Monday, February 24, 2014

Songwriting Slows for Weather

FAWM is going slower this year — especially in Pennsylvania.

FAWM is an online challenge to songwriters to write 14 new songs in the month of February. So far this year, participants have written 7,434 songs, an impressive tally, but a little short of last year’s pace when you consider that all four of the month’s weekends have gone by. Song production is especially down in the Pennsylvania region. I have written 6 songs, half of what I should have at this point in the month, and that is better than most Pennsylvania “fawmers” have fared.

It is severe weather, I think, that has slowed us down. Power at my house was out for four days, and that was a typical experience for the Philadelphia suburbs and neighboring counties that hold about half of the state’s residents. I spent days clearing snow and attending to the tree clearing and electrical and plumbing repairs that were needed after this month’s two epic storms. And I didn’t miss a day of work or any assignments in the online courses I am taking. If other songwriters’ experience of this month is similar, it is understandable if they haven’t written their usual number of songs.

If songwriters fall short of the ambitious 14-song pace FAWM sets for this month, or for that matter, if my blog is missing a few days of posts, there is little lasting consequence. But the same effect surely slowed people working on things that matter in the bigger picture. It was just as difficult a month to write a business plan as it was to write an album’s worth of songs. In my case, income tax forms have been delayed, and now may have to be completed next month in place of whatever else I might have done then. I’m sure you get the idea — there was real work that didn’t get done because the weather threw people off.

In Pennsylvania, we can’t expect better weather to finish off the month in more productive fashion. Rather, the forecast indicates a new cold snap and possibly two more days of snow before the month is over. When circumstances are unfavorable, you may have to do what you can, even if it is less than you planned for, and go on from there.