This post pissed me off. This may possibly have been because I read it a few hours after being involved in a head-on collision -- I was going straight through an intersection on a green light; the other driver made a left turn from the other direction, RIGHT INTO MY PATH. I would be all OMG WHAT A MORON but she was injured enough to require a stretcher (not life-threatening though, thank goodness), so I figure she'll remember she's not allowed to go left on a green when there are in fact cars coming from the other way. There were two witnesses who saw the whole thing, and the cops charged her and declared me not at fault (which, I knew, but it's always nice to have it all official-like in case the woman decides to try and blame me for her injuries, yikes). In this frame of mind, the aforementioned post annoyed me to no end. In another frame of mind, it may have been just mildly aggravating. >.>
Dear readers, you don't owe the writers in fandom a motherfucking thing, except, you know, not to be a total douche to them for no reason. Not leaving a comment on a story you read is not, in fact, tantamount to being a total douche.
Not everyone is comfortable engaging the writer. Not everyone should be comfortable engaging the writer. I'm just beyond annoyed by the assumptions these "thou shalt not" type posts make about who they're talking about. Fandom is diverse: it has all sorts of people in it; people who, for the most part, do not think alike. For example, a large proportion of fandom (the largest by far, in fact) lurks. There is nothing wrong with lurking, because people lurk for different reasons. Some people lurk because they're shy. They should not get even finger-wagging for that, let alone admonishments and directives on what they should and shouldn't do in their spare time. Because hi. This is fandom. It is for fun. It should not be a job -- not for the writers, not for the readers.
Comments are amazing -- I love comments. If you want to leave one, then I will be grateful. If you don't want to leave a comment, that is cool too -- I post my fic so people can read it, not so I can get comments on it. I would like comments, obviously, which is why I don't disable them, but when I share my writing, my primary purpose is to give people who are interested in that sort of thing something to read. Not to give them something to comment on. Fiction is for reading. SURPRISE! You can wax poetic all you like about how fandom this and fandom that and fandom is a ~community~ and it's a social space and we're all here for different reasons and YEAH. THAT'S RIGHT. WE ARE. That's the point. We're here for different reasons, and we have different reasons for not wanting to leave comments. Some of those reasons may be ~frivolous~ (like "too lazy" or "I hate the person who wrote the story") but NONE of them are any of your business.
Having written in fandom for a few minutes you eventually learn to understand that only a small percentage of people who click on a story will comment on it. A fic's shelf-life is two days, three tops -- once this period is over, comments will dry up; within a week, usually less, they'll completely stop. This is not ZOMG SO UNFAIR!!!!!1. It is what it is. If you're unable to cope with it, well, hell, tough shit, cupcake. This is how it works in any medium-to-large fandom; only tiny close-knit fandoms are exempt, and sometimes not even they are. Yes, there are sometimes exceptions -- these are outliers. They will never become the norm. If you didn't know this before, you do now. Welcome to online fandom; please don't feed the carnivorous plants.
I admit that if you comment on my story only to praise my icon or engage another person in conversation, I will feel a little bummed, but at the end of the day I am STILL not entitled to a goddamned thing from you. Neither is any other writer, ever. Period. Maybe you don't care about the fandom I wrote in and just thought my icon was awesome. Why shouldn't you be allowed to say so just because it's a ~fic post~? Maybe you were reading comments on the story before reading the story itself and realised that it was not your cup of tea based on those comments, but saw something a person said that you wanted to remark on. If it's a public post and you're not breaking the ground rules of the journal or being a total douche, I say do what you like. If a writer is going to be so upset by an "icon love" comment on a fic as to feel personally slighted, maybe she needs to re-examine her priorities.
I think it was the smug condescension of point #4 in that post that made me go all kerplodey. "I've never actually talked with one, but I guess they exist?" LOL NO. We've been through this. If you as a writer don't wish to receive criticism on your publicly posted works, it's on you to say so upfront. The stigma of "if the writer doesn't want crit, the story must be bad" has been repeatedly shown to be factually wrong in multiple discussions across fandoms; insisting that "that's what people think" is stupid, because they don't. They really don't, unless your request for no concrit is douchey to begin with. What some people think gets a lot of attention because they're vocal about it, but that doesn't mean they represent the majority opinion (and no, I'm not exempt from this, either). You all know the one about squeaky wheels, I'm sure. *squeaks*
If you want people who visit your journal to play by your rules, establish those rules at the outset. Make a backdated post in your journal that outlines what you do and don't consider appropriate. Direct people to it from time to time, or include a link to it in your sidebar. Put the ground rules in your profile. Attach them to every post if you're really paranoid. Do something. If you want something that you aren't entitled as part of your basic rights as a human being, you need to ask for it. If someone inadvertently (or purposefully) disrespects your race or culture or gender, they're wrong; no questions, and no ground rules necessary. If someone thusly disrespects your views on