Mific (mific) wrote,

Art vs Writing vs Podfic (fandom has eaten my life)

I had a fic blowout across Christmas, and since then I've been more on an art binge. Podfic for Podbang preceded the writing splurge. 
So I was thinking about how I react differently to them all. I get most caught up in the art, spending hours at the computer sometimes and not noticing while I obsessively work on some detailed piece. It seems to flow more easily once I get the initial idea, and then after it's "finished" there'll be a couple of days of obsessive self-betaing and tweaking of details. I've never used an art beta - I'm pretty crap at organizing betas at all, but especially for art, as I tend to see art as more inherently idiosyncratic and less bound by rules (like grammar and spelling). 
I was thinking that since I enjoy doing the art so much I should do more, but I do still love writing and recording (and let's not even think about RL work, as if my employers knew how much of my energies go into fandom stuff I might not have a job!). 

Writing is much harder. It takes real effort to make myself sit at the computer and write, even when it's going well and I'm on a roll. I have to take tea breaks to jolly myself along, plus my cat demands intermittent opportunities to sit on my face and purr. But I love completing a written work, and it's more challenging in terms of intellectual ideas than the art is (admittedly with my stuff there's some overlap). Maybe it's too much like RL work? I have more inertia to overcome with writing, whatever the reason. 

Podficcing is fun and I love completing works, and recording them, but the editing is a drag. A lot of it is a tribute to the authors I record and hopefully I'm getting better technically although still have a ways to go to be more natural and to need to edit less (laryngitis bouts and years of hayfever mean my breathing is snuffly and needs editing out. Yep, almost every breath unless I use noise reduction to some degree). The other great thing about other people's podfics is that I listen to them while fiddling obsessively with my latest artwork (in the small hours, of course...)

So from the above it might sound like I spend all my time in creative pursuits? But no, I spend almost all of it reading other people's fanfic. (Oh, and RL work, but we won't think about that). Almost no TV but some DVD-watching, less sleep than most (possibly not less sleep than other fans, though). And you know? Fanfic has ruined me for published fiction. It's made me realise that a lot of published fiction is really badly written and just dull. I have a low dullness-tolerance at the best of times I'm afraid. I've tried various books that were recommended and given up on them pretty promptly. "The Thief" series, for example. Yawn. "China Mountain Zhang". Okay but a bit yawn and loads of typos (is ludicrously shocked - what are editors for?).  I have to read it though, so that I can read fanfic from it!. Even well-written books lack the stuff in pretty average fanfic that hooks me in. There's too much UST and no actual sex, or the sex is badly written. And the book contains none of my favorite fandom characters! Plus it's all relentlessly het, and I'm a slash girl these days. These problems are, in the main, not the authors' fault, it's just that I am now addicted to certain fandoms (luckily more than one). The issue of "salience" arises. Non-fanfic plots and characters don't do it for me any more (mostly - I did enjoy re-reading Connie Willis's "The Bellwether"...but I came to it after reading fanfic from it - "The Opposite of Swarb" in Yuletide, marvellous - as I wanted to get the references better. Hmmm). They don't have that salience that pulls me in and lets me ignore minor flaws in the writing if I like the story and characterizations. I need the layers of references to enjoy something now - books with only one layer of meaning just aren't as shiny. I know, I'm shallow, but life's too short to read boring books. 

Anyway, the obvious problem with all this is that I am experiencing only recursive self-referential stimuli so I'm a little worried that I'll miss out on new and exciting fandoms because I don't read novels or watch TV. Still, that's what flists are for, eh? It worked for Inception and BBC Sherlock! Plus I just discovered trinityofone's booklog posts which are excellent for weeding out most books on the list as things with no appeal to me, so they can be ignored without guilt.  (Because they're not fanfiction...*slinks off to read some more*)

Tags: fandom ate my life, meta, thinkypost, writing is hard

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