February Album Writing Month 2022

Over the last few years, I’ve been attempting the challenge of February Album Writing Month, also known as FAWM. For those of you who don’t know, FAWM is an annual songwriting challenge where all of the participants attempt to write fourteen songs in the twenty-eight days of February. I wrote about my history with this challenge in last year’s post so I won’t repeat myself but I look forward to it every year.

Even before 2022 began, I knew it was unlikely (very unlikely) that I was going to be able to complete the challenge this year, or even do it at all, given how badly the ADHD meds were affecting me. I was so anxious and depressed that I could barely get out of bed – for months – let alone write. Not that my brain was working anyway: my creative brain seems to go into hibernation when I’m depressed. But then, after I stopped taking the ADHD meds and started taking antidepressants again, a song dropped into my lap and I thought that maybe I could use the challenge to get back into writing, even if I didn’t manage to write fourteen songs. So here are some the songs that I wrote (there are a few that I don’t want to write about right now because I don’t know what’s going to happen with them and/or they’re not mine to talk about)…


  1. Eventually – I’ve done a lot of writing from the perspectives of different characters over the last year and I really enjoy it; it feels really different and I love the challenge of trying to get make the song sound like the character, like using certain words and avoiding others. It needs to sound like them. I love it. This song just appeared as if out of thin air and came together like magic. It’s from the point of view of Daisy Johnson from Agents of SHIELD in the gap between Season 3 and Season 4 when she left SHIELD because she felt like everything that happened – all of the tragedy – was her fault and that the people she cared about were in danger because of her. It’s a really sad song and not a hundred miles away from how I’ve been feeling recently, the depth of the sadness and grief. But it was good to write and I’m proud of it.
  2. More Time – Another fiction-based song, this one was inspired by Mary and Francis from Reign. I haven’t watched it in years but I always loved the two of them together and the fact that they never got the happy ending they deserved always made me really sad. I’d like to write a song envisioning that happy ending but this one was from Mary’s point of view grieving Francis’ death and mourning the life they should’ve had together. It’s not perfect yet but I think it’s a solid first draft.
  3. My Voice – This song was also inspired by fiction. I wanted to write a song about reclaiming your life, your voice, after it feels like everything has been taken away from you. When it feels like you can either burn everything down and run or stand your ground, you stand your ground, even if it isn’t pretty. I’m not sure the first draft is right yet but there are a lot of lines that I’m really proud of so it feels like a good start. While inspired by a fictional story, it also applies to my life, which – to be fair – many of my fiction-based songs do. Sometimes I just need some help to put it all into words.
  4. You – I wrote a love song! I’ve written very few love songs in my time – songs about love being good, at least – so it’s always a bit of a moment when I do write one. This one is also based on fictional characters but I loved their dynamic so I had to write about it: an instant something that, over time, turns into more. And the fictional storyline had some great visuals to pull into the lyrics, the part I’m most proud of. The whole song felt very in keeping with the character whose perspective I’d borrowed and that was very pleasing.
  5. Making Up Memories – It took a while but I finally wrote a FAWM 2022 song about me and my life, although it is based on a dream I had. I was unexpectedly called by someone that I’ll never hear from again and it was like I’d slid sideways into a parallel universe because they were acting so normal while it felt like my head was exploding. It’s a dream that’s stayed very vivid over the years, especially since I wrote down exactly what we said to each other before it faded. But the whole thing – all of the colours, sensations, feelings – is still so clear and I’ve always wanted to write a song about it. I’ve been moving the pieces around for a long time but I think I’ve finally got the lyrics how I want them. I’m not sure about the melody – I might take it to one of my trusted cowriters – but for now, I’m just really pleased to be happy with the lyrics.
  6. Closure – This song began years ago and while I loved the track, I was never happy with the topline I wrote for it. I’ve had the track on my laptop ever since and for some reason, I just pulled it out and started to fiddle with the lyrics. It was about the end of a relationship and at the time, it was still quite raw but with the perspective I’ve gained over the years, it was easier to put those feelings into words. I’m not sure it’s finished but the amount of progress in one redraft (basically a re-writing with all the work done) is kind of mind-blowing.
  7. Control – Over a year ago, I wrote a song for a uni assignment and, to be honest, hated it and so abandoned it. But recently I’ve been thinking about a specific section of that song and how much I liked and related to that part, even though the song as a whole was fictional. So I took that section of the song, used it as a chorus, and built a whole new song around that. I’m really excited to work on it further.
  8. Drown – I didn’t finish this one but I was working on it when the clock ran out so I’m going to include it. It’s about how, being autistic, I not only feel my own emotions really strongly but also those of the people around me. It’s a lot of emotion to deal with and it can feel really overwhelming. I’ve wanted to write about this for ages but I haven’t been able to get it right. I’m still not sure I have but I’m trying. I’m still playing with it.

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Had this been another year, I would not be happy with having not reached the goal of fourteen songs but the last few months have been so awful that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to write at all. So eight (plus) songs after months of depression and no writing at all is definitely progress and I’m proud of that. It’s been really fun to write again and it’s reminded me why I love it and why I wish I could spend all of my time doing it.

I do want to write more about how my depression (and medication) affects my writing but I think that deserves its own space. So that’s another post for another day. I hope everyone who took part in FAWM enjoyed themselves, whether you reached the goal or not, and I look forward to doing the challenge again next year, as well as working on the songs I’ve been writing over the last month.

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