karaokegal (karaokegal) wrote,
karaokegal
karaokegal

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Comment addicts support group meeting:

My name is karaokegal and I'm a comment addict.


I hope this is a safe space to share our feelings on this. I’ve had email and comment conversations with a lot of you about this in the last few weeks and months, so I wanted to get my thoughts down and offer love and support to fellow addicts.



I started out in Star Trek and Science Fiction fandom in the late 70’s and early 80’s, when the stories were in paper fanzines and you had to wait weeks and months for comments to come via snail-mail (which we called mail). I was also active some APAa (Amateur Press Associations) which were equivalent to the blogs we have now. There were monthly collation parties and I can remember the collation coming to a stand-still as people did and ego-check looking for comments on their previous month’s outpourings. There were plenty of fan-feuds and flame-wars and what we’d call wanking now, although I’m not sure that phrase was in common parlance at the time.

I more or less totally gafiated (got away from it all) when I moved to San Francisco in 1987 and found new and exciting obsessions to make my life miserable over. Then I happened to start watching House MD on DVD and after seeing Damned If You Do, went to google and typed in House/Wilson slash and ended up at the house_slash community of LJ. I spent three months feeling like a slash character as I sat at my desk reading through the whole archive in a condition of rising arousal and frustration, until I was ready to get an account, start commenting and eventually posting my own stuff.

Somewhere in the process I got seriously addicted to comments. For all I know, I only started writing fanfic again to get the comments. I wish I could honestly say otherwise, but I can’t . It’s a little like the way I started running when I saw my friend Ivan finish the San Francisco Marathon in 1999 and I wanted some of that love for myself.


I call myself a “comment crackwhore” which I think expresses both the drug-like effect and the sexual component and the degradation and humiliation and desperation when I don’t get it.

Those of you who’ve been through a melt-down with me know how NOT PRETTY it is. I turn into a screaming, foaming at the mouth, whiny child, full of outrage that I’m not getting what I want and more importantly what I think I deserve. The worst part is that it makes me angry and resentful over anyone who is getting what I think of as MY comments. I’m not saying this is nice or fair or right or good, but it’s EXACTLY how it feels to me.

I really really hate it when I see a post that is getting comments and love and keyboard flailing up the wazuzu and I’m like “WHAT THE FUCK????” On one hand, it’s all subjective, but I think we all know there are certain BNF’s in any fandom and their writing is considered sacrosanct and their personal fangirls will go all Pavlov, no matter what kind of drivel they post.


I was lucky. I had a good crackweek this week on LJ. And you know what? It wasn’t enough. I took my skanky, slutty self over to www.whofic.com and even the PIT trolling for even more goodies. THAT, my friends is addiction.

There is nothing like the high of posting and sitting and watching the email notifications come in. I honestly don’t think the drug and sex metaphors are the least bit out of line, and the deprivation, withdrawal symptoms of NOT getting it are exactly the same.

I really really hate it when I see a post that is getting comments and love and keyboard flailing up the wazuzu and I’m like “WHAT THE FUCK????” On one hand, it’s all subjective, but I think we all know there are certain BNF’s in any fandom and their writing is considered sacrosanct and their personal fangirls will go all Pavlov, no matter what kind of drivel they post.

Some of us have recently moved into new fandoms with varying degrees of comment love. It can be excrutiating to go from having a following in Fandom A, only to find that Fandom B is indifferent and your peeps from Fandom A aren’t interested.

And you know what? The whole…"I’m not in it for the comments" thing is bullshit. OK, we not be in it JUST for the comments, but we’re posting in a public forum and we want feedback.

Here are a few hints for maximizing comments.. My opinions are based on two years on LJ, mostly in House MD fandom. If you have completely different experiences and hints, let me know.

1. When you post makes a difference.

One of my worst melt-downs ever occurred when I first posted my angsty-80’s song!fic on the Friday before a three day weekend. Nothing happened. I mean nothing. I thought Beta Goddess Carol was going to have to dispatch an EMT and hubby was going to divorce me on grounds of hysterical whininess. About a week later, I reposted, and voila-comments. So please take into account three day weekends, holidays (US, UK and otherwise etc.) I generally try not to post later in the week than Wednesday, unless it’s a deadline or birthday situation. My personal tradition is to do “big fics” as late on Sunday night (US time) as possible.

Now that we’re back in House MD season, keep that in mind as well. I think a House fic would have gotten buried this week if posted after all the Squeeee-age broke out on Tuesday night.

2. Short attention span theater.

I know there are differing views on this, but I’m not a big fan of multi-parters, especially strung out over several days. If you have to break up a story because of the LJ word restrictions, I’d really recommend doing it all at once. A good example would be A Modest Proposal by ignazwisdom. It’s a massive piece, but she did the postings all at once and got oodles of love on almost every section.

3. Be a slut!

Crosspost to every applicable community you can. I always crosspost my House/Wilson stuff to house_slash as well. If it I have a fic with H/W subtext, I post it to House/Wilson. Not everybody is a member of both. And House_Wilson is so BIG that it’s easy to miss fics that are posted there. Most fandoms have lots of over-lapping communities and you don’t want to miss a chance to get an extra reader, just because some one might have to see it three or four times.

Some stray issues that have come up lately that you may want to comment on or discuss or whine about:

1. All fandoms are equal, but we’re not all equal in all fandoms.
2. Some people will act like childish stroppy bints if you go way from their fandom (or pairing) even temporarily, and try something else.
3. Fandom is cliquish by nature. Just because LJ is more grown up than Myspace, doesn’t mean it’s not high-school. Don’t let the Heathers get you down.


So let’s have a big group hug, say the serenity prayer and drink some bad coffee.

PLUS-Please feel free to pimp a story of yours that you feel has been completely, outrageously, unfairly overlooked. I can’t promise the whole gang will go running over there and shower you with comments, but I’d certainly encourage them too.

I'd also like to hear your experence, strength and hope in living with this addiction.

Keep coming back. It works if you work it.

And get back to your writing. You can't get comments if you're not posting anything.
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