I can totally relate to this! I've been writing fanfiction and publishing them online on-and-off since I was 14 years old. I publish at websites that allow kudos (basically "likes") and commenting, and I've felt a little thrill each time a new comment came in, and my heart would fall even if the comment mentioned something as small as a grammatical mistake. At one point, I was "strategizing", thinking about which fandoms are bigger (thus higher likelihood of kudos and comments), or how to end chapters in a way that elicit a comment.

... And then it wasn't fun anymore. I went into fanfiction because it was fun for me to explore what-ifs with my favorite characters, and to connect with other fans. When it became a numbers game and the only things I wanted were positive comments, it just wasn't the same.

Now I've made peace with the kudos and comments stuff - I'll focus on writing what I enjoy (because it can be truly magical, as you said), and acknowledge that the numbers are influenced by many other factors beyond whether my story was good. (And 'good' for me is sometimes beside the point, the point is enjoying what I create). I still get a kick out of comments, but I'm getting better at not letting them be my North Star.

... all of which is to say, very relatable. And I can't wait for your book to arrive!

Expand full comment

I love this story, Evon, for where it took you—closer to the aspect of creativity that made you feel energized and alive.

Expand full comment

Oh, Jessi, I can so relate!! Thank you for writing what so many of us are feeling but fail to express 🙏🏼

Expand full comment