A Letter to Our Fandom
In making my rounds within our communities, I have plenty of opportunity to listen to the concerns of numerous writers and artists.
Before anyone gets the idea that this is merely an instance of pandering to over-bloated egos, or review-whoring and hits 'delete', I challenge you to read to the end.
Awhile back, a number of folks here on DA had something of a round-table discussion and realized that no, we're not imagining things. A once-vital fandom community where people encouraged one another and celebrated accomplishments has slowed to little more than a trickle.
When did we start taking one another for granted, assuming the writers and artists whose work we enjoy would always be there?
Think of all the hours (and days and weeks and months) of heart and soul that goes into the stories and art we love, all of which is submitted to our communities with no other compensation for their efforts other than ever-dwindling commentary.
It doesn't matter what pairings or genres we ship. In fact, the fandom wars over who or who doesn't like something or other have become ridiculous to the point of being shameful, but I digress. Even laying aside the genres and pairings we have no taste for, there is still plenty of room left over to offer encouragement to those writers and artists we do enjoy.
Cruised around the rest of the web lately? Notice anything missing? There are an ever-increasing number of FF7 archives that don't exist anymore. A wonderful site that had been online for nine years is no longer there. Another fandom community closed permanently less than two weeks ago. Too many have become ghost towns.
No coincidence, people. Our silence did that…and if it continues, we have no right to complain. Every time we sit back and wonder 'where did so-and-so go, they haven't updated in ages?' Well, what are they supposed to think, other than we just don't care or their efforts aren't any good? How long has it been since we've had the good manners to offer a simple 'thank you' for what they have given us?
It's not difficult…and goodness knows, we have no right to expect them to continue when we are too lazy to take five seconds from our oh-so-busy lives to say something that keeps them inspired to create more. Or in the worst instances, simply take what they've done and post it elsewhere as soon as it hits DA in order to be 'first' and get those hit numbers and reblogs for ourselves without so much as a by-your-leave for the original artist. Karma has a way of biting back, irregardless of what we'd like to believe.
If you think I'm exaggerating, I'm not. This is not an excerpt from my own journal, though I have the artist's gracious permission to use it. (edited to protect their privacy)
It sums up what is being said not only beneath the surface, but from entirely too many directions here on DA.
" This hasn't just suddenly happened. I've been thinking about it for a while.
Here, I mean.
Even though I keep writing, I'm doing it in this too, it helps me get all my feelings out. I want you all to know.
I've been thinking it since just before (this journal entry) That was going to be my uhm..."Leaving notice" but I decided to take another break, give myself a rest, see how I felt.
I didn't stop writing, I just stopped uploading.
But now, despite buying a new premium membership, I wanna go.
I don't pay attention to views, but I get mail when someone favorites something I've done. That's it though, they're the only feedback messages I get. Sometimes reply's from comments I've made.
I'm not going to stop writing, it's one of the only things I have to keep from breaking. It really helps me get things out without being entirely honest.
I recently uploaded (name of submitted work) onto here, since I was looking for more reviews. I saw the favorites, no feedback, except (single comment) but she's read it on (another site) and commented over there.
I'm just done. I really don't care that I have my premium until August next year, I might start working my way through everything I've uploaded.
325 uploads and I'm giving up.
I've asked twice for more feedback.
I want to know your thoughts when you read what I've taken my time and effort to write.
I feel like I'm putting out to a fucking blank site when I know I'm not.
I want to know what you liked, what you didn't like. What you thought I done well, what you thought I could improve on. I don't get that feedback.
I just...I really now want to go more than anything.
I've never had confidence it what I write. I used to love the feedback I got from people, even the favorites I'd see in my messages.
I'm not doing this because I want (people) to spam my messages with feedback.
Maybe I will try to last out until August, next year. This is a good site and you're all really awesome people. I appreciate every single one of you.
Though, I realized that a simple little smiley-face can make people believe that everything is okay and nothing is wrong. Well, consider this my sad-face.
I'm just done and ready to leave this site for good.
Shame on all of us for allowing this not only to happen, but to continue.
This is not Facebook or Tumblr or Twitter, people. This is DA…and its time we remember why we're here. I challenge you to encourage someone today. And tomorrow. And the day after that. Better yet, several someones.
We're the only ones who can make a difference.