Homeless - Thanks for starting this thread. I was thinking of starting something similar, but I hadn't got round to it.
I'm in a similar situation to you - I hadn't written much for years, until I found the Cat and the challenges, and I'm now finding something I enjoy doing, and some people seem to think I might even be good at it sometimes !!!
One thing I would say is that writing for the Challenges isn't really the same as writing songs. One of the hardest bits - finding inspiration for a subject - has been done for us. The other big difference is that there isn't time to polish the work. Someone commented about revising songs above - for the Challenges, they are lucky if they get proof read, rather than lovingly polished line by line. I'm thinking of my own stuff here - some of the stuff written in the key of five minutes flat looks polished already.
People have been sharing their writing techniques. Mine is something like this:
1 Read the Challenge, and think 'there's no way I could write something about that.
2 Get some sort of inspiration - a title, a tune, an odd way of looking at the subject. I only work with borrowed tunes - I admire people who can come up with originals, but I'm not one of them.
3 Think of a few phrases, or rhymes, or scenarios in the car on the way home. Hope I'll manage to remember the best of them! Also hope no-one else has come up with the same idea / approach as I have!
4 Sit at the computer and work out the rest of the song. I'm surprised at how quick this part can be, depending on how long the gestation period has been. I need to wrestle a few lines into shape, and hammer out a few rhythms, and see how it goes. I like to put a couple of clever word plays in if I can .. gems for people to savour, assuming they've got the same warped mind as I have.
5 Submit it, and hope for a few kind comments. I really like it when I get some positive feedback, and I know I'm guilty of not giving much myself. Part of that is due to a timing problem (it can be hard enough finding time to write my own offerings, without commenting on other people, and as a thread grows, it seems harder to comment on early stuff, even if I thought I ought to. I will try to do better!
That's about it. Aine - thanks for the challenges. Amos - thanks for the kind words, especially when I just started. Everyone - thanks for the fun - long may it continue.
5 Submit it, and