If it wasn't for challenges like 50/90 or FAWM, I wouldn't make as much music as I'd do without them.
I guess it is important to have feedback, be it critical or encouraging, but songs will get more shape and take more form.
And of course, it is really nice to hear songwriters' songs I won't hear otherwise. It is refreshing, and I'm sure they are influences depending on how much is resonating with me. Could be humor, could be longing, could be sorrow, could be anger.