Different feel to 50/90?

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I'm new to this 50/90 gig. I'm really enjoying it (as I did my first FAWM). I guess I'm wondering (from any of you who have been around the block a couple times) what the big similarities and differences are between this and FAWM. I've noticed that the comments on songs don't come as quickly and there's not the same emphasis on 'zong-busting'; possibly because those who are here are a slightly different crowd/subset of FAWM?

Anyway, blathering a little, but trying to mentally work out what the similarities and differences are.


It's a much lower-pressure environment. There's a huge amount of variation between active participants as to how much they write, quickly they write, and how seriously they take themselves. There are fewer participants, and fewer songs (despite a much greater length to the challenge). There are also fewer comments. I had one song this FAWM reach 55, and another 40. I have only once in 9 years had a 50/90 song receive more than 16.

People are more willing to experiment and make mistakes. There's a greater scope for self-imposed challenges, and people are, overall, more comfortable about not meeting them.

There's less of a sense of urgency, which may or may not affect overall comment count; while people find themselves with more time to comment, they tend to be less invested in doing so overall. Which relates to another point; I have found, also, that people tend to have more of a degree of self-autonomy in 50/90. While FAWM is a giant fireball of encouragement, activity and making sure nobody is left behind, 50/90ers do have to work quite hard to keep a community spirit going, incite people to become interested in challenges, sell themselves, and making sure songs have comments... while motivating themselves to write!

Between the middle and end of the challenge, several hours can pass without a song being posted or a comment being left in the forums. I remember that in 2014, there were 2-day old songs on the frontpage for a week or two. If you are happy to write, compose and publish for your own sake, this will not present a problem. But if you thrive on the validation, encouragement and input of others, 50/90 may well pose challenges that FAWM did not.

It's much less of a rush than FAWM. There's fewer of us, and we're all in it for the long haul.

This is my 4th time at 50/90 and my observations are that it is a much smaller group than FAWM; I'd guess about a quarter of the number of active participants. I just checked and it looks like 106 people have at least one song posted so far. I also looked at the past 3 50/90 total song counts and they seem to be about half of a typical FAWM total song count. So that gives a little perspective...50/90 is 3 times as long as FAWM but overall produces about half as many songs.

And three months is a long time! If this year is like my 3 previous experiences you will see the current level of activity continue for a couple of weeks and then drop off as some folks drop out to get back to their regularly scheduled summer! It may pick up again toward the end of September. For this reason I try and get the bulk of my stuff written and posted in the first month. Regarding comments I see about half or fewer compared to FAWM levels.

It is a different experience from FAWM even though many of the same lovely people are here. It feels less frantic since FAWM gives you only 28 days to finish while you could skip a whole month here and still catch up if you wanted. Some people say this makes 50/90 feel more relaxed.

My 5th 5090, the above comments covered a lot of the differences, ones I would add is that the website is slightly different so check the FAQ and Wiki. I trust that you have done the math so you know the 5090 pace of 1 song per 1.8 days is slightly faster than the 1 per 2 days in FAWM. I find the number of forum comments and song posts on FAWM to be a bit overwhelming while 5090 is more manageable. There are more opportunities for superskirmishes, which is a series of skirmishes. There is more time for chain songwriting games like morphs and exquisite corpses. More time to collaborate, and the song page is set up for multiple collaborators. Like FAWM, there is a dropoff in activity on the forums and in song posting after a few weeks. Most 5090'ers are also FAWM'ers, with the exception of some people (mostly school age) taking advantage of summer break. In FAWM I feel like I am just getting warmed up when the month is over. Here I do take a few short breaks of a day or two for recharging. For me living in Florida, summer months are the times I stay inside, and there are less activities compared to FAWM, so I have more time to write and record.

I like 50/90 better. Slower pace. Less people in it just for numbers, and more here for self improvement, experimentation, and creativity. You can spend more time on songs, adding tracks or OCDing over tracks, so depending on how you're bent, this may or may not be a good thing. Ha! You also get to know people better because you spend more time with them. And collabs are WAY more fun, again because you have time to get to know each other, try things out, and just be creative together. On that note, send me an instrumental! My fave thing to do is melody and lyric up someone else's musical thoughts, kinda the opposite of a lyrics-only post. Smile

I haven't made it here yet and may not be able to, the way things are turning out. Or not turning out. And, even when/if I do, I wouldn't be lsitening/commetning and contributing at the rate I can in FAWM. It's the 1-month sprint vs the 3-month marathon. And there are a lot of other things happening, regrettably in some cases. Not excusing, just saying.

50/90 is more relaxed. No stress. Thus it doesn't quite work for me. I need a gun pointed at my head to perform.

Something that might work for me is, "Dude, write me a lyric about XYZ and get it back to me within 24 hours". So, feel free to throw that challenge my way. :P

Nothing much to add, interesting observations all around. My first 5 50/90s, I was a school teacher on break with lots of time. Now my wife and I own a business - it's a yoga studio she started and I've become more and more involved as our daughter becomes more and more independent. But being busier in the summer hasn't decreased my 50/90 output - it's made me write and record in shorter periods of time. Most of my songs are done in well under an hour - making almost each one a skirmish!
I perform my songs at a couple of regular gigs (at our studio and at an outdoor market that @AndyGetch and I provide music for), and I think I perform more 50/90 songs than FAWM songs. I'm not quite sure why that is, though.
As for comments and one main difference between the FAWM and 50/90 site structure - after a 5090er reaches the magic number, songs 51 and beyond go onto a second page. So a bunch of my songs last year received just 1 or 2 comments. And those are some of the ones I like best and continue to perform.

I don't do FAWM, so I can't compare, but I will say that there are some of us that try to do a little Zong busting. I usually comment a little in the morning and a little in the evening and I try to get a few of the songs each time. I also find that there are find that there are some people who are great at returning the favor of commenting and some that are not. It's silly, but after a while if someone never returns the favor, I'm less likely to comment on their stuff anymore. It is kind of a relaxed marathon sort of atmosphere here... a personal growth emphasis rather than a reaching the finish line one. And people have different focuses. Some try to comment a lot. Some try to do lots of collaboration. Some folks get 50 sets of lyrics out in a week and a half (still trying to figure that out). It's very individualized.

I've tried 50/90 a few times but have only stuck it out once. The big difference that I saw, as already mentioned, is that there is significantly less engagement in the site. FAWM feels like a ton of people all burning through the project together as fast as they can. 50/90 feels more relaxed in the sense that many people seem more inclined to go it alone, but for me it is a much more difficult project than FAWM. One month worth of time in the woodshed, ignoring family and friends is much easier for me than three months.

Also, the songs tend to be simpler in 50/90 (for me at least) and the percentage of good songs vs bad songs is much, much lower in 50/90. I write a lot of repetitive crap here while in FAWM I am much more focused. At the same time, the good songs in 50/90 tend to be better than in FAWM simply because you are spending so much more time on music.

At least that's how it's gone for me in the past.

Hey "MF" ... I saw this post a while back, since notice a difference. Good post to have...

I had time today, and too, just looking for safe ways to post, let friends know I'm here, etc. so, yes, there's a difference, IMO, too. I'm not sure, for me yet, how to frame it. The thing is, for me, I think each issue/session of this, FAWM, 5090... even, segments in it may be different.

I have noticed in the much less overall posts, it seems to affect things, people different than observed in FAWM. Again, not sure how to frame it yet, or if even should try in an open forum. I think I relate to what "SW" says above.

Otherwise, actually, I think, I on the other hand try to post less, now, since don't like seeing "me" all over the place; especially going from none, to looking to post, just to, again, let friends know I am trying to interact in generalised discussion (yet not be dribble, or just a useless post count thing, --I know I don't need, "sounds good, like it" as a hundred before me got, too; or worse to show how much I "know", ? Smile ).

Lastly, -- I really enjoy when I post what I consider total Krappe, regardless of thought power put to it, -- then someone tells me why they think what they do if it. Then, I get a chance to revisit what is sometimes a good fork in the road, as happens/happened for me. For me, that provides a way to go into a different stylistic direction, -- what I keep an eye out for, for myself.

FAWM has a ton more cheerleaders (participants) so it's easier to feed off the excitement of others. While you can say that of 50/90 (I know it is true for me) it is at a much reduced level.

So for me the advantages of 50/90 are the relaxed pace (even though it is a faster rate of writing, you have enough time to make up ground if you need or are forced to take a break) and the closer knit group. There are far fewer "new" names here (even if they've been here for a while and are only new to me) than at FAWM which tends to make it feel more personal for me. I have a bit better chance to assess my output during 50/90. With FAWM I have to wait a while before I can accurately judge what I've done. I don't have a "let down" after 50/90. With FAWM I'm either burnt out or going through withdrawal by March. And 50/90 forces me to "stay the course" and self motivate more.

The advantages of FAWM for me is that the level excitement is much higher. If I sit down with a guitar I seldom put it down with getting an idea or writing a song or being creative in some way. It's such a flurry of activity that it is much easier to turn off the internal editor aka self doubt and second guessing. And I get to see more of my friends at FAWM, the ones that don't do 50/90 or not much.

50/90 is definitely not for everyone. It's long and as mentioned, there is a lot less outside motivation from others. Personally, the February FAWM frenzy, though enjoyable in it's own way, would be far too overwhelming for me to sustain over the course of three months, so for that I'm grateful 50/90 is more low key. Also I find with the relaxed feel, I tend to be more creative and have a better ratio of good songs. I think that comes down to what Worsdsmith said about not being so worried about meeting any particular goal.