Things you'd do differently next year? (Blog post)

Skip to the bottom

  • @lyricslinger Mar 3

    This was my first year participating in FAWM, and I really enjoyed it. I decided to write a blog post about my experience, which includes thoughts on some things that I want to do differently (or at least do more of) next year.

    My big 3 things to do differently are:
    1) Participate more in the forums
    2) Look for opportunities to collaborate
    3) Pace myself better, so i'm not left with a mad dash to the line in the last few days!

    Wondered what others plan to do differently next year?

    Here's my blog post if anyone fancies reading it,

  • @zecoop  Mar 3

    @lyricslinger - Nice blog post and all excellent ideas for next year! I never have a plan coming in but it always seems to work out. Collaborations are one of the best things here, in my opinion. I write primarily instrumental music, but often with an arrangement that would welcome vocals. Participating in forums and listening are two of the most critical things for FAWM - it's hard to get the collaborations (or comments) if you don't get to know people. For me collaborations are pretty easy since I've been doing this 10 years and know a ton of people, with ideas about who would be right for certain songs.

    But I always am finding new FAWMers too and had a brand new collaborator this year (and several first time collaborations with folks I already knew but had not written with).

    I'm glad you had a great year and congrats on the win!!! hope to see you back. I'm going to read a couple of your lyrics. 😀

  • @pipewrench67  Mar 3

    I usually plan on having a plan going into FAWM, that course almost always changes before the first week is done. Participating in the forums is one of the best parts of FAWM for me, especially during the January build up.

    Don't know what I would do differently probably test me equipment to make sure everything works so I am not scrambling (like I did this year) to get things working during the first week.

  • @mikeb Mar 3

    Main thing is make sure my gear is in working order well ahead of time! Having an interface, then computer, malfunction on me at the beginning of the month meant I was spending more time testing/checking/replacing than working on new songs.
    Last year (my first FAWM) I did a couple of collaborations when I read lyrics I liked, this year I just didn't see any lyrics that grabbed me.

  • @vomvorton  Mar 3

    I was pretty happy with the way things went this FAWM, with only the now-traditional FAWM flu really counting against it. I'd like to make plans NOT to get ill in 2021 but maybe I just need to make sure I have plenty of workarounds! I enjoyed posting a couple of instrumentals and throwing them open for collaboration this year, so I'd definitely consider doing more of that. I also spent more time on each song this year, rather than posting things the very second they were done; I think that contributed to one of the best years I've had in terms of consistency and quality. And it only took me 13 years to figure that out 😉

  • @plushbaby  Mar 3

    After having a few years out of FAWM, we decided to concentrate on writing (with what little time we had together) and post songs at the end. In retrospect I think we have more fun posting as we go. So maybe next year we'll try and do it like we the first time... always chasing that buzz!

  • @bitshred Mar 3

    I wouldn’t change mush. My participation was much more than past years. So I’m happy with that. Also I used a brand new DAW that I didn’t know. And haven’t actually written anything in like a year or more. But it still was all fun. Next time, I’ll probably write some song in January to warm up. And maybe train more and eat better. I got really tired after two weeks and fell behind.

  • @metalfoot  Mar 3

    I think I might try learning a new DAW between last year and this year and I would like to maybe do a few less songs and work on the arrangements a little more (arrangement is related to DAW; I have a midi controller which I didn't end up using at all during FAWM, nor did the trombones make their way into any tracks). I don't think any FAWMers would complain if I "only" did 60 songs instead of 80 next year. LOL

  • @alboe Mar 3

    I generally only sing and play guitar/keyboards one month a year and that’s during FAWM.
    So every year at least the first two weeks within FAWM are a real struggle in that I have to get reacquainted with guitar and keys and most of all my voice..
    So the big plan for the upcoming year is trying to play at least some guitar and keyboards during the whole year and get some vocal training.

  • @judypie  Mar 3

    Ooh I must say, having had the most fun EVER this fawm, I can’t think of a thing I would change! Was so lucky with not getting sick, and having the chance to collab with other peeps that I haven’t before. I even managed to avoid the part where I normally hit a wall and get really down on myself. So.. I’m just gonna spike my tea with whatever it was spiked with this year 😛
    Having said that, being surrounded by SO many wonderful musicians and songwriters, it has inspired me to WORK HARDER instead of just coasting by as I normally do, so I am all signed up for guitar lessons this weekend. I don’t know how well I’ll get on with being formally taught but I feel it’s worth a pop. I sure am glad you enjoyed your first fawm anyway @lyricslinger 😁

  • @wacha  Mar 3

    I was posting lot of songs over the weekend and then nothing during the week. I think next year I will limit the number of songs I post at the same time.

  • @emkaydeebee  Mar 3

    This was my third fawm, and I have to say, it was perfect! (Not that I was, but it was!) I fulfilled a long held dream, felt like I really connected and got to know more people here this year, and I achieved what I set out to do. I’m still totally buzzing! I feel like I kept up better with giving a steady flow of comments over the course of the month on folks on my watchlist, and I made sure to comment in forums whenever I had something to add.

    I would like to be a better singer so as to achieve better sounding demos that don’t occasionally leave me cringing, but I think that’s partly the hearing your own voice thing. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed your first year!

  • @guatecoop  Mar 3

    I think that this fawm was a good one. I do want to learn how to set up my guitars, as I always find them to be difficult to stay in tune with all of the playing, as well as with the changing weather during the month. I also want to do my homework on what mics sound best with which instruments for certain styles. I found myself re-recording certain parts not for the playing (well, sometimes) mostly, but for the sound that I just couldn’t live with. Otherwise, I was pretty happy about my fawm.

  • @johnstaples  Mar 3

    I really thoroughly enjoyed FAWM again this year. But next year I'm gonna try and finish in 3 weeks so I spend the final week listening. I'm tryin to catch up on listening now but I'm afraid most folks are now gone and won't even know I listened and commented.

  • @keithcuts  Mar 3

    This was a great year!

    In going from year one to year two I (from 2018-2019) I had similar goals.
    Seeking more collab opportunities was good fun added bonus. Just go in knowing collabs are for the fun of it all and not to have your “next hit song”.
    Finding music you like and asking “how did you do that?” Type Questions also was a great second year step up for me.
    Glad you had fun and set goals!

  • @ayehahmur  Mar 3

    I really enjoyed this year too, I produced some things I'd planned to and some things that just came the hell out of left field at me, and I think I might actually have enough candidates to release somthing on the back of it all.

    But it all felt a bit safe. Next time I'm going to allow/force myself to experiment more. Go right out of my comfort zone and out the other side.
    Alternatively I might be writing the long awaited musical. Either way it'll be an adventure.

  • @keithcuts  Mar 3

    @ayehahmur +1 on the musical idea

  • @timfatchen  Mar 5

    1. Clear all appointments
    2. Chain myself to the studio floor in mid-January
    3. Refuse to go anywhere near renovations, IKEA, plmubing supplies and tile specialists
    4. Ensure I have something better than an 11.y.o. 😝 netbook when my wife attacks the chain with the oxy torch and drags me to places north via IKEA etc.

  • @yam655 Mar 5

    @ayehahmur I want to mention that 50/90 is coming up. 😉

    I tend to be a huge fan of experimenting. Experiment where you want to grow! 😀

    I've also played with a couple variations of musical-like things -- they're definitely fun. This has ranged from my earlier "songs linked together via spoken words" that I released (with full songbook) as one of my first albums, to my failed "let's get a written libretto for this thing," to my current thing, whatever that is. (As a long-time NaNoWriMo person, the story/song line is fuzzy.)

  • @boyatheart Mar 5

    Nothing - same approach as I have since 2008: See what happens. That's the only way it works for me. If I planned anything I probably wouldn't get anything written.

  • @ayehahmur  Mar 5

    @yam655 Ha, dude. No 50/90 is out for me. I've a novel to finish now and a new one to write by the year's end. February is my music month. Totally agree with you on experimentation though, it's funny how we got so comfort zoned with the way we do things. We call it our "style" but it's really just laziness isn't it?
    I think with a big project like a musical (or a novel, going in to Nano) it reallly helps to have a strong idea of what the story is going to be. 😀

  • @emkaydeebee  Mar 5

    @ayehahmur @keithcuts
    @yam655 - definitely do it! I can’t tell you how amazing it has felt to finally write the musical this year!

  • @lyricslinger Mar 5

    Thanks for all the comments. Wow - some great observations there.

    Sounds like for the musicians, some prep work in January is a common theme so that you're set to go from Day 1.

    I also like the experimentation idea. Maybe next year I might try using FAWM as a safe place to experiment with writing in genres that I haven't done before, or haven't done much. Maybe even some rap lyrics ...

    I thought of one other thing. Although I mainly wrote brand new lyrics for FAWM, there were a couple where I went back and worked on ones that had been in an unfinished state for a long time. However, I'm pretty disorganised about where I store my unfinished lyrics. They're all on my phone app but I then have to trawl through hundreds of notes to find the ones with potential. I should probably create a folder on my pc for unfinished lyrics that I think have something about them that merits perservering with them! I guess that's the lyricist's equivalent of those musicians who said they wanted to make

  • @boxtape Mar 7

    1.) Maybe set myself some limitations on style/instrumentation. I really like what I wrote this year but musically it is all over the place, maybe a more definite stylistic album next time.

    2.) I tried to make FAWM Youtube content while doing FAWM (as in editing the video together) and that just slowed down my songwriting and the editing. So next time I will capture the footage and edit in March.

  • @chipwithrow  Mar 7

    I read the original post and the blog it linked to - good advice, especially for new FAWMers but for all of us as well.
    A few of you mentioned testing equipment beforehand. Although the recording process interests me only as much as it allows me to make simple yet listenable demos, I have been meaning to upgrade some things since at least FAWM 2019 and still not gotten around to it.
    Maybe I'll be more motivated to do that for 50/90 now that my daughter has shown an interesting in recording her uke/singing endeavors.
    And as for writing a musical - now that you got me thinking, I believe I actually did that, maybe six FAWMs ago. Most of my songs were based on the characters and setting in a painting my daughter did.
    As for what I'll do different next year - most years I try a new theme (this year was a lot of piano/vocal) and the idea usually comes right after Christmas.

  • @ustaknow Mar 7

    Hey "lyricslinger" I read your post and looked around your sight and will have to probably read a few time in different head spaces of my own - something I learned along time ago. It took me 5 years to consider what I do now. In that, I try to comment that this place unlike others, can take one two years or so to figure out their "flow".

    I think many find out what it is or is not and leave, or adjust. Like IRL.

    I don't think there's anything I'll do differently, - though never have a plan. Other than this year, never even had a "theme". And that happened just prior so was a "sticky" idea so to speak. And, I had to wait for February to start so was grinding my gears until then.

    What I'll do the same, is listen to everyone. I do. It's what I do IRL. In that I learn the "how heard" part, felt part, and etc. I certainly do not, - not listen. I again this year learned from the perennial Threads (every year, same folks, copy and paste 😀 ) same things pulled forward, - we have to pull the past forward with us, aye! (good or bad).

    I think folks find their niche and figure out what others are and need to wait to see and for me, I do not limit myself to a single "group of people only", and by that have the best time. I typically get to know, as well as one can in this context, 1 - 2 "new" people, and for me that's a good thing since effects my music. If not, it would sound the same-same year over year as I hear that effect on even mainstream artists, - one set of yes-men 😉 only.

    So, as you Collaborate, and Forum engage, - look well, hard and deep so as not to "ruin" what may be many years to come here. Well, not advice, but what I did/do and do IRL.

  • @billwhite51 Mar 7

    pick up the tempo, work harder on the melodies, get a real electric guitar and write some decent arrangements, make the songs as short as possible

  • @beautyspot Mar 7

    This year, even though I did not make it to 14 (I'm a proud member of the Thirteen club), I produced 3 EPs. Each was recorded mixed and published separately and I felt like I was never in a rush to get any of them done. I really did not think I had the time or gumption this year to get more than half a dozen posted. I will use this process next year for sure, but add a twist.
    I was late to the game when I found @zecoop drum tracks, so one EP next year will be using them.
    Another will be collaborations, using lyrics from all the great lyric writers here
    Another will be created from skimishes, which just leaves one EP for any random thing that comes up.

  • @yam655 Mar 8

    @emkaydeebee I'm exploring oral improvised story right now. I'm sure I'll circle back around to musicals again. 😀

    The thing that has kept me away from more serious focus on musicals and podcast-with-song has been "what to do with it after it is written?" I'd love to be in a position where I could produce it, as I know I can find talent in town, but ... Right now, I've got to work with what I have.

  • @emkaydeebee  Mar 8

    @yam655 I’m definitely planning on making it happen, having created it and feeling really proud of it, I need to get it to stage.

  • @musicsongwriter  Mar 9

    Sing all my songs myself. Haha, don't worry, only kidding 😀

  • @timfatchen  Mar 10

    @musicsongwriter You have the same block I suffer from. I dont have a voice, and eventually realised if I wanted to hear them sung, I'd have to sing them regardless.

  • @musicsongwriter  Mar 10

    @timfatchen you might have the same block I suffer from but mine is justified 😀 I don't have what it takes to deliver what I hear in my head. I know this for a fact as I recorded myself many times. On very rare occasions I do manage to but it's very rare and I can count them using fingers on one hand. I heard your singing and I love it so please don't slide into my block and do sing your songs often. It is a truly enjoyable listen 😀

  • @siebass  Mar 10

    @billwhite51 amen to making the songs as short as possible; I try to wear my editor hat more and more in terms of carving out sections if they aren't serving a defensible sonic purpose, with moderate success this year, hopefully more next.

    @musicsongwriter @timfatchen sing your songs! It's FAWM! We can do anything!

  • @musicsongwriter  Mar 10

    @siebass thank you. You are very kind 😀

  • @tawny249  Mar 10

    Record more songs, assuming I don't get FAWM plague again. Other than that? I was pretty damn happy with this year. 😀

Leave a Message. Log in to FAWM or sign up first...