I honestly do not get creators who mock or hate on fanwriters and artists as a concept -
- like, here is a community of people who love your stuff, flaws and all, to such an extent that they’ve devoted hours and days and weeks and months and years of their lives to extending its lifespan beyond that of the original comic/series/film/book/game/universe/show - even if it was cancelled; even if it’s out of print or hard to find; even if you made it over a decade ago - and these people are, from their own love and dedication, actively expanding your audience, and your legacy, and providing enough groundswell for older narratives to be given new interpretations, new editions, new movies -
- and in some cases, I would argue, especially when it comes to more recent adaptations of major franchises, these fans are actively filling in the gaps in the worldbuilding and backstories and canonical discontinuities by creating plausible, well-thought-out headcanons that, while still not part of the source material, nonetheless lend the entire story a greater depth and nuance than it already had, because other people read those headcanons and think, fuck YES I’m going to rewatch the entire series with that in mind, and get eight other friends who’ve never seen it to watch with me, so we can all sit down and discuss this meta we read online and see which interpretations make sense to us -
- and at the same time, they’re also bringing whole new audiences to your creations by creating AUs and mashups and race- and gender- and queerbent versions of your characters and stories, which not only helps existing fans to see your work in a whole new light, but also encourages newcomers who might otherwise be put off by, for instance, the lack of representation in certain classic franchises (which, let’s be honest, is a legitimate issue) to be so inspired by the fanworks and the comparisons with other shows as to give the originals a try -
- and if you pay attention to all this stuff, to the crossovers and the ships and the artwork and the stories and the sheer, unbridled enthusiasm of your audience - if you actually listen to what makes them love your work in the first place - then you might just find that it helps make you become a better creator, period, not because you’re suddenly letting the fans dictate your output, but because fan interpretations and meta can, at times, be every bit as valuable as the input of professional editors and reviewers, providing you with valuable insights into your process, your characters and your narratives you might not have gotten any other way -
- and if you still take all this joy and intelligence and camaraderie and enthusiasm in your creation, and laughingly respond with “UGH FANWORKS, it’s all just teenage girls and sad housewives writing crap gay porn, DO NOT WANT” then you can just go fuck yourself, because frankly, you do not deserve even a fraction of the magnificence your audience is giving you.