I am a little disappointed.
And a little annoyed.
In no small part at myself, but also at fandom at large.
And so I come to you, dear friends who are wiser than me, for advice.
I dropped the ball on the last sga_talk
discussion. This whole new assistant professor, teaching five classes, QEP, SACS, why yes you have to finish your Ph.D. right now or we won't give you tenure gig is a little exhausting. And stressing. And I forgot to do a reminder post for this last discussion. And I forgot to drum up participation once I saw that I was, again, the only commenter. And I forgot to assign a new piece to read for the 1st of September.
So, yes. Culpability, I own you.
But here's the thing, y'all. Here's the thing.
I think sga_talk
is awesome for a lot of reasons. I love to write. I am a writer. I become a better writer when I talk with other people about writing. And I like having a structured place to do this. I love to read. I am a reader. I have made reading and nattering on about it to other people my life's profession. I love literary analysis of fanfic. I also love reading outside of my comfort zone. I have so little time to hunt for fic now that I pretty much exclusively read the flist or large challenges like Big Bang. I find the good stuff through sga_talk
that I would never find otherwise. I also like to meet people and I have met through sga_talk
some really cool people with interesting ideas about SGA and writing and fandom. I think sga_talk
is poised to be a vital segment of fandom.
And yet, it saddens me that I have to beg and grovel for participation in what other fans say over and over again that they want.
Believe me when I say that I understand there are obstacles to participating in a comm of this nature. RL is in the way; you have no time to read this week; you hate the featured pairing; you vowed never to read amnesia fic again; you're too wrapped up in Big Bang. All valid reasons not to participate.
But a significant portion of fandom says over and over again that it wants constructive criticism. A significant portion of fandom says over and over again that it thinks of fanfic as having the same kind of value and interest as published works and that it wants literary analysis of fannish works. And yet, in a comm with 69 members, I can count on only four other people besides myself and lyrstzha
to regularly comment.
So what am I doing wrong? What am I not getting?
And while I am showing my ass, as we say in the South, let me also make this complaint. Why oh why is it that we fans criticize again and again the source material for giving short shrift to women and fanfic for doing the same; why is it that we lament the representation of women and of queer female relationships both in our source texts and in the fannish works we create but when it comes time to read and talk about femslash, everybody disappears? Even in its honeymoon phase when participation in sga_talk
was at its highest, the femslash selections received the fewest comments. This makes me angry, particularly since there is an AWESOME and truly unique femslash fic sitting in sga_talk
right now that no one but myself has commented on.
I am having a really hard time reconciling what I think I hear fandom say that it wants and needs and what fandom actually ends up doing.
So, help me, y'all. I think sga_talk
can be an amazing community, but I don't know how to get it to that point. What can I do (besides, oh, getting my head out of my ass and doing my modly duties like I'm supposed to; *is embarrassed*)? What are your suggestions?