Monday, March 26, 2018

It's been a while since I begged people to leave comments, so: If you have something to say, please say it in a comment.

[Still don't have god damned internet at my house.  Fuck.]

First, some introductory paragraphs that seem to have nothing to do with the point:

The results of neuropsychological testing (which chrome doesn't think is a thing as evidenced by it putting a red "this isn't a word" line under "neuropsychological") say that I'm still depressed.  I'm so much better than I used to be that I figured it was dealt with.

I mean, I knew some things were definitely depression related, but I figured that they were the result (scars, hold overs, habits, whatever) of having spent my half my life with untreated depression.  Plus, I was a child before the depression set in.  A small child.  I don't remember what it felt like to be non-depressed so I have no basis for comparison.  Well, that's not quite accurate.  I have a baseline, it's just "my depression in its untreated state" instead of "normal" and while that is useful for many things, it isn't particularly helpful with answering the question: "Is this healthy or just less bad?"

All of that means that, for certain things, I don't know if they're the depression or just how I am.  This will bring us to the actual point.

The actual point:

When I write something, and no one responds, it's like I'm writing into the void.

For all I know no one even read it.  I know how many views a given post gets (which is a horrible metric*) but for all I know people went there, took one look, and decided not read.  Or they read it and were so completely "meh" about it that they could think of nothing good or bad.  Or they read it and hated it and, like most people who hate things, didn't devote the time necessary to comment that they hated it.  Or they were all spambots.  (The most popular posts on the blog are definitely and without doubt that way because of the number of spambots they brought in.  That said, spambot traffic dropped off sharply from October 2014 to May 2015 and is now at a fairly low level.)

For all I know no one read it.  For all I know no one liked it.  For all I know it was completely pointless posting it in the first place.

Maybe it's the lingering depression.  Maybe it's just the kind of person I am.  Either way, I need validation.  Without it I just . . . shut down.  I stop functioning.  I stop producing.  There is something profoundly sad, depressing even (and that's not a word I use lightly), about a creator who isn't creating anything.  It's not fun being one.


All of my comment settings are set to make it easy to comment.  I never close comments on old posts.  If you should find a post where comments are closed then tell me because that's a mistake that needs to be corrected.

So, you know, if something makes you think or feel anything, please say so.

And, for the record, I know there are problems and things that could be better.  There's no "Like" button, which means that you can't respond without making a comment saying something (though you could say "like".)  Sometimes comments disappear (not get marked as spam, that can be fixed, disa-fucking-pear) rather than post.  (Before posting, if it's something that has details you might forget, I recommend making a copy.  On Windows, in the comment box, ctrl+a to select all, ctrl+c to copy, and if your comment disappears, ctrl+v in the comment box to get it back.)

And, because I just use the crap blogger provides for free, I can't fix the problems.

But, if you can, if it's not too much to ask, can you please comment if you have any reaction at all.


As a point of comparison:

Recently, and I have to start posting these things here (but I worry people here won't be interested), I started writing at place called "Fimfiction" where I'm a niche writer who writes alternate versions of the execrable My Little Pony: Equestria Girls 2014 Holiday Special (think Star Wars Holiday Special levels of bad) why do I have multiple alternate versions of this piece of crap in the works?

Short version: because people respond to it.  If I post a new chapter of one of the works I already have or a new work it's going to get a response.  Quickly and powerfully.

Long version:

It seems to be the case that when depression hits me hard I end up reading fanfic for children's cartoons.  Don't ask me why, I have no fucking clue.  It was how I ended up deep enough in Kim Possible fandom to have several stories for that.  I don't remember exactly when, I could probably look it up, but best guess would be it was circa the recovery from the thrice broken ankle.

Depression was hard and Munchkin Weasel wanted to watch My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: The Legend of Everfree.  That became the franchise whose fanfic I obsessed over during that depressed stretch.  It helped that there's an extremely low barrier to entry.  Unlike the main universe (Friendship is Magic [FiM]) you could know the whole canon (at the time) in about five hours of viewing and I'd already seen a quarter of it.  Since it's the human-verse things operate almost entirely on human standards so I didn't need to get caught up on the ever-changing magical lore and species based powers of FiM.  So on, so forth.

My first serious offering was a sequel to an alternate version of said-Holiday Special.  That I posted here, along with my second serious offering which is a "How did we get from point A to point B?" fic that picks up at the end of the first movie.  I also posted them at Fimfiction.  Where I found out, because of the first, that there's an entire community salivating for more "The Holiday Special sucked, here's a different version," fic.

And the response gave me the validation that keeps me going.  Thus multiple fics with more in my head.


* It would be better to know how many visitors and, ideally, both plus.  Break it down:

(for a given post or page)
This is how many visitors you've gotten.
This is a graph of when you got them.

This is how many views you've gotten
This is a graph of when you got them
 - - - this is that graph broken down so that first time views and repeat views get their own lines

On this graph the x axis is "number of views" and the y axis is how many visitors viewed the post/page that many times.

This is a graph over time again, but instead of views or visitors it tracks the mean and median views per visitor.


  1. I'm here. I read things. I just don't often feel comfortable commenting. My issue, not yours :) you put out great content.

  2. Boo lack of Internet!

    Like or upvote options def help me interact when I can't brain or people...

  3. (Before posting, if it's something that has details you might forget, I recommend making a copy. On Windows, in the comment box, ctrl+a to select all, ctrl+c to copy, and if your comment disappears, ctrl+v in the comment box to get it back.)

    There are also browser add-ons that automatically back up the contents of text fields. Textarea Cache has saved me many times on Firefox; on Chrome I recently added Typio Form Recovery, but I just tried to use it to recover this comment and it said it had no saved text, so I don't know how useful Typio is actually going to be.


    I've enjoyed the Equestria Girls fic you've posted here so far, despite knowing very little about My Little Pony in general and having been completely unaware that there was a humanverse canon until you started posting fic for it. (So I learned something, too!)

  4. I really, really enjoyed the Kim Possible stuff, despite having seen maybe two thirds of one episode a decade ago. Also found the Equestria Girls stuff oddly compelling.

  5. I see you! And I liked reading about your relationship w/ fanfic... have had some interesting late-onset fandom affiliation myself, and in my case it is DEFINITELY about getting to squee over stuff I can related to that just didn't exist (at least not in a way that I could find it) when I was a queer kid in Nowheresville, NY a million years ago. Gonna go RT your PayPal tweet now...

  6. I read most of the words most of the time though sometimes I read them a few months late. I think about you and hope things improve for you.


  7. I comment when I have things to say. Sometimes I can force myself comment when I don't have anything to say. Sometimes I can't. Sometimes I can, but it makes things worse.

    TMI incoming.

    I promised a stranger to read their fic (long story), read it and left a comment that was supposed to mean "sorry it took me so long to read - my brains were refusing to cooperate", but two days (!) later I realised it came off as "your fic was so badly written I couldn't read it". I was in the wrong state to read it and in the wrong state to comment. I left an additional comment to tell them I actually liked their fic, but it was too late. They got angry and accused me of trying to dictate what they can and can't write about - I'm still not sure what part of my comment could be interpreted that way. I left an apology for the incoherent first comment, but their reaction and accusations made me angry too. For almost two months I was afraid to leave comments again. Forced myself to comment on some stuff since, but still mostly afraid.

    End of TMI.

    I'm sorry that I have nothing to say. It's not you, it's me. (And sometimes I really have no interest in some stuff you write about, but it's not your fault. It's not because you're a bad writer. It's because I'm the wrong reader. I'm sorry.)


  8. Putting this here because it is a general, abstract comment:

    It's uncanny. Almost every story you write, you manage to put in a point-of-view character that resonates with me somehow. Which is weird, because it's not like the characters you write are all the same person - at least, I don't think so. I have spent a long time trying to understand why, and not gotten very far.

    Everyone has an internal model of how the world is versus how it ought to be, and how they should live their lives in order to best cross that gap. Here, I mean not so much in the sense of heroically righting big-scale wrongs, so much as in simple personal interactions and relationships. Subtle things that we don't often think about, because so much of it comes from instinct and our subconscious. The sort of details Mr. Rogers was supposed to improve in people, I guess? Time and time again, you manage to write people whose models seem natural to me, even when they differ from mine, if that makes any sense. The writers who manage to do that are few and far between.

    I'm sure that was as clear as mud, but suffice to say, I really, really like what you write, and beyond just enjoying the stories as stories, clever as they generally are, reading your work somehow helps me understand and trust my own perspective a little more. Chicken soup for the soul, as they say. So maybe those reasons are super weird, but rest assured, I do care, and I intend to keep listening.

  9. Hi, I was away for a while. Hope I can start checking in a little more often.