While we’re on the subject of tumblr’s shortcomings as a fandom platform, I want to say one more thing. I’ve been thinking lately about how it’s really important to remember that fandom isn’t just on tumblr, but on AO3 as well. One angle that I don’t see people talking about a lot with regard to commenting on fic is that it’s another level of interaction that I don’t think fandom can live without–not just because it fuels writers, but because it can fuel readers too.
Over the course of my fandom life, I’ve gradually worked my way up to leaving more and more detailed comments (not necessarily always longer, but definitely more specific) and let me tell you–it’s incredibly rewarding. Just recently, I left a comment that prompted a writer to share a lot more about what they were thinking while writing the fic and to give me a rec for a fic with a similar theme to the one they wrote. Sometimes writers will reply to comments by going into more detail about the headcanons they have for characters or explaining more backstory for a part of the fic that I mentioned liking. I’ve had people follow me here on tumblr after I commented on one of their fics on AO3 (and as a writer, I’ve followed people who have commented on my fic too–if I can find them here), and from that, sometimes new friendships arise.
What I’m trying to say is that the importance of comments as an aspect of fandom interactions can’t be overstated. It’s not just about stroking a writer’s ego. You can get things out of it too, whether it be a new headcanon to think about, an insight into the creative process, or even a new friend. Being specific about the parts of fic you like can give writers the confidence to write more things in the same vein or to write more period. Back in the LJ days, fic and personal posts were all mixed in together, so it was easier to have those kinds of interactions, but now that those worlds are split, I think it’s even more important to remember why commenting is important and what it can do for fandom as a whole.
So next time you’re leaving a comment, I challenge you to view it not as “paying your dues” for reading the story, but as an opportunity to interact with the person behind it. You don’t have to be long-winded. Tell them what your favorite part of it was. Pick out something that was unique about it and ask about their inspiration. Talk about how it made you feel or what it reminds you of. You won’t regret it.
I’m sorry but I’m still cackling over the fact that Star Wars, arguably the biggest and most recognizable franchise in pop culture media history, was out-hyped by a game series not even half its age starring a boy in clown shoes wielding an over sized house key with Donald Duck and Goofy
shoutout to the adhd people who did well in school for years but suddenly crashed and burned when the responsibilities outweighed their coping skills
shoutout to the adhd people who couldn’t finish college
shoutout to the adhd people who do great work but lose their jobs because of poor time managment
shoutout to the adhd people who don’t lose their jobs but can never advance because of their inconsistent performance
shoutout to the adhd people who want more work responsibilities but are afraid of what will happen when they inevitably make a careless mistake or their inattention leads something important to be forgotten
shoutout to the adhd people who have damaged their credit rating by forgetting to pay bills or return library books
shoutout to the adhd people who work their ass off every day but never know if the results will be stellar, average, or terrible
shoutout to the adhd people who have done just well enough to go most of their lives knowing something was wrong, but figuring they just needed to work harder to fix it.