August 30th, 2005


kind of being vaguely meta, but not really


You know, this actually has nothing to do with rageprufrock's entry last week--er, two weeks ago? My time sense is so screwed being off so long. I just had epiphanical moment here. Well, okay, lets' try a clearing of mind, since I reserve epiphanies for new coffee discoveries and John/Rodney sex.

A close friend was blocked on a story due to a critique she'd received and see, I'm of the critique is your friend mindset of writers, so I had to skid to a stop before saying something that would be comforting and terribly, terribly wrong. I can say that with a straight face, too, despite the fact I have, on occassion, thrown a diva-fit on AIM when I read something critical. It's not that I don't appreciate it. I mean, it *is* that I don't appreciate it. I can't ever appreciate it until I stop reacting and start thinking, which frankly, is a process that involves epic coffee and at least three AIM people to audience my endless rage and pain.

Seriously, that's the most fun you can have online, wallowing in artistic pain.

But right. That's not what I'm talking about.

Here's my question--you, the writer, how do *you* deal? You just had your story cut into tiny bite-sized pieces, with or without malice aforethought.

So, I read her post and sat there staring at it for a second and thinking about that One True Feedback--or let's say, that One True Messageboard That One Day Where I Was Convinced Everyone Hated Me--and wow, was that a night that I was seriously on the biggest OMG I WILL NEVER WRITE AGAIN high of my *life*, which lasted about long enough for me to stare at porn and think, ooh, pretty, but still. Pain. Right, I had a subject that wasn't me here. I was thinking what I do, and I thought some more, and then I thought about the fact that I couldn't even tell a really good lie, which I am totally prepared to do for the sake of a friend, because seriously, she'd know in a week that I was lying through my teeth. You don't get over it. You don't suck it up. You don't move on. You just get through it, and it's a messy process and usually hurts about as much as reading the comments. You never see yourself, the writer, the same way. You never see what you write the same way. You never quite forget.

Hmm. It's like--for me? I never stop hearing, metaphorically speaking, every comment. I've brought them from Voyager and X-Men and Smallville and QaF and most recently, from SGA, from the fannish hate threads, from the flame wars, from the personal wars, from the most *bizarre* feedback, from--well, everyone. It's kind of like having a chorus, but a lot less interesting, and sometimes, it's quieter, but it's never silent. Negative comments have a half-life of infinity.

I believe in constructive criticism, open, public criticism, as I believe in very few fannish concepts. I ran a group once that did nothing *but* critique fanfic, and I've never been able since then to so much as *frown* at the concept because wow, the sheer hypocricy would be overwhelming. I can sympathize, because again, the chorus is *always there*, but that's the thing. It's *always there*. There are few in fandom who don't have their own very special internal buddies who remind them, mid paragraph, of that Certain Comment. It's never been a matter of a choice to figure out what happens after you read something negative. It's more of a forced march.

And that went longer than expected for a comforting post to a friend. So yeah. That's how I deal.