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Why do I let it get to me?


I have come to realize that I am overly sensitive about my writing and need to just suck it up and deal. But really, I am about 12 years old when it comes to comments, and then I start to wonder if my stories suck.

Overall I realize that there are some people who do read my stuff, even outside of people I know/chat with through writing groups and fandom, which still blows me away every time - I see feedback from names of people I don't know and say, "Holy crap, people actually read my stuff? Really? Wow!"

And yet... I still feel very self conscious and whiny when I post as part of the challenge or exchange and see other stories wracking up feedback (because, hello, they're AWESOME STORIES and totally DESERVE IT) and mine - well, mine not so much.

In this particular instance, it could be partly because the lack of beta time (which was so totally my fault) makes the story feel unpolished, as well as the fact that its (at least for me) outside of what I normally write. And it's not a really common, or overly popular juxtaposition of characters, so it may be attracting less readers for that reason. But mostly I worry that the real problem is I'm just a mediocre writer and silence is what you get when your readers have nothing nice to say.

I shouldn't let it bother me. Especially because this was for a recipient - and I gave my giftee what she wanted and she was thrilled to pieces over it, even asking for more, which hey, that's pretty cool - but I personally feel my enthusiasm flagging when I see other stories with 4 or 5 times as much feedback and I can't help but wondering if I really do suck and should just quite while I'm ahead. *sigh*

I seriously need block of cheese to go along with this...

/whine

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
yasminke
Dec. 20th, 2011 09:40 am (UTC)
I feel the same way about my stuff.

Soft or hard cheese?
shaddyr
Dec. 20th, 2011 09:42 am (UTC)
Ideally, some three year old Balderson - pretty firm, or some Applewood smoked cheddar. Mmmm.
yasminke
Dec. 20th, 2011 09:53 am (UTC)
Hmm...it'll have to be Aussie cheese, but we have good cheddars. I have some latkes, too. Want?
shaddyr
Dec. 20th, 2011 09:57 am (UTC)
Mmm, I love Hanukkah!

Is there sour cream too? And applesauce! I love them with sour cream and applesauce!

I'm not demanding at all....

*driedel, driedel, driedel, I made it out of clay...*
yasminke
Dec. 22nd, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
Sour cream and applesauce, yep.
pukajen
Dec. 20th, 2011 11:27 am (UTC)
I think the exact same thing about some of my stuff and ultimately I think it has more to do with fandom than the writing.

If you're a well known writer or a well known writer rec's you, then you'll see some feedback, if not it tends to trickle in or gets no comments at all. As an experiment I put an invisible stat counter on some of my fics to see if people were reading my stuff. In one fandom I'd get ten comments, but nothing from another, bigger, fandom.

For the most part the hits were close, the newer, but smaller fandom, tended to have more hits. However, per capita there were/are farm more comments on my fics for that smaller fandom.

I ended up decided, screw the comments and the hit counts, I'm writing for me and for those who want to read great. Even if a story only gets a couple dozen hits and no comments at least I know people are clicking to check it out. They might hate it or love it, but without comments, I have no idea and go with they're like me; lazy.
sgamadison
Dec. 20th, 2011 01:31 pm (UTC)
I ended up decided, screw the comments and the hit counts, I'm writing for me and for those who want to read great.

THIS. I just came to that conclusion myself over the original fiction. I no longer track sales, or look for reviews, etc. I'm also done with the heavy-handed social networking. It was making me insane and depressing me too.

And I will say, that sheer volume of writing makes a difference. I know an excellent writer who posts maybe one story a year and then doesn't understand why she gets overlooked--it's because people will read the familiar name first, the shorter story first, and take a chance on something new (or a blurb that catches their eye) when they have the time. A lot of people simply don't have much time these days.
alizarin_nyc
Dec. 20th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
YES what they said. I have had to write for myself and to prove I can do it.

BUT. If you need to vent and moan and whine - go for it. That's what LJ is here for. Believe me, I am going nuts over the fact that I wrote for a holiday exchange and the recipient has not responded for weeks now. IT'S KILLING ME.

So yes. Plus time. It's hard right now for most people. But with AO3, people will be able to find your story later and over and over and that might just pay off! Chin up?
sgamadison
Dec. 21st, 2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is too bad that your recipient hasn't responded--though I usually find there is a darn good reason in that case.

I keep forgetting about AO3. I've only transferred some of my stories there and keep forgetting to post new ones. I still post to the older archives, but few people seem to read there any more.

The truth is, the fandom is shrinking. That's okay by me. The show has been off for a few years now and people are embracing newer, more active fandoms. I will continue to write about my favorite characters as long as I feel like I have stories to tell. I just don't have a strong pull to write in any other fandoms, but that's not unusual for me either--I'm a one fandom at a time kinda girl!

:-)
shaddyr
Dec. 21st, 2011 09:22 am (UTC)
Mmm, that's a good assumption. I'm pretty lazy too, so.. yeah.

Thanks!
gaffsie
Dec. 20th, 2011 12:28 pm (UTC)
Exchanges like these are always tricky, because you have to fit your writing to someone else's tastes. Sometimes that means writing something you wouldn't normally do, and sometimes it means writing something that very few people will be interested in reading no matter how awesome the fic might be. Don't let it get to you. What's important is that you're making your recipient happy.
sgamadison
Dec. 20th, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
And yes to all of the above. Gift exchanges make me so squirrely now that I've stopped participating in them, so kudos to you for letting yourself be stretched in your writing, shaddyr!
shaddyr
Dec. 21st, 2011 09:23 am (UTC)
I'm just being a whiner, I know it.

And yeah - my giftee seems thrilled, so I realize that really, that's all that's important.

Thanks!
sgamadison
Dec. 21st, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
And yeah - my giftee seems thrilled, so I realize that really, that's all that's important.

That, and whether *you* enjoyed the story and had fun writing it. :-)
enigmaticblues
Dec. 20th, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC)
*hugs* This is really tough, I would agree. I've noticed that when I write a really popular pairing in a very active fandom, I'll get so many comments it's kind of mindblowing. And then I'll write a gen piece in that same fandom and get maybe one comment. IF I'm lucky. Even if I think the gen piece is better than the pairing piece.

Try not to let it get to you. I know it's easier said than done, but just remember that you're writing for fun, and you're writing for your giftee. The rest of it doesn't matter.
shaddyr
Dec. 21st, 2011 09:25 am (UTC)
And then I'll write a gen piece in that same fandom and get maybe one comment. IF I'm lucky. Even if I think the gen piece is better than the pairing piece.

OMG yes exactly. Or a pairing that isn't as popular - though, did you notice how many John/Vala stories showed up? Holy crap, girl, I think you started something!

And yeah, It's supposed to be fun. So. There it is. I need to stop being a whiner.

Thanks!
enigmaticblues
Dec. 21st, 2011 01:52 pm (UTC)
*cackles evilly* Yes, I did, and I think I'm responsible for most of it, too, either by writing it or requesting it. And then on sgagenrefinders someone was asking for John/Vala because they'd just read the SGA Santa fics, and Curious Afterlife got mentioned. Apparently, there are lots of people who think John and Vala are perfect for each other. (So are John and Rodney, but I can 'ship John with a lot of people under the right circumstances.)

*hugs* But feel free to whine! Sometimes you just need to get it off your chest.
peteralway
Dec. 20th, 2011 10:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I have often posted songs that have gotten zero comments. I'm never quite sure what to think. But rest assured I never think anything positive about it. I vascillate between "nobody bothered to listen" and "it must be polite silence because I suck."

So yeah, whine, whine, whine.
shaddyr
Dec. 21st, 2011 09:25 am (UTC)
Oh, darlin'!

*hugs*

We can have a whine and cheese party all by ourselves!
peteralway
Dec. 21st, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
Yay!
judifilksign
Dec. 20th, 2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
As an English teacher, I have offered critiques (when asked) that have been devastating to the authors. Often, what I say is generally overall positive, but I might also point out a continuity error, or word choice, or structural flaw, and the author obsesses over this. I find myself reluctant to comment now, unless it's a generic gush "loved this!"
shaddyr
Dec. 21st, 2011 09:30 am (UTC)
Baby, if you ever want to beta read, bring it. I am totally in the market for slash and burn critiques.

When I first started writing, I had a beta reader who was ruthless. She wasn't mean, she wasn't cruel, but she was absolutely ruthless. She didn't let anything slide and MAN did it BURN and TWIST and feel like shards of glass when I first started, but you know what? I am SO GLAD that I had her, because I became a much better writer because of her.

I have a couple gals that beta for me, but they still worry about hurting my feelings sometimes. Though gables is actually pretty ruthless these days, come to think of it - but, I never see her around, so she doesn't beta for me often. My other lovely beta is a great grammar and spelling catcher, and phraseology, things like that - but she's nervous about offending me even though I almost always agree with her.

Anyway. You ever want to take the red pen of DOOM to one of my fics, I would be thrilled. Cuz I'm good with utter devastation. If it's crap, I don't want to put it out there. And often I post things that are really in the 2nd draft stage. So. There it is.

:)
cjoelle
Jan. 1st, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
I was waiting for the reveals before I answered this, now that I've seen it, then I feel it's easier to understand.

Main reason why you didn't have much comments? Has nothing to do with how well the story was written. You just wrote what you were asked to, but that meant adding an OC to a basically "established" couple.
Not so many people read McShep+ someone, and even less people read McShep+someone that isn't either Team or at least well known.

So basically, you wrote as well as you always do, you just got less people reading (or enjoying) because you wrote in a very very small niche.

I had a feeling it was something like that.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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