How to manage a Post-FAWM Let Down/Crash

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  • @kenmattsson  Mar 2

    While this might be my first full FAWM, it's not the first time that I've been through a "peak experience" and had to come back to my regular life (I *do not* call it "getting back to the real world", as things like FAWM *are* the real world that we don't live in enough). I know that one of the things can be a huge mental and emotional crash from the sudden change from peak experience to feeling like you're slumped on the floor. This can be a very normal experience, and if you're feeling it, you're probably not alone.

    Some things that you can do are:

    1. Take care of yourself: sleep, eat healthy, get some exercise, go for a walk, etc.
    2. Do some reflection: meditate, review your songs, talk to others (especially other FAWMers) about what this experience has been like for you, what you've learned, and how you've changed as a person from this experience.
    3. Don't go cold turkey: Listen to others music, jot down a few ideas with no pressure to produce anything. Keep the good feelings alive but turn the volume down.
    4. Show gratitude: Say thank you to people who have supported you through this experience, even if they didn't realize they were helping you.

    I'm sure there are more, but these are a few of the things that I've found work.

    Feel free to share your own experiences.

  • @mikeskliar  Mar 2

    good thoughts! and yeah, one of the 'shocks' of a non-fawm world we're all in so suddenly, is that commenting gets less and less, sadly usually fairly rapidly. ONe thing I do to prolong the fun for myself is on this thread, been doing it for the last 8 years or so https://fawm.org/forums/topic/11832/

  • @andygetch  Mar 2

    Definitely noted over the years that creative peak and come-down. I write and paint in other groups as well so that helps me with it. The community support here is not quite like anywhere else I have been so yes participating before and after FAWM helps me with transition in and out, from/to other groups and challenges.

  • @coolparadiso  Mar 2

    And after a while you make so many friends and you find all the hidey holes to keep up with them all year! Plenty of places to share music with them! But hey hang around a bit in March still interact just slowly wind down! no need for cold turkey!

  • @timfatchen  Mar 2

    Keep listening and commenting for this week and preferably next week too, not only a good slow-down routine BUT ALSO you'll get to hear more interesting stuff! And there are other pleasure-prolonging and soft landing measures. (For me, @frogspawn has only just started FAWM, late as usual, but I realise most here don't actually want their Dark Side to emerge publicly.)
    .

  • @daveyboy103  Mar 2

    I'm feeling it, I'm feeling it.

    First year, it's been great. I will miss the collaboration especially in these times.

    Thanks for the tips

  • @majordanby  Mar 2

    I loved recording so much this year! It really has helped me to get my passion back for it. So much so, I just bought a Mac and will carry on. I’m really looking forward to recording some older songs as well as revisiting some of the better songs I’ve written this FAWM.

    I’ll also be listening, commenting and busting those Zongs!

  • @jwhanberry  Mar 2

    Don't stop making music.

  • @evinwolverton  Mar 2

    👏 Share Your New Music With Your People 👏

    If you wanna polish it first, great! Do that ASAP. But do not let what you've just created get buried under the mountain of time. Put it in the world to see, even if it's just a stepping stone. It's good enough, and life is just a series of stepping stones anyway. Upload that shit to streaming services. Post it to social. Burn the CD and send to Grandma. Who cares? Everybody you know and love.

  • @sadloaf Mar 2

    Songaweek is still going on over at /r/songaweek!

  • @mariekevinkmusic  Mar 2

    My colleague asked me this morning why I am so subdued. And I just burst into tears. After a month of intense social contact with so many people even though it was only online, the loneliness of lockdown has come back like a tonne of bricks.

  • @nateger Mar 2

    @kenmattsson I appreciate you sharing this! The post-fawm crash has been real for me. Creating new stuff without pressure has been helpful and workshopping FAWM tunes for an album feels like a good way to keep the creative juices flowing

  • @kenmattsson  Mar 2

    @mariekevinkmusic @nateger Yes, I knew it would be for some, so that's why I wanted to open up this conversation. I know this has been such a big experience for me that I'm doing this to support myself, and I figured it would help others too.

  • @loveonamixtape  Mar 2

    I'm planning to hang around here in the forums and listen comment on folks stuff for as long as anyone else hangs around. Denial is a form of coping, right?

  • @scubed  Mar 2

    Excellent advice, @kenmattsson! This was my 6th FAWM, and this year I’m feeling more bereft than usual at March’s arrival. Is it just me, or did the community spirit feel especially strong in this Pandemic year?

    I had to take yesterday off, but I plan to hang around for a couple of weeks at least. I have a lot of listening to catch up on!

  • @bitshred  Mar 2

    Great advice @kenmattsson . Definitely don't go cold turkey, then you may crash too hard. I'm feeling a little like @majordanby , in that FAWM was a bit of a kick to get back into writing/recording. So I may continue on. Also like what @evinwolverton says. Now is the time to also focus outside of FAMM and work toward world domination. It's only just begun when you think of it that way. 😀

  • @kenmattsson  Mar 2

    Yes @scubed, I think things are hightened right now as we've all be so isolated and we're so happy to be actually interacting with other people in the way that we would have normally done during FAWM anyway, so it seemed sort of normal.

    I think we need to either be more active here, and/or find people outside of fawm.org and try to do more collaborations. I think I need to review all of the songs I wrote, and see what I can do to keep in touch with those people with whom I've made some connections.

    I'm hosting the Massachusetts FAWM After Party, but I was thinking about maybe just posting another one that would be available for people anywhere in the world who wanted to connect. Granted, the time zone differences make that more difficult, but still possible.

  • @mahtowin Mar 2

    @kenmattsson I had the same thoughts a few days ago, I know myself well enough that it could happen to fall in a black hole after Feb. So I started to plan things. Collabs going on and equipment I wanna go trained by (Garageband or Interface ....)
    To me this was my first Fawm and it was a kick inside. Now I take my time to slow down, take walks in the forest, do my daily work as a social worker (something which gets me totaly grounded again) and talk to friends about my experience here - for what I am so thankful (friends and experience)!

  • @candle  Mar 2

    It is a let down, but the start of the next phase, really. Listening to FAWMers I fell behind listening to, discovering new FAWM gems I missed in the rush of February, ordering a new laptop ('cos mine died a week or so ago) & planning on getting it setup for Music production (hopefully before 50/90 starts LOL). Listening. Just listening to new music. Hoping my Muse rests for a while before she cracks the whip & sends me down the next creative rabbit hole (tho, I'm always quite happy to follow her commands!). Maybe I might even do some art. Funny. That thought just struck me (Muse, is that you hinting at something? 😉 ). That might be it until my new laptop gets here. Listening & "arting". Yeah, I like that idea.

    Thank you @kenmattsson for offering this thread so I could muse about my post-FAWM state of mind. It has helped quite a lot!

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @aeye Mar 2

    This is great advice. Especially since the creative juices seem to really come in waves. Reflection is a great thing to do. See how far you came this month, what you accomplished and then how you can take what you learned and apply it to new projects. It can definitely be hard when the creative high wears off (I fall into the whole why do I even bother to make music sometimes thing when I’m on the real low end of it). FAWM is a great way to stretch the creative wings and then take those skills to new heights the rest of the year or even next FAWM. 5090 is coming up too so there are still lots of opportunities to continue making music.

  • @ianuarius  Mar 2

    Well... I've got a bottle of scotch...

  • @candle  Mar 2

    @ianuarius that's excellent! LOL

    Reminds me, I need to buy some more. I finished up my last bottle over the Christmas break (you know the one I'm sorta still on 'cos I've only worked 5 days this year thanks to COVID LOL).

    Thanks for reminding me!

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @estebanlartigue  Mar 2

    2-3 days without FAWM I feel very let down. I think I need to find another hobby

  • @coolparadiso  Mar 2

    I understand how it can be a bit of a let down so how about a few options:

    March is still good here for commenting, listening and chatting in forums

    April - June Robyn Mackenzie has the fb page 50/90 the prequel, a place to post and chat

    july - october is 50/90 which is very similar to FAWM

    Amanda West and others run a weekly contest on FB called GYAWs

    There is the Songwrite Inn FB which has all sorts of things from mostly fawmers!

    A few other excellent groups with challenges and discussion (mostly now not in FB )

    Timmy Riordans Fearless songwriter challenge about monthly)

    Sarah Spencer 5 in 5 song fancy challenge (about monthly)

    Rigel thurstons 100 days of songwriting

    Plus i talk to loads of the people here on zoom and messenger! For myself but also for my podcast!

    Yes FAWM is FAWM. But there are lots of ways to stay engaged often with subsets of Fawmers!

  • @ianuarius  Mar 2

    @coolparadiso I'm now wondering if I'd participate any of that stuff if I had a FB account. 😁

    Probably not (very busy)... but I gotta wonder.

  • @deselby Mar 3

    One of the side effects of the creative ecstasy that manifests here is highly exaggerated praise left in a spirit of excitable positivity on songs and soundboards. That level of approval and applause is something usually completely absent from normal life. It is highly addictive and to have it wrenched away on March 1st after a month of soaking in it is enough to incapacitate an artistic temperament.
    The answer is to take FAWM with a large pinch of salt; we are simply not as good as people tell us here.
    By all means come back every year and enjoy your fix, but remember to turn off junkie mode come March or you will come a cropper.

  • @kenmattsson  Mar 3

    @deselby I would agree that my experience with FAWM is that it is mostly positive praise (and who doesn't like that?). Right now I would like to get better at my songwriting (and playing, and recording, etc.) so now is actually when I would like some critical comments on things. Don't know how to do that in this venue, as it feels like FAWM is mostly about encouraging the creative muse that in too many other areas gets slapped down.

  • @coolparadiso  Mar 3

    @ianuarius about 4 of them are not FB! Personally i am more on the non FB ones! But they are just options.

  • @coolparadiso  Mar 3

    Yup @kenmattsson critiquing is not a Fawm thing, it has been the only time i have seen things turn ugly in Fawm but the community always jumps in and settles things back down. Go to almost any other songwriter site and you can get as much critiquing as you want albeit in my view mostly worthless!

    i would suggest you find some trusted people who understand or are willing to understand your aims and goals and have skill in critiquing! Those people for you may well be here, if you find them, in my opinion you are better to have those discussions privately with them. Without knowing you and your goals generally so called critiquing is just opinion and then you have to ask why is there opinion valid!

  • @nadine Mar 3

    @deselby True words. But maybe this is the kind of escapism people need these days. I've been to many forums of songwriting and music production. After all these comments I was about to give up. Once you overcome the beginner status people compare your music with professionals.
    Especially with professionals you do not even know or listen to. What if you never wanted to be that kind of pro who studied music composition, knows jazz scales by heart, can play multiple instruments and works in a Hollywood studio?
    I really missed talking to like-minded people who like to improve their skill without beeing the next superstar. Positive comments encourage me more than harsh critiques on topics only pro's spot. My music needs to be listenable - and when I reach the quality of beeing released someday that's enough for me.

  • @mahtowin Mar 3

    The way songs here on Fawm a so positivly treated gave my heart wings! It makes me happy and a bit proud. It also has the effect to me to go on with my lyrics and my vocals - it was a kick inside. Now I try to save this feeling.

  • @thedutchwidows  Mar 3

    @deselby - wise words. My short-cut to normality: play your stuff to your family or friends. The come down is pretty swift and perhaps a touch brutal. Feet firmly back on ground now.

  • @timfatchen  Mar 3

    @deselby and @thedutchwidows In a whole lot of respects you are both quite right. Reality is cruel and harsh But for that very reason, you need to nurture and preserve the good vibes that have come from the FAWM experience, and make USE of it. (this is going to be a looong post, I fear)

    Here's my experience: the positive feedback of my first FAWM (2007 from memory) gave me enough confidence to get onto the TAXI A&R system. Now that was a serious ego-shock, but I had the FAWM warmth and buffer to more-or-less cope, and the combination of care and sternness at TAXI put the polish on my musical education. From there, things developed and I ended up a 3rd-rate composer (which is so far ahead of not rating at all!) with a few TV/Film credits and a trickle of coffe-level royalties. And also, eventually, with a grand opera by a flagship State opera company which fell victim, shortly before premiere, to shenanigans in said Opera company ( the artistic director/CEO is now in jail, doesn't help me at all. Nor him, probably). Even tho' I had to pull the production, that was a huge way on from the trepidation of FAWM #1, and it took a decade, but over that time, the positive feedback on FAWM buoyed me up. There's enough brutal reality in the world without inflicting it on yourself. TAKE the positive vibe, be a bit selective on what songs you'll work on, sure (you can read the difference between positive applause and seriously good positive applause in the comments!), but don't go for the "ah well, that's over, back to reality" because you can change that reality. And the warm memory of good things people said matters in doing so.

  • @timfatchen  Mar 3

    @thedutchwidows IMPORTANT MANTRA: "I do not expect family or friends to be supportive in any way or fashion of my music!" It is a universal truth. So repeat and repeat and repeat that mantra. The problem is, your friends and family know you so well that they cant' actually conceive of you bringing something musically new into the world, and if you claim to have, then being you, it can't be much good. And, of course, it's unlikely to conform to their musical tastes. Besides, the [insert singer/group/band/orchestra here] sounds so much better, you couldn't possibly compete. And it's new, and therefore unfamiliar. The odds are stacked against you! But I tell you what does matter: comments from total strangers. Eventual acceptance into an industry library. A local film student asking you to do a short bit of music for their short bit of film. I would take any comment from complete strangers on FAWM at well above family opinions (not my wife, we grew together,a s it were, and she likes my music. Not the CBG, but that's another story). Take No Notice Of Friends And Family!

  • @thedutchwidows  Mar 3

    @timfatchen - I see you've met my family then!

    I shall take your words away and consider them. It is an inspiring example of what can be achieved. I have no real musical ambitions these days other than to do it for my own amusement, but I like the thought that the FAWM positivity can be harnessed to create more positive outcomes in life.

  • @ianuarius  Mar 3

    @timfatchen On the other hand, even if you end up making something your family enjoys, it's probably still not something that you're ever going to make any real money with.

  • @timfatchen  Mar 3

    @ianuarius But then, if you're after real money, music is not where it's at at all, at all! 😁

  • @ustaknow Mar 3

    I normally avoid threads like this, but got pulled in to read since saw longer posts by folks which if speak long are explaining something worth reading, so to speak.

    I've nothing "new" to add, if even phrased differently. Not that anyone is not capbable of applying what's said, this is not "advice" in an advice thread, rather how I brain-filtered these two or three good comments, framings.

    There's 2 ways ? of engaging, the all positive, as folks comment - nothing at all wrong with that! My background being very different to begin with immediately, - did not jump into the "love fest" (again, nothing wrong with it, at all, just - so to speak). One can have a measured feedback here since, if they know they comment, - some authentic feedback, - I'm gonna want *explanation 😀 And, if authentically engaged, all I do is receive, not then evalutate their time spent on me, *back to them, (the trick?, dissapline?).

    Now some read, see, hear that and decide to take it as not "FAWM love" - they by now know, assuridly that is incorrect. What's happened is, over time now, if I get a "sounds good, like it" - praise comment, they've explained so many times, hundreds (literally) what that means, (and as well from me to them).
    - But, I from day one here had that as what the *"Group Formation" would be for me. (*Me, not anyone else, me.) Folks that engage me, want that too.

    So, the FAWM love high does not happen, - for me. And, I've explained it, typically twice a year, here and 5090 since I've been here.

    The only negativity I have issues with, and see them *really reduced, is the very selfiish personal virtue signaling which is not what FAWM is for. Folks hunting for stuff to correctly misunderstand, to then do what here?

    So, aside from FAWM love, it remains about THE, "music", nothing else (nothing), no other identity than the MUSIC 😉

    Folks don't engage me for FAWM love, but they do for that kind of serious engagement no matter who, what, where, how, why you, - are.

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