Fanfic Author Gothic


-You always have ideas. When you open a document, they disappear.

-You have a file full of ideas. It is lost. You open all your files and find hints of ideas mixed in between the lines. None of them connect. You follow them forever, deeper into the folders, until you can’t remember what you were looking for anymore. You end up reading fanfic until 4 AM.

-You’re not a torturer by profession. It’s merely a hobby. The sadism is a natural skill.

-Your fingers and wrists hurt from typing when you’re on a roll. You swear you’re not a masochist, but it hurts so good.

-Readers accuse you of causing them pain. You say you’re sorry, but you’re not. You comfort them while not-so-subtly digging for what caused them the most harm, eager to repeat the trick.

-Your friends enable you and laugh at your yelling. When you blame them, they claim they didn’t do anything. They never do anything. You no longer remember who started it, only that you’re halfway through the fic and still writing.

-You have a WIP. You swear you’re going to finish it next. It’s always next. There’s always another fic that has to be written first.

-Anonymous messages are sent to you, asking you not to acknowledge them publically. You know if you answer they’ll disappear from your inbox. Tumblr has eaten the Ask. Was it ever there in the first place?

-Someone comments on your fic. You have no idea who they are, but their username looks familiar. Every username looks familiar. You think you know them. They know you. It’s flattering, but you can’t shake the feeling that you should be alarmed by your poor memory.

-You reblog a writing prompt meme. It’s the same meme you reblogged yesterday. There are symbols instead of numbers, and you hope people will find them more interesting and send you more prompts this time.

-Promoting your own work is okay. You tell yourself this as you reblog yesterday’s fic post, tensely waiting for a rebuke that never comes.

-People laugh at something you wrote. You can’t figure out what. When you ask, nobody responds. They never laughed in the first place. You’re not sure you wrote anything.

-The fic is 50 hours long and 7000 words long; no one cares. A 10 minute speedwrite is reblogged into eternity.

-The kudos stack up. They are a solid block of names. You can’t read who left them. When you blink and look again, only 10 Guests have left kudos.

-Your inbox is full. There’s a comment on your fic. It has been edited 17 times. Six more emails come in as you read the initial comment. The numbers in your inbox climb and climb. You can’t find what’s been changed in the comment, but you can’t stop obsessively comparing each message.

-This comment is a book report. Glee and fear fill you in equal amounts.

-Someone apologizes for leaving a comment on an old fic. You can’t find who started the absurd rumor that authors don’t like comments on old fics. You plan their murder anyway.

-You eye your old username and associated fics. You pray that no one ever finds them. You resist the urge to tell people where to look.

-The fic is finished. You are dead. You are sick of it. You’ve never been so tired in your life. You hate the world. You force yourself to post it, absolutely exhausted, and suddenly can’t sleep for refreshing your inbox.

-The words multiply. You can’t control them. They eat your brain and come out your eyes. When people try to talk to you, you speak in snatches of character dialogue and narrate unconnected events. They keep talking to you, encouraging you to say more. The words own you now.

-No one believes you when you say the story is writing itself. You stare in despair at the screen. Why won’t anyone help you?

-You’ve misspelled ‘the.’ Autocorrect is wonderful until it’s not.

-Sleep is for the weak. You dream you’re still writing.