gwyn: big eden (pike m'lyn)
[personal profile] gwyn
Trying to write two stories, make a vid for Escapade, and thinking about other vids I want to make, and it all feels like too much. I got another one of those emails I get from time to time, where someone comments on how much they liked a story but they can't believe that it doesn't have more kudos/bookmarks, and that always depresses me something fierce. I know it's a lovely compliment that someone thinks your work deserves more, but it also starts to remind you, time after time, that you are in that situation.

It's a lot like when I was young and just starting out as a writer, and I'd send out stories that always came back with personal notes from the editors about the quality of the stories, along with the rejection that (usually) it wasn't what they were looking for. People in my writing group were always, wow, I never get personal notes from the editors! And I was like, yeah, you know, the first couple times it's cool, but then you realize that it's all still a rejection (after rejection, after rejection). The first time I ever got an acceptance, I almost threw it away, because I thought it was a note from the editor about the rejection.

I've been trying really hard to think about this wonderful post from [personal profile] sperrywink and just concentrate on my own efforts to put forth what I want to see in the world, or think about [personal profile] destina making dolphin noises (waves at destina), but I do really get torpedoed sometimes. A lot lately, because I feel like I'm writing and vidding into a void--fandom's always been about participation and communication for me, and once I lost my fic website a couple years ago, all my fic's been on AO3. Try as I might, I've never been able to develop conversations with people there the way I have been on LJ/DW/email, or on Tumblr (I mean, certainly if you have a lot of followers on Tumblr, you could, but that's not my world). I've met a lot of great people in those spaces in the past, and even recently, because I wrote them a comment on their fic or vid, or they wrote to me, but it doesn't seem like you get that on Tumblr or on AO3, and a lot of those friends have been lost to attrition lately. Although, really, yeah, it could very well be a referendum on the quality of the work, and that's definitely the place my depression-mind goes to.

I think too the isolation of not having a lot of friends left/friends who are into the same thing I am compounds that. There are so many stories floating around in my head right now, so many vids, and it's a struggle to get past the why bother. Especially when I can't seem to get them to come out right, like the vid for Escapade feels (ugh, I keep looking at the timeline and wondering if I can ever make a good vid again, let alone a good Steve/Bucky vid) or the stories ("you're keeping the outfit" porn should not be this difficult!) have been lately.

I should probably shut the comments off on this, because people will think I'm fishing for compliments and I am not fishing for compliments, seriously, but I don't know, maybe there's someone else out there in the depresso-ball pit too who'd like a safe space to talk about that, so I guess I will keep them open. Or maybe you have some cool tricks, like sperrywink, to remind yourself that it's the creating that matters and you are more than welcome to share them with me.

Date: 2015-01-28 01:26 am (UTC)
kass: Eleven and Amy hug. (hug)
From: [personal profile] kass
Oh, honey, the voice of depression is so awful. I have been there. (I'm sure I will be there again.) Merry used to call it KFKD -- the voice in my head that tells me I am just fucked, period, end of story. And it is lying to you, because that is what depression does.

I know that having a small audience often doesn't feel like enough. And I don't know how much of a difference this makes (if any at all) -- but I love what you make. I always have. Ever since I first got into fandom and the very first vid I ever saw and loved was one of yours! and that continues to be true. Your Steve/Bucky fic is a lifeline for me; it's one of the things which has been a bright spot during this season of me coming to terms with my mom's health situation. And I know I will love the vid you're bringing to Escapade, because it's you, and it's your heart, and just -- ♥.

I don't know that I have good tricks to offer, but I send love.

Date: 2015-01-28 02:23 am (UTC)
batdina: (hope -- lanning)
From: [personal profile] batdina
:::crawling out of lurker mode:::

what kass says. when I get a note you've posted something new it's the first thing I turn my attention to. yes to your Steve/Bucky these days, but back in the day it was all of your Mulder/Skinner on repeat and after that Fast and Furious. I learn whole new fandoms so I can read your writing. (and that's not hyperbole, I swear it's not.)

I'm a shit comment leaver, etc. but when we're at escapade in March I hope we get the chance to have all of those conversations I never remember to have while I'm reading things.

(so, currently, the story open on my kindle is Dark Approach (3x through). I have two vids sitting on my desktop so I can watch them again which you know me and vids so there's that. anyway. yeah.)

tell the depression beast we aren't letting go of you yet.

Date: 2015-01-28 03:30 am (UTC)
musesfool: Steve Rogers, professional sadface (broken-hearted savior)
From: [personal profile] musesfool
*hugs*

I know some of what you're feeling. I used to talk to several people all the time specifically about our fannish interests. I'm still friends with those people and talk to them frequently, but most of us are not in the same fandoms anymore and there isn't the same encouragement to write, so I don't prioritize it much any more - there's always something easier and less frustrating to do instead. I think it's definitely one of the reasons my productivity has plummeted.

Date: 2015-01-28 03:37 am (UTC)
minim_calibre: (Default)
From: [personal profile] minim_calibre
I really miss that wider feeling of community in fandom, so it's not just you. You're one of the few fannish people I get to talk to on a regular basis these days, and it's been a freaking blessing this last year.

Depression's a poopy liar, and I hate it. (Mine's all wrapped up in crippling anxiety! That's why I take a mood stabilizer instead of an SSRI! It's AWESOME!)

You still have a wonderfully strong visual sense with your vids, and the ones you've done recently have been amazing.

Date: 2015-01-28 03:51 am (UTC)
ranalore: (bucky winter)
From: [personal profile] ranalore
Boy, do I hear this. Granted, I'm often writing in smaller fandoms too, but I admit to a terror of finishing one of my WS pieces and posting it to a resounding silence (which is actually what happened with the sorta-drabble I did post, though to be fair I posted that before I even really admitted I was in the fandom, but...yeah). I could use some tips on how to deal with that, but it looks like the post you linked to is actually locked.

Date: 2015-01-28 03:09 pm (UTC)
sperrywink: (Avengers Steve Bucky Back Shield)
From: [personal profile] sperrywink
I unlocked the entry since gwyn linked to it.

Cheers!

Date: 2015-01-28 04:01 pm (UTC)
ranalore: (ginji woot)
From: [personal profile] ranalore
Thank you so much! I appreciate that greatly.

Date: 2015-01-28 06:58 pm (UTC)
sperrywink: (Avengers Steve Bucky Faces)
From: [personal profile] sperrywink
My pleasure! :-)

Date: 2015-01-30 12:55 pm (UTC)
sperrywink: (Avengers Steve Bucky Back Shield)
From: [personal profile] sperrywink
You're welcome! :-)

Date: 2015-02-01 06:00 pm (UTC)
ranalore: (meta)
From: [personal profile] ranalore
I feel like it's less the BNFs than the connections you mentioned, the networks. I feel like some of them are through Tumblr, which I just can't cognitively parse much of the time, but also a lot of them are legacy networks that have come down through certain paths through fandom that I just didn't follow. My fandom career didn't go through X-Files and due South, which is where I feel like an awful lot of the connections were forged, and some of those people are certainly names that crop up when meta about BNFs arises, but others aren't, they're just long-term fans who know each other and follow each other's stuff, and it's understandable that they don't really give as much attention to those of us who don't have that history with them, especially as fandom gets bigger and more things demand our attention, it's just...hard. Especially when I feel like I am really putting myself out there to make the connections.

But I also remind myself that I'm in a pretty rough spot right now, emotionally speaking, and so a lot of this is my own depression talking to me. I've been in a better headspace in the past and I think seen more clearly how much looking at fandom based on cheering myself up by interacting with other people rather than waiting for their interaction with me really made a difference. So I'm trying to keep that at the forefront of my mind again and see if it helps me with the current bout of blues.

Date: 2015-01-28 05:06 am (UTC)
killabeez: (samdean resouled hug)
From: [personal profile] killabeez
You're not alone. I feel fannishly isolated and buried in "why bother?" about 99% of the time. I'm just… slow to get the message.

Date: 2015-01-28 05:32 am (UTC)
grammarwoman: Captain America in his Winter Soldier gear (Captain America Winter Soldier)
From: [personal profile] grammarwoman
Ohhhh, *HUGS*! Yes, yes I totally hear you on that. My Festivids crash is imminent, where I put all this work into an offering and get a *crickets* response, while other people get gushed over and recced and...UGH. Ugly brain weasels.

If you ever feel like babbling MCU and/or Steve/Bucky, I am your fangirl.

This also reminds me that I need to put Dark Approach on my Kindle so I can read it at long last - it hit right in the middle of a busy time, and I lost my mental post it note to go back for it.

Date: 2015-01-30 02:42 pm (UTC)
grammarwoman: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grammarwoman
:) I do love to chat, but I am awkward and oblivious as hell at setting up a session or noticing a chat invite. What I've found works best for me is an email suggesting a chat time somewhat in advance, so I can be sure to be available. Gimme a holler at grammarwoman AT gmail sometime, eh?

Date: 2015-01-28 07:45 am (UTC)
roseveare: (Default)
From: [personal profile] roseveare
I've been on one about the whole fandom-is-changing-and-not-for-the-better lately. I still have people I talk to, and some of them are the same ones as years ago, but the wider fandom, the newer stuff, feels a more isolating environment at times? Less of the fun that it should be about?

I seem to be permanently into smaller fandoms these days so I don't know what it's like in LoTR/SPN/Marvel sort of territory. (I've seen all those things, but I don't feel any urge to create in them and only very rarely am involved in reading or otherwise in them, from recs or creations of people I know.)

Date: 2015-01-30 08:25 am (UTC)
roseveare: (Default)
From: [personal profile] roseveare
I don't think it only ever changes for the worst but I think it's at risk of taking a nose-dive into a bad place at the moment, even if it's not already happened.

I wonder though, what you say about designing the tools -- if we were to take the things about Tumblr and Twitter that make them more of a draw than Livejournal, to create something better, what would they be? The speed and the transitoriness of those platforms seem to be the biggest thing but also the thing that doesn't work for fandom. I can't say much about Twitter because I incredibly don't get it and I can't say anything hardly worth bothering with in a sentence, but is it the images and graphic-heaviness on tumblr? If you took those and made it possible to repost images and vids but to have embedded comment threads and real communication for text posts? Made private conversations possible? What could we alter to make it work for us?

(Or is the reason for the mass-migration only and simply because everyone else is on those platforms and the wider audience? Because if that's so, there's probably not a lot to be done even if someone could build a fandom-friendly forum...)

I think that's the transitoriness -- the way things disappear in a blink -- that's taking away from the ability to bond and have meaningful interaction -- and also causing a problem with responsibility for what's said or done in that environment. And those seem built into the tools, I don't know if they can be separated from them; separated from the way most people seem to prefer doing things now. I wonder if there really is a possibility for an upcoming platform that can fix things for all needs, or if it's something to do with that here-and-gone attention span of the wider world, that we'll never get back to the kind of things that worked for fandom being popular again?

Ah, that probably sounds way more insulting than I mean it to. I'm just brainstorming.

Date: 2015-02-04 07:38 am (UTC)
roseveare: (Default)
From: [personal profile] roseveare
Argh, sorry to bring the mood down!

I'll probably come back to this discussion because just at a glance and I have no time right now some interesting things are being said, but just for now -- I make gifs (made a point of learning because anything like that is a shiny challenge :) ) and I could just as easily post them to LJ/DW as tumblr, all it takes is a little bit of html.

The reason I don't is because I tend to think that people on this platform want the text heaviness, that maybe they're sticking to LJ because they don't have the great internet connection or computer, and I certainly know that I avoid tumblr when I'm on my home internet because I just don't have the GB per month to check it properly, it eats it up like nothing else.

Yet I could post the gifs here. Either linking from tumblr or using LJs gallery. It works, I've done it once under a cut. It wouldn't have the reblogging facility, but LJ can also be that visual medium. Maybe I should make a post about this question and see what people following my own journal think...

Date: 2015-01-28 09:51 am (UTC)
goodbyebird: Captain America: Bucky in uniform, mountains int he background. (Avengers strike down on me)
From: [personal profile] goodbyebird
I can't add anything to what's already said, but wanted to chime in and say I'm here and I feel you. So sorry things are weighing down on you lately.

Date: 2015-01-28 04:05 pm (UTC)
ranalore: (steve and bucky wwii otp)
From: [personal profile] ranalore
Also, I cannot believe myself for not saying this first, but your work, and particularly Dark Approach and "Shelter," are really helping me get through a very tough time in my life. I'm crap at expressing how meaningful things like that are to me, but seriously, thank you for your fannish output. I know I certainly appreciate it, and would miss it very much.

Date: 2015-02-01 06:13 pm (UTC)
ranalore: (steve and bucky wwii otp)
From: [personal profile] ranalore
It really has, and I am totally here for any MCU you do in the future and probably other SebStan projects once I get time to watch them, especially if they are small fandoms, because I am a total sucker for those.

Date: 2015-01-28 04:21 pm (UTC)
belmanoir: Chloe making a resigned but amused face (Default)
From: [personal profile] belmanoir
Ugh, I hear you. I am so so glad I have Sonia because if I wasn't really writing for her, the one or two comments I get on every story on AO3 would completely kill any desire to write. I try to remind myself that the kudoses I do get would just be "this is cute." or whatever on lj but it's...I dunno, even the comments I do get, half the time it's "where's the sequel???". Is that seriously a compliment to you?

As for tumblr, wow it is NOT designed for interaction. I can't believe that asks disappear from your inbox after you answer them, and you can't reply to a reply! (Although I think fanmail is a little better for that? Dunno, never used it.) As far as I can tell, Sonia has a million friends she made on tumblr but she talks to them all on twitter, NOT tumblr. Like the content is on tumblr and the discussion is on twitter. Bzuh? WHY WOULD YOU DESIGN A PLATFORM THIS WAY. I hate hate hate that everything I DO post that's fannish, if I want people in that fandom to read it, I have to like, tag it and then EVERYONE WHO LOOKS IN THE TAG will see it. Including hateful assholes. There's none of that public-but-private space like on lj where something could be seen by anyone but in reality was mostly going to be seen by your friends. there's nothing equivalent to lj comms where you could have, like, a separate group by interest but it still had kind of a friendly vibe. there's definitely nothing equivalent to flock. tl;dr: there's a lot to love about Tumblr but there's a lot to hate also.

I'm sorry you've been feeling shitty. ♥

Date: 2015-01-28 09:16 pm (UTC)
nagasvoice: lj default (Default)
From: [personal profile] nagasvoice
Seconding this. While I love AO3 for the range and and depth of stories--nothing like it for diving into somebody's work across many fandoms--I just prefer the longer and more thoughtful form of communicating on lj and DW, and the tone of interactions. RE: feeling isolated and depressed, I hear that one. Taking part in organized fannish exchange has been pushing me into creating work for a small older fandom and some crossovers, but I'm not in that heady intoxicated stage where you stay up way too late and gulp down everything you can get your hands on. Maybe just as well right now, energy must go elsewhere right now and that kind of marathon is very tiring.
Ahh, but the mental worlds that evolve from that! The creating, I agree, that's the point. You may not hear much from folks and may never know how much it helped them to think in your worlds for awhile.

Date: 2015-01-30 04:11 am (UTC)
umadoshi: (don't believe (iconriot))
From: [personal profile] umadoshi
Brains are cruel. :(

I have no cool or useful tricks for getting into/being in a better mindset; I know being in a small fandom is extremely hard for me sometimes (a lot of the time), so that aspect resonates with me.

And I definitely hear you about not finding other online spaces good for actually forming connections.

*hugs*

Date: 2015-02-01 04:32 pm (UTC)
umadoshi: (Agent Carter - tears (nadya149))
From: [personal profile] umadoshi
If that's the case, I wonder what does, and whether a lot of voices that could be heard are being discouraged.

I don't know, but some days I sure wish I did. :/

Date: 2015-01-28 08:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trepkos.livejournal.com
I feel the same - the last story I write got one comment, and that was just someone saying they were starting to read it! And writing is getting harder all the time anyway, which makes it seem even more of a waste of time. I think I've had so much advice about what to do and not to do that I've edited what fic writing inspiration I used to have out of existence. Maybe that's why no one is reading it ...

Date: 2015-02-02 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwyn-r.livejournal.com
Sometimes I just hate those "I'm setting this aside to read it/will write more later/just starting it" comments almost more than silence. Not quite, but almost. Because inevitably, they never do say anything and then you sit there thinking, well, I suck and they hated it.

Date: 2015-01-28 01:15 pm (UTC)
sperrywink: (Avengers Little Steve Bucky Arm Around S)
From: [personal profile] sperrywink
I can definitely see your point, and even I encounter a lot of the same things. When fic was hosted on LJ, they definitely got more comments because that was the only way to say you loved it. And even on my most-commented stories (Teen Wolf fandom), a lot of them are the "write more" variety, not actual happy comments about the story.

It is hard to interact on AO3 and Tumblr for me too. Tumblr is just a place I go to look at pretty pictures. I don't interact with anyone there. And for AO3, I feel uncomfortable starting conversations because you know people are hoping your new comment is more feedback, not just you squeeing at their icon or whatever.

That's why I post so often and comment so often on Dreamwidth or LJ. They are my only avenues of interaction. It might not be story feedback, but it is connection, and I crave it too.

So basically, you aren't alone, even in your trials and tribulations. I might approach it from a mostly positive place, but even I miss the heydays of interaction.

If you ever want to share your thoughts or brainstorm, I am online most weekends and dying for interaction, so feel free to hit me up. I think we match up time-wise with my afternoons and your mornings, or thereabouts. Even if you just want a viewing party of The Winter Soldier, or whatever. You can email me at sperrywink at gmail, and I even have Skype (although am a total noob at it).

Date: 2015-02-02 07:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwyn-r.livejournal.com
I think you're in Penn, right? I have a weird schedule, but I will definitely keep that in mind (I'm up late in the mornings most of the time, and I tend to sit down and work toward the end of the afternoon/night, so I always worry that my bizarre circadian rhythm doesn't mesh with others, but we might!).

Yeah, people don't really expect to have conversations in those places, and you know they're probably just hoping for feedback, so nothing ever really comes of it. I just miss things, I guess. I was trying to chat for a while but I get so shy going into a chat room unless I know someone already there.

Date: 2015-01-28 02:53 pm (UTC)
ext_6749: (Default)
From: [identity profile] kirbyfest.livejournal.com
I haven't written in a "hot" fandom since my very early days in fandom, so I guess I'm kind of used to not getting much feedback. It still makes me sigh when something I wrote and love doesn't seem to get love out in the world, but I am pretty much used to it. I try to tell myself that if even a couple of people like it, that's awesome, and that's enough.

(Now, if I really want to get depressed, I can start to wonder if I'm ever going to write anything again EVER, but that's another post entirely.)

I agree with you on the interaction, though. Even in small fandoms, you had more interaction via LJ and ye olde mailing lists for fic. That's really not there any more. I keep hoping people will move on from Tumblr into a format that again encourages more actual interaction and conversation, but so far no luck on that.

Date: 2015-02-02 07:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwyn-r.livejournal.com
I try to tell myself that's enough, too, but sometimes it really doesn't feel that way no matter how often I say it, especially when I get those emails that remind of me of what it is.

It's weird wanting to create again. I mean, it was easy to ignore a lot of this before, because I wasn't producing anything. Being so enmeshed in a fandom again...it just reminds me of my invisibility and that leaves me wondering if it's worth the work. And I think the interaction kept a lot of that at bay, too--it's different when you have lots of people who care about stuff you do, and cheerlead for you, and so on. Talking just kind of helps, I guess.

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