Today marks the last day of the FAWM Song Challenge for 2018 and I can proudly say that I completed the challenge for the second year running with about three days to spare. An achievement that I’m very proud of.

Now that I’ve completed the challenge for the second time, I’ve got to say that I’m not feeling manic and crazy as I was last year. Maybe this is the case because compared to last years challenge

1. I am better prepared and organised
2. I know what to expect
3. My songwriting process is more refined
4. My time management skills are better
5. My confidence as a songwriter/producer is much higher

The funny thing is that I would’ve finished the challenge a few days sooner if I hadn’t gotten sick (I lost my voice for a week) or my day gig hadn’t given me some unexpected shifts to deal with.

Again, I found the overall FAWM experience a very rewarding one. I got to catch up with FAWMers that I met in previous years, made some new friends, got some great feedback on my songs and greatly improved my music recording/production skills as well as further sharpening up my songwriting process.

Another fantastic thing about doing the FAWM Song Challenge is that it increases the momentum I need to achieve the musical goals I want to tackle as outlined in an earlier post What Lies Ahead For 2018 – My Musical Goals. As a songwriter, I’m feeling pretty invincible at the moment.

Have any of you been involved with this years FAWM and if so, how have you found the experience? Anyways, if you want to check out all of the 14 songs you can go to my FAWM profile page.

Now to get on with the rest of 2018.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

FAWM 2018 got off to a cracking start for me with two completed songs and a songwriting collaboration all lined up in the first three days then all of a sudden, I developed a head cold which completely knocked out my voice and sapped what motivation I had left in me.

It’s amazing how much a head full of snot can just suck the life out of you.

Thankfully I’m on the mend now but at this very moment, I’m working away from home for the next three days which means no recording. That takes me to the end of the second week of the challenge hence why I’m doing an update for weeks one and two.

In between times however, I did manage to get another six songs recorded ready for me to put vocals down to. Even though I couldn’t sing at all, my head cold didn’t prevent me from tracking the rest of the instruments so I spent my time working instrumentally as much as I could.

When I get back from working away I’ll be able to put down the vocal tracks for the rest of the songs and complete my collaboration with Amanda West from www.sheeaunmusic.com, and that will take my total to 9 songs which will put me back on track to complete the challenge before the end of February.

What I have learnt so far is the amazing power of adaptation and flexibility. Even though I got sick I was able to adjust my songwriting process to accommodate the illness and still get things done albeit in a slightly different way.

Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs in your direction and you need to be prepared for that whether it be in songwriting or in anything.

If you want to check out what I’ve done so far in FAWM you can go to my profile page or, if you want to join in the fun you can do that here.

Hopefully by the end of this week I’ll have some better news on the songwriting front.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m going to be participating in the 2018 FAWM (February Album Writing Month) Song Challenge hoping to replicate the success of completing it like I did last year.

Personally, participating and completing the FAWM Song Challenge has been one to the most rewarding creative experiences I’ve ever had. It has allowed me to shake off the shackles of fear and doubt and just get stuff done. It kick-started the momentum I needed to get my music back on track and it (most importantly) made my self confidence and belief as an artist go through the roof.

I believe that every songwriter should try this challenge out at least once in their lives and experience first-hand the overwhelmingly supporting community of songwriters, musicians and lyricists that reside within the challenge. It’s a great way to connect and possibly network and collaborate with other like minded individuals.

Each participant has a slightly different interpretation of what FAWM means to them. For me, it’s a chance to really give my home recording setup (SongMachine) a thorough thrashing and along the way, learn more about the recording process and how to get the best sound possible with the recording gear I have at my disposal.

It also gives me the opportunity to go through my archives and finish off all of the random song titles, half finished verses, choruses and voice memos that I have scattered on pieces of paper, my hard drive or, on my phone, but I also take pride on using the challenge to write songs from a starting position of having nothing prepared.

Those are the songs in which their existence always amazes me.

If you have any questions regarding FAWM that you want to ask, then feel free to contact me otherwise, just go to the FAWM website and sign up. It’s free to join but there’s only a couple of days to go before it kicks off for another year.

Oh, and I’ll be blogging about my progress again just like I did last year so watch this space.

Hope to see you in the challenge. Good luck…

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Well, week three of the 50/90 Song Challenge has been a difficult one and not for the reasons you might be think. The difficulty hasn’t been with coming up with new song ideas but with the actual electrical system of my house.

Something keeps on shorting out the electricity to the half of the house where my recording studio resides hence I haven’t been doing much recording this week but I have done enough in between the shortages to upload two more songs to the 50/90 site which currently takes my tally so far to eleven songs.

Now, these electrical issues have made me realise something…

It’s made me realise how we, as songwriters can be so reliant on technology to make our songwriting easier whereas nothing beats the good old pen, paper and acoustic guitar.

No electricity needed here.

Using this old school method, I do have five more songs on paper ready to be recorded and with the electrician coming over today to fix the issue I’ll hopefully have my recording studio back online and the house fully electrified again sooner rather than later.

If you want to check out what I’ve done so far just head on over to my 50/90 Song Challenge page and if there’s a song idea you’d like me to tackle for the challenge just let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you.

Right now, I’ll be picking up the acoustic guitar again and playing me some “waiting for the sparky” blues.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

After completing the second week of this years 50/90 Song Challenge my tally is nine songs so far. I was kind of hoping to hit ten songs by this time but I’m still pretty happy with the pace I’m setting at the moment.

I wanted ten songs to be the magic number because to make this challenge seem a little easier to swallow, I decided that instead of looking at 50/90 as a 50 song marathon, I’ll be writing five albums of ten songs each.

Plus, by doing this I will also be able to release a five volume set of songs on BandCamp and that would be very cool indeed.

When it comes to taking a big goal and breaking it down into smaller, more manageable goals, I’m reminded of the old saying…

Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time.

What I have also noticed this last week is how easily I’ve been able to slot in my songwriting and recording into my daily routine and this was one of my biggest fears coming into the challenge.

I’ve found that once I’ve set the goal(s) in place, planned ahead a bit and started building the momentum around it, my ability to manage my time had become sharper and more acute. All of a sudden I was able to clear little chunks of time for myself here and there and over time, these chunks added up to completed songs.

If you want to check out what I’ve done so far just head on over to my 50/90 Song Challenge page and if there’s a song idea you’d like me to tackle for the challenge just let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you.

Right now, I’ll be trying for song number 10 and for the rest of this week… We’ll see how it goes.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Tuesday, February 21st marked the end of the third week of the FAWM Songwriting Challenge and my completed song tally so far is eight.

I do have an instrumental that’s almost finished and a couple of other half finished songs plus a collaboration in the pipeline however, the last couple of weeks has been a real struggle to find the time to finish and upload my songs.

The main reason for this time issue is that I made a pact with myself this FAWM to only upload songs that I have recorded and mixed through SongMachine, my home studio setup and having a song finished on paper is vastly different to a full studio arrangement.

It also requires a lot more time to sit in front of the computer and record/mix the song.

My first weeks output was the direct result of having more time on my hands than normal. I could sit down in front of my computer, flick the switch and start something from scratch and complete it in one sitting.

Lately I’ve been trying to make time by grabbing 30 minutes here and there and starting a few song ideas on the go to see what will stick.

What I’ve learnt in week three is to really pay attention to my studio workflow. I’ve also been experimenting with creating song templates in Logic Pro X which has the potential for making things a lot easier for me in the future.

I will get to my target of 14 songs, I just need to pull all of my song idea threads together and pull in some serious studio time. A FAWM 2017 online release is depending on it.

You can hear my latest songs on either my FAWM Profile Page or on SoundCloud.

Now to get stuck into some more songwriting.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

With the first week of the FAWM Songwriting Challenge coming to an end and three more weeks to go I think I’ve done pretty well so far. I’ve uploaded five new songs and I’m pretty happy with how they have turned out.

As well as giving my songwriting process a good kick in the guts I’m also using the FAWM Songwriting Challenge as a way to get some more miles on the road when it comes to using my home studio setup so I’m treating every new song as a Logic Pro X learning experience.

I can really see what Brian Eno meant when he was talking about using the recording studio as “a compositional tool.”

Another thing that will come out of participating is the creation of a FAWM album which I’ll release on BandCamp as a “pay what you want” type of arrangement. I mean FAWM does stand for “February Album Writing Month” so I might as well have an album’s worth of songs by the end of February.

With the songs themselves, I’m creating them from one of two different approaches:

From Scratch – Grabbing the acoustic guitar or piano and noodling around until a songwriting idea pops up and demands my attention.

From Prerecorded Ideas – Trawling through my WIP (work in progress) folder and opening up each file until something grabs my attention.

Either way, I’m looking for something that stops me in my track and shouts “WRITE ME.”

If you go to my FAWM profile page http://fawm.org/fawmers/songwritingzen/ you’ll find all of the songs I’ve done so far. You don’t need to create a profile to listen to them. If you have any feedback feel free to contact me.

I must say, since I started the challenge this year I have regained a lot of confidence in my solo songwriting ability. I’m also finding that my inner critic is much kinder to me and the flow of ideas is coming to me much more readily, which is really nice.

I’ve given myself a break from writing today as I wanted to get this post written, but I’ll be back into FAWM mode tomorrow.

As Pablo Picasso once said… “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Peace,

Corey 🙂

I reckon, the best way to stimulate your songwriting process is to have some sort of goal, challenge or deadline to achieve and one of the best ways to do that is to tackle the FAWM Songwriting Challenge which is kicking off tomorrow, February 1st.

FAWM stands for February Album Writing Month and the concept of this songwriting challenge is very, very simple…

Write 14 songs in 28 days.

You can either do the challenge by yourself or, you can collaborate with the hoards of other songwriters that you can connect with through the website.

I’ll be tackling FAWM again this year.

For me, FAWM is a great opportunity to put all of my songwriting ideas, knowledge, techniques and processes into action. It’s also a fantastic exercise in chasing down inspiration through doing the work rather than waiting for inspiration to knock at your door by doing nothing.

Now, in the past (I’ve participated since 2008) I’ve found FAWM a very difficult challenge to complete but this time I reckon I have everything set up to take FAWM head on.

My home recording studio is ready, my collaborators are ready and my songwriting process is ready to tackle the extra workload needed complete the tasks at hand.

I’ll also be blogging about my progress and uploading the songs I create for FAWM so watch this space.

Peace,

Corey 🙂