I’ve got a better idea.
You can stop shaming ambition, self-promotion, attention-seeking, and the desire to be loved and to have your work matter.
You can stop, because the entire idea that it is bad to want to matter, that it is bad to want to succeed, to be recognized, to be seen, heard, supported, to have influence and desire and ambition and to push your work at the public and say Love It Love Me is to be somehow lacking in virtue is a cornerstone of a culture of silencing and oppression that has hurt uncountable people and continues to do so. It says that to “be good” is to sit down, to shut up, to accept pain, to quietly do your thing in your corner and just trust that if you’re “good enough”, serendipity will come along and hand you success and love and recognition in whatever form it deems appropriate, and you will be - quietly - grateful with what it allots you. It says that you can’t want unless you are the “right” kind of person and then again, you have to want passively only…unless you’re a white cishet wealthy conventionally handsome abled neurotypical American conservative alpha male and then it’s still ok, because it’s not wanting, it’s taking what’s rightfully yours anyway.
You can stop, because telling people they should be ashamed of wanting to matter, ashamed of loving themselves and their work openly, and ashamed of wanting attention unless they are people you like and approve of is a display of far more arrogance, aggression, and stepping on others than I could have if I did nothing on this blog ever but talk about how much I want people to read my stories and look at my art and consider my meta. You do not get to decide what I’m “worth,” only if you want to consume what I offer.
It’s insidious, it’s toxic, it’s dehumanizing, and it eats people alive by telling them that an invisible, intangible “they” has the right to decide when and if and how they are deemed worth being, loving, doing, feeling, saying. It says that you must never be the square peg or the squeaky wheel, never cause a fuss, rock the boat, try to change your stars.
Deliberately harming other people to get what you want, for attention, or to try to succeed is wrong, but I’m not stepping on anyone. Spreading and promoting things that are deliberately harmful (like, oh, attention-shaming) is wrong, but my stories and my art and my existence and my meta hurt no one, and if they annoy you or you dislike them, you can easily avoid them. This is my space. This is my forum. People can choose to come here and hear me or not. But in my space and my forum, I have every right to say “I’m here! I’m flawed and I’ve fucked up but I’m still trying and this is my thing I have made and I love it and I love myself and I want it to succeed and I want to succeed and I want you to love it and love me too!”
And I will.
Because there is never anything indecent in wanting to matter.
This awesome post by Andythanfiction is exactly why I have no patience for anons who get annoyed with me as a person for my self-promotion/ask obsession/attention-seeking.
Obviously I’m seeking freaking attention, otherwise these comics would stay in the tiny little tardis-shaped folder on my desktop labeled “comics” and I wouldn’t be posting them on a blog on freaking TUMBLR.
Obviously I self-promote. I want this to turn into something, like a job writing Supernatural graphic novels or something I can put as a publishing credit in a query letter. To do that I need followers, or no one will take it seriously. Numbers matter. So I put little ads in the SuperWhoLock tag every now and then and it HAS helped people find the comic. I’m not just going to sit here twiddling my thumbs and whistling humbly and saying “Well gee, I hope people stumble across my cute little blog, that sure would be swell!” I’m creating something kind of awesome here. And I want people to know and read it and talk to me about it. Sue me.
And I try to answer all my asks because I’m not in a great place in life and my askers make me feel better. And I don’t mean in a pat-myself-on-the-back sort of way, I mean strength-to-get-up-in-the-morning-and-keep-trucking kind of way. And if you think that’s an exaggeration, you’ve obviously never been a virtually unemployed recent grad in New York City. If someone takes the time to send me an ask and it gives me that strength, I want them to know that it matters to me.
So I’ll do my best to budget my asks and pay attention to how often I’m posting, because I get it. I do. I also have a dash. I know how these things work. But I will NOT apologize for answering asks, accepting praise, and being proud of what I’ve created.
Posted on Tuesday, 5 March
Tagged as: no shame I do what I want tumblr culture fandom problems andythanfiction
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