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[personal profile] jona
Generally speaking, I don't think I have a very stressful life. I have a lot more time to waste than most people I know. Last week was bad, but I should be over that by now. However, for a variety of reasons, I'm feeling rather stressed at the moment. A handful of small things I need to do, and should have done last week, actually, feel like so much work, it's pathetic.

It's the kind of mood when I start feeling unusually protective of my fannish opinions, and bail from reading a lot of things.

It's also when I fret about stuff. But in this particular case, I decided to get it off my chest.

Hey, this is actually [ profile] deborah_judge's fault! :-)

Because she said such a nice thing about my recent story in her LJ. No, that was really cool and everything; I'm using this as an example because I don't mean to be all cryptic. I hope she forgives me.

Now, I adore feedback. I crave feedback. I mean, the whole reason of posting a story is that people might read it, and the only way I know if someone has read it is if they tell me. The only reason I don't say so in a story post is that I feel pathetic enough with all my strategies to keep myself from checking my mail once a minute after posting. But crave it I do. And with that in mind, I have a firm opinion on answering feedback. I don't even need to go into whether there's an 'obligation' or not or whether it's polite; to me, it's just good sense. You want feedback, chances are it's helpful if the people who bother are given an indication that it's welcomed.

On the other hand, I wouldn't respond to a post like [ profile] deborah_judge's; I'd feel seriously weird about that. Then sometimes I see other people do it and I wonder if I'm committing some fannish faux pas I'm unaware of. But what I think is, recs and reviews aren't for the author; someone saying 'That Julia K wrote a story that was nice' and it's not said to me, it's not meant for me. Because-- well. This is one of those things where I make things unnecessarily complicated for myself by starting a sentence with 'In theory...'

In practice, people hardly post critical or mixed reviews. I've never seen a mixed review of anything of mine, in any case.* But in theory, 'That Julia K wrote a story that was nice' could also be 'Julia K wrote a story that was nice, but wow, that woman has a gun fetish, and does anyone else think her Lee voice sounds a lot like her Roslin voice?'** Or maybe the post says, 'That Julia K wrote a story that was nice' and someone would like to reply, 'You think so? I think she has a gun fetish and her Lee voice sounds a lot like her Roslin voice!'

And in my opinion, I'd have no business getting involved in that. (Maybe if it's phrased like, 'I wonder if she knows that she has a gun fetish and that her Lee voice sounds a lot like her Roslin voice.' Maybe.)

Theory, practice. Feedback is all about me, me, me. Recs and reviews are really not. So if you've ever said something nice, or critical, or anything about a story of mine, in a place where I was likely to see it, and you wondered why I didn't say anything, that's why. Not that I'm not thrilled, because I most certainly was, and not that I'm lazy or that I 'don't know what to say'; I don't think it's my place.

*In practice, I also haven't written that much. I am also not recced all over the place, or under the delusion that I am. Really. It just doesn't take much practice to get me to have an opinion on the theory of things.

**This is an example off the top of my head. Both in theory and in practice, I am not fishing for anything here. There's navel-gazing potential in that one, for sure, and I've been thinking about voice a lot, but that's really, honestly not the point here.

Apparently, it's also the kind of mood that makes me rambly. I had a whole other navel-gazing item about friending, but I'll boil it down to a question that's intrigued me for a while. I came fairly late to LJ and missed it when the etiquette was hashed out; with everybody spelling out that you don't need to ask them before you friend them, are there actually people who do/did want you to ask first?

PS: Spoiler-phobe that I am, I'm staying away from any of the official BSG information. Until recently, I wasn't even aware that there was going to be a mid-season break. Can someone tell me about that? Is that after this week's episode? And for how long?

Date: 2005-09-21 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In regards to feedback, I agree with you. I do want to point out that, when I rec a story, I also hope that other people will read the story and then give the author feedback directly. Sometimes it's on stories I haven't left feedback on, for various reasons.

As a writer, I love seeing my fic show up in recs, but I also sometimes wonder why the person doing the rec didn't bother to say something in the first place.

So. I am contrary in practice.

are there actually people who do/did want you to ask first?

Weirdly, yes. I think a lot of it does have to do with what you do online--most fannish people I know don't care one way or the other. My RL friends on LJ, however, sometimes have huge problems with people they don't know appearing in comments, etc. One of them went so far as to state she didn't want anybody but her friends reading her LJ, despite the fact she has public entries. Which doesn't make sense to me, but there you have it.

Date: 2005-09-21 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, the hiatus is something Sci-Fi has been doing for years. I don't know why. It's generally a few months long, and agony to those who get stranded by cliffhangers.

Date: 2005-09-21 08:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Months?! Oh dear.

Date: 2005-09-21 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They always break around the regular TV season, pick up again in January. IIRC correctly, though, Britain and Canada only had a one-month break or so, last year, and then picked up airing eps, so that we in the US had to dload them to get them early, so maybe that'll happen again. *g*

Date: 2005-09-23 05:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
How cruel! Ahem. I have no idea what the airing situation is in the UK or Canada; maybe there's hope...

Date: 2005-09-21 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So. I am contrary in practice.

Hee. I doubt that's unusual. :-) I'm pretty good about feedback in BSG -- maybe comes with the minority ship thing -- but I always had a lot of feedback guilt with just about every other fandom I've been interested in.

As for friending, I guess I just don't understand what difference it makes for someone whether I friend them or whether I read their public posts by browsing to their LJ. But thanks for this, that was interesting. I've really never heard of someone wanting to be asked and thought it maybe was a myth. :-)

Comments, I can even see, but then again, there is the issue of just locking a post, and you can get comments by people who don't have you friended as well...

Date: 2005-09-21 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This week is the last new ep of BSG until January.

Date: 2005-09-23 05:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Depending on where they leave off, that's just sadistic! (But thanks for the info. *g*)

Date: 2005-10-13 09:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
with everybody spelling out that you don't need to ask them before you friend them, are there actually people who do/did want you to ask first?
Oh. Well. I just friended you without ever asking or mentioning it. You story swept me off my feet and I thouht it wise to stick around for awhile hoping for more of this :)

Date: 2005-10-13 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, no, don't worry! There's absolutely no need to ask me before friending my LJ; that's part of why I asked this in the first place, it would never occur to me to expect to be asked.

And welcome. :-) Glad you liked the story this much, though I'll say straight away that this is not the usual level of smut around here. *g*

Date: 2005-10-13 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'll say straight away that this is not the usual level of smut around here
Not that I minded the smut *grins widely* (I write it myself), but I stay for the quality of your writing. I've read a lot of fan fic, but your story rates among the very, very best I've read so far.
I admire your command of the English language. And as you live in Germany I can't help but wonder how you acquired it. (I'm not a native speaker myself and I know I struggle a lot with idiom and not finding the exact words to express myself)
Part of the decision to friend you was that your interests list shows that you have the good taste to not only like BSG, but also TWW and B5. :D


jona: (Default)
the paranoid android

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