Hi I'm sorry if this sounds rude but you mentioned your friends are giving up fic writing? And that you came close to.I notice writers get much fewer rebblogs than artists but I didn't know it's that bad. Who are you talking about and do you guys talk about this, like is there a chatroom for writers?
Hi anon! This isn’t rude at all, don’t worry! This is going to be a bit of a long answer, so bear with me :’)
I don’t know if I can mention names here, I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, so I can’t really give you more details than I already have: I am friends with this person and they probably won’t be writing fanfics anymore.
I can tell you though that I’ve also spent most of the last couple of weeks wondering if there was still a point in posting my writing at all.
The thing is, writers barely get any feedback. Especially ones that aren’t insanely popular. We pour so much of ourselves into our writing, so it’s incredibly discouraging to barely get any comments, kudos, likes or reblogs.
In my personal experience, tumblr is an awful place for writers. I’ve got a decent-sized following on ao3 I think (though I don’t have much to compare to) and even there, with more than 100 people subscribed to me, I only tend to get around… 5 or 6 comments max per fic that are actually reviews (as in, comments with more content than “please update soon” or “this was nice”) - which is already more than I know many of my writer friends get.
On tumblr, I’m lucky if two or three people reblog my work, and that’s exactly the problem: Who’s going to see it if no one reblogs it? Likes are fine and of course I appreciate those, too, but in the bigger picture they’re meaningless.
Once a fic is done, it’s done. It’s out there then, and I can’t keep reblogging my own posts again and again in the hopes that someone will pay attention to them. I get one shot, maybe two if I reblog my fic again for people in other timezones, but that’s pretty much it. I’m not surprised that it’s gotten so frustrating that it makes people want to quit.
…as for your other question - I don’t know if there’s any larger chatroom or space for writers. I know some people have group chats, but it’s mostly a private thing, as far as I know? I’m really not a big name in this fandom so there might be a lot of stuff going on that I don’t know about.
As for me - I just message people a lot, with the tumblr feature, or on skype or snapchat if I know them better. I’m open to any and all conversations (most of mine with other writers started by me yelling at them about how much I love their work ^^), so if you want to talk to me please don’t hesitate to shoot me a message. That’s what they’re for, after all? My ask’s always open, and I don’t mind private messages either.
In any case - there’s quite a few people in my immediate vicinity that I’ve talked to and I consider friends - many of them are writers, some are artists, some do both, some do neither. I talk about this problem (of wanting to write, but barely receiving any feedback, of feeling like we’re wasting our time) to pretty much anyone who will listen, but it’s frustrating because I don’t have the influence to change anything. Of course I’ll try to keep my fellow writers motivated and try to change their minds about giving up, but there’s only so much I can do, and in the end it’s their decision. Most writers I’ve talked to really enjoy writing fanfics, and it takes quite a bit of disappointment to get you to the point where you want to just… stop. So… yes, it’s a big problem.
I’m going to wrap this up now, but… again, I cannot emphasize enough how important comments are to writers. I’ve talked to some people who’ve said they’re not sure if their comments will even make a difference, because they feel they haven’t got anything interesting to say - picture it this way. As a writer, I’m standing on a stage and presenting a thing, and in response, about twenty people give me polite nods (kudos, likes) and four actually start clapping. But there’s like two hundred people (hits) standing in this room, and I kind of feel stupid now.
All comments matter. At this point, they might save you your writers. Because with less and less feedback, there’s less and less incentive to actually post things.
I can’t say much for other fandoms because it’s been a while since I’ve written substantially for anything but Haikyuu, which is still a relatively active fandom? But I get the feeling that’s starting to wear off, too.
Enthusiasm shifts, and I get that. But if you still enjoy an author’s work, please, please, by all means leave them a comment. Otherwise it might be the last work you read from them.