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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
A Note To My Fellow Writers--and my wonderful reviewers [personal entry] 
7th-Dec-2007 03:33 pm
I've  recently had the opportunity to have a variation of the same conversation with three different people, all of whom contribute in some way to either the House fandom, or another fandom.  One of these people hates House, but we're friends  anyway ;).  And hey--there's no accounting for tastes, right?

Anyway, our discussions have centered around reviews and comments [or the lack thereof] and the power these words have--not just the effect on us, but also on our work.  I believe we've all been guilty--I know I have--of reading or viewing something that's moved us, or amused us, or impressed us in some other way, and then telling ourselves we haven't the time to compose a thoughtful comment.  Maybe we even tell ourselves we'll come back to it "later."  And we rationalize this by saying, Oh, it's such a great piece; I'm sure s/he will get plenty of praise.

Not always.  I've noticed, especially at the Pit of Voles [aka FanFiction.net], that the general rule is that the more thought-provoking a piece is, the more skillfully it's written, the smaller the chance it'll receive the number of reviews it deserves, much less the quality of a thoughtful, appreciative, insightful comment.   Sad, but proven over there time and again.

And reviews and comments can make a huge difference--not only to the author, artist, iconist, whatever--but also to whatever they're creating.  I know that on several occasions, I've changed the intended direction of a story, or given a scene more depth, or even continued something I'd been ready to abandon, based solely on something someone took the time to say.  And this is true with both honest praise and with valid criticism--I'm equally appreciative of both because both are valuable to me--as a writer who's always striving to improve, and who wishes to have an active, involved fanbase who feel appreciated.

I guess my point is--those two or three minutes you choose to take [or not take] can wind up meaning a lot to the creator of the work you've just enjoyed, or learned from, or felt you might help improve.  Of course, there might actually be creative types out there who have such healthy self-esteem, such confidence in their own talent, that they don't need the feedback.  But--if such people even exist--I'm certain they're in the minority.

So what I'm saying is this: to the reviewers--a heartfelt thank you; your words can make as much of a difference to us as our creations make to you.  And to my fellow creative-types--I hope you're more diligent than I at supporting and encouraging our peers.  I know that I'd never have gotten through my own most recent "crisis of confidence" had several of my peers not stepped up and said, Knock it off; you're good at what you do.  So I resolve to take that few minutes myself, on a more regular basis, to try to say a few meaningful words when affected by someone's creation.   I thank everyone who's ever done it for me--and I strongly encourage all of us to do it for one another.  We're a talented group, and I believe we owe it to one another to cheerlead for each other as appreciatively as our amazing reviewers do.

Okay, too introspective today, done now, sorry! 

8th-Dec-2007 12:45 am (UTC)
if I want to depress myself I will go look at the fact that a story like Lifeline has over 11K hits and just over 100 feedback comments

that's interesting; there's a way to track the number of hits a story gets on LiveJournal? i'd love to know how to do that! how did you find it?

based on the fact that I have quite a few people who favorite story/story alert my pieces then I have to think that someone likes it

does it ever upset you that they favorite it, and yet don't review?
because that bothers me...

8th-Dec-2007 03:22 am (UTC)
that's interesting; there's a way to track the number of hits a story gets on LiveJournal? i'd love to know how to do that! how did you find it?

Actually I stopped posting on LJ because of the fact that my stories got less attention here than over at the Pit. I wish LJ had a way to count the hits then i would know if it was worth it to post here. I find LJ to be more insular, you are likely to find people who search out and read and authors work or not. IMO they don't seem as open to lesser known authors here.

does it ever upset you that they favorite it, and yet don't review?
because that bothers me...

Sometimes, but if theya re favotiting it then at least they like it enough to want to read it more or again. I personally would take ten really well thought out pieces of feedback than 100 this is great ones. For some reason I don't seem to get that sort of feedback from my readers. I do it get from my betas and that is great, but usually it is more along the lines of this is good, more plase. So for me, since I don't really get conscrutive feedback I take the alerts/favorited as a better mark of how people are receiving my story.