Can we take a moment to appreciate that one of my fics has a 6% feedback?

That means 6% of the people that clicked on it, read it, then left a comment. Kudos percentage is 9%.

This is considered a successful fic. That’s how low the bar is set, anything more than 3% is generally considered successful.

Tens of thousands of words go into fics, taking hours, days, weeks, months, years to write, but authors cannot expect even 10% of the people who find their work, who read and enjoy it to leave kudos or comments or something stating the effort wasn’t wasted.

I read some of my favorite fics and it is depressing to see the lack of response by others. I want to throw the book at people, “Here, omg, read this, it RUINED ME”, but the actual response that author got was meager, and that literally hurts my soul to see, because I’ve also been on the other end of it.

You question everything, what you did wrong, what you could have done better, WHY didn’t people like it? Or like it enough to have any sort of emotional response? How can you improve? Is it worth the effort or should you just quit?

Guys. Love your fanwork creators. Seriously. Love them. It can be simple and short, but you are literally breathing life back into a person after they poured themselves out to your benefit. It can feel much like being the Giving Tree, and that’s both unfair and unkind.

One of the most amazing things about this generation is were normalizing fanworks and fanfic as a legitimate form of artistic expression. Removing the stigma to the extent some media companies have hired big-name fans to do official material.

A couple of the official Sonic the Hedgehog artists from the comic actually still do fanwork for their DA account and one is doing a full-blown fan-comic.

It’s a beautiful thing to me that we’re telling people ‘it’s okay, you don’t have to hide your love for this anymore. It’s okay to hang on that part of your childhood where you imagined new adventures in your favorite worlds and with your favorite characters.”

As content creators, we don’t have to leave behind so many fan characters and stories we loved and the parts of ourselves we put into them with it. We can take them by the hand and take them along the rest of the journey as trusted friends, even if sometimes we don’t get to give as much attention to them. 

It’s beautiful.

Love Letter to the Queer Fandom

by Rae D. Magdon (tumblr user raedmagdon)

The women who taught me how to be queer are fictional.

Growing up, I didn’t know a single gay, bi, or transgender person. I was young, I was sheltered. When I started wondering if, maybe, the way I thought about women wasn’t the way most other girls did, I went to the internet.

I hoped to find answers. What I found was a lifeline.

 I read about women in love. Unapologetically in love, unrestrained with their love. I read about women like me, and it gave me the courage to start writing.

I wrote about what I wanted my own future to look like. I wrote about women like me, queer women, getting happily ever afters. I wrote and wrote until I had published ten novels and over two and a half million words of fanfiction.

 Then I started getting messages.

 I got messages from myself ten years ago. I got messages that said: “Thank you.” I got messages that said: “This is me.” I got messages that asked: “Is it really going to be okay?”

 And I got to say, “Yes, it really is going to be okay.”

My lifeline had become a rope, and I was pulling it from the other end. Now it runs in front of me and behind me. And that, I think, is what queerness is, and what fandom is. It inspires you, and gives you the chance—the honor—to inspire other people too.

 It’s the most personal form of expression, but the best thing you can do is make it public, so you can touch someone else.

 So this is my love letter to the queer fandom. Without it, I wouldn’t be who I am.

This essay was submitted to the @aroomoftheirown​ project, a blog and zine that seeks document the myriad of ways in which LGBT content creators and fandom participants use fanworks as a celebration of their identities and to force popular mainstream media to reflect their lived experiences by collecting essays, comics, and interviews documenting how LGBT members of fandom use their various talents to carve out a space for themselves in mainstream fiction and to explore their identities in a relatively safe space.

The blog that will accept submissions on a consistent basis and the eventual goal is to compile a selection of the pieces into a zine or a series of zines, the proceeds of which will go to the Trevor Project and Trans Lifeline

To learn more or submit to the project, click here.

the initial sketch I did for this was actually done nearly a year ago during my time in Sweden with @nooneym. At that time the original sketch was going to have them both holding the WWE championship (Dean), the Universal Championship (Seth), as well as the tag belts (kind of like when Triple H and Austin were tag champs while also WWE Champ and IC Champ). That’s how long I’ve wanted this Team Ambrollins to happen. But then there was the brand split and that sketch got put away in the “archives.” Then with this whole storyline coming up, it was like someone with the wrestling powers that be sort of read my mind and now Team Ambrollins became possible again, and I picked this up again. Dean’s pose from the original sketch is about 90% the same, with the exception of his left arm. Seth on the other hand…the sketch of him made him look more sinister than he is at present, and I didn’t like how is pose came out standing beside Dean, so I drew him 100% anew and standing at Dean’s back. They were going to be holding the WWE and Universal belts hand have the tag titles around their waists, but since that incarnation of the team won’t likely happen, I had them holding their tag belts (those belts were a bitch to draw by the way, but not half as bad as the WWE belt). But yeah, just really hope this happens~ 

@dailyambrollins @theawkwardfangirlwithavengeance

I just found two of the most amazing and underrated overwatch fanimations yet

Reasons to watch these two amazing videos:

  • They have really good music
  • Very well animated
  • Mercy is in them
  • Some shots of people’s faces are very cool and expressive
  • Did I mention mercy?
  • Because she’s in them
  • We get evil witch mercy (which I LOVE)
  • They’re really awesome
  • Angela’s Trademark Eye Look™
  • Just Mercy
  • I love Mercy
To all my fellow fanwriters:

Friendly reminder the the only duty fanwriters have when they publish their work online is to follow the ToS of the website they are posting on.

In particular when it comes to Ao3, when you use the website and access its content “you understand that using the Archive may expose you to material that is offensive, triggering, erroneous, sexually explicit, indecent, blasphemous, objectionable, grammatically incorrect, or badly spelled.” 

All of that is allowed to exist on the archive. Your readers should know that, and it’s not your responsibility to change your work according to their moral policing. If it’s allowed on Ao3 you have every right to post it

In fact, the ToS also state: “Unless it violates some other policy, we will not remove Content for offensiveness, no matter how awful, repugnant, or badly spelled we may personally find that content to be.

Don’t let anyone stop you from writing what you enjoy. Moderate comments if you get nasty ones and don’t hesitate to issue a complain if someone harasses you, because while your fanwork is allowed on Ao3, harassment is not.

On Ao3, users can’t post:

  • spam and commercial promotion;
  • code and files that would threaten the integrity of the website or be  hazardous to users’ computers;
  • content covered by copyright without trasformative use and/or plagiarism;
  • non-fiction;

Everything else is allowed.

To be more detailed, fanwriters can post their fics on Ao3 even when they contain:

  • violence;
  • abuse;
  • underage sexual content;
  • non-con/rape, however badly you might think it’s portrayed;  
  • death and/or suicide;
  • mental illnesses;
  • sexual and non-sexual kinks of any kind;
  • homophobic, racist, sexist, transphobic and/or albeist characters;
  • “glorification” of any behaviour;
  • “fetishizing” of anything;
  • badly written and/or unrealistic situations;
  • badly written and/or OOC characters;
  • other morally dubious content of any nature that I forgot listing;

And you don’t even need to tag anything. That’s a courtesy you’re doing to your readers, because according to the Ao3 ToS

Users are responsible for reading and heeding the warnings provided by the creator. Risk-averse users should keep in mind that not all content will carry full warnings. If you want to know more, you may also wish to consult the bookmarks that people other than the creator have used to categorize the fanwork.

Some creators do not want to put specific ratings or warnings on their works. Our policy aims to enable creators to choose appropriate labels or to opt not to use ratings and warnings, with the understanding that some users will avoid unrated or unwarned content.

Our goal is to provide the maximum amount of control and flexibility for all users of the Archive, both creators and audiences, so that each user can customize their experience. It’s always possible for creators to use “not rated” or “choose not to use Archive warnings,” but audiences will always be able to avoid unrated or unwarned fanworks if that’s how they want to use the Archive.

This system is designed to offer numerous different ways to customize the experience on the Archive, which should in general accommodate users’ desires for warnings or to avoid warnings, along with authors’ ability to choose the appropriate warning or to choose not to provide warnings. In most cases, users can control their experiences by accessing only fanworks that have ratings and warnings that are acceptable to them, and creators can use their artistic judgment about what ratings and/or warnings, if any, ought to be on a fanwork.

People who start crusades against your fics are childish and you should ignore them, report them or prevent them from commenting in the first place (by moderating comments or not allowing anonymous comments altogether, or both if necessary). If they harass you on some other SNS, block them. 

I’ll say more: even if your fic went against the ToS of the archive you’re posting on, people harassing you and insulting you in the comments and outside of them would still be in the wrong. If your fic was against the ToS, another user could a) politely warn you explaining clearly what points of the ToS you violated; b) if you refuse to change/take it down because you think it doesn’t violate the ToS, then report your fic to the archive administrators and let them handle it. Not insult you, not bully you, not starting a crusade against you. That’s never right, and that’s always harassment.

Also, I’m going to quote myself and say:

Seeing that actual books and other forms of fiction (the ones they sell in stores) often do not explicitly condemn morally wrong actions, why do people on this website only go after fanworks written/drawn by literal nobodies on the internet and read/looked at by, what, 1k, 2k people? (if it’s a successful and famous fic/art that is) instead of going after books (ie, but also movies, or other) that sold millions of copies? (ie: some of the books I mentioned earlier, but also books like A Song Of Ice And Fire, some of Irvine Welsh and Chuck Palahniuk’s books and a lot more)

Since “fiction influences reality” (I have to see an actual study on that claim yet), where are your petitions and your criticism against actual literature that talks about problematic themes and reaches way more people than fanfiction? Why do you only want to censor fanworks? I don’t see thousand of posts and discussions about what piece of fiction should or should not be sold in stores. (And I’m glad I don’t, because I’m pretty sure George R.R. Martin would not be happy to be called “gross” and “disgusting” and he could even have the financial means to make you stop through legal measures if he wanted to.)

Think about it, fellow fanwriters. Did you really write something so “problematic” that no work of “official” art has never touched that theme before you? And since the answer 99% of the time is no, why are these people coming after you so concerned with your fic and you instead of being concerned with that book/song/movie? Isn’t it because you’re more vulnerable than a famous and possibly dead writer? Isn’t it because they can guilt you into deleting everything and feeling ashamed about producing something they didn’t like, while that’s not achievable with a famous and possibly dead writer?

What you write might be shitty or a masterpiece, but you have the right to publish it on the internet if it doesn’t violate the ToS of the website you chose. Go out and publish all the problematic content you want. And if someone gives you shit for it, please, please, please, do not delete it. As much as some nasty people might hate your work, others like it, others care. I care.

If you feel like you need support or advice about this particular matter, feel free to hmu. I’m here for you.

Okay but fuck everyone who takes original art pieces and reposts it onto their blog without permission, and even better, with NO credit at all.

Seriously, fuck you if you think it’s a way to gain followers or look cute or to impersonate those artists. They didn’t spend countless hours producing incredible works so you can steal it and repost it.

Just reblog the artist!!! Support fanworks and the artists who create it for us!!!! STOP BEING DICKS!!!!!!!!!

Thoughts From a Tumblr Mom

By Tumblr user slowdissolve

My name’s Ann, I’m almost 48, and I live in a small town in the Midwest USA. I’ve been married 18 years, have two teenage children, and I’m bisexual.

I grew up in a small, religious, traditional area. I don’t say conservative, because it was the 1970’s, and I went to a tiny Catholic school run by the Sisters of St. Francis, which was and is a pretty progressive group of women. I seriously considered the convent for myself for many years.

The 1980’s arrived when I was in junior high, and the AIDS crisis was beginning as I entered high school. People did not come out. It was simply a thing one did not do. Gay people were the butt of jokes and lived in cities. I knew that I was different: I dressed in a butchy way, cut my hair short, didn’t wear makeup. I didn’t date, mostly because the small dating pool of boys was put off by my physical appearance (though fat wasn’t necessarily a deal breaker) and my intellect (which was). I had no clue if any of the other girls I knew at the time were attracted to other girls. They showed no sign of interest in me.

I had the good fortune to go to an Ivy League school. Yale was known in the League as the “gay Ivy”, and it was a transformative and positive experience. I met openly gay men for the first time. I don’t quite know why I didn’t meet any lesbians, but that may be because they were already paired off before I got a chance to meet them. I came out to my friends there as queer in my senior year, and it was very positive. By that time I’d realized that I’d been having crushes on other women. But at that point it might have been just a bit too late.

The most prominently out group on campus was gay men, and most gay content came from them. The AIDS crisis was an enormous factor in this visibility, and their writing and artwork was often sad, frightened, or militant because of this. The social climate of the outside world had not yet changed to be accepting.

What lesbian content I’d been exposed to was pornography created for a male gaze. It did not appeal to me. I was put off by it; I was out, but not comfortable being out anywhere but at school, and when I graduated, I went back in the closet. I knew that it was not a choice to be gay, but since I was bisexual I could still pass for straight and attempt a relationship with men after I graduated. I believed I could suppress my attractions.

In the few years between college and meeting my husband, the Internet did not have the reach it has today, and I simply didn’t know where to find other women like me. Finally I got internet access, and that’s where I met my husband. We are still happily married.

Being attracted to and married to a person of another gender didn’t end my attraction to my own gender. I hid those feelings and that part of my identity. I did tell my husband I was bi, but I’ve kept my marriage promise.

Seventeen years later, in 2016, I was sick of Facebook, and I decided to open a tumblr account because a college friend had been part of its creation. I had no idea what I’d find there.

Suddenly I was exposed to a deluge of artwork and fiction and meta discussion about all the things that interested me. My kids and I had very much enjoyed the Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: Legend of Korra series, and I was surprised and pleased when I heard in the news that the lead character, Korra, was canon bisexual. So when I joined tumblr and found an entire community of people who enjoyed it so much they created new fan-driven content for it, I was at once delighted, enthralled, and at home.

I realized very quickly that much of the content was adult-themed; but though technically pornographic, it bore little resemblance to the videos I’d seen throughout my life. It had a completely different quality, because it had been created for and by women attracted to other women. It was gentler, sweeter, more affectionate. It was still very much sexual content, but it did not objectify women in the way that I had always seen before. It was incredibly easy to identify with the characters, and positively, and the fan works explored literature and artistic themes with queer characters where one would typically find straight characters.

My eyes were opened. Having married a man, I knew little about what my life might have been like if I’d been born 20 years later. Now I understood what I’d missed. It’s a great regret; a deep sadness that I can’t change, through no one’s fault.

At the same time, now I could enjoy things with a much more genuine feeling of fulfillment and identify much more closely with characters. I made friends in the fandom. They’re all younger than me, but sometimes I’m a mother they never had. I found nonbinary and trans kids and learned about their issues in a way I’d never known. I learned and learned and learned.

I found other fandoms, as well, and heard about movies and shows that I would never thought to watch before. All touched me in a way I never felt before.

I started creating art of my own. I’d received a degree in art 25 years before; now I was finally using it and making things I enjoyed and was deeply proud of. I had FUN making this art, which had been too rare an experience otherwise. My skills as an artist continue to improve as a result.

Recently, I started writing fan fiction. Taking two older characters from The Legend of Korra, I believe I have found a niche. I am able to write and draw women much like myself in age and temperament, with a perspective unlike that of younger writers. I’ve allowed myself to feel emotions in those characters that I have been unable to feel in my own life because of my circumstances. And I’ve received some wonderful praise for what I’ve written, and that is the most amazing feeling. To make believable something that I’ve never experienced personally is astonishing.

I can’t understate the importance of fan works to my acceptance of myself as a bisexual woman, even though I have come to that acceptance later in my life. I hope the content that I’ve created will be found by women like me, a little older, a little late to the game. And I hope it makes them feel as much better about themselves as it has made me.

This essay was submitted to the @aroomoftheirown​ project, a blog and zine that seeks document the myriad of ways in which LGBT content creators and fandom participants use fanworks as a celebration of their identities and to force popular mainstream media to reflect their lived experiences by collecting essays, comics, and interviews documenting how LGBT members of fandom use their various talents to carve out a space for themselves in mainstream fiction and to explore their identities in a relatively safe space.

The blog that will accept submissions on a consistent basis and the eventual goal is to compile a selection of the pieces into a zine or a series of zines, the proceeds of which will go to the Trevor Project and Trans Lifeline

To learn more or submit to the project, click here.

Women of Star Trek Collection | Archive of Our Own
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

I know I harp on about this a fair bit, but I just wanted to note that the Women of Star Trek AO3 collection now has over 1000 works! 

Originally posted by spockvarietyhour

That’s 1000+ fics, vids and more featuring women from across the Star Trek franchise in central roles!

As of today, the top five most fanworked-about characters in the collection are Kathryn Janeway, Kira Nerys, Deanna Troi, Nyota Uhura and B’Elanna Torres. 

Thank you so much to everyone who’s let me include their work in the collection! (And if you think your work should be in there and it isn’t, please 1) check My Dashboard > Collections > Manage Collected Works to see if you have any invitations; 2) submit any fanworks I’ve missed with the Add to Collections button at the bottom of the page!)

It’s weird I spent A LOT of time in my late teen to early 20s being like “all man, fandoms are so cringe and I was so stupid” *fart* because I was an idiot.

But now I’m starting to shed that off and look back at all the silly fanworks I enjoyed like sprite comics or Coodoo17′s videos and I feel good like I’m letting an important part of myself and what shaped my taste in fanworks out.

Now I’m just like “I don’t care”

I have my Fanfiction.Net faves full of silly fanfic or all stripes, my own work I do without restraint or trying to be some high-art of fanfic and my Deviant Art account.

I’m happy because I’m a huge dork with a redneck streak  and a wallet full of fandom membership cards and that’s just who the hell I am.  

Especially in regards to Sonic because I don’t have to look at as some dirty secret anymore now that I’ve matured enough to be secure in who I am.

Wrong Number

Summary: Seth unwittingly finds himself charmed by a wrong number caller who seems too bored or too lonely to just let the call end at “Sorry, wrong number.” AU. Written for fanworks day for AAW2017.
Characters: Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, minor Marek Brave, mentions of Sami Callihan. 
Pairing: Seth x Dean 
Rating: T (for Dean’s potty mouth and very minor sexual references)
Word Count: 3,749

Read by clicking Keep Reading. Can also be found at FF.Net and AO3

@dailyambrollins @theawkwardfangirlwithavengeance

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