We live in moments.
Moments when something goes beautifully right, and moments when something goes horribly wrong. They pull us up and they push us down, and if we are very lucky we know that both will happen and that we will have the strength to get up and try again.
The world is full of bullies and nay sayers and critics. They say things perhaps not thinking of the power of their words or perhaps they know and do it anyway and on purpose. They don’t matter. If they did they wouldn’t need to validate themselves by criticizing someone else who is doing something that they love and enjoy.
Rule one: Make art that you enjoy. No one else matters as much as you do in the artistic experience. It is wonderful to connect with an audience because it makes us feel understood and appreciated. I am just like everyone else in that myself. But sometimes you are early, or your audience is late but they will come if you believe, hang on and keep trying!
At some point in time if you open yourself up and share a secret part of yourself someone will see it and they will appreciate it and they will be forever changed by it. Don’t give up, and don’t let ANYONE ever tell you that you are doing it wrong because there is no wrong way to make art. There are only people who are not equipped to handle it, to process it or to understand it.
Write plot. Write porn. Write porn with plot. The important part is that you WRITE!
Make banners. Make them as froofy and fantastical as YOUR heart desires because if you love it, and it brings you joy there is nothing else that matters. Practice! Play as you did when you were a child and the world was full of every possibility! Take back the magic that the world has taken from you.
I love the things that some of you put out for fan art that showcases drawings, or pictures of sexy people who inspire impure thoughts and late night writing bouts that leave me looking for a smoke at the end. I love that inspiration abounds and I refuse to let anyone else tell me what I should think or how I should feel or what I should do, because that is letting them win.
Faceless anonymous flamers, abusers and passive aggressive people who talk about styles and stories in the open on OTHER authors message boards and Facebook pages amuse me. Cowards always do. They amuse me because I know that they have to put their masks on before they come at me, or they come at me sideways and pretend they don’t know that words mean things, that they have power and with that power comes responsibility.
But any time you give them takes away from your time to make art.
They only win if you let them. They only raise themselves up if you let them knock you down. Do what they hate most…ignore them…and then make art.
Everyone I have ever met or talked to here has a story to tell and a unique and beautiful way to tell that story in words and banners. It will be like no one else and that is what makes it special. That is what makes you all special.
Five or ten years from now perhaps none of you will be writing about the Viking anymore, but that’s ok as long as you keep writing. Support each other. Welcome new folks and take them under your wing with the bitch that is WordPress. When you can, shield them from pointless critics and nay sayers who might try and take their dreams away. If it was done for you pay it back, and it wasn’t then pay it forward.
Respect yourselves and each other and make art. Perhaps in a thousand years the server that holds WordPress will be found by some erstwhile archaeology student and they will find the stories we told ourselves and each other and wonder about all the marvelous people who took the time to write down and make banners for these characters in this time and in this place. I think that would be great. I think that would be the best thing ever!
I think that can only happen if we tune out the critics and do what our hearts tell us to do. I think that can only happen if we stand together and support each other and keep going with our dreams and the sharing of them with anyone who has the time to stop by, kick their feet up and stay a bit in these worlds we have created.
I love each of you who has ever been kind and supported me and I also strive to love those who have not because they are the ones who have told me that I am really doing something here. If I weren’t they wouldn’t be trying so hard to stop me, or you for that matter.
Take care all of you, do what you love and believe in yourselves. The only other thing that matters is the art. 🙂
I am ashamed that I forgot to pay tribute to the beta readers who support our dreams by checking our spelling and our plot lines and offering their time and advice on how to make our art better. They are often the unsung heroes that help and guide us through to the place we are trying to get to. Thank you, all for everything that you do. You have maybe the toughest jobs of all and many of us rely on you to do the magic that you do! 🙂
I would also like to say one last thing. I appreciate the opinions of each of you, even if you don’t agree with anything I said about our writing and art. You who have traveled with me are all welcome here to share whatever thoughts and feelings that you want to, need to, or to just read and digest as you move on to whatever is next for you. My site is set to moderate your comments only the FIRST time you comment. After that, you are free to post as you wish and it goes right up.
I got a comment on this post from someone I don’t know, who had never spoken here on anything before and who made it very plain that they were not part of our fan fiction community and had no respect for what we do here. They were upset that it was not posted immediately and was pending moderation. Let me put you at ease.
Your comment will not posted. Ever.
Imagine this scenario if we were face to face. I was walking down the street talking to people I know and that I have shared conversations, events and moments with for over a year now and you just barged right up and became confrontational about a conversation that you had no part in, on a topic that you clearly hold nothing but contempt for.
I don’t know why in the world anyone would think that is acceptable behavior in any venue. Particularly, when your actions make it seem like you only want to argue and not bring anything productive to the conversation.
Talking to each other on message boards and in comment sections is still TALKING TO EACH OTHER. You are a person, a real person and so am I, and so are we all. That was the point of respecting each other and being kind and supportive when we could.
You are entitled to your opinion and I respect that. I also respect myself and have no desire to argue about something that I believe in with someone I do not know. I wish you the best, now move on.
There is some art that needs to be made. 🙂