Judging what parallels and allusions people can pick up on and how much is just me making more work for myself.
Or rather- reassuring myself that it’s not all going over people’s heads.
I generally expect that my audience is intelligent. The subject matter is dense for fanfiction and the length of the story itself weeds out people who got confused or bored with it, so I assume the people that made it this far will catch the devices I’m intentionally putting in there.
But between updates, I inevitably hit a wall of angst where it feels like most of the thematic planning and long-term metaphors are a waste. And I pull myself out of that because expressing it publicly would seem condescending, needy, or lead to me spilling out spoilers to explain myself- all of which are unacceptable.