Our Communities Crisis

I've seen so many blogs about this issue and I just really wanted to input my opinion into this blur of comments and critics and the like. So, like everyone has been saying, silence from a reader really does affect an author when writing stories. I'm not trying to tie this into things being about me and my personal experiences, but I feel like I need to come out and say what I've also been feeling recently. When I first started writing, there was always something so magical about it because who wouldn't want to make up a completely made up world where they were the ones in control? I feel like a lot of writers write because of this fact because it helps them escape the reality they're sometimes forced to face, which isn't the case for everyone, but for me, this is why I write. Now, I don't do it for the comments and the feedback, but it's always nice when you see someone read your stories and comment that they loved it or found it amazing and would love to read more.

I remember there was an instance when I was writing one of my first stories about a year ago and I remember releasing it, feeling so proud that I had written over a thousand words with a lot of chapters and had gotten a decent story line plot. I remember smiling my off the whole entire day, but then I checked my notifs the next day. And the next. And the next. And eventually one day turned into two and that turned into three and then that turned into a week and there was still nothing. It pained me, not because I wasn't proud of what I had done, but because I had worked so hard to release something and to see all the people that have viewed the Foreword pratically triple the amount of people that had bothered to read the actually story. And then I saw that on the last chapter I had updated, it had a lot of views, but no comments, no upvotes, no nothing. I thought that people were just clicking off because they didn't like the writing or thought the story itself was a load of crap. 

You may think that reading the story would be enough, but writers, they get insecure; they look at the views and then compare them to the upvotes and ask themselves, 'have I really done enough and worked hard enough on this? Or is it just because I can't write good that they're not saying anything?'. Because, comments are supposed to be about giving feedback and how much you loved the chapter, so if no one does that, the writer thinks that nothing about the update they've written was good and their hardwork basically goes down the drain. They want to write less, do less because then all the writer feels is that they're writing the story for themselves and not for others and then they never end up finishing it. And I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but then some random person comes up like a year and a half later, seeing the story and they go 'oh, I remember this; it was really good!' and then they reread and finally comment, practically begging the author to update. But, really why should they?

Now, personally, I have a lot of friends here on AFF, that love the things I write and there have been cases when I have become friends with the people that comment frequently on my stories and that fact, I find so interesting. Just commenting on someone can make both their day and get you another friend to talk to. When I have writers block, I ask those friends for suggestions and just recently I asked a friend for advice on a Woosan fanfic I'm writing and she replied to me, happy to help. I always reply to a comment and if I don't have anything to say, I comment thank you because readers want to be seen too.

Personally, this year has just been a mess, with the virus and personal things ~ like my mental health and family issues that have arisen ~ commenting on someone's story doesn't take a lot of time and I'm doing it more recently even though I barely have the time to come on AFF. So, if I can do it and others can, then you can do it too and don't stay silent. People always get a kick out of saying they have a voice, so if you have a voice, use it to comment things on people's stories. Make them happy whilst also making yourself happy.

Stay healthly and happy, Eummie.


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I agree with you. It is heartbreaking when your story has tons of views and don't have the subscribers and upvotes to match it. I feel like it is so easy to hit the upvote button and leave a simple comment or two. I've been feeling like my work is trash because I am getting all these subs but no feedback. It turns me off from the writing but then I remember that I just want to write stories and thats what I ultimately came on aff to do. I had the goal of becoming Featured Author in mind when I started but now I don't think about it. I simply write and update the stories I have muse for and keep it pushing. I know one day people will value my stories but for now im okay if I'm just writing for myself and the few friends I made on aff.
I certainly can't compare the state of AFF community now and before since I have been a member for less than a year, and an author for less than a month XD, so even if I have only one comment and none upvote in my first story I'm still very happy to see views rising even on my recent update because it's meaning that readers actually keep reading my story even if they don't comment (yet).
My post here is not to negatively criticized the authors waiting for comments or upvote but to make them realize that being read even silently is a sort of appreciation too even if it is not enough to erased doubts.
If we think with a real book and its author, besides the professionnal litterary critic they can get on specialized magazines the first indicator of having his or her work appreciated is the number of sales of the book published (and for a first book it can take a long time to rise) so if we transpose to AFF it would be the number of views not the comments.
Of course every author has his or her own reason to publish on a "participative" plateform like AFF. But actually more than silent readers that is the importance that authors are given to them and to comments and upvotes that provoke this sadeness and disappointement too. Unconsciously most of the time but still. Before posting anything an author should formulate his or her goals and expectations to be clear with themselves and the readers, maybe it will help too.
They should answer to themselves : why do i write? What do i expect from readers and why? What do i don't want from them? What do i don't want to go through? What is the real meaning of a view, a subscribe, an upvote and a comment for me and do they will help me or not?
I totally feel you, I do always check if i got subs or new comments but it's really disappointing not to find any.
We're not demanding it but just commenting gives us the encouragement to continue writing. Thats why i make sure to put my comments to other stories which i like to encourage writers and the story gets more enjoyable when there are interactions between 2.
I've been telling my friend that AFF is dead now, it's not how it used to be where so many reads and subs and also comments but dunno what changed??
I've been here for 7 years , wohh ... So I'll know something is going bad down here..
Thank you for agreeing with this issue too ^^
omg this is the explanation I needed for my inability to write when I used to do so religiously. this hit smth sdubvjdsvsijbd

also, I'm glad to help anyone who needs advice/info on the ships I specialize in :D
Thank you for writing a blog about this. I've also seen this talked about a lot throughout our community. Btw, I didn't realize this but I'm a part of a community - the AFF community - sorry I just love being a part of something. Thank you for sharing your opinion on this 💙💙💙