To risk arrogance, I consider myself a good writer—heck, writing is what I want to do with my life. It's my blood, my essence. But one of my major failings is that I read too much into people's opinions of me. I suppose I should desensitize myself to non-constructive criticism; after all, it's impossible to please everyone.
But I'm a little shaken right now. I've been getting a lot of favorites of the two Storm Clouds stories recently over on FF.net. I was curious as to the sudden surge of faves, so I wondered if I got mentioned on a blog or something. Just for curiosity's sake I typed in "Pokémon Storm Clouds" into Google to see what came up. The TVTropes page was top, then my FF.net story profiles and individual chapters over here dominated.
But two or three pages back I saw a forum thread with my fic as its title. "Oh!" I thought. "This must be it!" I logged in to see that it was apparently a site or board or whatever dedicated to fanfiction recommendations and reviews. The thread poster had typed in the original Storm Clouds and left a score of 4.5/5, along with some praise. Now, I saw that this was posted back in summer of 2010, right after I finished the original Storm Clouds; whatever is responsible for my sudden surge in popularity, that thread couldn't be it. Still, I saw a few people had commented, so I looked ahead.
I shouldn't have. Everyone else was critical of my writing style and my plot; they said I wrote amateurishly (which is completely true regarding the first Storm Clouds and even the beginning of the second—I suppose I just wish they had said it more nicely) and accused me of cliché and shoddy character building. The nicest thing said about me was that the second half of Storm Clouds was marginally less atrocious than the first half. They even managed to get the original poster to withdraw his glowing review and shoot some negatives my way.
But worst of all was the final poster. He said he wrote better as a seven-year-old; that my story deserved a score of 0/5; that this was a self-insert of "the lowest caliber."
It's odd; all this drama happened more than three years ago on an obscure site, and only a handful of people had anything to say. Heck, the glowing comments on Storm Clouds' final chapter probably outnumber the posts on that thread 15 to 1. And yet I can't get past it—that final post especially.
I'll grant the writing needed improvement, but a self-insert? Missy is the main character! Did he think I was a non-gaming teen girl? Or did he mean Dan? Ignoring the fact that Dan is the supporting protagonist, his name isn't my name and he isn't similar in personality to me at all. Plus he's hardly perfect; he's a right screw-up who makes loads of mistakes throughout the fic.
What's especially bugging me is that I'm letting this get to me. This was three years ago and the poster obviously didn't read past the second paragraph, yet I'm upset! I recognize how silly it is to be upset over this but I still can't move past it. Do I not have a spine? Is my ego so shriveled that a snide remark that almost no-one will ever see has brought me crashing down like this? I've always had some self-worth problems, but you'd think I could walk past something three years old from someone I've never met!
I dunno...I like to think I've improved as a writer since the days of Storm Clouds, but sometimes I wonder if I'll only ever be a shoddy writer destined for second-rate fame on the loneliest corners of the internet.
Well, enough of this. Thanks for being here for my rant.