Week 36 – On Feedback, Or Lack Thereof
I’ve always been led to believe that people on the Internet love to talk. Net denizens will express their opinions about anything and everything, no matter how small, and most of them will do so loudly and repeatedly.
Whoever those people are, by and large they’re apparently not aware that I exist.
Not to sound like I’m wallowing in self-pity (any more than usual), but when I look at a site like Wattpad, which I just joined last week, and I see that some piece of meaningless fluff composed of teenage girl fantasies about Tom Holland has 1.2 million views while the most popular thing I’ve ever written, something I poured my heart and soul into, has only been seen by 65,000 people in five years… I start to wonder if I’m doing something wrong.
I try to be nice and unobtrusive about requesting feedback. I don’t badger people to read my stuff and tell me what they think. I only self-promote to a degree that I deem acceptable. And when it comes to writing stuff worth commenting on, well… the people who do comment generally tell me I’ve got some modicum of talent, so I’m not inclined to think they’re wrong. Don’t mistake me, I’m immensely grateful for the comments and feedback I do get, and I try to always respond as soon as possible, in a friendly and personable manner. I’ve been making a conscious effort lately to give people the kind of feedback that I want to see on my works, just so no one can claim I’m being a hypocrite.
Yet despite all my efforts, I’m still languishing in relative anonymity. The same dozen-odd people engage me every time I upload a fanfic chapter or a figure photo, and that’s it. In eight years, I haven’t gotten more than a handful of comments on Tasakeru, even less since the relaunch. I put my first tier of Patreon rewards down to the absolute minimum price, and aside from VDrake and Chronorin, I still don’t have any takers. As you might imagine, this does a number on my self-esteem and motivation.
At the end of each chapter of his ponyfic The Changeling of the Guard, VDrake has taken to saying that “Comments are an author’s breadcrumbs.” I’m putting that in bold type because it’s really, seriously relevant: if you like the stuff that I do, or have any feelings on it at all, really… please, please, please leave a few words saying so. Long comments are the best, but even a “nice job” will do. Tell your friends to do the same, and maybe make a Patreon pledge if you’re feeling especially generous.
This creativity stuff is one of the only outlets I have, guys. I want to be able to create just for the sake of it, and not for validation, but… a little more validation will really help things along, you know?
- Tasakeru Book III: Soulsnatcher, Chapter 5: 3 pages done
- Tasakeru Patreon: 2 Patrons
- Book II Appendix: 1 page done
- Shattered Skies Chapter 29: 1 page done
- Silent InvenTOYry Episode 05: ~55% done
- Silent InvenTOYry Semi-Shorts Episode 02: Now in progress