I've been feeling fairly well disappointed for a while. Feeling ignored like I used to be in middle school. Not here -- hardly here. I get feedback here. But elsewhere, like Twitter and Tumblr and other social media...I post stuff and nobody says a dang thing about it. Even the people who enjoy getting into squabbles on the Internet. I can't get bullied in school and I can't get harrassed on Social Media. Yay?
I mean it's called SOCIAL media and I don't post hardly enough for anyone to have much chance to see my stuff -- you have to actually be engaged in a social media account if you want any responses.
And I thought that was about how things were going in my experience with fanfic. I've never written much of it so when I posted a couple chapters of my current work on Archive of Our Own, I shouldn't have expected much response. And I didn't get much. 49 hits in two months, one like, one bookmark, no comments.
But I had expected a great deal of response. To receive none felt like a personal blow. I write good! The folks who see my writing like it! Do I have to call myself an Ignored Genius?
I was hoping for a better response on AO3 because it's not a time-based feed like Twitter or Tumblr. If something's posted and it fits the tags of what you're interested in, you can stumble across the work later, because the folks who run AO3 do a hell of a lot of work to make sure that stuff doesn't get wiped from the site by malice or accident.
I guess I was over-reliant on the tags to bring people to me. And over-reliant on a few specific tags. I thought shipping three female characters together would be a big draw. Well, maybe. But focusing on three ORIGINAL characters? On a website dedicated to FANDOM?
Today I finally bothered to see how many people had written a polyamorous lesbian relationship in the Harry Potter fandom and the answer was: One. Out of 246,307 works on the site.
Okay, I thought, maybe the Harry Potter fandom isn't a good place for that thing. How many original-female-character polyships are there on the whole website?
And only a few thousand polyships of canonical female characters.
On the single largest collection of fan works within the entire internet. Which is possibly the largest single collection of literature in human history.
Ha ha. ha. ha. Ha. ha.
Maybe posting that kind of stuff on AO3 is like trying to sell refrigerators to Eskimos. Ain't no sense using that a selling point after all. Maybe it was a little crass to think of it as a selling point or a measure of merit. I sure didn't start out writing it that way. I wrote what I wanted to see. And I felt like I'd done something worthwhile even without getting romance involved.
So, I'd hoped that at least one person out of 49 viewers would tell me if they thought my work was worth reading. Getting no comments felt like being a performer on stage and getting no audience reaction at all.
Then I found the one writer who had come up with a Harry Potter work resembling mine. They'd been posting that work since 2018, they'd done 73 works over two years, and the number of works they received any commentary was...eight.
I guess I don't feel quite so bad now.
Maybe this website facilitates commentary better than AO3 does. The whole upvote/downvote thing lets people leave their true opinion of a work without having to break anonymity. Kind of like the upvotes and downvotes on Reddit, except without letting popularity determine a post's visibility. I get a better sense of what people think of my work here than I do elsewhere. Maybe if I've been grumbling about a pack of feedback it means I haven't been grateful to this website's community. This was the first place where I got real feedback about my writing and I think that's part of why I kept going over the years. There are a lot of things I wrote that wouldn't exist if not for this place, and maybe I wouldn't have finished any of my longer work without the Iron Noder Challenge.
I'm not always on here. I come and go because sometimes I don't have much of a mind to write anything. Sometimes I drift away because I'm ashamed about leaving a developing story hanging when people have expressed their interest clearly. I've got a lot of categories here I left unfinished. Like Kicking My Way Down To Hell -- I have a vague memory that the series was inspired by Lizardinlaw's leather coat and I wound up having a central character named after RedOmega. Or the Legend of the Red Barracuda category. Moeyz loved that one but for some reason I couldn't keep it going.
I don't finish much of anything that takes too much time and I forget people, even the folks I care about. I forgot it was Wertperch who helped me get rolling on this website. I forgot that Auduster always loves reading my wackier writings. So I carry a lot of shame around and it's easy for me to think that people hate me, and if I post something online and nobody says a dang thing about it, I start to get more worried than I ought to be. Folks have their own lives and they have busy lives. Not like there's always time to say anything. Somtimes there's nothing to say at all. I have to remember that.
I'm glad to be around here on E2 even if I'm not always present. I'm glad this writing community exists and that I could be a part of it.
Thanks for Everything.