A friend posted a link to this article on writing on FetLife. The author comments from the perspective of someone who started on FetLife before migrating to another platform. As someone who has moved in the opposite direction, I found I could relate to many of the joys and frustrations expressed in the article- the lure of “popularity,” the background bickering, the invitation to shamelessly overshare, the ability to connect, the superficiality of many interactions, and most importantly the question: “What was any of this actually for?”
A good friend and experienced blogger gave me a good deal of advice when I first started, but the following line stuck with me:
“do you want readers (seriously) or do you want a place to express yourself and maybe over time have a club following in double figures?”
I opted- then and now- for something of a middle ground. I’ve no desire to speak to the masses. I’ve little patience to research the tricks to boost my posts, to decipher bits of science from the magic that makes some posts more popular than others.
That said, I’m not in any way immune from the draw of loves and virtual attention. A post of mine made K&P once- barely and briefly, but it was there. It gave me an undeniable high, but no number of “loves” can compare to an acquaintance pulling me aside at a munch and saying “what you wrote last week really spoke to me”. No number of views can compare to the email saying “I’ve not worked up the nerve to reach out to anyone before, but really want to chat with you”.
To me, a comment is worth a thousand views- or more, depending on the comment. A thoughtful email is worth even more, as is an actual hug, a coffee-chat, a spanking, a play partner, a friend.
Others have different goals, different “exchange rates” in the value of various types of exposure and affection, not to mention the relative value placed on attention and feedback vs. reflection and revision. But, for each of us, how many views, comments, loves are enough, and are these suitable measures or empty distractions? What provides sufficient motivation? What makes posting here, specifically, worthwhile?
For me, it boils down to two distinct but related questions:
* What do I want to accomplish with my writing, and does FetLife a suitable tool to use to achieve those goals?
* What do I want to accomplish with my kink, personally and with the local community, and is FetLife a suitable tool to use to achieve those goals?
I’m still undecided, but for now FetLife provides enough amusement and connection to be worth the bouts of frustration.
Besides, it’s easy enough to cross-post elsewhere as well.