linzeestyle: (Default)
I've noticed Tumblr seems to be getting slower and slower, the last month or so. I don't follow many people, and those I follow are long-term FIAWOL types which, admittedly, likely has something to do with it, but in the last few weeks it seems as though not only are the people I've followed for years posting less, if at all, but the posts I'm seeing on my dash have fewer notes. It used to be unheard of for a Supernatural gifset to cross my dash with under 500 notes, and now it seems standard that they slow-to-stop at 300, 400.

Have we moved? Did we consciously leave and no one told me?

I've been thinking a lot about how to fix my fandom experience. Right now I've checked out entirely but for my twitter, which I like a lot in that it's conversation, but wish I had more people to talk to. But the biggest loss for me is still the community aspect of fandom. Tumblr certainly never had it. But I do miss it a lot.

This last week, I've been tweaking and working on my old website, linzeestyle.com, trying to develop more of a blog setup using Wordpress. It's alright, but I'm not sure it's the best place for fanfic. I don't feel comfortable with AO3. The extent to which the cold-culture associated with AO3 (and the general change in fandom demographics, I suspect) has been terrible for me mentally. A couple of weeks ago I spoke to my dissertation director, and broke down crying, admitting to him I'm terrified my writing has hit its ceiling: that I won't be able to get anything published, that I won't be able to get a job because of it, that I'll be trapped in this kind of limbo at ASU as a result. I've lost confidence in my real life work as a result of so much time spent working on my "hobby" writing and seeing it disappear into a void of silence. He gave me advice I'm trying to take to heart: that if something is causing me that much stress, I'm paying to do it. It doesn't matter if no money is involved; it's still costing me something. And in this case, it's more than I can afford.

I'm still terrified my writing has hit its ceiling. That it won't be good enough; that the silence I'm meeting in fandom is a reflection of the limits of my potential in real life, too. It's scaring me to death. And that disappoints me because writing fanfic was so important to developing my writing skills. Having beta readers; commentary and feedback; discussion and revision. The environment I'm left in, I don't have fannish friends left to read my work anymore. Writing in a bubble has never been healthy, whether it's for a hobby, or for "work" (or the hope of finding it).

At any rate. Have we moved? Has everyone found an alternative to Tumblr, or am I just watching as others slowly give up and leave fandom as well?

And more to the point, *waves* -- hello. I need to get better at using this again.
linzeestyle: (Default)
 One thing that surprised me quite a bit in the responses generated off of my post about Tumblr and text-based content were the number of discussions/replies that involved some sort of admission that the person in question didn't normally reblog text posts, period, generally for "aesthetics."  It presents a bit of an interesting conundrum to me because one of the complaints I often see when other platforms are suggested for fan-use (particularly DW) is that they are unwieldy, uncustomizable, and generally unattractive.  Appearance really does seem to be built into the current fandom experience at the base level -- but it isn't just a statement of personality; it's actively molding fandom itself.  Of course a text-based post announcing, say, a fanfic, isn't going to do well if it's only getting "likes" because text-based posts "ruin aesthetic;" of course drabbles, meta and discussion will always have a limited role in an environment where the visual is privileged because the goal is not to cultivate discussion, content or interaction, but beauty and appearance, regardless of repetition.  Of course, on the other hand, one of the other common concerns I saw was the extent to which fanfic writers are impossible to follow because no one wants to follow a writer only to get "the same reblog another 70 times" on their dash -- which is fair, but again: if the only thing considered fit to reblog in the first place is visual, doesn't this by its very nature set a potential text based/writing tumblr up to fail from the start?  

Ah well, at any rate.  In an effort to combat this I'm going to try only posting to Tumblr fic that are "worth the effort:" that is, large enough to justify the creation of image-sets that fit Tumblr's aesthetic desires.  If we're thinking of Tumblr in terms of a fandom RSS feed, there isn't much point to crossposting in an environment where you know the majority of the audience views what you're crossposting as visually unattractive/unsuited for their own "feed;" it certainly limits Tumblr's value as a tool of engagement with/advertising within fandom.  In all other cases, as several other responses to that post suggested, it appears that there isn't very much crossover between Tumblr and AO3 in terms of fic-seeking to begin with.  

Speaking of fic!  I posted my first Great Unknown Challenge Drabble, "In The Absence of Affection."  SPN, Dean/Castiel, Explicit.  I think this is my version of all of those tongue-in-cheek (or not!) 1989-song title-challenges surrounding Taylor Swift's last album -- I want to produce a ficlet for every song on Rob Thomas' new CD.  I haven't decided if the goal is for them to be (a) all one fandom and (b) a connected story, but that's what writing the second one is for.  I'm drawn to the idea of a Little Bit of Everything, but to be honest I'm deliberately taking a bit of a break from the Marvel fandom, right now.  The sudden rush of optimism/insistence that Stucky Can And Will Be Canon feels so, so similar to the back half of SPN S8 (likely due to the fact it seems that some of the same people are involved in leading this charge) and the idea of going through another fandom implosion when the Stucky fandom realizes they're buying from snake oil salesmen isn't something I'm ready for.  This, I think, is another aspect of Tumblr Meta that I'm not a fan of.  The lack of a cohesive space for discussion makes it far, far easier for well-crafted words and seductive optimism to blindside a lot of people, and there are a surprising number of fans who have "made their name," so to speak, in fandoms by appearing on the scene with meta that says exactly what fans want to hear, when they need to hear it most.  I can't help but wonder if this phenomenon would still take off in an environment where discussion of meta was, well, possible first of all, but also all contained in a single space - where fans could actually think and talk through what's being said in a post, and have fen other than the OP replying with some regularity.  

...none of which was what I intended to talk about, but -- oh.  Marvel.  Yes.  I really do fear an explosion once Civil War comes out, particularly given some of the intense anger towards the Russos I'm already seeing at Sharon's inclusion on "Team Cap."  And I, being a perfectly reasonable person, have apparently decided to deal with this by sticking my fingers in my ears and crawling back to the hollowed out shell that is the remains of Destiel, post-S8 firefight.  Hey: once the explosion has already occurred, it's unlikely you're going to get completely swallowed up in it twice, right?

Don't answer that question.  I've been in the SPN fandom at varying levels since the show started; I know exactly how often you can go running back into that burning building (the answer: idk, how many lives do Winchesters have?).  

linzeestyle: (Default)
The problem with tumblr...okay, there are many problems with tumblr, but the problem with tumblr in terms of fannish content is it's not only made me content with not producing anything, but it's made me increasingly uncomfortable posting unless I have a Specific Reason to Do So.  I've absorbed the tagging culture of tumblr's version of fandom, I think -- I find myself opening up DW tabs regularly, getting halfway through a post, and asking, "do I really need to post this?  Is this benefiting anyone?"   The answer of course is no, because unless I'm explicitly posting fanwork I'm pretty much talking to hear myself talk, but, then, that never stopped me before.

At any rate, I'd really like to post more often, and this "Retro Journaling" challenge seems like a great way to do so.  I find myself missing DW/LJ more and more these days -- Tumblr is fun, but I just can't quite get on board with it as a sole or even primary form of fannish interaction, largely for the reason I just mentioned.  The entire format really discourages personal engagement, and after a while it becomes a very alienating way to 'do' fandom.  And it's utterly terrible for meta, discussion or long-form conversation, which brings me to the other thing that's been bothering me more and more with Tumblr: the emphasis on popularity through reblogs and likes encourages a culture of hyperbole, mis-sourcing and games of telephone that really confuses me because we're on the damn internet, it's not that hard to put something in google and take the five seconds it requires to find out whether or not X celebrity actually tweeted that about Castiel or whether or not Y thing was actually said about Draco in an interview.  Hint: about 50% of the time with tumblr, the answer is "no, they didn't."  It's ridiculous.

The point is, journaling come back to meeeeeeee.  I say as I once again put off opening a Dreamwidth tab in favor of reblogging screencaptures from "Tremors."

I spent far too much time last night reading WTF Fanfiction's list of things used as lube that shouldn't be lube.  I feel like it says something about how long I've been in fandom that I was largely unfazed by most of the list, because apparently after a while things like "gun oil," "monster slime" and "holy water" don't start sounding any less unpleasant, but they do start, er, bleeding together.  I am fascinated by some of these despite myself, though.  Like -- Dorito crumbs.  I realize there are things on that list that should scare me more (jellyfish!  Souls!  THE TEARS OF CHILDREN) but for some reason I keep going back to the Doritos.

Let it be noted, incidentally, that everything I am doing right now is a thing I should not be doing.  What I should be doing is writing a book review, a draft of which I need to have by Friday, but I've worked myself up so badly over it that I've become avoidant.   This is becoming a massive problem as I start working on my dissertation, and I wish I could make myself stop.  I start questioning my writing ability, and my ability to think, and I end up doing anything else but what I should be doing until the very last minute, at which point adrenaline and sheer panic force me into finishing whatever needed to get done.  This is not an appropriate long-term form of writing though, and it certainly won't work here -- not when I'm trying to get done quickly (because I want to leave Seattle yesterday).  Which is to say, I apologize in advance for any writing-related whining.  And also for all of the things I will do while avoiding my dissertation.


Crossposted from http://linzee.dreamwidth.org/4629.html?mode=reply - comment here, or at Dreamwidth!
linzeestyle: (Default)
What do you do when you run out of steam on a story right at the finish line? I feel like I've been doing this a lot, lately. I am quite literally paragraphs away from finishing a fic I've been working on for...man, it feels like forever, but I've reached an impasse where I have no idea how to end it, I have no fandom friends for this fandom (and no LJ friends who share the ship), and I'm burnt out on the fandom itself to the point where even though I'm really proud of what I have so far, opening the Google Docs tab is exhausting. I just keep thinking: even if this gets done, I have to find a beta, and I do not know where to do that. And then I have to re-read it, and I'm so burnt out on the fandom I don't want to do that. And then I have to figure out how to post it, and I've been frustrated by my experiences with that as of late.

I am two paragraphs from done and I'm something like 60% sure this fic will end up as yet another story in my ever-growing pile of abandoned WIPs. I swear at this point I'm honestly not allowed to write anything else. This is absolutely ridiculous.

But! In happier fannish news, this weekend is my Matchbox Twenty Extravaganza! They are playing Phoenix on Friday and Tucson on Saturday, and I am so excited you guys I can't even. To celebrate, and because I now know better than to put everything I own on an external hard drive and nowhere else again, I have uploaded my entire Matchbox Twenty collection (minus the albums because ya'll know where to find those) to my webspace:

This is a Lot of Matchbox Twenty

My personal recommendation btw is the May 2001 show -- it's an entire Mad Season era concert and it is shockingly good quality. Far better than the one I had before my hard drive crashed.

Crossposted from http://linzee.dreamwidth.org/3776.html?mode=reply - comment here, or at Dreamwidth!
linzeestyle: (Default)
I've spent the last hour of my life watching Fabella's really amazing Sam/Castiel music videos and then I logged on to Tumblr and there was Scully/Reyes fanart that kept referring to Scully as "Dana" and it's not even nine PM in Arizona and I honestly have no idea what is going on or what reality is anymore. I have never been so confused.

[In all seriousness though, you have to watch that Sam/Cas video. The one I linked directly is set to "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson and I don't think I would've clicked that for many vidders but she made Rob Thomas work as a fanvid for me and oh my god you guys no just do it.]

I'm totally watching this video while trying to finish my first over 40,000 word fic (Dean/Castiel, but I swear I am not one of those Dean/Castiel shippers -- I mean, I've spent the last 24 hours mainlining Sam/Castiel fanvids and before that I was running around trying to recover a pretty impressive Wincest fanvid collection so, I mean). It's at 42k and it just keeps growing and I'm either proud of myself or horrified and I haven't figured out which yet. It's entirely possible I'll get tired of words for the evening and give up and vid instead.

In other news, if you ever want to confuse a cat, put on a clay face mask. My boy kitty has been staring at me like I'm a demon for the last twenty minutes. He won't even get in my lap -- he's just on the ground next to me screaming at my green face.

Crossposted from http://linzee.dreamwidth.org/3027.html?mode=reply - comment here, or at Dreamwidth!
linzeestyle: (Default)
One of the hardest realizations for me in the fandom shift from LJ/DW to tumblr has been having to come to terms with the fact that I no longer have any idea how to disseminate fanworks: either I've become completely out of touch with what Kids Today want in their work (this is entirely possible), or I'm just clueless (also possible), or it's a combination of the two (also likely), but tumblr's fanfic culture in particular is a foreign creature that confuses and at times completely vexes me. I'm just throwing darts in a dark hallway and it is discouraging beyond all belief.

The thing is, and I have always said this because it is true, but I don't necessarily feel the need to post what I write. I write as stress relief because it's nice to work in a relatively low-stakes environment where (under normal circumstances) no one is going to tell you how badly you suck. Bandom took that from me for a while, but eventually I realized bandom was largely a complete hive of scum and villainy and moved on with my life. What I am embarrassingly, humiliatingly susceptible to, though, is radio silence. My biggest fear is posting a fic I've worked on for months and getting no response, or posting fanart or drabbles and hearing radio silence. And the thing with tumblr is - for the reasons mentioned above - this is what happens. Which is fine, because no one owes me commentary, but I do find myself writing things and then putting them away in the Google Docs equivalent of my sock drawer more and more often. Which is a thing I've always done: I wrote about twice the amount of bandom fic that I actually posted, for instance; I have a few extra Adam Lambert stories that never made it to the internet; I wrote for The Avengers and never posted. And now I've got this 40+k Supernatural fic I'm just about finished with that I'm really, really proud of and I'm not entirely sure I'm going to post because while I can handle criticism, I get so embarrassed and ashamed when I publish something online and nothing happens but silence.

The downside of this, and this is where I realize I am being a total selfish asshole, is I still like getting things beta'ed. And that is a hard sell: "hey, do you want to beta 42,000 words of Dean/Castiel with a lot of Sam knowing it will never ever get posted on the internet and all your work will be for naught?" Oh yes sign me up for that!

In conclusion, as long as I'm here, here is a Meg/Cas vid I made a while ago and, uh, never posted. At what point am I in danger of becoming some sort of fandom hoarder?



Crossposted from http://linzee.dreamwidth.org/1930.html?mode=reply - comment here, or at Dreamwidth!
linzeestyle: (Default)
I have been having no luck at all with this Tony/Steve story I'm working on. I think I've been staring at it for too long. It's reached the point where it's been in my brain so long enough I can no longer take a step back and examine it objectively -- I can't tell if it's worth editing up and keeping, or if it's full of issues and needs to be scrapped, or if I'm just over it entirely and frustrated and ready to throw it in the WIP Folder where 70% of everything I write goes to languish and die.

It is the worst and I hate it. I need another pair of eyes on this thing but I am too embarrassed to make other people look at it because what if it sucks.

Tonight while (finally) reading my LJ friendslist I was struck by a fit of nostalgia and sudden concern for Livejournal's ability to retain information, and ended up going back and digging up all of my old bandom tags. Over two hours later, here are things that I learned:

1) I wrote a hell of a lot of fic in that fandom. Like, seriously. I found things I had literally no memory of -- not little drabbles, either, I found a 15,000 word Pete/Patrick fic that I couldn't remember writing, even as I read it. The only reason I am sure it is definitely mine and not the product of some sort of time/space continuum burp is that Patrick was being continually annoyed by a Rob Thomas ringtone. And now you understand why I put these things in -- it is convenient in the apparently very-real face of sudden and complete memory erasure.

2) I produced my best work in that fandom and I hate that this is true.

3) Remember that time Patrick Stump got pregnant and had to quit his job at Dairy Queen? Or that time Ryan Ross masturbated while thinking about John McCain? Or the time Garth Brooks fell in love with Patrick and challenged Pete to a duel for his love? Good times.

The moral of the story is I am the worst at writing and all of the words are gone and I will never produce anything new again.

Have I mentioned I miss posting here? There is something so soothing about making actual posts in a medium I understand.

Crossposted from http://linzee.dreamwidth.org/1407.html?mode=reply - comment here, or at Dreamwidth!

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