I’m sure you’ve heard a million times over how important it is to comment on fanfiction - maybe even from this blog. I’ve been a frequent advocate of supporting stories with feedback, often reblogging posts about its importance (and even making one or two of my own). For me, every time a post about comment culture crosses my dash I find a fresh determination to be a commenter and vow to leave feedback on every fic that crosses my dash from there on out.
But here’s my secret: sometimes, I don’t feel like leaving a comment.
It’s not that a fic is undeserving or that I have nothing positive to say, in fact it’s usually quite the opposite.
Sometimes, I look at the large number of comments a fic has already received and I think “What difference will it make if I just add to the masses?” But then I remember how excited I get every. single. time. someone leaves me feedback, how much my heart soars whenever I receive a comment notification.
Sometimes, I see that a fic has zero to little comments and I think “Oh, it would be awkward if I was the only commenter, I don’t want to stand out.” But then I remember the stories I’ve published that never received any responses, merely gathering a few reblogs and a handful of likes and leaving me disappointed and discouraged.
Sometimes, I read a fic long after it’s been posted and I think “Why bother commenting now? It’s way too late for that.” But then I remember that one time someone found a fic of mine months after it had been posted and still left a comment, making me feel as though my story had a permanence and a lasting impact.
Sometimes, I read a fic that is already multiple chapters in, and I think “I can’t possibly comment on any chapter but the last, otherwise it’s going to seem strange.” But then I remember all the effort that goes in to a single chapter, all the courage it can take to publish those words and how reassuring it can be to hear that a particular piece of a story had an impact.
Sometimes, I read a fic and I can’t think of anything insightful to comment, and I think “If I don’t have anything profound to say, I may as well say nothing at all.” But then I remember how it feels to stare at a blank comment section, wondering where exactly my story went wrong and wishing for even the smallest of reassurances.
And sometimes, I read a fic and I’m just tired, and I think “What’s it going to hurt if I just skip the comment this time? Who will even notice?” But then I remember how much time and energy a writer put into their story, how exhausting writing can sometimes be.
I read a fic, I remember these things, and I decide to leave a comment.
Comments, from the smallest of keyboard smashes and heart eye emojis to the largest of analyses, mean the world to a writer. A comment can be the difference between an abandonment and another update, the divide between a story of requirement and a story of passion. Comments truly are everything to a writer, and they require so little from each one of us.
So please, I beg of you: swallow your excuses, realize that leaving feedback has an impact that extends beyond you, and LEAVE THAT COMMENT.