How did you change from your 50/90 experience? (Was: How did your 50/90 compare with your initial goals/intentions?)

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Now that we're coming to the end of 50/90, I'm reminiscing on the whole experience. This is my first 50/90, and it felt quite different from FAWM (which I loved too!) and I'm thinking of what I came in to this process with, and what I've leaving.

My thoughts at the beginning on July was that I was not going to pressure myself too much, and I'd be really happy with 5-10 songs. My count was 19, which I would really only count 16, as 3 other them were doubly counted as others took my lyrics and did other things to them. I'm still a newbie in the whole songwriting world, and I've gotten so much from being pushed to do more with music production and just throwing content out (Thank you Tuesday Night Music Club members for the push!), doing more collaborations with new people I didn't know, building some relationships that I started in FAWM 2021, and just basically grew as a creative person, for which I'm forever grateful.

Did I know this was going to happen? No, but I was open to the magic of the opportunity, and looking forward to more magic in the future!

Edit: I guess a better way that I could have stated this is how have you grown and changed since you started this 50/90? What did you learn about yourself? Whether we complete one song or 100, did a collab or skirmish or not, etc., it's really about how you are different now from this experience.

@kenmattsson Hi Ken. Congratulations on your first 50/90. It is much different than FAWM, isn't it? I've done both for many years and I must say, 50/90 has actually helped me grow as a songwriter more than FAWM simply because of the sustained marathon that it is. Personally I didn't do at all what I imagined this year, but that's ok. It's not like the world will collapse without more songs from me.

I did far fewer songs than I was hoping. I hit a wall after 2 weeks or so where I wasn't happy with anything I worked on. I've also been busier than expected getting my studio built, so had less time/energy for making music.

The studio isn't even finished yet, but it will be in another month or so. Thus, next FAWM I should have a much better setup. No more setting things up every time. No more moving from one room to another for different parts. No more restrictions on when I can play. It'll be a single room dedicated to music, soundproofed and isolated from any other building. Hooray!

I did do a bunch of collabs, though, and enjoyed that. Definitely doing more collabs next year!

I think I was a little disappointed with myself this year. Stuff I wanted to do and try that didn't happen for a number of reasons. But the songs still turned out pretty well and I did do a number of collaborations, so not all was lost!

It was good, got more done than I thought I would and had some super collaborations. It is the collaborations that bring me here, same for FAWM.

Managed to hook up some super singers for some of the songs @davidtaro @billwhite and @sunnymae. Not @kenmattsson unfortunately, that never quite worked out.

Will be back for FAWM next year.

@daveyboy103, sorry about that. It's still on my list!

I am very happy about the entire year of experiences. My first attempts at songwriting, my first recording, my first… the list goes on. Last year at this time, I was just coping with how to fill my time at home alone during lockdowns in the winter, wheni would normally be in a sunnier place. This group helped me in many ways.

i was only planning on a four album set but that project was extended to five albums and was completed in august, then another three unanticipated albums produced in september, i never expected to write 100 songs but i couldnt stop myself.

I come in to FAWM and 50/90 with no goals or intentions whatsoever, so I guess it all worked out perfectly for me!

I take a pretty relaxed approach to 50/90 and don’t pressure myself to bust out 50 as I know that isn’t feasible for me. This year I only got 2, but I’m pretty happy with both of them.

I'm just about to write and post my fiftieth song (that will leave my count at 51, but I was tagged as a collaborator once in a song I didn't actually work on, as that's what people do with the morph challenge), so I've hit 50. However, many of those were collaborations where I only wrote the music and someone else wrote the lyrics. I was really hoping to complete 50 complete songs of my own, or at least only count the collabs as half a song (because to me, a song is lyrics + music). Last year I believe I wrote 50 songs and didn't do any collabs, though I did some during FAWM. Buuut I started to realize early on this summer that I didn't have as much motivation and mental energy as I did last year, not least because I am actually doing stuff, which is a good thing. Doing collabs was one of the only ways I could get anything done certain days, so I have really appreciated it. I'm sure I could have pushed myself to do twice as many collabs or 50% more originals, but idk, I might have over pressured myself and just not wanted to do it at all.

My non-numerical goals included clearing out old song ideas, and especially finishing the songs that mean the most to me at the current moment so I can release them before the ideas feel stale and are no longer relevant to my life (which has happened in the past and I hate it!) I did a lot of that - cleared out like 16 old ideas (some of which became unexpected favorites!) and did about 6 that I was really excited about doing this year. But the majority of songs ended up being frivolous skirmish or prompt topics that I didn't really care about - again, sometimes they became unexpected favorites, but usually not. The reason is that those songs take very little effort for me to write because I don't care if they're good, but if it's a topic dear to my heart then I feel an internal pressure to do it justice and make it good. And again, I probably could have pushed myself harder to write more of those meaningful topics -- I have *some* regret that I still have 14 such songs sitting in my unfinished folder -- but again, for all I know, I might have overwhelmed myself and given up if I did that.

I considered taking the more relaxed approach that a lot of people do, just like "I'll write what I write," but that makes more sense if you lack time imo. I have quite a bit of free time atm, so I feel that it's absolutely necessary to push myself even when I am not feeling it, which is often. I never, ever write this prolifically without the kind of accountability and timelines this community provides, and I have proven time and time again that quality comes ONLY from quantity... if I don't push myself to write and I just wait for inspiration, I simply don't write anything, or at least barely anything. And if I write only a few songs a year, carefully considered, they don't seem to have any better chance of being good than when I write 75, so better to write 75 and potentially get 10+ good ones, than write 0-10 and get 0-2 good ones.

Another thing I wish I would try harder at is production. I *hate* recording with gear, and anything having to do with production. I don't enjoy it, and I feel like I'm not good at it although I can do the bare minimum. But it's like pulling teeth getting me to do it, so I just film one-take videos on my phone and post directly (that is the most frictionless possible way for me to record and post). I admire the people who are able to do full productions on every song, and still hit 50, but I know that is because they enjoy it and are good at it. In the future, I might focus a bit more on this: there must be some ways I can reduce friction and make myself like recording, arranging, and producing a little bit more.

So yeah, I am pleased to have hit 50, a little disappointed that I didn't work harder to achieve my personal writing goals, but in the end we all do our best so I won't fault myself too much.

The past few years I've had pretty low engagement with 50/90. This year was actually pretty good in that regard compared to some. Fewer than FAWM 2021, but still a solid win. Not a whole lot of community engagement, but more than none.

I had an idea for 50/90, but didn't really use it. I usually go with a lot of acapella, but this year did a lot of lyrics-only.

I'd kind of like to do something with some of them. Put them to music. Make some lead sheets. Something. Will that happen? I don't know. It'll be fun to experiment with some solidly lyrics-first approaches.

This is all pretty typical of my 50/90 experience. I took a month off between my 19th and 20th songs, and when I came back I was solidly lyrics-only. First "to catch up" and then because I was having fun with it. It's to be expected, though. Anytime there's a prolonged gap, the chances that the earlier ideas will be revisited shrinks considerably. All things being equal, if the earlier ideas were super awesome, there wouldn't be a gap.

Now I've got Inktober, then NaNoWriMo (I've got a project inspired by a song), then whatever crazy project I'm doing for my Christmas gifts. (Maybe a karaoke project.)

Deciding what goes on an album is pretty hard for me. It is worse because if I don't like a tune or don't like a melody, I'll just improvise something new until I get something I do like. The theme is really the most important.

I wanted to make a new album and I did, so in that regard I succeeded!

As far as my other goals, I wanted to collab with everyone I had last summer, which I (nearly) did. I also wanted to collab with some people I haven't before which led to a cool trade with @Fuzzy, that was fun.

I didn't intend to get to 50 songs, as I only ever did my first year in 2017. I got closer than I thought, but a lot of them were lacking vocals or were just incomplete.

Deep down my main goal was to repeat last year. Last 50/90 was amazing for me, I had huge personal breakthroughs musically. I left a lot of comments and...ya it was great. But you can't repeat the past. I basically tried everything I did last year and I didn't do enough new things. So I'm left feeling a bit meh at my output. But you can't repeat the past so it's useless to compare. I wrote my best lyrics and did my best drumming yet this summer.

I didn't do as much commenting/listening as I wanted to. So I didn't keep up with things this year. Overall though I met my achievable goals.

Some bad, some good.

I went blank for a month in the middle, so ended up with a smaller total than I expected. I also thought I would come up with more "performance" songs (folkish, voice + acoustic guitar).

OTOH, I experimented a fair amount, learned something about a lot of new software, and listened to some good music...which I intend to continue.

I really thought i would have a slow one! due to issues with my hand and a few other things in my life, However, the situation changed and i had more time than i ever had so really dived in especially the first 2 months. ironically i did not do as many skirmishes. I was really happy to get about 20 collabs this year! But wow i have heard some amazing songs this year!

This was my first 50/90, and it has been a revelation, really. I've done FAWM for about a decade now, off and on, and I've never wanted to do collaborations because I have a morbid fear of disappointing people with my best efforts - the very idea - and I'm not just talking about songwriting here obviously - has always made me want to crumple up and die since I was a child. But for some reason this year, I just started to do them - I think it was because people asked and I didn't have time to get self-concious, I just said yes and tried my best with the time I had available. And I'm really proud of some of the things that came out of that.

I wouldn't ever have written something like the bridge section of Heiroglyphs without @davidtaro and @Donna Devine. And several of the collaborations with @McTown I'm similarly proud of. And they just wouldn't have happened without collaboration. It makes me write in different directions, see songwriting differently. So a sincere thanks to all my collaborators this year - every one of you made my life a tiny bit better with what you did, thanks.

I've had several false starts at 50/90 over the years, so my expectations this round were REALLY low. FAWM 2021 was my most productive songwriting year ever with 17, so if I did somewhere between that and 20 or 25, I would have been thrilled. I ended up with 60 originals and another 3 Morph collab credits. It's honestly the best writing I've ever done - even the worst throwaway song is probably better than my previous "best" work. Real life has been... a lot. Like A LOT, a lot. I had a very finite amount of time and energy to devote to music. I usually at least do crappy phone demos, but when I realized how prolific the writing was going to be, I tossed that idea and just concentrated on completing lyrics to share. Many of my favorites are already in the process of being arranged and refined, but that will be spread out between now and February. Overall, I'm ecstatic with what 50/90 brought:

- First collab (thanks, @metalfoot!)
- First Morph (thanks, @AndyGetch!)
- First skirmish (thanks, Tuesday Night Music Club!)
- First breaking 50/90 (thanks, @Eric Distad!)

It's been a true pleasure to get to know more 5090ers and feel part of the community. I'm excited about getting back to listening for as long as the site's available and seeing what everyone else created.

I crashed and burned through pretty much the whole of August.

Thanks for all the comments so far (and more to come). I guess a better way that I could have stated this is how have you grown and changed since you started this 50/90? What did you learn about yourself? Whether we complete one song or 100, did a collab or skirmish or not, etc., it's really about how you are different now from this experience. (I'm going to edit my first post to include this)>

i really enjoyed this 5090. I got 29 solo songs and 4 collabs that i didn't do so much on really. some are fuller songs, some rough sketches (a couple of skirmishes too) I always love the idea of a skirmish more than what i end up managing in them, i took part in quite a few skirmishes but got nothing i was happy to post, but enjoyed the process anyway. i broke my record on song count (previously 20 inc collabs) and also broke my record on commenting by a considerable amount. i found i had much more sticking power this year with only a week or so away camping etc. i didn't stress as much when i get my inevitable stuck between songs phase. loved hearing so much good, brand new music. Also, more on how i have grown through it, i declared at the beginning in the forums that i would be trying to push through my "squeamishness" around writing/sharing more personally difficult stuff and writing some less larky stuff. i think i managed that on a few occasions (and generally) and i was pleased with the responses to that. Thank you all for making it such a fun 5090! and thanks to Eric and all the people who contribute to the running of this wonderful event!

I came a couple of weeks late, and had a few fallow periods due to work/family commitments. It was great meeting folks and it really helped to open what I hear when writing lyrics. It's also pushed me further toward music first then lyrics. I find the writing process very different with a guitar in hand vs. just a pad of paper. I learned how to record and email stems from Reaper! This is exciting as it may open up more active collaborations vs. just handing off lyrics! Thanks @Adnama17 !!

This, my first 50/90 really solidified a change in my lyric first writing style. I would get an idea or phrase and jot it down in a word doc. These begin to pile up and I'll open a few of them at a time and work on them during the day. So I'll have multiple songs in process at the same time. The other area I improved in was formatting and keeping my songs on the shorter side.

I was gunning for 50 but came up short at 36; learned a lot and really like the supportive, creative community!

KC Casey

It's good to see a few first-timers on this thread!
I wonder how many of us actually do exactly what we set out to do in 50/90 or FAWM. (A couple of you on this thread seem to have come close.)
There's another recent forum thread about finding opportunities to present your songs outside 50/90 - when I started this 50/90, I had some good ideas about sharing my songs, but I don't know that those will happen any time soon. (Delta variant of the virus kind of got in the way of playing for live audiences.)
What I've learned, though, is that writing and recording songs is therapy for me - I go to an actual therapist for anxiety and depression, and the songs seem to do me as much good as the person I talk to.

What I learned about myself is that finishing and being among the 50+ with 50+ song posts is apparently still very important to me. All along I was saying, and thinking, that I may not get 50 this year and thats okay. At the end of August I had 30 posted and honestly I had run out of inspiration/perspiration gas. I was in the process of getting a new job, doing some major decluttering and prep for the job. So the first 19 days of September I posted no songs and honestly I probably would have dropped out of 50/90 except for feeling like I needed to see through to completion the songwriting game threads that I started for morphs and multi-track-multi-collaborator. Then when I started work on September 20th I was farther behind the pace for 50 than I have ever been in my 10 times at 50/90. However, with a little mutual encouragement from the Tuesday night Zoom and Slack chat peeps (you know who you are), I thought, well, I could finish a partially written song each weeknight, along with a few lingering game and collab songs, and if I did the last weekend superskirmish, then maybe I would make it. The last 11 days had another 25 posts for a total of 55. Finishing ended up being very important to me in those last 11 days.