Anne B. Walsh - Do you believe in magic?

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Anne's Randomness


Someone asked me today in a review if I have ever considered posting the Dangerverse on Archive Of Our Own. While I have, I'm a bit hesitant, for a couple of reasons. First, unless I'm mistaken, AO3 is an HTML site, which means I would have to redo all the formatting, in all the chapters. That's a LOT of words to cover. 

But that's really only my knee-jerk response, which doesn't get to the root of my reluctance. AO3 is a site devoted to serious, important fan fiction. I don't consider that I write such. I know how much you all love the Dangerverse (certainly the engagement numbers on the Facebook page go down when I'm not updating) but... 

Flashback to 2004. I was just getting my feet wet in the HP fandom, trying to write a year six story and a many-years-later story at the same time, but this little idea about starting from scratch and giving Harry a family wouldn't leave me alone. I decided to set up an account and scribble it down quickly, get it out of my head, make it go away.

Nine years later, that idea never has gone away. Instead it's gone viral, if you will, and I very often find myself more than a little puzzled by the turns my life took in consequence. Almost every aspect of me, from the personal to the professional, has been shaped by my writing of the Dangerverse, and honestly, that can be a bit scary. 

There used to be seven paragraphs of whiny, self-pitying angst here, but they have been removed on the grounds that you don't need that. Suffice it to say that as fond as I am of the DV, I don't know if I want to hand a new group of people the recorded fumblings and bumblings of that novice writer who was me nearly a decade ago. 

Of course, I know this doesn't make much sense, because any time anybody new starts reading my work on fanfiction or fanficauthors, aren't they seeing exactly the same thing the AO3 readers would see? They are, of course, but they came to me. I didn't go to them. It's the same reason I'm terrified every time I put out a new original. 

This feeling may be the doom of my career as a writer, at least as an independent writer, because from all I've ever heard you have to go out and sell yourself if you want to succeed. Unfortunately I loathe pushing people to do things (I doubt I could make a "hard sell" if my life depended on it) and I take every rejection I receive personally. 

This isn't really the blog post I set out to write, but it's what came out when I sat down at the keyboard so I guess it wanted to be said. I am still working on Surpassing Danger and will update probably late next week. As for posting on new sites, or learning to sell myself... honestly, I don't know what I should or will do with either.

9 Comments to Considerations:

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Elizabeth Conall on Sunday, November 17, 2013 7:35 PM
AO3 is a site devoted to fanworks. Fixed. 'I would have to hand-code a shitton of HTML' is a valid reason for not posting a million words of fanfic to AO3. 'AO3 is for fanworks that are more serious and important than my fanworks' is really, really not. Unless you're going to argue that my twenty-word episode response fics are more serious and important than the Dangerverse?
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Anne on Sunday, November 17, 2013 7:39 PM
I never said I made sense.

Sarah on Sunday, November 17, 2013 11:13 PM
It's your decision to post your work wherever you want (or to not post), of course, but as Elizabeth said, AO3 is a site for fanworks, plain and simple. It's a site by and for fans for the purpose of sharing, and trust me when I say there are some real stinkers (as well as the gems) on that site. Not all of the stinkers are light, not all of the gems are serious and dark examinations of the human condition. (The best ones aren't, IMO.) You may feel that the early part of the DV is the work of a novice, but as a regular re-reader, I cannot say that the first bits of DV seem unpolished or unrefined or what have you, even in comparison to later parts. It's a little more fairy tale like-- I'd film it with soft lighting and bright colors-- but that kind of suits that point in the story. It is by no means "fumbling and bumbling". (I know that it's all very well for me to sit here and say that, and I've got self confidence issues of my own (I know where all of my mistakes are, and I can't figure out why the rest of the world hasn't called me on them yet) and almost certainly would not take my own advice, but...I guess I had to say it anyway.)
Reply to comment
Anne on Monday, November 18, 2013 8:58 AM
I think most people have self-confidence issues. Some of us just fake it better than others. Thanks for the words -- they really do help.

Geoffrey on Sunday, November 17, 2013 11:28 PM
Is this Anne wondering if she’s important? Of course you are. But how to prove this? I haven’t the foggiest. Readership is an indicator, and over time you’ve certainly had a very great many of those. Friends is another, but I can’t speak for that: you’ll have to tell us how many lives you influence personally. I do wish you had left some angst in the blog today. Go ahead, tell us how you really feel. I don’t think it will change how anyone else feels about you. Poor Anne, pitiable Anne, with her poor and purry kitties. Lonely Anne, harried and beaten Anne, at a lone and cheerless desk. Poor imperfect Anne, struggling to make ends meet, fighting to write each day, wondering always ‘Is it worth it?’ Have joy: your readers love you, as I’m sure your friends and family do as well.

Only you can say what path you’ve trod, but tell me Anne, is it worth it? Are you a better person today than you would have been had you not written the Dangerverse? Do you prefer yourself now over who you were before? Do you like the person you see in the mirror? Do you see an accumulation of mistakes and flaws, or a worthwhile woman whose company you enjoy?
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Anne on Monday, November 18, 2013 9:00 AM
Okay, now you're just making fun. :-P As for liking the person I see in the mirror, depends on when you ask me. At some points of the day, week, month, year, I do, and at others I don't.

Geoffrey on Monday, November 18, 2013 12:22 PM
Maybe a little; it's hard to pity someone for whom we have so much respect. But tell us how you feel, and our sympathies will most certainly be yours.

Haminac on Monday, November 18, 2013 1:56 PM
I am with Geoffrey when he says that your angst won't shoo us away. But I can understand if you didn't want to post it anyway. I simply hope it helped you to just write it down. I know it can do that from self experience. Maybe that AO3-thing, which I have never heard of is a nice place to test out this "I am trying to get (push??) people to read my stuff". On the other hand: Even if it is there, people still can decide, whether to read it or not. It's not like you are tying them to their chairs and PCs and only feed them if they finish three chapters a day... at least I hope so. Only because you go out and offer your work to people, you are not responsible if they don't like it. Not responsible in a way that you hinder them to stop, I mean. It's your story, of course you are responsible for what's in it xD But not for what people do with it. You are just offering. Maybe actively, but it's still an offer, as long as you don't do the tying-to-chair-thing. Offering is a nice thing to do.
Reply to comment
Anne on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 1:22 PM
While I thank you for being willing to help me with the angst, from experience I know that blasting it out for everyone to see only makes it worse. Setting it aside and refusing to play its game are what helps it, at least for me. As for the tying-to-the-chair thing... okay, now you're creeping me out a little...

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