Aug. 2nd, 2017

rynling: (Gator Strut)
This morning I reblogged a chain of posts on Tumblr (link) about how "somewhere along the way fanart become worth more than fanfic to fandom" and how "Fan Authors have become the strange little hobbyists in the world of fandom, quality doesn't matter, care doesn't matter, research and talent and learning about writing doesn't matter." I added my own commentary, saying, "as the number of notes on this discussion indicates, there are a lot of fic writers (including myself) who are struggling through a very dark and painful space here on Tumblr."

It's probably best if I don't share the details of what I mean by "a very dark and painful space" within the context of my own life, but there are tears involved, not to mention not unoccasional substance abuse. I mean, I think many of us have at some point idealized artists like Van Gogh who suffer for their art, but when it happens to you it's really surprising how much it actually hurts. It's like, I did not plan to feel this bad about my creative endeavors??

What a lot of people say in response to a complaint like this is something along the lines of, "Well, you should create for yourself," or, "You can be happy if you have a few close friends who read your work." Both of these things are absolutely true, but at the same time it's difficult to look at someone's afternoon speedpaint get hundreds (if not thousands) of notes while the chapter you worked on for at least an hour every day for two weeks gets maybe ten notes if you're lucky. It's not that you didn't enjoy writing it, and it's not that you don't love and appreciate the people who responded to your stuff with every fiber of your heart - but also, what the fuck is even going on here? How did it happen that fic became so undervalued in fandom?

Personally, I'm not too terribly surprised that my own fic posts don't get many notes, as I write in a small subfandom, but it's been disheartening to see other people's fic all but vanish from the tags I track. There's still plenty of work being posted on AO3, but that platform isn't built for promotion and publicity, and just about the only way I find fics is if someone reblogs or recommends them on Tumblr (or here on Dreamwidth).

I guess my problem is that I see fandom as a community, and I'm disturbed that Tumblr-based fandom in particular is so dysfunctional in so many ways. This is why the essay I quoted, Social Contract Theory and Fandom Libertarianism, spoke to me so strongly: "Fandom libertarians, then, would be the people who insist that if everyone just did the fannish things they wanted to do and stayed out of everyone else’s business, we would all have a great time in fandom. And just like with political libertarianism, that sounds pretty good on the surface." But, as the author argues, libertarianism sure sucks for most people in practice, and it's not doing fandom any favors.

Profile

rynling: (Default)
Rynling R&D

October 2017

S M T W T F S
12 3 4567
8 9 101112 1314
15 16 17 18192021
22232425262728
293031    

Most Popular Tags

Page Summary

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 21st, 2017 12:55 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios