How are FAWM and 50/90 different?

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  • @keithcuts  Feb 20

    Third fawm for me.
    Have not tried 50/90
    What are the similarities and differences?
    etc thanks!

  • @spunky4455 Feb 20

    I did it two years ago. Wrote 91 songs, but that was my own personal challenge. I found it very similar to FAWM but lasts longer, obviously. And it really dominated my entire summer. It's an opportunity for more collabs, more skirmishes and more intros to other musicians. I would recommend you try it.

  • @johnstaples  Feb 20

    50/90 has a LOT fewer participants and my opinion is it goes way too long! By the 2nd or 3rd week it is a ghost town except for a handful of hardcore folks who check in from time to time. I keep hoping someone will launch an August Album Writing Month so we could build a summer FAWM.

  • @atitlan  Feb 20

    50/90 has fewer participants and is a lot more relaxed. Once people have hit the 50 once, most just write at whatever rate they are comfortable with and if that gets them towards the 50 they'll put a spurt in to get to the finish line.

    The time span for 50/90 means those who want to collaborate have much more time to arrange and complete things and 'Exquisite Corpse' has in some years been raised to the level of an art form rather than a cool songwriting exercise.

    In general, compared to FAWM , it's a smaller, tighter community, much more chilled out from a quantity POV and leads into the extremely fun Rocktober.

    Oh, and 50/90 has a proper forum rather than the mobile style site that FAWM uses, which may not matter to you, but I find much preferable.

  • @atitlan  Feb 20

    @johnstaples In, I think, 2014 there was a September Album Writing Month, which got a pretty high participation rate. August could be better as it may catch those who'd otherwise drift off early.

  • @zecoop  Feb 20

    @keithcuts - In my experience it has a lot less participation and a lot less feedback. I've tried it but never have been able to get into it. part of that for me, at least, is that it's in the time of year where the weather is nice here. FAWM is right in the worst part of the year... for me... in my location. OK, I hate winter, ok? πŸ˜‰ But some people LOVE 50/90. It has a slower pace because it goes over a lot longer time, but the participation really does dwindle down from what I've seen. It could be for you!!

  • @johnstaples  Feb 20

    @atitlan I don't recall a September Album Writing Month. We talked about it and maybe someone unofficially declared it but there was not a lot of participation. I agree with you that August would be best.

  • @atitlan  Feb 20

    @johnstaples It was unofficial, but got a decent participation. I remember, because it pushed me to complete the 50.

    EDIT: Just checked. Definitely 2014 - my SAWM album was called "Shoot for the Stars; Land on the Moon"

  • @oddbod  Feb 20

    @atitlan SAWM? Are you sure? I don’t recall that. I’ve halfheartedly dabbled with 50/90 for the last few years, but with no intention of getting near 50. My enthusiasm lasts about 4 weeks usually.

  • @johnstaples  Feb 20

    I know there is a small group who love 50/90 and wouldn't change a thing about it.

    Personally I'd much rather have a summer FAWM (or winter depending on your location). I believe it would draw a lot more people.

  • @philkmills  Feb 20

    I've been doing 50/90 since 2010. It always feels a little sparse by comparison with FAWM, but anything that gives me a nudge toward more writing is worthwhile. (In my best year, I probably did twenty-something songs before burning out.)

  • @johnstaples  Feb 20

    @atitlan I participated in 2014 50/90 and I do remember higher levels of participation but not remotely close to FAWM levels.

    Actually now that I think about it it seems like 50/90 has been declining for several years. Last year it seemed really small with mainly the same little group of people.

    When I tell people about FAWM they initially freak about the idea of 14 songs in 28 days. But they often come around and give it a try. But when I've mentioned 50/90 to people...write 50 songs...takes over your whole summer...they laugh at the idea!

    No one I know has three months for a songwriting challenge!

  • @pearlmanhattan  Feb 20

    50/90 gives room for summer activities for those of us in the northern hemisphere and as others have said, it's smaller, quieter, and much more laid back, but there is a lot more time to collaborate and participate in challenges. there's usually a monthly weekend superskirmish. It starts off high rate, and some write their 50, and drop off, some stay the whole time. Fawm is more of a "retreat" where 50/90 is more like a summer "drop in" camp - to me at least. In 50/90 I feel you get to know people better. Where FAWM is the "counter service" place, 50/90 is more the RV park. If that makes any sense. LOL

  • @zecoop  Feb 20

    @johnstaples - Yes! It took me years to convince the rest of my band and my brother to try FAWM. People really look at you like you are completely crazy when you explain it. I can't imagine trying to sell 50/90 even though the pace might be slower.

  • @ustaknow Feb 20

    @keithcuts the difference..., hmmm, I take less of the pink pills and more of the yellow ones. πŸ˜€

    -- And, though I don't know you, from what I've observed?, if that can mean anything more relevant to your specific question of the "differences", i.e., "... similarities and differences? Size? Participation?..." -- in my opinion, you'd be a great fit based upon how you seem to engage here, -- you are all about the music and "what's next" if anything, which who knows? However, like I say over and over, until you been someplace 1-2 years, you really don't know where you are and who's who, what's what and etc. where/who to zig or zag, -- real it y of life and music πŸ˜€

    If you are the self driven, innovator or make something you seem to be so, -- you'll have a few "happy accidents" and trip over stuff you like. You did this FAWM, it seems and helped me to do so as well! And thank you kindly for that!
    -- Like this FAWM, every FAWM, for me, -- I figure "why bother", but do and always glad I did, -- something always happens, or you make it happen for your music. My old friend Nick Kage came by πŸ˜‰ !

    So, differences,
    ~~ none -- same people doing the *same things πŸ˜‰ but under a blue background with different buttons/features (can save a song!, nice!) πŸ˜€ So..., the same Ones doing more and more and can be seen progressing, or ~~ otherwise, not.

    No rules. You don't have to enjoy it to do it, you can just do it! Like life πŸ˜‰

  • @klaus  Feb 20

    A good question. They both are good for learning songwriting. The "flavor" is different though.

    I think I have learned much more in 50/90 than in Fawm. More time and a more relaxed vibe mean I can do more experimenting and exploration.

    50/90 has fewer participants, yes, but to me, that is only a good thing. You get to know people better and have more collabs and it just feels more personal.

    And I do feel that Fawm is this hectic, wild and crazy thing, while 50/90 is sensible and manageable. I've done 50 songs only once and it was like an initiation thing for me. I won't do that again because I don't have to. πŸ˜€

    If you can do Fawm while you're busy working I can't see why you couldn't do 50/90 while on summer vacation if you only have little time on your songwriting.

  • @chipwithrow  Feb 20

    We have this thread every year! (Like the I-want-constructive-criticism thread.)
    I happen to really like 50/90, and I've done 50+ every year since 2010. I'm self-motivated for it, and I like the small community.
    Just like anything else that's supposed to be fun - if it's not fun, don't do it. (That's why I stay away from most social events after 7 pm these days.)
    At the beginning of 50/90, why not make an announcement that September or August will be an album-writing month within the challenge?

  • @johnstaples  Feb 20

    I always hear 50/90 is a slower pace but not if you are trying to hit the target! 50 songs in 90 days is more than 14 in 28!

    @keithcuts my advice is def give it a try! I've done it every year since 2013. And I usually get 5-10 new songs from the effort. One more thought if you enjoy the engagement and frenzy of FAWM, be sure you start on day 1 and enjoy the first couple of weeks. After that it is pretty much tumbleweeds (compared to FAWM.)

  • @ustaknow Feb 20

    @chipwithrow there you go πŸ˜€ !! Innovation, adaptation, superior thinking for the sake of musication and little yellow pills? πŸ˜€

  • @sunnymae  Feb 20

    I tried it this year. It just didn't work for me. Living in the Northeast US there's something about the cold and the dark that lends itself to hunkering down to write. I thought maybe the summer energy would shift my writing to more upbeat or "sunnier" pieces, but it seems no amount of sunshine takes me over 80BPM. As Gaga says...I was born this way! πŸ˜€

  • @ustaknow Feb 20

    Hey @keithcuts -- yes what @klaus said. Actually when it was OVER (5090), lights turned out and etc., all gone, ("not"), as it goes, we make our fate?... too, -- well, some very long, and way TLTR conversations occurred that would not otherwise have occurred or been able to occur when on going, maybe, (and being "Read" by many πŸ˜€ anyway...), well, that led to some amazing "Work" that would never otherwise have occurred. It led to some lasting collaborations, and etc.

    Allot of that can only occur over time.

    I don't look for a New BFF, but, there's a few I can email ad hoc out of the blue and get input, and other. Where does that happen. They know who they are and they know, without imposition, -- I appreciate those ad hoc left field responses, (thanks again, as I know you may read, you know who you are πŸ˜€ ). (Again, what you make it?)

    Now, is that "Normal", or Usual... what is today. It's what you decide to do with it, as with anything, and what one can overlook since nothings perfect, well unless "you" (so to speak) add that perfection? hahhh! -- try as hard as one can, anyway πŸ˜€

  • @musicsongwriter  Feb 20

    Both I find wonderful. Fawm has smaller amount of days and it's not holiday time for me, 50/90 is Summer with holidays at some point, people come and go but I find its still a good amount of songwriters participating although I think less than used to be. I know I won't compose songs I created solely because of the inspiration coming from themes, prompts, songs posted on 50/90 and Fawm.

  • @klaus  Feb 20

    @sunnymae Good observations about summer energy and how it can make songs more upbeat. πŸ˜€

    I spent many summers listening to Beach Boys and making music when I was a teenager and there was no school. That habit has obviously found a new home in the 50/90 Challenge.

  • @stephenwordsmith Feb 20

    And then I come in the middle of winter and ruin things for everyone.

  • @calumcarlyle Feb 20

    I do recall the idea of August album month and September album month were initially suggested in 2013, because I have my August and September ones from that year on my band camp still, as well as a retrospective July one from the same year, but yes these were informal monthly challenges within the existing 5090 community.

  • @billwhite51 Feb 20

    FAWM is an easygoing, laidback support group for people wanted to write an album in one month. thts is just one song every other day so its not much of a challenge but the concentrated time and energy on one project paye off. 50 90, on the other hand, pushes you out of that comfort zpne. i ususaly knock of two welll thought out albums and then devote myself to eperimentation, boundary pushing. thongs that might not be considered songs at all. for some exampes check this out , it is one of seven album i wrote and recorded during last years 50 90. I recommend tryimg it to anybody who wants to break out of genre templates to try some new things that just might expand your palette.

  • @stephenwordsmith Feb 20

    Some additional (more quantitative, perhaps) observations:

    * On a good year, there are about half as many songs written during 5090 as there are in FAWM, over a time period almost 4 times greater.

    * If you sleep through the gates opening on FAWM, your first song will be buried in the flood, and will have half as many comments as the first song of someone who didn't. If you sleep through the entire first day of 5090, there's a good chance your song will still be on the front page.

    * Last year, I managed to comment on _every single_ song on 5090 until the end of the first week or so.

    * In the final two-thirds of the challenge, it is not unusual to see two-day-old songs on the frontpage. It might still be a zong.

    * It takes, in my experience, about a week and a half for commenting and writing fatigue to hit FAWM, and have the number of songs and comments start to drop off. By the time August rolls around in 5090, many participants have given up entirely.


  • @headfirstonly  Feb 20

    I've taken part in FAWM for over a decade and 50/90 for the last five years. I find them very different experiences; 50/90 requires sustained levels of creativity that can prove very demanding in the middle of Summer (for Northern Hemisphere people) when there are lots of other things vying for your attention and time. And as Bill says, the pressure to keep coming up with new songs over two or three months can push you out of your comfort zone. But like Klaus, I find that that forces me to experiment, and when I do that, I learn more.

    Last year, the 50/90 site was a ghost town by the first week of August. There were tumbleweeds. I was sad to see people disappear so fast. I don't remember the attrition being quite so bad in previous years. But I'm planning to take part again this year.

  • @stephenwordsmith Feb 20

    5090 doesn't have the constant hum of activity and motivational feedback loop that FAWM does. Whatever your goal is, you're going to have to be the one motivating yourself. The good news is, people tend to experiment a lot more and take all the time they need. And you can still generate your fair share of 'keepers'. Looking back at the Bandcamp compilations I've released, the number of tracks from each challenge is fairly evenly split.

    And you can hang out with your mates in Slack for another 2 months.

  • @tawalker Feb 20

    I've tried 50/90 twice - in 2012 and 2013 - and managed 36 songs and 16 respectively.

    I feel I came up with some decent material both times (and some real "clunkers"!), but TBH I didn't enjoy 50/90 as much. To borrow a line from the last song I wrote for 50/90 2012: it felt to me like running a marathon at a sprinter's pace.

    Some might enjoy that, but I didn't personally - that said, don't let my perspective put you off; you might find yourself in your element!

  • @billwhite51 Feb 20

    @stephenwordsmith this certainly was not my 50 90 experience of 2019 my comments received remained wel into teh double digits for the frst month. in the second month, mabe hlf dropped into the upper simgle dgots, an i th finaal month my comments averged between 5 and 5 per song.....eoch isnt bd cnidering the far smaller group that participates in 50 -90. athught hings really wind dow in the fina week, i have never experienced that lack of activity hum that yu describe.

  • @stephenwordsmith Feb 20

    Your drop disproves my ocean, good sir. I submit.

  • @fuzzy  Feb 20

    I've never found 50/90 to be "full of tumbleweeds".
    It's a fantastic community well in to September.
    To use a metaphor, FAWM is running a marathon.
    50/90 is a nice relaxing walk in the country with friends.

  • @johnstaples  Feb 20

    @headfirstonly said "Last year, the 50/90 site was a ghost town by the first week of August. There were tumbleweeds. I was sad to see people disappear so fast. I don't remember the attrition being quite so bad in previous years."

    That was my experience as well. I'll be there for the first couple of weeks for sure but after that it kinda depends on whether there is anybody else active there. I thrive on the frenzy of activity and conversations. Once it drops down to a dozen or so regulars I find it less fun (although those regulars are mighty fine folks!!)

  • @tawalker Feb 20

    @fuzzy That's a really interesting perspective - I personally found various songwriting challenges to be like these running events:

    - 5-in-5: 100m sprint
    - FAWM: 200m sprint
    - NaSoAlMo: a cross-country run (i.e. a bit stop-start, but you have time to pause and breathe πŸ˜€ )
    - 50/90: a marathon... at 1500m pace!

    YMMV πŸ˜€

  • @atitlan  Feb 20

    One of the nice things about 50/90 being stretched across 3 months is that unlike FAWM you can take time out and make it up later. During a month that's not easy to do. Over the summer it's likely most people will have a few consecutive days off at some point so can slacken off elsewhere even if trying to complete 50.

    Where I will agree is that compared to when I started (2012), the slowdown over the last couple has years has been much more marked.

    My view of 50/90 is certainly more in @fuzzy's 'relaxing walk' than @tawalker's 'marathon at 1500m pace', but I guess that's because I'm not really trying to complete the 50 anymore, I just dip in and out whenever I have time (which varies year to year)

  • @billwhite51 Feb 20

    to ram the fork deeper into the ground, my records show less interactivity in the third week of fahm (56 comments) than in the final week of 50 90 (77 comments)..whereas thr first week of both ran about even with 146 comments in 49 89 and 144 in fahm

  • @wobbiewobbit  Feb 20

    i have been doing both since 2012
    Fawm is definitely the main event and i eas interested to read @stephenwordsmith s statisitics. it is a lovely community of fawmers and although the goal is a faster rate the reality is a more easy going vibe... i have done about 20 lately in fawm and 5090. the difference in response can be frustrating or the rush of fawm can be exhilarating depending where you set your bar. i usually take some time put for camping in the middle and feel like i will take an even more relaxed approach this year but it is certainly a great thing to have ticking over for 3 months and i thinl you would like it and it would be lovely to see you there

  • @ustaknow Feb 20

    This belongs to someone here, don't remember whom:

    So much qualitative support.

    I've found that, esp after 5090's my sustained listens maintain.

    The only time I've ever seen a fall off, as I observe things is in that, folks forget FAWM and 5090 start as New each time. So, after the, it seemed 1x a year, per project Thread Blow up, folks left, never came back and so one starts with a certain base that realises the New aspect, is old enough to know the same krappe may happen again, but as a new flavor (viva la life πŸ˜€ ) ... or so "new" had no idea what was going on and remained...

    It's why the Creator did such a great job using this as his petri dish of observation for online teaching and learning, environments, group think, group formation, how not to get your brains beaten out via conformity and etcetera.

    I highly recommend folks read that section here... I loved it and just admire the paradigm that defeats a hierarchy killing gentre that usually kills all boards in, eh, maybe 2-3 years πŸ˜€ Ahhh, just a shot in the dark if look at a FB "closed writing group", and of course generally speaking. But someone always insists on being the Boss πŸ˜€ just how it seems to be with humans, and why I love my Ai life.

    I enjoy the consistency of the same folks making the same arguments every year as if it's gonna make a difference πŸ˜€ Typically, the good survives the krappe since to much work for the bad to continue and so, here we are discussing the very GOOD of it, and so -- engage it, regardless of imperfections. As I said, pending any perfect "we" ? bring to it πŸ˜‰ as we may try. As said above, don't like, OK, don't do it πŸ˜€ ?!?

    Then the Chalk Board gets wiped again!!

  • @sbs2018 Feb 20

    I did my first 50/90 last year and really enjoyed the community maybe more than FAWM. Easier to connect with fewer participants and I loved the push to keep writing/producing.

  • @mikedebenham  Feb 20

    I think 50/90 would attract more participants as, say, 30/90. I sometimes plan to give it a go - it fits nicely with Aussie winter - but then July rolls around and the thought of keeping up a FAWM pace for 3 months just doesn't seem appealing at all. Even in this thread, 50/90ers talk about hitting the full 50 as a grim initiation ritual rather than a satisfying achievement.

    Sure, you don't need to hit 50 songs, but 'come join our challenge - just ignore the challenge, you probably won't complete it' isn't as compelling an idea as the more achievable FAWM.

    I think a nice lateral solution would be to make an alternative '30/90' front page for the site - you access the same forums, same set of songs, everything identical except for how many songs you believe you're aiming for. Everyone's happy: the 30/90ers could hit their 30 and be proud, the diehard 50/90ers could use the original 50/90 portal and feel quietly superior. πŸ˜€

    (That said, some people seem to want 50/90 to remain small and intimate, so maybe attracting more participants isn't the goal here.)

  • @coolparadiso  Feb 20

    I really enjoy both. They are different but it's instrinsicly a subset of FAWM people who again provide a great environment . It is more laid back, even though I appreciate 50 in 90 is slightly more than 14 in Feb. In 50/90 you can take breaks then go hard, I'm stuffed if i try that in FAWM. Also because of the size of FAWM I am always struggling to hear all the songs I want to ! I can keep up better in 50/90. I thoroughly recommend having a look, you only have to do as many as you want. Of course then there is Rocktober on the end which seems to be growing each year.

  • @stephenwordsmith Feb 20

    @mikedebenham 's comments led me to muse on the history of 5090 a bit - it's considerably older than FAWM, and was very much a newsgroup sort of operation - the slick interface (and most of the participants, I think) are the result of a FAWMer mobilising us en masse to adopt the challenge as well, circa 2007. I do remember people adopting the challenge with more enthusiasm in the late 00s, early 10s (several of my friends having completed well over 100), but that has been on a continuous wane since then.

    I do wonder if we tried to bring a bit too much of the FAWM ethos with us when we made the shift, and found it generally incompatible with the nature of the beast.

  • @mikedebenham  Feb 20

    @stephenwordsmith Ah, that's interesting. From the number of familiar faces at 50/90, I'd always assumed it was an offshoot of FAWM. 50/90 being its own pre-existing thing makes far more sense. (I'd wondered which masochistic FAWMer decided 'I need to create another FAWM - but longer and harder!')

    I think you're right about the FAWM ethos not quite fitting with 50/90. In a good year it's possible to get through FAWM with 14 full songs, but 50/90 is a different mindset - you need to accept there will be throwaways if you're going to hit the target. (If you're a mere mortal like me, anyway.)

  • @splittybooms  Feb 20

    Great thread - interesting seeing how different ones with varying years of participation view each event.
    I personally feel 50/90 allows one to post whatever comes to mind; whatever your brain blurts out. FAWM, I feel more constricted. This year specifically, I've been stuck in my 50/90 mode - just making whatever and posting it, regardless if I'm really feeling it or not.
    No right/wrong way to approach either, I suppose. But there is a freedom with 50/90 for me personally, perhaps because of the 90 day time period.
    Yeah, like most say - try it. It can definitely be fun. It can be challenging or it can be a breeze...or somewhere in between. Approach it like a game. Approach it like your life depends on hitting 50.
    Its all good. Shoot, @keithcuts you already got half of what you'd need for 50/90, and its just FAWM. I think you'd do alright πŸ˜€

  • @keithcuts  Feb 21

    @splittybooms lol. Thanks for all the responses everyone. I’ve tried various challenges all over Facebook but none come close to fawm. The ease of use the culture of it etc. I’ll give 50-90 a shot. I looked in once but got the tumbleweeds impression. But now that I’ve come to know so many of you I imagine I’ll get a different experience πŸ‘

  • @ustaknow Feb 21

    @keithcuts not to make to fine a point, hahhh, -- but after the last 5090, it just sort of flowed into this FAWM, -- writing/working.

    -- What happened, for me, since there really can be (who knows) "more" substantive interaction pending what you bring to it, I just could not stop writing. I didn't have to stop either, IRL. So, I just posted the tracks on the FB group for posting songs, some fantastic FAWMer decided to make and remains in use, fyi:

    I'm not saying, you'll "even" get a reaction, or listen but, imo, -- it's a great legit post (baring being annoying πŸ˜€ to others if prolific), rather than "spamming" some other group that may just ignore it as well.

    (There's the FAWM group on FB if unaware. However, that's for staying in touch, etc., notsomuch -- "look at me" posts, or self promotion, as that may appear to others. But there's been some great off/down time threads that ad hoc occurred. Otherwise, just KIT.)

    PS: I saw another thread from a FAWMling and made me remember, -- read the Help/FAQ links here and there and even search YouTube for FAWMer posted, relevant help and etc. It all comes out eventually, but as I say, it can take a year or so.

  • @boyatheart Feb 21

    I did 50/90 twice: 2008 and 2009.
    My first FAWM was 2008 and I was writing/recording my first solo album that year, while posting a new song every week on my (now deceased) website The Weekly Songcast.
    50/90 was a great way to keep me creating enough material to be able to keep my weekly posts going for as long as I did (nearly 2 years eventually) and a couple made it onto my album too.

    Both those years I found 50/90 to be almost as busy as FAWM.
    My 2009 50/90 approach was to hit record and sing/play acoustic into the mic spontaneously - total improvisation. It broke a lot of creative barriers for me and I hit 50 very quickly.

    Most of those "songs" were as you might expect them to be, but several of them were surprisingly coherent and close to sounding like they were planned and went on to form the basis for fully-fledged songs later on.
    I don't have the time for 50/90 now, but I may drop in this year and post one or two if I can.

  • @bitshred Feb 21

    I haven't done 50/90 in years. Always enjoyed it. It's more laid back than FAWM. It's when I'll experiment more with different genres. I also feel more inspired to write in the summer. It's more like a July Album Writing Month however. As others have mentioned, the participation drops considerably near the end of August. September only a few people left. I once wrote and recorded over 20 songs once.

  • @filklore Feb 24

    This is my first year with FAWM. I have done 50/90 before; in the old days when it used (I think) Yahoo Groups, then when it came here (which is why I first had a FAWM account). I think the last 50/90 I did was in 2008.

    I enjoyed 50/90, but I never came close to hitting the target. In fact, I think I only once exceeded the 12 songs I've written here, so far.

    Despite this, I felt it had value for me. Of the songs I wrote, there would always be one or two that I'd be quite proud of, and happy to include in my regular repertoire. It allowed me to experiment, knowing it didn't matter if a song ended up sucking.

    As other have commented, 90 days is a long commitment, though. I would usually start enthusiastically, then run out of steam, then finally give up as there was no way I would hit 50.

    I've found FAWM more manageable. I have put it off for years, as usually February is an incredibly busy time for me. But despite other commitments, I feel I have been more creative here than on 50/9

  • @metalfoot  Feb 24

    I write more songs per day for FAWM than 50/90.

  • @tcelliott  Feb 24

    I take a week off here and there during 50/90 and it's still there when I get back. I took most of a week off at Fawm and now it's almost over. *sigh*

  • @elainedimasi  Feb 25

    I've been FAWMing for 14 almost every year since 2008, and I never used 50/90 for anything other than dropping in with stray songs over the summers. Since I don't give much to 50/90 I don't ask much from it either.

    I am more likely to hang on Song Fight! on and off through the rest of the year. Each song challenge is ten days. Well within my abilities to write and plan in those years when I've got a guitarist "of my own" - which I haven't for, like, a decade! And it's perfectly cool and appreciated on SF to vote and review without submitting songs.

    And the other cool thing about Song Fight! is that after a good fight, you basically have a mix tape of 15 or 20 songs that all were written to the same title, so they seem related. Sometimes a fight really clicks, everything good somehow, even the guy who usually just screams into his tape recorder came out sounding like King Crimson.

  • @billwhite51 Mar 3

    i plan one album for fawm, and usually end up with 2, this year i produced three, but some of the material was from 50 90. i wrote 90 songs during 50 90 with no album planning. it is three months of songwriting adventure. much more experimentation. then comes rocktober, during which i record 30 or so cover tunes to revisit my inspirations and influences.

  • @metalfoot  Mar 3

    I find I tend to experiment more with 50/90 since there is more time to let stuff simmer. One 50/90 I wrote a 47-minute-long song suite (and released it as one track) just because I had the time to work it out.

  • @owl  Mar 3

    I generally isolate myself during FAWM and choose to work on songwriting at the expense of social commitments, other hobbies, leisurely lazy days... I think that kind of pace is sustainable for a month for me, but not over the course of three months during the summer.

    So I've done 50/90 for a few years but without the pressure on myself to actually finish the challenge (I'm distressed if I don't think I'll win FAWM, but have never gotten anywhere near finishing 50/90). One year I posted one (1) song. (But a friend used it in the soundtrack for a short film, so I got to hear it played in the movie theater, so that was cool!) I think the most I've ever managed was a half-marathon of 25 songs, if I remember right. But I try to remember that whatever number of songs I end up with, even if it's less than 50, it's more than I had when I started πŸ˜€

    @stephenwordsmith has a good point when he says "Whatever your goal is, you're going to have to be the one motivating yourself"--50/90 is a smaller but supportive community, but to me, it definitely doesn't have the wide scope and frantic buzz of FAWM, so comments are generally slower to come in and fewer in number.

    Seconding @elainedimasi that Song Fight! is a nice motivation throughout the year because of the constant participation with lots of detailed reviews of your work, the constant new prompts and optional challenges, and generally higher production values since people have a whole week+ to work on a single song... but you definitely have to have a thicker skin than with FAWM or 50/90, since I think with FAWM/50/90 people basically only ever say positive things, but Song Fight! is a fairly criticism-heavy environment. I was chatting with a friend who was complaining about a review he just got that said he should have played "more high notes" in his guitar solo, haha.

  • @elainedimasi  Mar 3

    Thanks @owl!

    Song Fight! definitely changed my songwriting. I got one review that said "yeah there was excitement in the song eventually but it took too long to happen" and another review "it has to hit harder."

    My next rock song made sure to try to get the energy up faster and pay attention to how hard things hit. You really can improve when you know what to pay attention to.

    And yeah, production in a week is MUCH more doable than production in a day for me.

  • @sw1n3flu  Mar 3

    @tcelliott i wondered where you’d gone!!!

  • @andygetch  Mar 4

    @keithcuts I have done FAWM and 5090 since 2012. if you're still listening/interested here are a few more similarities and differences in addition to those that have been covered above.

    - A lot of the same songwriting games: skirmishes, morph, auntie-syn, corpses, etc.
    - same fine tech support by Eric and Jen including the same file hosting
    - 5090 uses FAWM merch

    - Slight difference in start/finish times
    - Can have more than one collaborator listed for a single song
    - Can send private soundboard messages
    - Can use text-code emojis (but not smart phone emojis) in forum comments

  • @ustaknow Mar 4

    Why not telling the FAWMling's about the super-secret, special, sure-thing, sure-hit, morse-code ring they get? That's not given out anymore? I get one every year; especially if hang around after it's all over.
    - It may just be a Spam-bot, deleting and reappearing; yes, a little cagey, maybe.

  • @fuzzy  Mar 4

    If you participate in 50/90 for ten years in a row you get a free week at the FAWM timeshare condo in beautiful Sardinia.

  • @djevans53 Mar 4

    Since I'm a tax accountant, I really enjoy 50/90 more.

  • @johnnycashpoint Mar 4

    I think people who judge the success of their fawms by number of comments received are probably not the folks who would enjoy 50/90.

  • @davidbreslin101  Mar 6

    If anything, the news that it can get tumbleweedy makes 50/90 LESS intimidating to me! Me being a digital hermit, the thought of keeping FAWM levels of intensity up for 3 months solid....

  • @andygetch  Mar 7

    @davidbreslin101 exactly the same for me @djevans53 I also have more writing time in 50/90

  • @chipwithrow  Mar 7

    @davidbreslin101 - Tumbleweedy! What a great word!
    I, too, have more writing time during 50/90. My first few 50/90s, my wife and I were teaching school and we'd be on summer vacation and at the beach for the first 6 weeks of 50/90. Fond memories of sittin' on the dock of the bay as I wrote songs!
    Back to "tumbleweedy" - I just went back and looked at last year's 50/90 output (78 songs!). I had one that only got two comments, and a few that only had three, but most were in the 7-12 range - including my last four or five songs.
    So there are enough of us hanging around to the end to keep it interesting, yet still laid back. And often I like my 50/90 songs better than my FAWM ones!

  • @andygetch  Mar 8

    @davidbreslin101 @chipwithrow my 50/90 comments received averaged between 6 and 7 with a range from 1 to 15. The most 'tumbleweedy' day/week for song postings I could find was in September with an average of 30 songs per day. Which is about four times as many as the number I have time to listen to/read/comment.

  • @radioovermoscow Mar 9

    50/90 is just a ridiculous idea. No one - except maybe Billy Corgan circa 1995 - has ever written 50 decent songs in a year. At least with FAWM, it's a concentrated burst - I can let everything I've been building up over the year out all in one go, then survey the wreckage later and salvage the good stuff.

    Fifty songs? Even I'd be bored shitless going through 50 of my own songs written in a row.

  • @mariekevinkmusic  Mar 9

    For me, it feels like FAWM is about a challenge I can achieve. 50/90 feels like a way to write songs, post them and get some feedback and it doesn't matter if I get to 50.

  • @fuzzy  Mar 9

    I think some of you folks are concentrating too much on the "50 songs" aspect and forgetting about the awesome 50/90 community. Kind of like the FAWM community but smaller and more intimate and all summer long!

  • @mariekevinkmusic  Mar 9

    @fuzzy Exactly. That's how I am treating it.

  • @billwhite51 Mar 9

    once i get into it, i cant stop. i wrote 90 songs last 50 90. thats only one a day, Andy Warhol would have castigated me for being lazy. I wrote 35 during FAWM,,, thats not much better. my advice is to not worry about how many songs you write. jst keep writing them if you are a songwriterm this is what your brain wants you to do. Keep at it and eventally the songs will write themou see the brain is not a lazy organ Lik the heart and the lungs, it keeps working without your assistance.

  • @silvermachine  Mar 9

    I treat 50/90 like FAWM 2 and just do 14 songs in the first month.
    By the end of July I've enjoyed my second FAWM of the year, and musically exhausted and yearning for a change of activity, I leave (along with a lot of others it seems, who've been dropping off since the first week).
    Writing songs in the bleakest month of winter is a marvellous way to make it fly by and not notice the cold, but the warmth of summer is extremely conducive to songwriting I find , and if anything the songs come easier.
    That said, I won't be taking part this year.

  • @ustaknow Mar 9

    @fuzzy, I heard they finally got the fish smell outta the carpet, - you learned to use plates, and that helped πŸ˜€ Cagliari is nice, summer time, you handle the heat well.

  • @chipwithrow  Mar 9

    Totally agree with @fuzzy about the tight-knit 50/90 community. Yes, by September there might only be 20-30 (could be higher) of us super-active (and @billwhite51 is one of those). But through a thread like this, maybe there will be 21-31 or 22-32 of us in September!
    I'm already formulating a 50/90 plan - to do 25 songs, and for each new one I write, re-visit a song from my past. (I'll only post the new ones to the 50/90 site, of course.) I've written 50+ songs (78 last year) 10 of the 11 years I've 50/90ed, so I've proven many times over I can do it.
    Once the challenge gets started, I'll probably do 50 anyway, though.

  • @metalfoot  Mar 9

    I am 99% sure I'll be a late starter to 50/90 this year due to family commitments but hopefully I'll be able to do 90 songs in 50 days anyway... or was that 50 in 90? I can never remember. πŸ˜‰

  • @andygetch  Mar 10

    @chipwithrow I have thought about collabs with my past self. Maybe I'll do a few of those too this 50/90! Every time I have tried in the past I end up with an almost complete rewrite of the original idea. One of my big regrets about FAWM 2020, which I also plan to rectify in 50/90, was only participating in one chainwriting game and only having one collab. @metalfoot I'm sure you'll find a way to get a few on the board or at least started. Yes @fuzzy to me 50/90 and FAWM are all about the community. Most people do not cross the finish line, but speaking for myself, I write more songs in both FAWM and 50/90 than I would have on my own.

  • @siebass  Mar 10

    This was a really fun thread to read. I've only tried 50/90 once, the year of my first FAWM (2017), to keep up the steam from that effort. I put up only 5 songs, one with no lyrics, one with a lyric collaborator, so really only 3 songs WRITTEN, per say. Still 3 more songs that I would not have had otherwise. I always think about really going for it, but it's just too much of a commitment for me, personally, given the time it takes me to create a song and get it to the point I'm happy sharing it weighed against my other hobbies and family time commitments. With two kids under 3 my energy level is usually in the basement by the time they are in bed all I can manage is to stare at the internet for an hour or so before passing out to repeat the cycle.

    That said, reading this thread has got me inspired again. I may try for a lyrics-only 50/90, and then use those lyrics as fodder for my one-new-song-per-month usual commitment. Maybe this year will be the magic 50/90 year.

  • @cts  Mar 10

    I've been with FAWM since 2009 and I think I did my first 50/90 in 2010. Since then I've only hit 50 2x and for me that's okay. I'm more inclined to use 50/90 to collaborate with whomever is interested. There are so many talented and generous people here that it's more rewarding and an honor to create side by side with them.

  • @stephenwordsmith Mar 10

    @cts: I'll be sure to look you up. I'm sure I have some peanut butter for the jelly factory... somewhere.

  • @metalfoot  Mar 10

    @cts I think another metalfoot/jellyfactory collab is in order!

  • @chipwithrow  Mar 11

    @cts - You know I love your music, and I'm also delighted you used "whomever" in the gramatically correct way. (I was an editor and English teacher for many years.) I've only collaborated with you once - I'd for sure do it again.
    I started writing a song today - a straight up 12-bar blues that came to me as I made the bed - and I just jotted down the idea and decided to wait until 50/90.

  • @sbs2018 Mar 12

    @cts - Maybe we can get around to our collab in 50/90. Would love it!

  • @standup  Mar 12

    I’ve gotten in the habit of 50/90 now. The first couple times I would write 4-5 songs in the summer, and that was it. Then 10. I think I’m more in the 25-song range (3-4 keepers last summer). I have never viewed 50 songs as a realistic goal for me. It’s just, hey, I’m gonna write some songs this summer. Period. A few, several, maybe a lot. Don’t know.

  • @fuzzy  Mar 13

    Exactly, @standup.

  • @iveg Mar 13

    I like both FAWM and 50/90. There's also the Facebook prompt, SongFight (and the Nur Ein challenge). And poetry challenges, and writing fiction, and Nanowrimo, and stuff. Inspiration is everywhere, but time isn't. I plan to do 50/90. Maybe I'll do 60, maybe I'll do 10. Because I'm writing anyway.

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