that push out professional quality stuff on YouTube and nobody cares. Then some people can get a million views with a ghetto uke video.

    It's not the quality of production that matters. People are moved when they find something real. Just do your thing.

  • @momentegalerie Feb 5

    Yeah I definetely know what you mean. But I feel like this project helps to actually start doing what we all can do (and many others don't): inventing melodies, songs, lyrics and have the courage to let others hear/read our raw stuff. Have a great time!

  • @cblack  Feb 6

    Ugh... Imposter syndrome has hit hard the last couple of days. I just listened to my 3 FAWM tracks so far, and didn't mind them too much. Are they perfect? No. Are they to my usual standard? Pretty much. Even so... Imposter syndrome. Like, "Ha, bet you can't make another one like that, let alone one you think is better!"

  • @brrrse  Feb 6

    My Imposter syndrome is in full force. The latest form is where I have heard and practiced my FAWM songs so much that I dont recognize them, don't remember writing them, and I'm convinced I stole them all from someone else.

    It is one reason I don't listen too much during February - I'm scared I'm gonna steal someone's stuff LOL!!! I'm finding more positive people to surround myself and I'll get through it, but doggone it's lonely at 2 am.

  • @spinhead  Feb 6

    For every 12 song album he releases Bruce Springsteen writes 100 song because he knows only 1 song in 10 is ever good enough.

    3 decent FAWM songs makes you a hero. That gives you 11 to totally bomb. (Last year I did a song where I pounded my bass and my banjo with drum sticks. You cannot possible do worse.)

  • @roxya Feb 6

    Finally got a song up. Gosh, what a struggle. We can do this! Hugs to everyone here.

  • @gazebo Feb 6

    Ghetto uke could be my new genre!

  • @dutch1967 Feb 6

    Big hugs to all, to @brrrse in particular. Much needed thread, sorry I only bumped in to it now. It's this blasted self aware, outside looking in, do I measure up-attitude that plagues most if not all artists.
    *raises hand* Hi, I'm Dutch and I'm never certain I'm enough.

  • @sbs2018 Feb 6

    I so relate! This is my first FAWM and I’m pretty new writing songs - I’ve been writing novels (working on one now called “She’s Not That Good” about a songwriter). Anyway, I finally found the courage to post my first song yesterday feeling totally not good enough comparing myself to the talented people here. But it’s a great next step for me to grow as a songwriter and I’m so happy to have found FAWM and the wonderfully supportive people here. I’m learning so much here.

  • @visiblydistorted Feb 6

    I'm glad I'm not a perfectionist and I can own my imposterhood! YEAH! I'm just experimenting my way through FAWM this year with random instruments, and not entirely pleased with the result, so been shy to comment directly on other's songs, knowing that it means even more traffic to my tracks if I do. eep. But then I'm crawling the forums instead, and feel like maybe saying nice things is better than lurking? So I'm even impostering at positive feedback! ack! (insert hugs here) Thanks for the encouraging thread! I got this, we're still in week one!

  • @ianuarius  Feb 6


    1) Doing is an important step.

    2) Everyone wants to be incredibly good.

    3) If being incredibly good was easy, then everyone would be incredibly good.

    4) It's a progress.

    5) You are progressing towards being incredibly good by doing what you are doing now.

    6) The important thing is to NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER!

    7) You're not afraid of hard work. Just do the work and you'll get there.

  • @spinhead  Feb 6

    @visiblydistorted Meta impostering. Very cool. Turning it into an art. Well done!

  • @visiblydistorted Feb 6

    @spinhead totally...thank you... though I'd rather be Metta impostering! (afraid someone will find out about my loving kindness and compassion) 😉

  • @phoenixash Feb 6

    Studying mysticism all my life I learned that usually the ones that have no clue are the ones that might know something, those who think they have all the answers usually have none. Prefer to be clueless then

  • @alyxanderjames  Feb 6

    As a FAWMling who deals with bipolar disorder and a whole lot of anxiety, I was feeling this HARDCORE before FAWM started. Luckily I woke up and banged out a song in the early morning on the 1st, and that meant that I didn't give up before I began. Now I'm cycling pretty rapidly between the high of having been super productive so far this month and the terror that I'm just recycling material. I'm also worried that this is all just the product of hypomania, and I'm going to crash and everything will actually sound horrible on the end of this. My therapist reminded me last night that this is probably not true, but I'm still wrestling with it.

    Which is all to say: I feel you all, I love you all, hugs to everyone. This is a beautiful community.

  • @brrrse  Feb 6

    @phoenixash i see you

  • @ianuarius  Feb 6

    @alyxanderjames Recycling material is absolutely fine. It's part of the process. Keep making that one song until one day you find out that "I really want to try this thing now" and you've got something different.

    Always do what feels interesting to you!

  • @brrrse  Feb 6

    @alyxanderjames I ride the roller coaster also my friend!! I'm glad you talk with your therapist about this - its good to have people around to talk to! I'm so glad you're here and I hope you enjoy many, many more FAWMs 😀

  • @phoenixash Feb 6

    But I'm invisible @brrrse

  • @ianuarius  Feb 6

    And yeah, sometimes I have days when I hate absolutely everything I've made. But it doesn't matter.

    It's not a big deal.

    Accomplishments are pointless. The important part is that you enjoy what you are DOING RIGHT NOW.

  • @brrrse  Feb 6

    @phoenixash the clueless ones usually are 😀

  • @alyxanderjames  Feb 6

    Thanks, @brrrse and @ianuarius! I'm really glad to be here.

  • @brrrse  Feb 7

    It's a really tough morning for me - I'm glad this thread is here - I can pick up all the hugs. I'll give them back tomorrow - Hugs. Thanks for being here.

  • @vaseyr Feb 7

    I'm so glad this thread is here <3

    Last year was my first fawm, and i actually wrote a song called Imposter about this exact thing. I was too scared to post anything on here last year even though I had made the account. I bit the bullet this year and uploaded my first two songs for 2018 and I'm terrified about what people will think. I send my songs to my friends saying things like "this isn't too cheesy or awful or sad or dumb? is it terrible? Do you really think it's good or are you just saying that because you're my friend?" It's so stupid and embarrassing.

    I think I'll always feel like an imposter, but I'm glad I'm not alone.

    Thanks for all the free hugs <3

  • @chrishope  Feb 7

    checkin in .... @hugs@

  • @jjbiener Feb 7

    I used to suffer from imposter syndrome. Not in all aspects of my life, but some. In songwriting, definitely. I think my breakthrough came about when I stopped wondering if I was an imposter and embraced the fact that I am absolutely an imposter. I think the breakthrough came when I was reading some pages from John Lennon's notebooks that were published. Verses were scratched out, rearranged, heavily edited. There were songs that were never finished. Early versions of great songs that were terrible at the point he was writing. In other words, his notebook looked just like mine. His songs didn't spring fully formed from the head of Zeus like I imagined. He scratched them out line by line just like we all do. In other words, he was an imposter too, but he just kept working on it until he managed to make something good. In fact, Lennon spoke in interviews about his own struggles with Imposter Syndrome.

  • @spinhead  Feb 7

    @vaseyr I hope you read the comments on your songs and believe them. Some folks who know whereof they speak seem to like them just fine. And when I'm not rushing off to do this, that, and the other thing, I'll give 'em a listen myself.

    I know there's some connection (whether causative or merely correlative) between art and imposter syndrome and depression. I come across as a pretty much together person full of rainbows (or at least a box of crayons) but I've fought that black dog since my earliest memories at the age of 2 or 3. I'm in a good place now, an amazing supportive wife and a daughter who thinks the I make the sun rise and the birds sing, but still, every day, I have to remember that one small grey cloud doesn't cancel out a great big sunny blue sky.

    @jjbiener Reading Stephen King's comments about being ashamed of his writing, to this day, hit me like lightning. (The 4th time I read the book.) Poor guy. If only he'd realized earlier he wasn't a writer he could have had a gre

  • @spinhead  Feb 7

    . . . great career in auto detailing or something.

  • @metalfoot  Feb 7

    I've hit the point in FAWM where I'm pretty sure all my stuff is garbage. (To be fair, it probably is.) So yeah. Hoping the phase will pass again soon.

  • @brrrse  Feb 7

    @spinhead "if only he'd realized earlier he wasn't a writer he could have had a great career in auto detailing or something.

    Thank you for that. I needed that. thank you. turned my day around.

  • @idonotlikepeas Feb 7

    Hell, I'm genuinely not a musician, I just poke my computer at random and hope some notes come out of it that sounds good. Thankfully a lot of people around here don't seem to notice, but there is definitely a part of me that wonders when it'll happen.

  • @spinhead  Feb 7

    @metalfoot Not hardly. Take a walk in the sun and think about your kids. Or take em with you. Get away from it for 5 minutes.

    @brrrse Hug, eh?

  • @brrrse  Feb 8

    @spinhead eh! 😀

    Good morning my friends! Busy day for me, writing has to take a back seat to real life- hope you're all feeling well! Hugs hugs

  • @skittycat  Feb 8

    spent half the day trying to make the technology do things and failing.
    I haven't the first clue what I'm doing O_O
    The one recording I have done this year is an utter potato.

  • @spinhead  Feb 8

    That’s no potato (hysterical term, by the way) — it’s french fries. HOOhah. Give herself a hug.

  • @spinhead  Feb 9

    Excellent post today at Bane of Your Resistance:

  • @cblack  Feb 10

    And the imposter syndrome rollercoaster goes on some more... Made a new song this morning. Loved it. Then listened to it again. Hated it. Now listening to it again, and I'm loving it. *sigh*

  • @brrrse  Feb 10

    @spinhead excellent post!!

  • @cblack  Feb 10

    @postcardhelicopters Thanks. I kind of dread how long it'll take me to get used to the love it / hate it cycle, though. And I mean, the silly thing is, the songs haven't changed. It's just my state of mind during each individual listen, yeah?

    *works on becoming creatively zen* 😀

  • @brrrse  Feb 10

    @cblack creatively functional .... we passed the exit for Zen a while ago LOL 😀

  • @visiblydistorted Feb 10

    I feel like I only develop my music ability once a year, but several FAWMs from now, I think a lot of us will giggle at the impostor phase we were in because we'll be overpowered by then.

  • @cblack  Feb 10

    @brrrse I'm still going to aim for Zen, anyway. 😁 I mean, isn't doing something pleasant an end in itself, where if you know the action is doomed to failure but still enjoy it, that's a Zen principle? Right?

    *is not a Zen master and may well be talking out of his arse* 😝

    @visiblydistorted That's the spirit! 😁

  • @brrrse  Feb 10

    Today was better than yesterday - I feel I'm in a groove with my writing now - it's easier to get started and that's the hardest part, right? I still fluctuate rabidly.. I mean rapidly between hack and Handel - I just try not to think about it and just keep writing. I'm pushing myself to produce less, make more bad recordings, more non-rhyming lyrical prose - to do all the little things that make me uncomfy - I sang along to 'You're the inspiration" by Chicago and purposely sang off key of the melody for the entire song but sang it with great gusto like I was right on key. It was freeing. Tonights stretch was recording one of the skirmish songs... it's sloppy, the lyrics are awful and repetative, and in the middle I got silly with the improv - finger hovered over "Delete" and I heard a noise in the corner and I turned to look, and my hand moved and I hit send instead - what can ya do - so it's there - can't unhear it. Maybe I'll "accidentally" hit send more before I'm ready to.

  • @brrrse  Feb 10

    @cblack and you've spurred the annual retelling of a story my piano teach told me after I sat through an entire lesson trying to play a particularly nasty scale - The student sat down for the master musician, and he played (butchered badly with several restarts and side journeys ) one of the master's favorite compositions, and after, the master was weeping - the student said "oh, are you weeping because i played well? " and the master said "No - no no..your performance was a complete and utter failure.... "
    the student hung his head the master told the student to raise his head and be proud, because it was a glorious failure because the student didn't give up, no matter how far he strayed - he continued moving forward. So I strive for glorious failures. Should I succeed - cherry! 😀

  • @cblack  Feb 10

    @brrrse Hmm. Interesting story.

    For me, I'm working on being okay with failure while *still* striving for great successes. I think I personally need to reach for the stars, or else I won't even try. But yes - being okay with the failures is definitely a handy attitude to have. 😀

  • @visiblydistorted Feb 10

    glorious failures would be a GREAT album title 😀 @brrrse

  • @cblack  Feb 10

    @visiblydistorted @brrrse +1 I'd totally preview an album with such a title, and totally buy it if the music gripped me. But getting that preview in the first place is usually the most challenging part in a world with seventy billion albums available on the internet...

  • @cblack  Feb 10

    Actually, I just had a thought about that "seventy billion albums" comment. Essentially, how many times can you listen to an album before it no longer "does it" for you? Like, the music is still good, but it's no longer making your day. The song "Spell" by Cadaveria just came up on my playlist, and for a long time, I loved the intro to bits. One of the best intros of any song ever, in my opinion. This time, though, I was no longer listening intently, going, "OMG, here it comes! Squee!" Still a great intro, but it's no longer occupying my "OMG I love it thiiiiiiis much!" mindspace.

    Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that I still love Cadaveria, but am now looking for a new "OMG etc." song. And that's where the seventy billion albums come in. Point is, I don't think we should worry if our creations aren't perfect - they just have to be good enough to satisfy a listener for more than a few listens. After that, it doesn't matter. And I don't think listeners will mind.

  • @cblack  Feb 10

    It's kind of like with writing. The best marketing you can do for book 1 is to write book 2. I think it's probably the same with music. While I'd listen to a single album a hell of a lot more times than I'd read a single book, the shelf life on even amazing songs means that at some point, you're going to have to release a new album.


    Not sure I'm getting my point across. Words are failing me right now. Just had this strong sense of, y'know, in today's world, we don't need perfection. Just "good enough, right now, right here". That will probably be enough to satisfy any fans we're lucky enough to get.

  • @brrrse  Feb 10

    For me - one listen on most everything is enough - because I memorize things pretty quickly - but I'm an exception - I can't really speak to your points because we're different compass points moving different directions - I notice your main words all center around marketing and consumption of your songs neither of those are the least bit attractive to me - I write out of a personal and psychological need - Sure, it's nice to have people like what I write and listen to it - but I'm old and old school - I remember how it was before every person could produce and distribute their own CDs - And I remember the world before the internet - where marketing involved handshakes and looking in the eye, and playing at the local club was the most fame most of us could hope for, not multi-million dollar corporations using social media bots for hire. In this world of paid fans (6000 soundcloud plays for $2.99) you can buy all the fans you need - The issue is no longer how good an album you can produce but How Much Do You Want To Spend To Get Where You Want To Be

  • @ianuarius  Feb 10

  • @brrrse  Feb 10

    @ianuarius pretty much -

  • @spinhead  Feb 10

    @cblack If you're waiting to get past the love/hate flip/flop, you'll be dead a week before then. It is the nature of creativity.

    For decades (DECADES) Van Morrison refused to perform Moondance live. "Who wants to live in the past?" he said once.

    Couple years ago, he recorded a live version of his ENTIRE 1ST ALBUM. Not just performed it, but recorded and released with all the work involved, because after 45 years he'd fallen back in love with Astral Weeks.

    Re: wearing songs out: I'm always on the hunt for a new "favorite" band or author. But if you're in the car with me when Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle with You" comes on, stop talking and cover your ears. Volume is going to max and I'll be singing over the top of it. More years than most FAWMers have been alive, and there are songs from the 60s and 70s that I will still turn up and vibrate to *every single time I hear them.*

    This is not necessarily a universal experience. I knew a chap once who had never in his life watch

  • @spinhead  Feb 10

    . . . who had never in his life watched a movie twice. (If a DVD can wear out, my copy of "The Princess Bride" is headed for an early grave.) And I noticed that sometimes songs I find easy to love I also find easy to leave behind, but something I find confusing or difficult (not unpleasant, just difficult) becomes, after a few listens, a lasting favorite.

    But combining those thoughts with the cartoon @ianuarius posted: you will never in a million years guess what the audience will love. I've written songs that make me weep for joy, and they get polite hand pats from the audience; then I holler out one of my throwaways and everyone lives it even more than I do. (I wrote a book callled "Hits or Niches" about how you cannot engineer or plan a 'hit', mostly from a marketing perspective, but some from a creative perspective. Anyone's interested I'll give you a digital copy. In fact, hit the list of my books at Amazon, and if you see anything at all you like, just send me a list. I love sha

  • @spinhead  Feb 10

    . . . In fact, hit the list of my books at Amazon, and if you see anything at all you like, just send me a list and I'll send you download links. I love sharing.)

  • @ianuarius  Feb 10

    @spinhead I'd love to read Hits or Niches. Sounds very interesting.

  • @spinhead  Feb 10

    Let me know if it gives you any trouble downloading.

  • @ianuarius  Feb 10

    Oh, it seems to work. Now I just gotta figure out what this .mobi format is. 😁


  • @alyxanderjames  Feb 10

    This is the first day so far this month that I woke up and didn't write a song. Which, I am trying to remind myself, means that I woke up 9 days in a row and wrote, which is pretty cool. And I have time as the day goes on to work on something new. But I am feeling kind of down and listless and I did something horrible to my shoulder in my sleep that is making me super cranky, which is making me worried that I've fallen off the horse and the horse has taken off without me, never to be seen again.

    I've got a touch of the melodrama today, apparently.

  • @spinhead  Feb 10

    @ianuarius Kindle. You can use the free Kindle reader for any device, or you can snipe at me for being elitist and exclusionary and I'll send an ePub. (The version carved on stone tablets isn't expensive the shipping will kill ya. As will the book, if it falls on you.)

  • @spinhead  Feb 10

    @alyxanderjames There's a song in that biz about falling off the horse and it took of without you. In fact, repeat those lines ad infinitum over an interesting chord progression.

    See, thing is, nobody says you have to write 14 GREAT songs, or 14 MEANINGFUL songs. I never do. (Last year, I did a drum solo for one song. On a snare and nothing else. In fact, I may do that again this year.)

  • @alyxanderjames  Feb 11

    @spinhead There was a song there, indeed: Thanks for the push!

  • @brrrse  Feb 11

    Good morning my friends. I wanted to come give a hug to you all. I had a rough day yesterday and a rough night because of it - and you guys helped me through it. Sometimes I can feel alone in my brokenness and I get so much peace from you guys, your songs, your comments and your posts. Thank you. Hugs. I'm gonna get up, get dressed and breathe today.

  • @tuneslayer2018  Feb 11

    I hope today is a better day @brrrse .

  • @tuneslayer2018  Feb 11

    I'm not sure what I have. Somewhere up in my head I know write some really good songs, but I haven't really internalized that other people like those songs too. I'm constantly tickled and humbled when someone tells me they like a song I wrote, or they can see their husband in "The Space Marine's Lament," or like the other day when a friend said I was remembered fondly when my name came up at a filk circle at a mutual acquaintance's house. I just hope I never get over being amazed and humbled that people actually like the songs I write.

  • @brrrse  Feb 11

    @tuneslayer2018 I'm just waiting for you to get it all recorded and release it so I can listen to it a lot!

  • @spinhead  Feb 12

    Neil Young's acceptance speech at the Canadian Songwriter's Hall of Fame:

    He makes some funny and encouraging comments about doing what we can and not worrying about what we can't. He rambles a bit, 'cause he's old and Canadian and has all the time in the world, but in 7 minutes he says more than one thing worth hearing.

  • @cblack  Feb 12

    To the comments about being focused on audience and marketing: I don't think I'm really that different to the rest of you. Basically, I make music because it's in me, and it's gotta come out. But I do want to make a living from my music.

    I think the key variable is that I don't know what else I could do for money, apart from music or writing (and I prefer music). Like, music (and to some extent, writing) is the only thing I would happily do, day in, day out. If I'm ever going to be happy in a job, it'll be music (or writing). So for me, it's both - I need to make music on an emotional level, and I need to make money from music on a lifestyle level. So yeah... I don't think being interested in making money from music is mutually exclusive from doing it because I can't *not* do it.

    I don't think anyone actually said as much, but I thought I'd put the idea out there. Looking to make money from music gels perfectly well with *needing* to make music, money be damned. 😀

  • @brrrse  Feb 12

    I don't disagree with you @cblack - Music is the only thing I know also - and the only thing I have worth trading for money - unfortunately - with the business the way it is, unless you HAVE money, you can't make money. By saying that, I do not mean to dash anyone's dreams or potty on anyone's plans. I speak for me - that I have neither the resources or the time to do any of the things expected to sell my music today - so I have to just give that up entirely. I have to be content making paper boats. I don't have any way of doing anything else.

    Again - this is my perspective - not a judgement of you. 😀

  • @cblack  Feb 12

    @brrrse Yeah, I didn't feel like I was being judged. Just thought it'd be appropriate to open up a new angle on the conversation. 😀

    Also, I expect there are budget ways of advertising your music. So, like, $20 of advertising might result in $50 profit, yeah? (Just to pull some numbers from nowhere.) Then that $50 can go back into promo, and you might get $75 next time. And build up from there.

    At least, I'm hoping that will work! I, too, am poor...

  • @brrrse  Feb 12

    I hope it works for you too!! Go for it and don't stop 😀

  • @cblack  Feb 12

    Thanks. 😀

    In related news (and relevant to imposter syndrome), I listened to my 5 FAWM songs so far, back-to-back, and you know what? I was slightly surprised at how good they all sounded! I don't want to toot my own horn, but after a few days away from them, they sounded good. Even the second song, which I was initially thinking would land on the scrap heap.

    Perfect? No. Good enough to satisfy at least some listeners? Hell yes!

  • @tuneslayer2018  Feb 12

    Interesting. I don't know how many people in the (virtual) room feel this way, but I DON'T want to make a living as a musician. I know what I'm good at, and I know my limitations. What I'm good at is making a computer sit up, roll over, go fetch and do other stupid computer tricks. And yes, occasionally play dead. People pay me really well for my ability to talk to computers and get them to do my bidding. I honestly can't imagine myself doing anything else as a career at this point in my life.

    My limitations are things like practicing. I'm good enough to get up in a filk circle and do my songs, but I've never been very good at sticking with practice. I've been that way all my life. In fact I distinctly remember my mother telling me at about age eight or nine that my organ teacher told her to save her money because I wasn't getting anything out of my organ lessons because I wasn't practicing regularly. This is one of the reasons why I thought Band In A Box was such a marvelous discovery. It makes my computer a musical instrument, and since I spend an inordinate amount of time at the computer, learning how to use BiaB doesn't seem like it would be any tougher than learning to program Perl or Ruby. Of course I've been doing those for over 20 years to get to where I am today, but hey, I figure I'm going to live at least another 20 years, plenty of time for me to get good at being a mechanical musician. 😁

    And if someday it nets me a bit of income to justify spending money on my toys . . . well I wouldn't exactly turn it down.

  • @cblack  Feb 12

    @tuneslayer2018 Actually, I think *I'm* in the minority on FAWM. I've seen loads of comments about how people aren't doing this for the money. Yes, earning money from music would be welcome to most of them, because why not, but the people posting such comments don't seem to want a career as a musician. Which is fine! I'm not saying otherwise.

    So I do seem to be in the minority, wanting to make the bulk of my money from music. 😀

  • @tuneslayer2018  Feb 12

    Well @cblack I wish you luck. On the one hand I think it's a pretty tough way to make a living; on the other hand, if that's your brass ring, grab for it, and it's a lot easier today than it's probably been in the history of ever.

  • @cblack  Feb 12

    @tuneslayer2018 Yes, exactly. Difficult, but if it's the only option that brings me happiness, I'll pursue it even to obscurity. 😀

  • @spinhead  Feb 12

    I used to make money with a cover band, but since I start performing only my own songs 10 years ago I realized I just want to play for friends in our living room. I know what it takes to make a living with music and it’s more than I want to do. But it can be done, if you’re willing to do the work.

  • @cblack  Feb 12

    @spinhead That's comforting to hear, actually. I think I *am* willing to put in the work with music. Don't really care about signing with a label or anything - I'd rather go it alone - but I still want to put in the effort.

  • @brrrse  Feb 12

    Another morning and I"m still shook up from a couple days ago. Because I"m not seeking stardom for too many reasons I cannot control, I'm feeling really pointless today - like why bother writing at all anymore. To be heard, you gotta be the loudest, the best and the biggest. I'm isolated to begin with due to the nature of my life - and today I"m just feeling like chucking it all - no one would miss my music. No one is waiting for it - and it is something taking up my time that could be better spent staring at the walls or doing dishes. I am tired of trying to climb up this mountain over people just to be noticed - and in order to be noticed, you gotta have the most expensive instruments and toys. I'm just not feeling it.

  • @unkept Feb 12

    @brrrse , I'm having a similar morning. I spend my time, money, energy, and passion on something that I don't see as a viable part of my successes in the future. I would like them to be, but I have no idea how. I'm good at my "day job" and that's about it for my prospects of survival, maybe I could spend time getting better at that?

    But I have no passion for my day job, I have passion for writing songs because they make me feel better... something I guess I can't buy, and the energy I put into making songs is to make myself happy. I will try to remember that.

  • @brrrse  Feb 12

    @unkept thanks. Lots of corners everywhere. I know I'll get back up, I always do - thanks for responding.

  • @spinhead  Feb 12

    Anyone who’s serious about putting in the work to make music your livelihood should chat with @charliecheney who is doing it in a way that makes sense to me.

  • @brrrse  Feb 12

    I don't want come across as anything but positive in saying this, but there are many threads about marketing and business - I had hoped this thread would be more supportive for those who needed the support - could we keep it more on the supportive side? Please be excited about your hopes and dreams and goals - I don't want to sound jealous or negative here - but not all of us are going the same way with our can we keep it to supporting each other and sharing our feelings of imposter syndrome? Again, I'm not talking directly to anyone or trying to police the thread. I just feel we've wandered away from my original intent in starting this thread - and by saying that, I don't mean I want all the attention or that this was a place for my personal therapy. Hugs to you all and I hope I am saying what I really mean here 😀

  • @spinhead  Feb 12

    Yes and yes. Thread creep is part of FAWM but so is thoughtful consideration. Thanks for speaking up @brrrse

  • @tuneslayer2018  Feb 12

    So what if no one would miss my music? I make it for me, not for them. Of course I want it to be as good as I can make it, and I hope other people like it, but ultimately I am my main audience.

    But it's all right now, I've learned my lesson well. You know you can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself.

    Hey, that would make a really good song.

  • @brrrse  Feb 12

    @tuneslayer2018 finding that song right now and listening to it. Thanks.

  • @brrrse  Feb 13

    today isn't much better. Feeling like I've been put through a cheese grater and painted with iodine emotionally. Yep - all my stuff is crap and I really don't know when I'll be writing again... then I beat myself up for saying that because I did double fawm by the 7th? and now I sound like I"m boasting. Very bad day. I just can't seem to get back up from the weekend. But I"m here so I probably will soon.

  • @ianuarius  Feb 13

    Songwriting is all about doing what you find fun and interesting in the moment. Inspiration strikes in many forms. Much huggs!

  • @brrrse  Feb 14

    Dropping in to spread around hugs to all. I'm feeling a lot better - I think the pink may have something to do with it. Hugs to you all. Keep writing! Keep going! 😀

  • @chrishope  Feb 17

    you are not an imposter ... you are a unique response to the universe
    ***** h u g s ******

  • @airbagtester  Feb 21

    Timely cartoon is timely:

  • @brrrse  Feb 21

    @airbagtester very timely! Thank you! and thanks for bumping the thread!!

    I've been remiss about checking in here - my real life got busy too -
    so here's the HUGS for everyone! I'm seeing a lot of folks getting stressed and worried about not making it to 14 or 3 or 1 or not posting something with music or all these other insecurities - Folks..... you signed into the site - you're one of a very small percentage of people in the world who showed up here. You logged in, and you said "Hey world, I'm a songwriter". So you did it. Don't stress some cartoon trophy. I"m not saying lower your personal expectations - just make sure the expectations you're trying to live up to are yours.

    I'm looking forward to listening and commenting in March - I don't listen much in February because I memorize things quickly without realizing it - and I end up rewriting everything I listened to - it's a curse, not a blessing. In March, though, I set up shop with a cuppa tea in the big chair and start at the beginning and listen to as much as I can and I comment. I love hearing all the new music - it fills me up and inspires me to keep writing.

    If you have writers block - make up a series of 10x10 "roses are red" lyrics and post them up for someone to collab with - I know every one of you can come up with 10 silly short verses in a row. Relax and let your silly side out - you're safe here. HUGS!!!!

  • @spinhead  Feb 21

    I often get stuck in the self-taught version of IS. After all, if I never went to college, didn't take music lessons, and didn't take college classes about theory thereby multiplying my self-taughtedness, well, how can I be any good?

    Seeing stuff like this makes me feel better:

    Elizabeth Cotten taught herself how to play guitar. Left-handed. Upside down. Bass line with her index finger, melody with her thumb plus all the spare time her index finger has left over from playing the bass line.

    I'm a bass player and very rudimentary guitarist. I happen to know that what she did just isn't possible. I'd challenge any genius guitarist to try that trick. And yet, in her ignorance, she pulled off an astonishing feat of finger picking. While, of course, writing one of the supreme classics of modern folk music.

  • @brrrse  Feb 21

    @spinhead GREAT VIDEO well worth the watch, I think you've shared that in previous FAWM's and I'm always amazed every time I watch it. And it inspires me for sure 😀 thanks!

  • @spinhead  Feb 21

    I've never seen it before this morning, so I'm glad I shared it now.

  • @brrrse  Feb 21

    @spinhead well, then double points to you for sharing it 😀 I am glad you did! 😀

  • @cblack  Feb 22

    Been having imposter syndrome for most of the last week, but last night I felt "centered" again. Just that nice calmness inside that says, "Yeah, you've got this." I know I'm not likely to hit 14 songs this month, but I also know I *am* likely to complete this album within another month or two. And hey, 3 months for an album isn't bad, as that'd still be 4 more albums per year, yeah? About 3 more than most bands...

  • @tawny249 Feb 22

    Feeling sad and defeated lately. Was really hoping to get more listening and more creating in this month, and I only have four songs done and under 50 comments. Having a sleep disorder + full time work really takes it out of you. But it's not really a good excuse. I could have done more over the last three weeks. I know February isn't over yet, but....sigh. 😞

  • @spinhead  Feb 22

    @tawny249 When I don’t sleep, I’m wrecked. Don’t make yourself worse fretting about FAWM. If noodling with music relaxes you, super, but if it feels like work, step back and breathe.

    My first sub-14 FAWM someone, perhaps @postcardhelicopters, asked me how many songs I’d written in January. Since that was zero, they suggested that the 5 I’d FAWMed was 5 more than I might have done otherwise.

    Show up and do the work to create, of course. But never ever risk your health over it.

  • @cblack  Feb 22

    @spinhead Well said! I'd even go so far as to say that you shouldn't force the music out just because it's FAWM. I mean, okay, if that works for you, fine. But for people like me, if I force it, not only does the music suffer, but so does my mental health.

    All I know is, I'd rather have less output but still love music, as opposed to a huge output that I don't care about. (Says the person with 6 songs after 22 days... But 6 songs I like, at least!)


  • @spinhead  Feb 22

    Excellent. Also remember, you’re in this for the long haul. Last year I wrote 30 songs, 19 so far this year. Few years ago, almost none, and took almost 2 emotional years off from my novels as well.

    It cycles. It grows. If you love it, it comes back, loops around, increases.

  • @cblack  Feb 22

    Yep. I'm planning on listening to my mental/emotional biorhythms. Even if it takes twice as long to complete an album as I'd like, I'd rather have half the number of albums and still be in a good headspace. 😀

  • @chrishope  Feb 22

    @tawny249 @spinhead same here but i still feel with no real proof i can, that a raw ep over the next 7 days is something , forget 14 ... something ...** hugs... truly

  • @brrrse  Feb 22

    @postcardhelicopters favorite star trek episode of all time? 😀

  • @brrrse  Feb 22

    it's funny the filters I put on things - My mood deeply affects how I read everything - I can feel today, since I am in a lighter mood, everything seems to cheer me on - Go ME YAY ME - on days when my pain is higher, or I'm worried about my son - everything looks like a criticism. Thanks for sharing here -

    Remember that FAWM is PERSONAL - it's between you and your soundboard as to how many songs you NEED... You showed up - You keep showing up....every day, you keep showing up. That matters. HUGS.

  • @spinhead  Feb 22

    "how I read everything" made me think of this marvelous tool:

    When I'm up against something in my life that I can't change, and refuse to accept, I go reframe it. The tool helps you accept the possibility that something other than what you currently believe or feel could also be true. It's very simple to use, doesn't make you dig deep or get emotional, it's nearly mechanical, yet it has every single time nudged me to less angst, more peace.

    One could start with a statement like "If I can't write 14 songs then I've failed at FAWM" or even "I'll never finish 14 songs" and then follow the tool to, perhaps, a different way to think.

    If nothing else, it's a fun process.

  • @brrrse  Feb 22

    @spinhead great tool! Objective - and I plan to dig into it seriously when I have some time soon! thank you for that. That's valuable.

  • @brrrse  Feb 22

    @postcardhelicopters yes indeed, I concur! 😀

  • @andyt13 Feb 23

    @brrrse Every single day in everything I do. I'm 30 years in two careers not forgiving of error, but every day I wonder if today's the day someone will point and shout "You! FAKER!!!!" Hasn't happened yet.

  • @rainchaser  Feb 23

    I nicked off the main melody from Scarborough Fair for the verse melody of my first song without realizing it. I stole the chord progression to She's Leaving Home for one of my 50/90 songs without realizing it. I stole a chord progression for my recent collab song that was used by The Velvet Underground, Willie Nelson, The Kinks, Neil Innes, Ray Charles, The Beatles, and R.E.M. I think you must be a genius if your songs sound like other artists songs. Especially the ones that I've mentioned.

  • @brrrse  Feb 23

    I've nicked plenty of chord progressions and plenty of melodies, the trick is to mix and match 'em with yer own lyrics LOL 😀

  • @brrrse  Feb 25

    Happy last Sunday in FAWM! I wish you all an easy day and hugs for the rest of the week.

    Whether you made it 14 or not - Whether you made it to 1 -

    You showed up. That's what matters. You can think of at least 10 other things you could have devoted even 5 minutes to - but you chose FAWM and you logged in.

    Hugs to all of you!!!!

  • @tawny249 Feb 25

    @spinhead @postcardhelicopters @brrrse Thanks guys. I know it's about showing up and getting something done more than reaching the 14 songs. I'm still a little bummed, but I guess I can try to set aside some time over the next few months to do something with all the ideas I generated beforehand that didn't produce songs yet. I need to get it out of my head that FAWM = the time I have to write the most songs or else. *embarrassed* Anywho, I appreciate the support. 😀

  • @brrrse  Feb 25

    @tawny249 I see FAWM as a bucket I throw sketches and ideas into - then I spend the rest of the year turning those ideas into songs. I know you've probably seen them, but there is an "Album production challenge" on Facebook March-May Then there is 50/90 July through September - as well as many many facebook songwriting and skirmishing groups. Also, there's usually someone hanging out in the Slack chat year round.

  • @sarahmonticue Feb 25

    Oh my goodness, what a helpful thread! Yes! I totally struggle with the imposter syndrome! I’ve been working a ton on being kinder to myself and being vulnerable with my ideas and songs before they’re polished. I think there’s just this huge lie that I’m fighting against that if I’m perfect, everyone will love me and no one can hurt me. But it’s not true. Love doesn’t work that way. And we all should have a chance to try things and share our stories. Gotta keep reminding myself of these things!

  • @spinhead  Feb 25

    Hey @sarahmonticue, glad you popped in. Yup, can't buy love with art or vice versa. All we can do is stop stifling our other selves and let the art out the way it wants to be.

    @tawny249 Understood. If you're bummed, be bummed. I know the feeling. Nothing wrong with wishing you could do A, B, and C, and only getting A done. Without discontent there would be no great art.

  • @cblack  Feb 27

    Ack! Why do I do this to myself? Just listened to my 8 FAWM tracks, and felt they all sucked. I know that at another point in time I'll listen to them and think they're good, but for right now, I'm feeling like they suck. Why? Why brain? Why do you do this to yourself?

    Bloody imposter syndrome...

  • @spinhead  Feb 27

    That’s a tough one. I remind myself that it happens to great artists who sometimes hate their greatest work. Could be partly related to the taste/talent gap Ira Glass mentions. And could be fatigue, physical or emotional.

    Tell yourself to leave them well alone until after February and soldier on.

  • @cblack  Feb 27

    I went a different direction and uploaded my EP to DistroKid (and thus, apparently, every major mp3 store). The EP was made before FAWM, but yeah - same general idea. It won't be live for a few days yet, I think, but it's out there now.

    Which makes no sense, really. First, panic that I suck. Then release an EP...

    I must be crazy. Or else fed up and willing to push back against the world. Or something. I don't know.

  • @spinhead  Feb 27

    You're an artist. OF COURSE you're crazy.

    Like the rest of us.

  • @cluebird66 Feb 27

    Thank you for this thread. It’s so great. Didn’t get as far as I could have. People were so helpful and positive but, I let the daily grind get in the way. But I had fun, and took one more tiny baby step on the journey of making something from nothing. Love to all💕

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