I believe that suffering is part of the narrative, and that nothing really good gets built when everything’s easy. I believe that loss and emptiness and confusion often give way to new fullness and wisdom.
Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
A few things have been brought to my attention recently, and it has me extremely. disturbed. While Shauna and I both actively encourage our followers to message and communicate with us, Shauna has received several messages in the past few days that are inappropriate, unwarranted, and downright disrespectful.
“Can i make a suggestion for the smutty bit in part 5? Rape scene pls?”
“Why are you getting so stressed out over the smut scene lmao just make him fuck her against her will, whats the problem”
“A rape scene between them would be hot HEHE MAKE IT HAPPEN AUTHOR-NIM”
*Please know that this is merely a fraction of the inappriopriate messages Shauna (and other authors) have received in the past. I will take this moment to elaborate that RAPE OF ANY COLOR, SHAPE, OR SIZE IS NOT OKAY, AND SHOULD NOT BE MADE LIGHT OF WITHIN FANFICTION
Although we acknowledge that the majority of our followers, you, are significantly understanding and compassionate when it comes to writing, it has become increasingly apparent that there are many who are negligent to the fact that Shauna is a hard-working author who writes as an act of unselfish, unpaid love.
She does not write because you demand a recreation of your sexual fantasies
She does not write because you can’t jack off on your own
And she certainlydoes not write because of impersonal, disgusting, and utterly revolting messages like this
Authors write fanfiction because they gain fulfillment in knowing that someone, anyone out there appreciates, supports, and enjoys reading their work. Authors write fanfiction because it’s what they love. Writing fanfiction, even a piece that is just 1,000 words, can take grueling hours of repetitive writing and erasing, writing and erasing, until we have created a piece that we feel is acceptable for us to present to you.
Shauna is working relentlessly to entertain her followers with exquisitely-crafted stories, and in this case, stories that are 10k+ words a piece. She’s been stressing out because of the requests which she has committed herself to writing out of love for her followers. Which, I may remind her, she is not obligated, nor under contract, to fulfill.This applies to every writer who accepts requests: they write them out of love, and on their own accord, and this by no means justifies the bashing and hate that writers receive for not completing them.
And unfortunately, this incident isn’t contained to just Shauna’s experiences. Recently, I’ve heard from several of my mutuals, coming to me and explaining nasty-grams, insensitive messages pertaining to altering the plot/details of their writing, and requests calling for scenes that are downright disgusting. It disheartens me greatly to know that my mutuals, my friends have been putting up with this for so long, and continue to put up with this, sometimes on a daily basis.
This is why YOU matter.
YOU, the reader, have just as much power and influence as we, the authors do.
Be the person to send your favorite authors a note of encouragement. I promise, the only reaction your message will receive will be an incoherent strand of words on the other side of the screen, as the recipient of the message is overcome with gratitude and a surplus of self-esteem.
A simple message can make an author feel like they have the power to write a scene they’ve tried rewriting 9 times and still can’t seem to fix.
A simple message can allow an author confidence that they can rest, and that they are, in fact, human.
A simple message is all it takes to fight back against the indecency that the few undesirable members of the fanfiction community decide to commit on the regular.
And lastly, thank YOU, the few, the proud, that send such support, love, and encouragement to your local authors. YOU may think we get tired of it, but never forget that YOU are most likely the reason we still write today, and the reason we didn’t give up before.
(playing open world rpg on a vcr with a third party GameCube controller) Shauna i cant stop playing now! i need just 200 points more to advance to the next level (furiously mashing buttons, beeping ensues)
I’m learning to see naps as holy gifts, going to bed early as an investment in my relationships, and admitting my tiredness as a sign that I’m committed to caring for myself well: body, soul, and mind.