#AcWriMo for a church musician

I’m not doing a PhD (yet), but over at PhD2Published it’s that time of year again. AcWriMo is a sort of motivational gimmick whereby a group of people decide that in November they’re going to get a lot of writing done, and then offer one another lots of moral support.

My own take on this will be hymn tunes. I love writing them, and really enjoyed the ones I did for the hymnathon videos, but my harmonisation is a bit rusty (it’s over a decade since I had to do it every week for a keyboard harmony class), and it’s the sort of thing that ends up only happening when something catches my eye and I ought to be doing something else, or there’s a hard deadline with no other way to meet it. So I’m planning on 30 hymn tunes in 30 days.

Using the rules from PhD2Published:

  1. Set yourself some crazy goals. 30 hymn tunes in 30 days might not seem all that crazy, but I’m planning on fully harmonising them, too. I normally take one day off a week, and have at least one day per week where I’m so busy that time to sit and compose will be impossible, so I’m really looking at 30 hymn tunes in around 22 days. This month I am also moving house (I hope) and preparing for Advent.
  2. Publicly declare your participation and goals. Well, that’s what this post is about. On a whim, I’ve also added my name and goals to the Google Docs spreadsheet for AcWriMo.
  3. Draft a strategy. At the moment, I’m commuting a good three or four hours most days. Thankfully hymn tune writing is something I can do with pencil and paper on a train! After that, I’m not sure how I’ll fit it in, but the loss of the commute should help. I’m writing hymn tunes, not hymn texts, so I’ve set up a scratchpad post on Dreamwidth to collect links and texts. Do feel free to add to it if you have a hymn text you’d like me to put to music, or if you know of a good one (in the public domain) which has an unremarkable or unmemorable tune! I don’t promise I’ll do better, but I’ll try.
  4. Discuss what you’re doing. I tweet rather a lot, and don’t imagine this being a problem.
  5. Don’t slack off. We’ll see. Who starts something like this intending to slack off?!
  6. Publicly declare your results – and please be honest! I’ll be posting the finished hymn tunes here under the AcWriMo tag — maybe every day, but more likely in batches of two or three.

If you do have a suitable hymn text please post it in comments on my project scratchpad at DreamWidth. I need at least another twenty of them and it would be great if this project could showcase some new words!

6 thoughts on “#AcWriMo for a church musician

    1. Alex,

      I’ve already nabbed three from your tumblr account — I think you sent me a link a few weeks ago, so I figured I was probably free to use them… there are one or two passages of, er, questionable syllabic emphasis which I might like to tidy up.

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