Okay this is something I’ve ranted about before but here we go again.
Considering the current season, I’m going to use sujuexchange and shineesanta as examples. Both are Secret Santa -exchanges where an anonymous person writes someone else a fic, so that everyone both gives something and gets something. A wonderful idea for some fandom participation and bonding!
Yet. Look at those communities. Is there anything …striking?
The answer I’m looking for is the lack of comments. Many fics don’t have a single one, others have maybe one. It’s not because they’re all bad fics, or that there’s something wrong with them. There are perfectly good fics, genuinely well-thought through ones, that haven’t even gained one non-silent reader.
And this is something I don’t understand.
What makes people so unwilling to participate that they don’t do the smallest thing they could do to make the fandom a more interactive and happy place for everyone? It doesn’t take incredibly much effort or time to type a short comment on a fic you enjoyed. Yet so many people decide to not do it.
It makes me particularly sad when people go all “I loved that fic so much!” and when I ask them if they told the author that, the answer is usually no. At this point I have to restrain myself from shaking my computer and screeching WHY into the skies above to vent my frustration. Since. Really. WHY?
You may now argue that this is a busy time for many and yes you’re right but it’s a common phenomenon and not only in Christmas challenges/exchanges.
And no, this isn’t me trying to fish compliments or comments for me. I didn’t even participate in the sujuexchange this year. But, as a person who’s been a part of organizing such events, and as a writer, and as a human being, I know how much work people put into their fics. How much effort they put into making something good. Such effort always deserves to be rewarded.
Of course, not everything can be your cup of tea! It’s perfectly okay not to like a genre/pairing/rating/etc and not to read everything in an exchange, or in general. But please, if you do read a fic and like it, comment. Doesn’t need to be more than “I liked this! :D” if you don’t have time, or energy, or general interest in commenting at all. Even a single word can mean so much. Especially to writers who are just beginners, aren’t experienced, and really could use a boost.
This is how we can make a fandom more interactive. This is how I’ve made some of my closest, dearest friends! A single comment can lead to a conversation, and conversations can lead to everything. Ideas for new fics! General fandom squeeing! Maybe even finding your best friend forever!
It’s worth the minute it takes for you to comment. Trust me.