So this post might read as a dirty confessional but it's more me coming to terms with something in my own head and heart, realizing the true value to me for writing fanfiction.
There's a lot of fanfic awards going on right now. I've been lucky enough to be nominated in a few of them. There's just this wonderful glow when you get that email and realize someone who read your story nominated you. I didn't win my first round of nominations for "Therapy Sessions" and that's okay. I mean, I dealt with the "aw shucks" reaction and "the better story won, I'll just keep trying harder". I'm new to this writing gig and I often have to battle this feeling of throwing in the towel in the face of all I need to do to improve. I'm constantly looking at other people's works and noticing how to improve myself through their own strengths.
I've also been lucky enough to have "Thought You Should Know" nominated for Best WIP in the Rogue Poet Awards. Now that feels awesome too but I've come to this bracing realization long before the decision rolls in that...well, this is going to be another case of win the nom, lose the shiny gold star. I'm in the same category as Kallysten. KALLYSTEN. This is the writer who got me addicted to Spuffy fanfiction back in 2004. Yes, that's right she's to blame. Five years of addiction laid down at her door. She's pretty epic in my book so the fact that I'm in the same category as her is like WOW. (don't you just love my vocabulary?)
Anyways, so I'm sitting here thinking about fiction awards that begin with the joyful reception of a nomination and end in begrudging disappointment (too honest?). Because everybody likes to win, right? You know you want the shiny gold star. 'Cause it's all shiny and who doesn't look good in gold? Answer - no one. So I'm sitting here coveting that gold star for a multitude of reasons (writing validation, pats on the back are nice, it's pretty and I like pretty) and I realize I'm obsessing about a prize. And that's just...shallow. Self-involved and shallow and so not the point. Although I can't help wishing that these awards could end like the prom scene in Mean Girls where the crown gets broken into pieces and tossed to the other nominees and the crowd at large. Share it. Is there a fic award like that? 'Cause that would be sappy and awesome. Just sayin'.
But back to the point. The point is the writing. The act of writing. As Dru would say, being in the moment. I can't think of a bigger and more rewarding high than when the writing just flows and you're proud of the end product, of the story you've told and how you told it. Of course, this process is incomplete without someone to read your story and take that journey you've laid out for them. And sometimes they'll look back when they reach the end of the rainbow and say thank you. And that - that is the moment of joy.
Sometimes I'll fight these feelings of certainty that I'm utter crap and I'll remember that moment of connection, that someone got it and it gives me the courage to keep trying. I get the feeling that I'm trying story areas that most people don't want to touch - the Season 8 comics, the final scene in Harm's Way - so maybe it takes a brave reader to read my stories too. I dunno. Sometimes I think too much. That's probably the actual point of this post. But I'm grateful to the people who have given me feedback since I started writing, even the feedback that's been hard to swallow (I've had to fight to keep my spirits up after being shaken a few times now).
But yeah, I struggle with petty covetous insecurities sometimes and I want to kick them in the ass. Out out damn spot! So maybe confessing it is the best way to exorcise it.
Thanks for listening.