To my fellow authors; how dependent are you on interaction/feedback to continue writing stories?

As someone who has written a few stories here, I love seeing comments and feedback on my stuff, and it honestly keeps me going. I was curious about how dependent others were on this stuff! I’m not sure how motivated I would be to keep writing stories if it was crickets. I like to know that other people find my stories just as hot as I find them.

Is this a normal occurrence, or do you guys write stories no matter if they get comments or not?

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Sounds perfectly normal to me. I’m pretty new to submitting stories here, but the reader engagement is a key motivator to keep trying. I decided to start writing for myself, as a creative outlet, but finding out that other people enjoyed my stuff got me to continue.

I’ve been going through a dry spell where all my ideas seem like bad ones, and I haven’t wanted to publish anything I’ve been working on, mainly because I want to get that positive feedback and know that others are having a good time with my work. I’m hopeful that I may currently be breaking out of that dry spell.

I kinda wish this man could be an island and not care what others think, but that’s not the way I’m wired. Sure, not every story will push the right buttons for every reader, but hearing that some people enjoy it is very influential. I think I can deal with criticism if it comes my way, but a complete absence of positive feedback would be very demotivating. I continue to try to write because I want others to get a thrill from my stories the way I always have from the stories I’ve read here.

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I have a 50/50 relationship with this and it can be a struggle.

I write partly because I love the act of writing. There are ideas on my head that I need to get out on paper, to see realised. And ultimately I want to make quality art, I want to make something that is meaningful, thoughtful, well-crafted, and aesthetically pleasing (see: turns you on and makes you cum).

On the other side of the coin, judging whether I’ve done those things requires, to some extent, audience participation. I see art as communication—it’s a way of getting ideas out there, of working through your thoughts and questions in a way do that others can do the same thing.

What this means is that—while I still deeply desire and want comments, I don’t feel like I lose worth as a writer and I don’t “not feel good” about my writing. Instead I feel… like I’m missing a part of the art experience and that my art is incomplete. Which still sucks, but it’s much less enervating than feeling like “I didn’t get comments, so I feel invalidated as an author”. I dunno, it’s weirdly subtle.

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There’s a mix, as I wound imagine there is for almost everyone, and unpicking it would require a lot more self reflection than I’m really looking to do right now. I know that feedback and comments (much more so than ratings) have been of pretty significant influence in my writing.

At the very least comments and messages have seen some stories change from a one-shot to a multi-part, and even comments on older stories have given me the motivation to work on a sequel chapter a long time after the fact.

So I guess in that sense yes. At least a part of my writing is dependent on feedback and comments, in that some of it wouldn’t exist without it.

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I finish my current story no matter what. The narratives are always stuck in my head until I put them to paper, so I want to write regardless of feedback.

However, I think I write faster when the feedback is good. Not just positive ratings, but engagement with the story. People saying ‘No! I don’t want this to happen!’ or ‘You should have done this instead!’ isn’t necessarily always positive, but it shows they are interested in the characters and outcome, which feels great. And I love when people guess what’s happening next based on foreshadowing. Makes me feel like I’ve done a good job laying the breadcrumbs.

Unfortunately, the feedback from ratings affects my mood. I try to not let it, but it does and makes me want to step away from the keyboard for a few days when I get bad ratings. Per the Chat Lounge conversation, I should likely care less, since some of those ratings are known trolls.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, constructive negative comments bother me less. In fact, if it is something I can take immediate action on, I am sometimes inspired to write something new just to see if I can improve my skill and take action on the constructive feedback.

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I would rather take 1 negative comment that is honest and engages with the story than 10 positive ratings because at least I gain something out of the comment. The same goes for positive stuff! I just want to know people are actively engaging because that gives me motivation to either get better or keep writing for those who love my work!

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I started on MC Stories where there’s no feedback or rating system unless you choose to display your e-mail. While I did do that, feedback was rare and that was okay with me.

I enjoy the comments and ratings here on GSS, and to some degree I find them motivating, but if for some reason they magically disappeared, it wouldn’t be a huge loss for me. That said, once in a while a comment will spark a new idea or alter an existing one, so there’s that aspect of them to think about as well.

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I probably wouldn’t post anything if there weren’t comments. I spend enough of my creative time essentially talking to myself, so if I don’t feel like anyone is interested in what I’m writing it’s pretty easy for me to just keep it to myself. I don’t really register numbers, so ratings don’t really matter to me–without the interaction of comments, I usually just assume no one is reading seriously. Hypocritical, since I rarely leave comments myself, but there it is.

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I actually find i have nothing to say in a comment once it gets a few chapters in! i dont think i should say “hot!” and call it a day :rofl:

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I will say, one of my most cherished comments on one of my stories was, “holy shit”

Just that, but it’s charmed me ever since. So even a small response can be impactful, for me.

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As a person who’s been writing for a bit, I don’t worry very much about voting or ratings, but I do really care about comments. If I don’t get very many comments, that’s the number one indicator that a series is not worth continuing and I find it very hard to remain motivated to finish it.

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This is gonna sound like a truism, but… it depends.

I’m quite a self-motivated, self-confident guy in terms of the creativity; the work itself; I am uniquely talented/gifted as an expressive creative, and I know it, (the confidence, amirite?)
I have faith in the best of what I do (even if sometimes I’m a bit harsh on myself); creativity and expression is my real-life career, albeit in fields other than writing.

But then saying that, I’m a very nervous outsider socially. I’ve just learned Outsider Syndrome is a thing. It describes me quite well. I can feel lonely quite quickly, or “ousted” easily and I often become unreasonably disturbed and upset by that.

Needed to say that to get to my point;

As a writer, I’m very “it doesn’t matter what the comment section says; you create to express and it doesn’t matter what the commentators do. Have confidence in yourself and tell the story you want to tell in it’s truest form.”

But, I mean, that’s easy for me to say if I already know I’m hot shit in terms of creativity/expression.
Feedback (on the work) doesn’t matter that much to me, but on the other hand, it does matter massively to me if a comment makes me feel interacted with.

So like, really if I think about it, the answer is still “it depends,” but that “it depends” is a massive “it depends”, the size of a castle.

It depends on who you are, what your needs are, what your insecurities are, why you’re writing, what feedback you want, and what interaction you hope to get.

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I started on usenet in alt.sex.stories.gay in 1995. It was before the web was popular. I used an anonymous e-mail address. And I got comments, and it got me going. It was so exciting in these days. I recently found old usenet posts, people asking for reposts of The Game in 1996 that someone else provided.

I write much more than what I publish. It’s my means of fantasizing for myself. So I do not need comments to write. But transforming some story for myself into a finished story for publication requires a lot of effort for me, and having gotten positive feedback helps a lot in motivating me. I don’t want ratings anymore, for the same reasons that were mentioned in this thread: you are just left wondering why you got what you got. I don’t mind short comments, even one word comments. Every comment helps. I change stories sometimes because of comments, constructive criticism helps.

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I would be lying if I said it didn’t affect me. As much as I understand I write for myself and my personal enjoyment (and catharsis), comments, ratings and feedback make me want to write more. I suppose with many of us, it’s like the dopamine hits on social media. Someone validates what you put out to the world and you don’t feel you’re screaming into a void.

As we all know, the longer our stories go and the more chapters in, the lesser the interest. That has been somewhat disheartening but it is what it is. But like many of you have said, every comment and feedback helps and spurs me on :slight_smile:

Short answer to op: Yes unfortunately. Very dependent lol

I write for myself, ideas and stories that I want to read or see. That being said, talking about the stories with another, seeing what parts others liked or enjoyed can and does shape how the story goes, right now I’m sharing and chatting a fair bit to a reader about part of Crossroad Club and of Taming the Seal and I feel it has made the story better.

Because I’ve found the problem with writing stories just for me is that I understand the meaning behind the kink or action and it’s not always as visible or clear to the reader what things mean. So I’m working on that

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I try to write for me, but I feel a lot more inclined to keep going when the writer’s block gets real if people are engaged in what I’m doing. I’ve been trying to be better about rating and commenting on stuff I like, mostly because I know if it was my story, I’d want people to do it for me!

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