Do you ever write something, think it's awesome, and then get 0 reaction to it? And then just jot something down and people think it's AMAZING? How do you deal with this kind of disconnect between yourself and your audience?
This feels like a question that speaks to two different communities at the same time.
As a professional author, writing books and stories for which I am paid money, I very rarely get zero reaction. Sometimes I get negative reaction, either sincere (”this didn’t work for me”) or metatextual (”the author is a filthy fucking SJW liberal bitch and I hate her personally and she smells”), and I’m not going to pretend that doesn’t sting. At the same time, all the negative reviews in the world won’t cancel my checks, so I still get paid, and that takes some of the sting out of things. I write for myself, for the people who like my stuff, and to feed my cats/pay my bills, so as long as those boxes are checked, I don’t feel the disconnect.
As a fanfic author, writing stories for which I am not paid money, but am paid in “comment cookies” of positive feedback, I do sometimes have things land with a resounding thud. This can happen for so many reasons. Maybe the fandom is really small and there are only six people in my potential audience (”Flowers for Barry Ween,” for example). Maybe the fandom is huge, and I’m not a BNF there, so I can’t find the readership (my very few Harry Potter pieces). Or maybe people just don’t realize that, as someone who exists in both spaces, I still crave feedback and praise the way I crave candy corn: constantly and in sickening quantities.
You can’t predict the audience. You just can’t. I’ve been writing and sharing fanfic since I was fifteen and joined my first ElfQuest fanzine. You just have to keep going, and remember that unless you’re getting paid, you’re under no obligation to keep writing anything that doesn’t make you happy.