Huge thanks to @richonnejustdesserts for this idea (and for just being generally awesome). If you’re a writer and/or reader, I encourage you to participate!
Part I – My Work
FIC I’M REALLY PROUD OF
Oh, how I love this little story. I usually take it with a grain of salt when people tell me this, but I do feel like Her could’ve been part of the show. I wanted a satisfying slow burn that mined everything happening at the end of season 5, and I think I got there. Even with Jessie included, I feel I did her character justice, while still making it clear that Rick was in love with Michonne. It was just a delight to write from start to finish.
FIC I HAD FUN WRITING
The One With The Bet came about as a fic request, asking that Rick and Michonne make a bet not to have sex, but unable to handle it, they start cheating so the other can lose. Needless to say, it was quite amusing coming up with ways for the two of them to tease and torture one another. And while writing sex scenes isn’t usually my favorite thing, settling this bet was as fun for me as it was for Richonne.
FIC THAT STRESSED ME OUT A LOT, BUT ENDED UP OKAY
Due to the subject matter of Lemonade, I did not think many readers would take to this story at all. But instead, the response was swift and it was overwhelming. By the second chapter, I was asking myself, “What did I do?” And while most of the reception was incredibly positive, it left a lot of hype to live up to. (Mainly in my own head.) And of course the negative feedback stayed with me for days on end. All while trying to tell probably my most complex story to date. And I had surgery while in the middle of writing it. So yeah, definitely the most stressful. But also the most fulfilling in the end.
MOST POPULAR FIC
With over 90,000 views, 1000 reviews, and featured on BuzzFeed (?!), Lemonade is far and away my most popular story. Probably helped by the fact that it was written just after Richonne went canon. But half a year later, I’m still in awe.
Well, yeah. It’s not like the entire nation of Japan is insane or something, there’s a very good reason one piece is, the number one series for like twenty years running now. There are very many bits that are good and there are so many plot things I can point to and just scream about because of the cohesion and the theming and the way arcs blend into each other almost seamlessly instead of being these delineated things and background details and shit. It’s just that now, I guess it kinda feels like…I dunno, writing fatigue is catching up, things are getting a little sloppier than I remember it being, or am I just being more discerning? It’s a morose sort of feeling I have towards one piece a lot now
being a writer is like working in customer service
I wish people would stop telling me the reason why I write. “You write for you, not for other people! You write for you, not for gratification!”
Different people do things for different reasons. I’ve already tried to explain why I write but that’s been ignored.
And for those claims of “people don’t have time to review everything they read”, well, that’s the problem. That’s literally the problem. Someone tried to tell me that it was merely Tumblr-logic, that people come to this site for short posting and photo blogging and stuff like that, so long posts like fan-fiction that take time to go through don’t get as much attention. (Note: I don’t buy into that much because there are tons of long posts on Tumblr - which has been around for almost a decade now and has grown from its original purpose of short posts and photo blogging - that get crazy notes. But I chose to humor the person who told me this anyway.)
Okay then, so I started focusing on adding things to websites that were built for long posts. FanFiction.Net. ArchiveofOurOwn. WattPad. I tell you, it’s no better over there than it is here. You might get a couple of faves/kudos, and you’re lucky to get more than one review. On AO3, I probably have two or three out of twelve fics that received even one comment. The rest got zilch.
I’m not expecting people to review everything they read. If a fic of mine got 1000 views, that would mean I’m expecting roughly the same amount of reviews. I’m definitely not. But I don’t think it’s wrong to expected 1/100th (10) or 1/80th (12) out of that number. It’s not unreasonable.
I’ll just repeat what I’ve already said; what a ton of other people have been trying to explain. The writer versus reader give and take ratio has been turned on its head. Almost every writer I see begs and begs for even one or two comments but readers are in such a hurry to take and take and then move on with their lives that they can’t afford that extra two minutes. Why can’t they? If writers can dedicate hours, days, weeks, months, years of their time to bringing you quality goods, why can’t you take an extra two minutes on top of read-time to tell them what you thought, how much you appreciate their time and dedication?
It’s a double-standard, okay? Why are we held accountable to keeping up with fics/updates, held accountable to keep up with writing at all, but readers aren’t expected or held accountable for anything? Why am I being told to be grateful for what I get and to shut up, stop complaining about this, when all these unfortunatelyungratefulpeople come and go as they please and it’s a-okay for them? Why is it wrong to expect some sort of response when I take so much time away from sleep, eating, used to be in between working multiple jobs and school all at once?
Tbh, I don’t feel like people can understand where I’m coming from unless they’re also a long-time writer themselves.
Being a writer is like working in customer service. We basically sell our souls to present good product to the consumer, but we’re underpaid, underappreciated, etc. We’re vital cogs in the wheel of civilzation (or, in a writer’s case, fandom) but we’re treated like dog poo. Every once in awhile, we get an evaluation, a meager praise/raise, but it’s hardly the legal guaranteed requirements. And for that we continue to strive, toil away, stressed and burdened and trying oh-so hard only for nobody to notice. Nobody says anything.
Oh, but they’ll be happy to cry to you about updates or complain to you about waiting in a split second.
It is not that I don’t appreciate the little goodness I do receive from my readers. Yesterday I received an ask from someone telling me they’d miss my work dearly, I was tagged in three separate posts by people who said much the same thing - that they’d miss my fics, that they had always loved my portrayal of the characters I write about and that my works have a history of uplifting or inspiring them over the years.
But now I ask you this, and it’s another something I posted about recently that I may just reblog again after this post is up, why did it take this long to be told these things? Why would one wait years to tell someone something good about their accomplishments? Suddenly it seems they have the time when the alternative is that the writer is planning to shut down all future projects and quit the craft permanently.
Isn’t that interesting?
So don’t tell me it’s about time. People go to writing sites to read.
Boom. That’s it. Then they apparently have enough time to read, but not
enough time to comment? That seems sketchy af tbh. Reviews take two or
so minutes to write. It’s not outrageous to spend that time. It’s like
gratuity. If your waiter/waitress spent a solid 1.5-2 hours dedicating
themselves to good service and atmosphere at your table, why the hell
would you walk away without giving them a little something for their
1K of Bitty acquiring a pie safe. Tooth-rotting fluff.
So FB does those “memories” thing, and 6 years ago today I posted this: “And you learn new things everyday… now I know that a “pie safe” exists, and also what one looks like.” And it made me think about Bitty at the Haus and then I ficced. Oops.