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03 March 2013 @ 09:15 pm
Crisis of Confidence - RL sometimes sucks!  
I've debated about whether or not I should post this. And it may still disappear. But I need some hand-holding, or possibly some ass-kicking.

I write because I have no choice. The writers among you know that the words demand attention.

I post my stories because I want to share them. And, honestly, because I like the feedback. I like hearing how one of my stories made someone happy, brought a smile to their face, was just what they needed. Lately, though, I've been thinking I'm doing something wrong. I'll see other stories that have 333 reviews and my story will have 3. I'm not saying my stories are Shakespeare. That's not it at all. But what do the 333 review-stories have that my don't?

Are my stories like eating ice cream for dinner? Fun but ultimately unsatisfying? Should I stop wasting the pixels it takes to put my stories on line?

When I first started posting my stories, my BFF would tell me how much she loved them. She's edged away from fandom - I understand that. Now I've lost my personal cheerleading section. And it's not that I don't cherish each and every comment I receive - I do. But when I see stories getting 10 times the amount of comments that mine get, I can't help but think I'm doing something wrong.

What am I doing wrong? I think I can handle constructive feedback if you are kind about it. I know I avoid angst but the well-received stories aren't all serious, important, angst.

Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi and my LiveJournal Friends. You're my only hope. And the only thing standing between me and deleting my entire internet presence.
Current Mood: melancholy
smudgegirlsmudgegirl on March 4th, 2013 02:20 am (UTC)
Nooooo, you can't do that! I love your stories and I know I am bad at leaving comments when I am busy! I do always at least try and leave kudos on AO3. I for one would miss your stories and your presence if you left
Are 6 dogs too many?tkeylasunset on March 4th, 2013 02:38 am (UTC)
Thank you BB!! I love your comments - cherish them!! and I shouldn't compare myself to others - I know that's wrong. But it seems to happen out of my control!

Thank you again!!
Lizet Elaine: Hawaii Five 0::Danny & Steve::hugsimplyn2deep on March 4th, 2013 02:27 am (UTC)
about the reviews on AO3...I've noticed that many of the fics with high reviews and low kudos only have the high review count because the reviewers and the author is having a conversation within the comments. So take that with a large handful of salt.

Please don't stop writing and sharing your writing. I really do enjoy it and I really a lot of the crap that's put on AO3 because there isn't anything else of quality worth reading (and I know that quality is subjective)
Are 6 dogs too many?tkeylasunset on March 4th, 2013 02:38 am (UTC)
Thank you!! For your support and pointing out that truth - conversations do drive up the review numbers.

Thank you again!!!!
J.the_physicist on March 4th, 2013 02:29 am (UTC)
you aren't necessarily doing anything wrong. i sometimes wonder how some absolutely terrible fics get so many reviews. or some authors get such a large following when their fics squick the hell out of me.

think of it this way though: lots of people watch jersey shore. more than watch some actually good shows... ;)
Are 6 dogs too many?tkeylasunset on March 4th, 2013 02:37 am (UTC)
OMG You are so right. I think what put me over the edge was a story I beta'ed for someone that I hated. It got seemingly thousands of reviews. I was floored. And it made me start to wonder if my perception of "good" writing was completely skewed.

How's things by you? Your life settled down any?
(no subject) - the_physicist on March 4th, 2013 03:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
kapuahi: H50 - Cath - B & W Wallkapuahi on March 4th, 2013 02:38 am (UTC)
I was having this discussion with a friend the other day. I can't understand how the fics practically sweat blood over get no comments, but ones (I've taken a personal challenge of a Word of the Day fic in 30 mins) that I knock out in 30 mins get all the love in the world.

We don't understand it at all, but I will say please don't stop, I love your writing and your presence and don't know what we would do without it.
Are 6 dogs too many?tkeylasunset on March 4th, 2013 02:46 am (UTC)
Oh good - it's not just me. You don't know how comforting I find that!!!

THANKS so much!!!

I won't stop, I promise.
gyrigyri on March 4th, 2013 02:38 am (UTC)
Please don't stop writing or posting on LJ. I enjoy your stories! But I don't always have time to read as many fics as I'd like. Especially today---I spent all day applying for jobs online.
Are 6 dogs too many?tkeylasunset on March 4th, 2013 02:48 am (UTC)
I totally get how RL interferes with fandom joy! And good for you for taking your future in your hands. When my job became unbearable, I quit. Without a back-up plan. Which is how I ended up going back to school. And we know how well that's working out, don't we? ;-)

Thank you for the very very kind words!! And good luck!!! I would keep my fingers crossed but then I couldn't type. Bwhahahhaaa....

Seriously - good luck out there!!!! You're going to find the perfect place, I just know it.
kaige68: SC writer bwkaige68 on March 4th, 2013 02:42 am (UTC)
You cannot leave, I will hunt you down!

That said, it would be lovely if I could tell you not to qualify your work with what other people think of it. But I can't, because I do it too.

I look at some of the things on AO3 that have insane numbers attached to them, things that I don't genuinely think are the epitome of well written, things that desperately need to be better beta read, and I wonder the same thing about myself that you do. I go for funny more than angst. I'm not awesome at H/C. But I look at the pieces that I believe I kicked ass with, and they have 10 hits and 2 kudos. So yes, I get why you beat yourself up about things.

Why don't we look at things from a different perspective for a minute? I just looked you up on AO3, and you my dear, have a LOT of bookmarks. I would presume that you also have a lot of subscribers. So every time you post several someones want to know about it. And so many people think that what you've written is worth reading again and/or worth telling other people about. Use that to double your kudos mentally.

The fic that I have that has done the best at AO3, hands down, is not a favorite of mine. I don't think it's that good, and I can't tell you that if someone else wrote it I'd actually read it. It was a tiny bug in my head and needed to get out so I wrote it. And the bulk of the reviews/comments, are squees about the subject rather than 'great job' or 'well written' or 'this sucked because'. Not that I don't appreciate the squees, I love them quite a bit, but it's not the quality comment that makes me swoon.

Go take a look at those highly read and reviewed pieces. See that you have people following you because of the quality of what you do, keep writing for yourself, and know that people are reading what you wrote because you wrote it.
Are 6 dogs too many?: quacktkeylasunset on March 4th, 2013 02:59 am (UTC)
Well. Apparently you have this scary, magical ability to look inside my head and tell me exactly what I need/want to hear.

THANK YOU x a gazillion!!! Seriously. I sometimes just need a perspective, a reality check that doesn't come from inside my own head. (Well, unless it's you inside my head. Then it's okay!)

And yes, the ways of what's popular are far too mysterious. I will write something and think - ehhh - whatever. And it will be wildly popular. Other times I'll write something and think - this is it!! This is the one. And the resulting silence is deafening!!!

I read on one fandom community that there is a "perfect" hits to kudo ratio on A03. I don't remember what it was but it seems like it was some enormous number - if you divided your kudos by hits, it should be north of 20? 25? 30%? I don't know for sure. But I do know my kudos to hits ratio is 2%. Which is why I never figured it out before.

I figure I'm a sure thing - people know what they are getting when they read my stories. No surprises. Nothing unexpected. They might hit the kudos button but they may not. It's interesting that I have quite a few subscriptions. If half the people on my subscription list left comments or kudos, my stats would be through the roof!!!

Your support, comments, cheerleading have been breathtaking and I can't thank you enough!! Seriously!!! I quack with wonder at your ability to say what I need to hear!!!!

(no subject) - kaige68 on March 4th, 2013 03:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kaige68 on March 4th, 2013 03:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
lou_clou_c on March 4th, 2013 02:58 am (UTC)
I feel the same way. I force myself to look at hits not reviews. I have to assume people like what I write and just don't say.
Please don't stop posting! I promise to tell you every time I am moved by something you post!
Are 6 dogs too many?: redhearttkeylasunset on March 4th, 2013 03:00 am (UTC)
Thank you!!! I'm glad I posted this so we can all know it's not just us! We aren't alone in this - wondering why things go the way they do!

(no subject) - lou_c on March 4th, 2013 03:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
From a little spark may burst a mighty flamedante_s_hell on March 4th, 2013 02:59 am (UTC)
I've had similar feelings lately and I honestly try not to think about it. My mantra has become write what you like. Still, it's hard. </p>

Keep up the writing! You have lots of fans!

Are 6 dogs too many?: Cap Americatkeylasunset on March 4th, 2013 03:01 am (UTC)
And you do too! I'm among them, as you know!!

I think we're all feeling it lately. I wonder why that is? Maybe the post-Christmas lull is getting to all of us?

Thank you so much!!!

bluedelft on March 4th, 2013 03:56 am (UTC)
Grabs you and holds you and won't let you go!

See, you're not going anywhere!!!!

I feel the same way at times when it comes to graphics. You do it because it's something that you love to do and you have fun doing it and that's one of the biggest reasons to keep writing!

*still holding onto to you*
Are 6 dogs too many?: camo stevetkeylasunset on March 6th, 2013 03:24 am (UTC)
You are always so kind and good to me!! Thank you!

I guess we all struggle with wondering if our work is appreciated. It's surprisingly reassuring to know that it's not just me!

Thank you, BB. I'm not going anywhere, I promise!
(no subject) - bluedelft on March 6th, 2013 03:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
Umai Hoshi: Hugsfairyniamh on March 4th, 2013 04:09 am (UTC)
*thumps you* We've been over this. I know I have not been reading your newer stuff - H 5-0 is not my cuppa. This being said, pay close attention, YOUR'S is the only Kirk/Spock I will read.

I skipped the pairing because it got nasty. This being said: I am a multi-fandom writer. I write any fandom that catches my muse. Hell, my story, Boys Are Dumb, is the only story in the The Stanley Family Series - Zilpha Keatley Snyder fandom. Virtually no hits and the only review I have on it is from the person I wrote it for. Know what? I don't care. I obeyed my muse and I shared.

That being said; in the Teen Wolf fandom I have a little of the same and reverse problem. I have come across some crappy ass stories (very OOC 'Oh, I love you' teenage emo crap.) and they had a crap load of viewers and even more kudos. o.0 And all I could think is "WTF?" and then I have come across some really good stories. Grammar could use a little help, but it was touching and they had next to no hits or Kudos while my crappy little stories had a lot. Maybe the key is the places you post/advertise your stories at. Maybe it's the time of the month, maybe it's the extra dose of chocolate. No one really knows why some stories get droves of Kudos/Reviews and others are left in sad shape. It happens.

You are not wasting your time with the stories. The muses will bother you until you crack and have to write. And if you are going to write anyway, why not share it with people who would enjoy it?

This isn't a popularity contest hun, this is you following your heart. So Moniquire (no idea if that is a real name)has more hits/reviews. Are they sycophant reviews? "Moar". Or are they real honest reviews? "Wow, I have no idea what I just read, but I loved it. Good Job!"

I would rather get a few honest reviews than a hundred mindless yays.

Behave and cheer up. *hugs*
Umai Hoshifairyniamh on March 4th, 2013 04:11 am (UTC)
P.S. If you attempt to leave I will lay a guilt trip on you. Trust me you do not want me to guilt you into staying/continuing to write!
(no subject) - tkeylasunset on March 6th, 2013 03:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fairyniamh on March 6th, 2013 03:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
Azziriaazziria on March 4th, 2013 06:12 am (UTC)
I don't think it has anything to do with the standard of your writing (which is excellent, BTW!).

Some fandoms just don't have many readers. I'm getting far fewer comments than I used to, because the H50 fandom has shrunk. Plus, the advent of kudos on A03 means that fewer people are actually commenting than before, because just hitting kudos is easier. You also probably get people like me (and I hold my hand up guiltily here) who are surfing while not logged in (my iPhone logs me off A03 periodically, and it's a pain to log back in) and who don't like to leave unnamed kudos - but then forget to go back and leave kudos etc later.

Also, certain types of story will *always* get more hits/kudos/comments than others (romantic fluff including Gracie vs kink, for example), and certain authors just have a big flist that will squee over *anything* they write, even if that particular story isn't great.

And sometimes the story just gets posted at the wrong time on the wrong day and goes unnoticed.

Please, please don't stop writing and/or stop posting - if your story gets just *one* comment from someone who liked it then you've made someone's day just a little bit better and added to the sum of happiness in the world - which sounds cheesy but happens to be true and worth remembering :)
Are 6 dogs too many?: redhearttkeylasunset on March 6th, 2013 03:28 am (UTC)
Thank you for your kind words!! It is kind of sad how the H50 fandom has splintered. Oh well. Looks like the good ones hung around! ;-)

I really appreciate your support! It means an awful lot to me!!!
bookaddict43: dontmakesensebookaddict43 on March 4th, 2013 06:56 am (UTC)
Don't leave! I think perceptions are skewed most of the time. You seem to have lots of subscribers etc. That shows they want more :)

I agree with the Jersey Shore comment!!

Also I think people have different reading and commenting ideas than they used to. I read someone saying they won't read anything less than 1000 words. Most of my Firefly stuff was less than 500 let alone more! In fact the only thing I've written lately is 350 so far and even though it's a popular pairing I doubt it'll get read.

At least you're writing a pairing that people will read. Think of those who write the obscure pairing of the fandom!
Are 6 dogs too many?: backhoetkeylasunset on March 6th, 2013 03:29 am (UTC)
I cannot imagine writing for an obscure pairing! I'd be utterly discouraged! Good for you for doing it for your fellow fans.

The Jersey Shore example is very helpful!

Thank you again!!!

siluria: H50_Danny_ponderingsiluria on March 4th, 2013 08:54 pm (UTC)
All writers feel the same, believe me!!

Sometimes I think reviews come down to how popular a person is or what subject they are writing rather than quality. I admit I read my friend's fics, whether it's my fandom or not, and will leave a kudos because they're my friends. I also hold my hand up and admit I will read badly written fic if it hits my kinks (although I won't comment/kudos) - some kinks are more popular than others and seem to get those high hit ratios.

I do sometimes read what I think is some of the best fic out there and wonder why the hits aren't higher. A long, plotty and complex fic isn't always what some people want to read, unfortunately, yet I've found those hide some amazing authors.

I'm guilty myself in some fandoms of only reading specific types of fic, and a lot of that is down to time and my preferences when it comes to pairings etc. Each fandom seems to have it's own stalwarts in fic, and most of the stuff I want to write doesn't fit in those niches, but I write those kind of stories and situations because I love them.

I think you are a great writer and your humour and original ideas are really wonderful, you do frequently make me very jealous!
Are 6 dogs too many?: chin ho armoredtkeylasunset on March 6th, 2013 03:30 am (UTC)
You are so kind!! Thank you for the lovely comment.

I need to stop trying to figure it out and just let it be! The number of comments does not equate to the quality of the story!

Thank you again!!!
dreamwind83: Battlefielddreamwind83 on March 5th, 2013 01:08 am (UTC)
I've been feeling the same way lately. It seems like I'm not getting even half the number of reviews that I used to. And it does kind of freak you out, making you wonder what you are doing wrong. What you story is lacking that others aren't. Sometimes I think that the reads don't feel like they have to leave a review because at least they read it. And while I'm always glad that people have read my works, I love it more if they leave a comment. It could just be a "Glad this was updated" or a "I didn't like this chapter as much." But at least with a review you know people read it and what they liked and didn't like.

So you know, I've been reading your Night/Light series but haven't reviewed the latest yet because I want to wait until it's complete. But so far I have loved everything you have written. I haven't read all your recent works though because I think I am a word whore sometimes. I rarely read anything under 1,000 words and much prefer the fics that are novel length, or if shorter than novel length, are obviously part of a series.

Still don't give up. You are a great writer and there are many of us in the fandom who are enjoying your works.
Are 6 dogs too many?: glad to see your backtkeylasunset on March 6th, 2013 03:31 am (UTC)
A lot of us have been feeling it, apparently. I didn't know it wasn't just me so I'm glad I put it out there for all of us to consider!

(BTW I didn't write Night/Light. I just proofed it. It's an interesting read!)

thank you again!! Don't stop writing either!
(no subject) - dreamwind83 on March 7th, 2013 01:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
antesqueluzantesqueluz on March 5th, 2013 03:01 am (UTC)
Don't give up, bb! I always enjoy reading your stories. I'm sorry I haven't been able to read/comment as much as I like recently, but it makes me happy to know that your stories are there waiting for me to catch up! And I will, eventually. :-/ probably no consolation whatsoever, but I mean it! *hugs*
Are 6 dogs too many?: Pandatkeylasunset on March 6th, 2013 03:32 am (UTC)
Thank you!! That means a lot, to hear that you are a part of the silent audience. And i get that, I really do. I just have to remember that quantity of reviews does not equal quality of story!

Thank you again!!!