Or maybe this post is really about publishing fan fiction? I should write about writing fan fiction, too, and maybe I will at some point, but this post is really about publishing it, and maybe about publishing in general. Ever since I got obsessed with Eureka last fall, I've been writing and posting stories at Fanfiction.net, along with thousands of other people.
Not thousands of people for Eureka, alas -- the most popular fandoms (<--ooh, look, new vocabulary) are Supernatural, Glee, Harry Potter, Twilight. (Momentary digression, Supernatural? I think I saw that show once. But it turns out that its fan-community is obsessed. They've written something like 49,000 stories about their beloved show. I have wondered if they're cheating and writing a lot of one-shot super-short stories just to get their numbers up, but I haven't wondered enough to read a lot of them and find out.)
And back to my point. I've written 9 real stories, ie long stories, and a couple of shorts that are just scenes. It has been really fun. The writing has been amazing -- more on that later, probably -- but the posting has been scarily validating.
Wow, do I have an external locus of validation problem or what? Getting a nice review can make me happy for hours. It's the best drug ever. In the abstract, I shouldn't care. I shouldn't need other people's approval to enjoy writing. And I don't really -- the writing part is fun no matter what. But the approval is so satisfying. Knowing that someone enjoyed what I wrote makes the writing even better. And it isn't that it makes me feel like a better person or that it is validating in the sense that it changes my self-image, but there's something about knowing that I made someone laugh or squeee (<--also new vocab, but I'm pretty sure it's an onomatopoeia) that just brings me joy. It makes me want to write more and more and more. I could use the joy.
(Endoscopy for mom today; colonoscopy on Tuesday. Liver cancer and pancreatic cancer are words that are being bandied about. I like those words even less than suspicious nodule.)