To this day I have no clue if I have a thick skin or a thin one. I think I do better with specific criticism than broad statements. If someone tells me, “this character is a bit inconsistent, look at this line of dialogue and compare it to this other one,” I at least have something to go off of. I think I get irrationally annoyed when the criticism doesn’t seem to come from a place of actually wanting the author to get better, because at that point, why even waste your own time commenting?
I recently realized I totally forgot to post Mutual Benefits to other websites, and posted chapter one last week, with chapter two being posted this week, etc. Easily the most hilarious comment I got was five days after I posted Mutual Benefits Chapter One. Remember, this commenter believes I wrote and posted the first chapter five days prior to their comment.
It’s past time for more chapters of “Mutual Benefits” don’t you think? There are few things worse than raising people’s expectations with an interesting start to a story, then just saying “the hell with it” and leaving everybody hanging!
You poor naïve soul. If only you knew the hell some of my readers had to go through.
These are the kinds of comments that weirdly get under my skin. My immature inner high schooler wants to be all, “You think you deserve nearly ten thousand words every few days for free, to the extent that you can bother the author after five days?! For shame!” My calmer zen self tells me, “This person liked your story so much that they’re expressing frustration that they can’t access more of it immediately. It’s a compliment, Bashful. Breathe.” At the end of it all, I just shrugged at the comment and told myself, “chapter two will be on that website in two days. God help you when I post chapter four and you will have to wait a few weeks at least.”
And hey, if this was my full-time job, like it may be someday, then yeah, maybe I’d put out these stories quicker. The trouble with that hope also is, nothing is permanent. My goal this year was to work my way up to 20 patrons on my Patreon; a seemingly humble goal given I’m at 19, though at the start of the year I think I was at 13. When I was still writing the end of Being More Social I was at around 40-50. But, a few things happened – my schedule slowed, there was this dumb dumb scandal on xnxx where people thought I was hacking the website and they convinced a bunch of my patrons to dump me, and unrelated to any of that, I ended up having a bit of a mental breakdown the next year. I guess my larger point is that life happens. I don’t want to audibly make a commitment I can’t keep, and I do have another whole life outside of being this shady erotica writer – asking me to write ten thousand words to post on erotica websites for free every three or so days is going to burn me out. It would burn anyone out. I bet if this commentor knew me in real life, he’d even agree with me saying that. But, much like with sex, we just sort of act and speak with passion and our own desires first, and reflect on them after.
I deleted my first comment today. It didn’t feel good. In the past I prided myself as someone who would never silence criticism. The criticism itself was not the reason why I got rid of it. The comment basically said that the character of Quinn “had better be fixed in the next chapter” and that I as the author clearly knew nothing of being a nerd (which is hilarious, considering this is the only story I’ve written that was directly inspired by events that happened to me). The reason I deleted it was because the commenter decided to mock autistic people in his diatribe against Quinn, which wasn’t cool in any way. By all means, come after me if my portrayal of any character sucks (though preferably, be able to articulate it well), but do not punch down on the way there.
If that Literotica commenter is here, rest assured Quinn as a character gets a bit more filled out in chapter two. If you think he’s not a “real” nerd, I have to ask what a “nerd” is to you and why Quinn of all characters couldn’t possibly be one by any definition. And by all means, I welcome being challenged. I just want the actual challenge of it. If you tell me “your story sucks” and leave it at that, I have no choice but to reply, “no it doesn’t.” If you say it sucks and give me a couple reasons why, then I’ll listen and fix my story if the reasoning is sound.
After mainly posting to this site and other sites without anonymous comments, I appear to have forgotten what it’s like getting them. Accepting them, understanding them, and responding to them is a skill I will need to relearn. I’ll talk to you all next week.