My post about being a fic writer has over 1,500 notes and, of course, I feel like shit about my own fic right now
I saw a graph somewhere that showed progress in any kind of art as a stair-step thing, where your ability to see the faults in your work jumps up before your skill does.
I really hope that graph is right, because there’s been several things I’ve written lately (none of them posted) where I reread them and then thought it was crap and didn’t know how to fix it.
Plus I’ve read some amazing fic lately that blew me away–just really hot and gorgeous and really good emotional stuff around relationships and sex–and even though I fucking loved those fics and I left love-notes on them and I’ve already reread a few of them, it just….ugggh it makes me so aware of how shitty my own writing can be.
At the same time that there’s not anything necessarily wrong with basically writing my own wank fantasies over and over, I feel like (surprise!) my writing is getting repetitive and dull.
UGGH. I know I should read things the things I love with an eye towards writing–why do I like this fic/scene so much?? What words/phrases/etc work for me and what doesn’t?? Etc.
But there’s that annoying toddler in my brain that insists that this is a hobby I do for fun and it shouldn’t be work, because then it’s not fun anymore; and that makes me worry that if I actually have to work at getting better at it, I’ll just give up and stop, just like I’ve done with so many other things.
It doesn’t help that I’ve got that issue lots of people who tested as “gifted” as kids do (especially with ADHD): ”If I’m not immediately amazing at this, I don’t want to do it.” My first few fics weren’t awful; I’m relatively good at grammar/punctuation and I’ve been reading fic for twenty years and knew what kinds of things annoyed the shit out of me. (Epithets. Just use their names, for fuck’s sake.) Plus I’ve been friends with fic writers for a while now and seen the bits of writing advice they reblog, that kind of thing.
But, and I knew this was going to happen at some point, I’ve sort of bumped up against the limits of where all that previously-absorbed stuff can get me, and now I have to actually work at it and allow myself to be frustrated and then take a step back and try again. And I worry I’ll just give up, instead. (In general, I have this nagging worry that my ability to write fiction will up and disappear on me, because I spent the last two decades convinced I didn’t have a mind for writing fiction, and maybe this little spell of writing is a temporary thing? I really, really hope not.)
Also, and I really do not want to minimize this: there is just not enough Amedot fic out there, especially explicit-rated. I know damn well that a rather large portion of my hits on anything new I post are from people who refresh the tag on ao3 every day and at least attempt to read everything, because I do that to some extent myself. There’s no way I’d have the audience I do if I was writing for a pairing with more fic. It’s a blessing, honestly, for a new writer, to have a nearly-guaranteed audience; watching my hit count and kudos go up after I post something is incredibly gratifying and encouraging. I don’t know if I would have kept going without that.