However. Fic for any fandom (HP, PoT, even SGA at this point) aside, my whole mental attitude has changed immeasurably since first I set foot (or mouse) in fandom. My first fic-reading experiences were with the big guns, like Cassie Claire and Maya, who lead me on to other BNFs. I'm not sure it's PC to call them that any more, as the term now has such negative connotations. I was seriously naive at the beginning; I thought I could easily collect an equally-sized fanbase. That's something that's never okay to admit to in fandom, it seems. Yet, it was what I wanted, my heart's desire: a huge friendslist, pages and pages of comments to every fic and post, and to hear my name linked in every rec list going. Greedy much, I know, so maybe it's a good thing I never achieved it.
I've learned some very cynical things about friendship in the last four years. I figure, it's all about what I have to do for other people - in RL as well as here. I've become more detached from the people in this journal due to RL restraints, and the people who formed my core posse have all drifted away. None of them appear to have given up on lj and fandom entirely; they just seem to have got too busy for it, or too bored.
I have collected a number of fans along the way, and few new friends. It's very strange, but seemingly typical of my life, that most of the things I want dearly turn out to be less enjoyable than I imagined. I find the backlog of unreplied reviews intimidating. I often don't have anything to say to the people who do review, because I don't understand their reactions. That makes me resent the task. I just realised there's about ten reviews from 2006 on May Contain Nuts, and people said they cried over it. I have absolutely no idea why. It makes me uncomfortable that people think I'm a better writer than I am. It would be fine if I were the only writer in the world, but I'm not, and others are better. Because I think about this all the time, to a greater or lesser extent, I can't see how anyone could claim something I've written is the best thing they've ever read.
I've essentially become a lurker in my own journal, and I can't see that changing any time soon. I friend people back because the numbers game used to be so important to me, and I think some people will also value having an extra name in their list. I haven't connected with anyone new in a long while, which means the only thing on offer is fic - fic I usually can't deliver. Writing is difficult for me at every stage. I'm not prolific, I have so many and extensive marshes of self-doubt, and I can't bring myself to post anything I think is less than what it could be - because what it is, to me, is so subpar anyway.
Believe me, this is not a cry for praise or pity. It's merely a warning: that fic may be thin on the ground, and that even if it isn't, my inclination to bond with people here has almost dried up. I'm not very good at it, for one thing. I have a pathological fear of boring people with little silly problems that are so like everyone else's, and I don't consider that I have an interesting life or opinions worth discussing. I am very much an empty vessel. I used to be more open to connecting with people, until I found that nothing I did was good enough for some of them, and for the rest, I couldn't hold their attention. In essence I'd rather read about people's lives than get involved with them. I've always been a Watcher, not a Joiner.
So ... in a nutshell? I'll be here but not here. There should probably be more grief involved in this severing, but at heart I am lazy and emotionally stunted. But to be scrupulously fair, I'm not asking nor expecting anything of you either. Good evening, ladies and probably gentleman.