Only three more days and it’ll be February! And what does that mean? For me it means a month of creative frenzy, being swept along in a wave of song-writing fun along with like-minded enthusiasts from all around the world. Or in other words, FAWM!

FAWM stands for February Album-Writing Month. It’s an online challenge where the idea is to write 14 songs in 28 days. Sounds mad? Well it is really, but once you get into the flow, it’s a wonderful way of keeping the creative juices flowing, with just enough pressure to silence the critical voices in your head and get on with the job. They don’t have to be good songs – the main thing is to keep going. In the past I’ve found that after a while you get into a creative mindset – once all the rubbishy stuff has come out, the good ideas start to flow.

All sorts of people take part, musicians and lyricists of all calibres. Some people post near-perfect (to my ears at least) demos, but the main focus is on writing, so many others share works in progress, rough recordings or simply lyrics.

To provide a spark of inspiration there are all sorts of song prompts, challenges and “skirmishes”, where everyone who wants to join in writes a song within a certain limited time, based on a particular prompt. Collaborations abound – so you’ll often find people putting someone else’s lyrics to music, or providing a vocal or instrumental line.

The best thing about FAWM is the wonderful community. I’ve rarely experienced such a brilliant, supportive bunch of people. However good you are, whenever you post something you can count on getting some thoughtful and helpful comments. There’s even a feature that helps draw attention to songs that haven’t received any comments yet, to make sure no-one gets left out.

I’ve just logged into the FAWM site to have a look and there are already messages on my wall from some of my FAWM-buddies. Can’t wait to get started!