In short, I posted the first chapter of the POTO fic to FFN (hereinafter to stand for FandomFail.Net) because I'm set in my ways and don't know any better - and because the majority of my work is stored there so I put it there for completeness' sake - and it has received no reviews after nearly a week. I have 45 stories posted there in several different fandoms and "Whisper" is the only one with no reviews at all. I keep re-checking the uploaded version to try and figure out what I did wrong, if anything, and I've changed the "world" from general to musical in the hope that might help (as it's mostly musical-based despite using elements of Leroux/Kay) but... still nothing. The listing does not indicate that the story is "complete", and there is a "Chapter 1" heading within the story.
Obviously, all those people who put me on their author alert lists have dropped off the face of the earth, and I've been out of the fandom for so long that nobody remembers me and it's populated by n00bs and movie fanbrats, as it has been since that abomination was birthed. I am not posting chapter 2 unless I get reviews. It's as simple as that. I am not willing to show the piece to a fandom that doesn't care about it, and if they're not reviewing it based on the first chapter being boring and lacking dialogue, then they're going to miss out on the better stuff later on. An upshot of this, however, is that now I can't be bothered to finish the epilogue, which was the final piece of the story and the indulgent, fluffy ending to the angsty narrative - and I was enjoying that epilogue, damn it. I'd forgotten how much E/C fic made my heart hurt in its inherent gorgeousness, and I'd also forgotten how much fun it was to write, even as rusty as I am at it.
Phantom used to be my fallback fandom, which welcomed me back with open arms no matter how long I was away. Now I feel like a stranger in my own home. It's an oddly disconcerting feeling, and makes me hate the fact that fandoms - especially movie or musical fandoms, which have a 'static' base (as opposed to TV shows which are more ongoing) - are so fluid and fast-moving. If you stand still for too long that current will flow along without you, and you need to be strong enough to hold on if you want to go with it.
As I said on Twitter, FFS, self, you're 30 years old and it's a bloody fanfic, get the hell over it. I think I need a capping point at which I give up and remove the story entirely and pretend it never existed. Fanfiction has always been, to a certain extent, about wish-fulfilment and filling in the blanks, and for quite some time it was purely for my own entertainment - but then I discovered that addictive, ridiculous world of reviews and feedback, and sharing it with others became almost more important than the satisfaction of finishing it. If there's no response, then there's no point. I do not want to be a lone voice howling at the moon, especially in a fandom I thought would always be there for me.
And, you know, I gave up on that dream of being a writer a long time ago when faced with the harsh reality of real life, but that doesn't mean the ideas stop coming. My writing habits are so sporadic that the idea of attempting original work is unthinkable, but writing has always been a catharsis and my immediate reaction to anything fandom-related. If the idea comes, I need to write it, or at least file it away for some future point. Posting stories for larger fandoms and receiving feedback is a temporary rush; fandom is my drug, and like any addictive substance it will eventually destroy you.
I just... I don't even know any more. It's so difficult to maintain any kind of fandom momentum when I'm constantly exhausted and have real life stuff getting in the way, and feeling underappreciated just makes me not want to bother any more. My brain is hotwired for fandom (shipping, fanfiction, analysis, whatever else) no matter what I do, and has been for as long as I can remember, and it isn't like turning off a switch. If something captures my imagination, there's nothing I can do to stop it. For all the joy that comes with fandom, it brings with it associated rage, disappointment and hurt, for any number of reasons, and the older I get, the more difficult it is to be bothered with it.
In other news, my choir is dumb. Our next concert is shaping up to be an epic failure in terms of attendance. It's supposed to celebrate our 90th birthday, so in their infinite wisdom the concert planning group decided (a) to schedule it for 5th November - Bonfire Night - when people will have much better things to be doing involving, y'know, fireworks, and (b) to perform two pieces nobody has heard of. And then they wonder why nobody's buying any tickets. Like the Bach Mass, we are required to attend a certain amount of rehearsals in order to do the concert, and thanks to missing a few this season I'm on the borderline again.
This season is insane, as usual. We have no less than six concerts before January (I'm doing five of them), like Christmas isn't busy enough already. Once again I'm finding the constant pressure to attend and sell tickets to things people don't want to see to be tiring, and once again I'm considering leaving - the changes they keep making "for the better" seem only to make everything more pressured. One of those pre-January concerts is Carmina Burana with the Royal Philharmonic and that's literally the only thing - aside from the Christmas stuff - keeping me there at present, but at this rate I don't think I'm going to have the energy for it, especially as I'm working on 30th December when we're doing said concert. Messiah mid-week is exhausting enough before Christmas.
I'm pretty sure hobbies are not supposed to be this bloody irritating.