i don’t think people really get how little feedback fanfic authors actually get? like the effort to reaction ratio is so abysmally skewed here that a fic nearly 50,000 words long takes an entire year to amass like. 16 comments. someone reblogged a fic i wrote at 4 am and tagged it with a 5-word compliment and i can’t stop thinking about it, not because it was so nice but because half the time you post a fic you’re going to hear nothing and anything feels like so much
fandom culture is so, so good about giving artists the credit they’re due, but we gotta start doing that for writers too. you’ve got no idea how much people put into their stories and get maybe a handful of reblogs and a dozen-odd kudos. that’s not enough. writing is an endurance sport and y’all need to start giving fic writers a reason to endure it and improve their craft. encourage writers like you encourage artists. reblog fics, leave tags, leave comments, acknowledge that these stories do not just spring into being for your entertainment.
every single damn writer i know feels like half of their readers see them as a machine. that’s gotta change.
the number of people tagging this post as “this is why i stopped writing” is so deeply upsetting to me but at the same time it is really, really strong evidence that there is a real problem here
it is hard to create fanfic when you feel like you’re writing for ghosts. i recognize that anxiety disorders and various complications make it goddamn difficult to comment on a fic, but there needs to be more way, way more verbal support of writers than there currently is.
leaving kudos is great, liking posts is great (in fact, way more people should be doing the former; so many tags on this post mention only getting one kudos for every 10-20 hits), but ultimately if all you receive is silence you’re going to feel like no one cares about that story you’ve sunk countless weekends into creating.
there’s a really common misconception that fanfic authors write only for themselves and/or for love of a series, and while both of those things are true, that’s far from the whole scope of things. fanfic authors write for their for their stories to be read and for the readers to get something out of it, even if that something is just ‘damn, that was hot.’ we’re not shouting into a void here. we’re hoping to hear something back, and right now all we’re getting is echoes.
the lack of tangible support and encouragement for authors is a problem, and you can go through the tags on this post if you don’t believe me on that.
I cultivated the habit of leaving comments on everything.
When I dont have the brain space, just a little short “I liked this” is all it takes to make someone’s day. I know comments make authors smile and I wanna spread some sunshine and be a force of positivity.
I get that it is hard, and I get people have anxiety about interactions - but I know authors are equally as anxious for feedback. We’ve all done the hopeful refresh looking for new comments, eh?
But motivation isn’t endless. Just writing for yourself only takes most people so far.
When I was younger, I was super anxious about leaving comments. I didn’t want to seem too keen and often I only felt like I had a keymash of excitement in me.
But when I loved a fic, I loooooved it, would reread it constantly, print it out and carry it around with me, loved it.
And one day the fic I looooooved just stopped and there was this sad little authors note at the end that due to lack of feedback the motivation train had died. She had it all planned and had chapter skeletons, but she wasnt going to write anymore. The engine was Kaput. All creative momentum was gone cause this poor girl, who was an amazing writer, felt like no one cared what she had to say.
And we all came out of the woodwork then, leaving lots of lovely comments about how great it was and how we wanted her to keep writing, but she couldn’t.
Sometimes when motivation dies it cant be revived. Fanfic is for fun, and part of the fun is in the comments and interaction. If an author stops having fun, or isnt getting the interaction and validation they are seeking- well no one is paying them and it’s their free time.
But it sucked never getting the end of that story cause I bet it was so awesome in her head and all she needed was a couple more “I liked this!“s and “good work"s.
Anyway, I’ve been an anxious commenter and a “oh god is this new chapter even any good?!!” author, and I see both sides.
I dunno, I think we have to build each other up. Spread some sunshine because everyone is a bit anxious here, I think. And if you are anxious about interactions but wanting to practise getting better at them, believe me a simple little comment like “I really liked x” is a great place to start. You’ll make someone feel really good - and thats a nice feeling, knowing you made someone’s day better.