OK. I'm on a right downer this morning. Medication withdrawal combined with a skull cracking headache equals depression on a grand scale.
Anyway. I joined this site called Fanstory. It looked quite my cup of tea. Competitions, reviews of your work, chances to read other peoples work and see how it was rated to judge your own against it.
Today I am not sure.
You see, it promised feedback and reviews and I don't feel I am getting much. Oh I get lots of 5 stars plus 'well written' and 'I love it' comments but, apart from a couple of helpful people, that is it. For example: I write a story and enter it in a competition judged by read vote. I get over 20 reads, 5 reviews of 5 stars, etc., no bad comments, no improvers. But, when voting opens, not a single vote. So, why? What made the other stories better? How can I improve? Is my style wrong?
Then there is the 20 views and overall far less that 50 votes. This is a huge site, why so few votes? Too many contest? Or is it that most people are really only interested in their own works and only review to get the 'money' to promote there own stuff?
Then there is the Committee decided contests. The winner is publish. Okay, not me. Well I didn't really expect it would be, I am very new at this. However, there is no feedback from the judges either. No improvers, no explanation of why the winning poem won and what made it better than the others.
So what do I do to improve? Where do I go from here? Do I bother spending money to enter contests? After all, If I want no responses I can enter national contests and be ignored by professionals!
Then there is the money you have to spend to promote your work. I could be a slap-happy 5 star reviewer, stick 'wonderful, well written, good luck, etc..' and walk away with enough to reach top spot. But that isn't me. I would be lying and also insulting the writer. What is the point of that? It would just devalue the whole thing.
Without spending that money and offering people what amount to bribes, no reviews and no rating.
For example, I spent nearly 15 'members dollars' on promoting this article. Where did this land me?
"You have promoted Where do I go from here?.
"Where do I go from here?" is listed on page 3 at the 71st position of the listing.
At the current position the estimated number of reviews is 1 to 2."
So I Spent $15 dollars to get? Well, nothing actually, since the 'new release' certificate promises 2 reviews....
Yes, I rashly spent money to prove the point.
The worst part for me is that, when I read other works, I see things being given 5 stars and excellent when the rhymes don't and the syllable count is off. So how can I value reviews given to me?
I dare not review anymore. I can't give 5 stars to everything and some of the things I see with 5 or even 6 stars leave me cold. How do I rate them? Have I the right to go against so many people with more experience than me and give a lower rating?
So I am beating myself up. Am I expecting too much? Am I too demanding? Am I just useless and might as well not bother? Am I missing the whole point? Should I give up altogether? Have I got the wrong end of the stick?
So here I sit, one depressed dilettante writer who wants to be more. Has anyone out there got the answer?