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It’s now week four of Blaugust, which means the topic is “staying motivated”, but before I make posts (or at least one post) about that, today is Fanfiction Appreciation Day. And I LOVE fanfiction and think it’s about time I did another post that I can slip into the fanfiction category!! The last time I celebrated this event on the blog was back in 2016 and I pretty much detailed my journey into fanfiction. This time…well, let’s see where I free-write into
I can’t believe it but I have been reading fanfiction for almost 15 years!! And been writing for about that long as well, although not consistently. Let’s look at some of my Ao3 stats because wow, this is actually a really neat page. Actually, I wish I could also see my word count by month. Oh, I wonder, does WordPress have a feature like this? I would love to know how many words I wrote for Blaugust!
Anyway, it looks like I’ve had my Ao3 account for about ten years now. That makes sense. Since I got my Ao3 account, I have transferred some of my older stories that were originally on fanfiction.net to Ao3 but not all of them. Not my most popular because that one is too long and tbh, I sort of cringe at it sometimes. But some people still find it and leave kudos so it must not be as terrible as I remember it
That story is 48,963 words long. Oh god, will I ever be able to top that?!
As you can see, I disappeared in 2015 and 2020, and even when I was active, there are some years when my word count was embarrassingly low (like 2014 and 2019). Meanwhile, years like 2016, 2018, and to an extent 2021 were VERY successful years. I mean, what did I even write?! To get more than 1k kudos?! I know it’s pretty tiny and insignificant, especially when you have single stories that get even more kudos than that, but I am proud of myself. You know, when I even bother to look at my stats
Ok! I’ve figured it out and I am not surprised. The reason 2016 was a good year (and then 2018) was one of my MHA stories. It looks like, specifically, one story I posted in 2016 and then updated in 2018. Then, in 2021, my top hitter was a JJK story. Makes sense, makes sense
What about this year? WELL. I have not been writing all that much this year, or at least not until the summer (aka, now). I only wrote two short stories (one of them still incomplete) and I finally finished up a story I’ve been writing since a little over a year ago. Actually, that one is my number one hit fic this year. It sits complete at +5k words (very short tbh) and I’ve gotten a lot of nice comments. Actually, I think, in my whole fanfiction writer career, I’ve only ever gotten one mean comment and it wasn’t even that mean! I don’t mind sharing. I had written an SNK drabble and needed a very bad guy. I went and used Jean because why not?! I know. Totally not him, especially at the start of the show, which is around the time I’d used him. I don’t know how he’s grown in the anime at this point. Anyway, the person left a comment saying that my story was well-written but tf, why did I make Jean do such terrible things?! See, not bad at all
The next four stories don’t have many hits for a few reasons. Stories B and C are rarepairs. I didn’t even realize my ship was a rarepair?! But I had and still have a lot of fun writing this ship and actually have a long story for them in the writing. TBP this year as well. I wonder if it will make the graph by the end of the year! Meanwhile, story D was only just published (or made public would be more accurate, I wrote it a few weeks ago), and story E is still hidden. Actually, out of all of the stories on that graph, I think that once story E goes public, that one will overtake the rest. It’s part of a bigger fandom after all!
My stats are not the highest for 2022 but my word count will probably surpass any of the previous years (once I get to December). But why am I sharing all of this?
Part of it is that I’ve never really looked at my stats section and thought, hey, it would be nice to check out what I can gain from them. And what do they say?
- The MHA fanfiction community is strong and keeping my MHA stories at the top of all of my others. My top stories in hits, kudos, comments, and bookmarks (except the #1) are all in the MHA fandom. So if I want more kudos and love, I should write more MHA stories. Will I? Well, I’m not in that hell anymore so perhaps not anytime soon
- My top story being bookmarked is in the JJK fandom so I’m carving my name slowly there. Will I continue to write JJK stories? HECK YEAH. I’ve actually got a few ideas brewing but I need to hold off for reasons I will explain soon
- Most of my good hits are from older fandoms I’m no longer in. It’s a bit sad but also makes sense because I haven’t really been watching anime. And most of my word count numbers are currently going into smaller fandoms and rare pairs soooo, if I care about the numbers, I’m clearly not doing things right. Do I care? Nope
Unlike blogging, there’s something about writing fanfiction that is just so chill. I never worry about stats, though I LOVE getting comments and when I get a kudos email notifications, I can’t help but do a happy dance (in my head). I’m not sure what the difference is. I mean, I will hardly write anything some years (or nothing at all others) and I won’t feel guilty. I’ll just stop and then come back when I get hit with inspiration. I think part of that is the community
As a blogger, I feel like there’s pressure to be consistent, to blog about the hottest anime, the newest shows, and series, to be relevant, and stats are so important. Perhaps not everyone, but a lot of people (myself included) talk about their stats at one point or another. But fanfiction is just screaming and appreciation. And not just us screaming in our bedrooms alone, but with other writers
I’ve joined a few events in the last few years. Events in the fanfiction community usually mean gift exchanges, writing weeks (usually focusing on a certain character(s) and/or ship(s)), big bangs, and zines. I’ve applied to a few zines but have not gotten into any, sadly. But I have participated in a few ship weeks and quite a few gift exchanges. I make that seem like a lot but my number is probably close to 10, give or take a few, in the last 2-3 years. I think I would have participated in more if I hadn’t disappeared as much, and if I made deadlines. I often don’t learn about events until after the signup period
As for my experience…I haven’t always had the best experience with gift exchanges, but it’s not anything bad! Let’s just say I’ve written more gifts than received. I had something similar happen when I did bookish gift exchanges. The disappointment was too big, which is why I decided to stop doing those and, you know, just buy myself books, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing fic exchanges. I just have a lot of fun writing!
I like knowing that there’s a community of writers who enjoy the same show or ships that I do (though my communication skills are still…very rusty) and when everyone is done writing and gifts go public (most events work like this: people write, we stay hush-hush about them, stories go into a hidden collection, the collection is published anonymously, and maybe a week or so later, the authors are revealed), I kind of feel all giddy. With events, there’s a part of me that knows that at least one person will read what I write and maybe leave their impressions in the comments
I also know that the impressions will usually be nice because that’s generally how the community is. Or at least the one I’ve associated with. I’ve heard horror stories of people being doxxed and sometimes that makes me hesitate to write (not just fanfiction but what I do here on the blog too)
As for why I have to put some of those JJK ideas on hold, it’s because I am currently in an event where I need to focus on two other stories first. It’s tough!
If I make it seem like the community is really fun, I’m glad, but the truth is that I am one of those writers that keep to themselves. I don’t think my writing is any good. Sort of. I mean, I like a few of the stories I’ve written. I often go back and reread them, especially if it’s been at least a year since I wrote them. I like doing this because I’m really able to see if I’ve written something impressive (or not). If I’m able to read through it and want more, then I pat myself on the back. But they’re definitely not anything compared to some of the big names out there. Somehow, that doesn’t bother me. I don’t feel like I have to try and get up there with them. Or to change my writing
A part of me wishes I was closer to the community, but I don’t know if I have the energy or desire to. It’s kind of weird. I want it but clearly not enough to truly try, lol
I think that if I tried to build my audience the way I do with my blog, I could maybe get more hits or at least more dialogue happening, but a part of me likes writing, publishing, and then letting my story find its way on its own to readers. There’s something comforting about kind of staying in the shadows, but some days it does get lonely, which is why (now that I’ve written it), I feel glad I can at least share this much with you all. Oh and I do have SM for my stories, it’s just that I don’t engage the way I do as ANFC
Hm, I wonder why. Anyway, every day is a perfect time to read fanfiction so get out there and read! Leave people kudos, comments, and bookmark the heck out of stories. If you read fanfiction that is