Writing When Depressed, Fandom When Lonely

I could probably do an entire series of vents about how the struggle of writing when faced with some issue or another. But seeing as I'm really fighting my depression right now - and feeling lonely on top of it - that's what I feel the need to just vent a little about.

I've dealt with depression since my teenage years and for as long as I can remember being a writer it has had an effect on me. On numerous occasions my depression has caused me to:

  1. Withdraw, and it makes no distinction between real life and fandom life.

  2. Lose interest - actually its more like losing the energy it takes to take an active interest in the things I like thus while I may want to write something super badly each and every word is like pulling teeth or it's hard to find the time when you just want to sleep all the hours you're not already committed to being a responsible, functioning human being (and even the quality of life on that end is usually lacking for me)

  3. Get easily frustrated with fandom and/or what I'm writing (fandom works or original) so that it makes it seem like too much of a hassle to continue or I genuinely just don't enjoy it because I'm so focused on what bothers me as opposed to searching out the things that don't

  4. Abandon things

And of course all of that compounds the negative feelings that already exist when one is depressed. Since obviously it's miserable to watch the things you enjoy slip away or to think about all the things you want to finish but are afraid you won't (say nothing of disappointing others; not that that's not part of it, but it's just as much about disappointing myself because I'm just as invested if not more so).

That's where I've been for the past couple of months. Although I've made myself post stuff, the feeling is still there and it feels like it's just been getting progressively worse. I wish I could just make it stop, but obviously wishing is of no help in making it go away so I'm stuck writing even when it takes every last ounce from me (I'm stuck doing a lot of things when it takes every last ounce from me, if I'm being honest). I'm stuck trying to remind myself on a regular basis that I want to finish this, or I really do like this idea and want to see where it goes dammit, etc.

Then there's the feelings of loneliness. I don't always get these feelings, but sometimes they rear their head when I'm really low. When it comes to writing or fandom it often manifests in feeling like while I contribute to my favorite fandoms I'm not an active participant. I don't know how that makes sense, but best I can explain it is when you see people on Tumblr or Deviantart or even here on LJ reading each others stuff and making cute art for one another or cheerleading each other or just talking about their ideas back and forth and forming what seems like internet friendships. Like when you see a fic and in the author notes the person is like "I want to thank a, b, c, and d for getting me through this part and this part and for creating this for me or for doing such and such for me." I haven't been that far into fandom in a long time... so far in that I actually actively converse with people and talk about our ideas with them or beta for/have betas or create stuff in general with...

But even then most of my time spent in fandom (and hell even growing up with irl friends) I've probably at least 98% of the time been the giver and very very very rarely the receiver. I have a million and one theories as to why this may be, and a lot of those theories place the blame roughly in my court, but it doesn't stop the longing I often get when I'm depressed plus lonely like this for people who would just random gift me with something or you know, just actually want to talk to me about what I'm into (like how people go into each others inboxes and share cute little drabbles or story ideas or 'I was just thinking about such and such' type stuff). I so often feel like nobody (not saying this is true, just that it's so infrequent that it feels that way) ever ever goes out of their way to just want me to be okay and to take care of me (in real life included with people who are supposed to be there for me, but only seem to want me to be there for them) and I know that this is 100% the reason why I have such a thing for receiving!Bruce or fics featuring some kind of Bruce!whump where this character who is physically capable of becoming the strongest there is gets taken care of and paid attention to because he damn well deserves it even if he never asks for it (and yes maybe I have some of the same prickly standoffish tendencies he does and in real life people don't act the way those fics idealize Tony/others).

But speaking of standoffish tendencies, this really is the crux of the issue. I don't go deep into fandom and seek out those relationships anymore that could possibly lead to that sort of thing because, well, I've just been hurt too many times and the trade off doesn't feel worth it no matter what my feelings tell me during my low points. So just because I feel this extreme loneliness right now or longing for that kind of thing doesn't mean I actually WANT to go looking for that - in fandom or in real life. And I know that I'm not in any position to be looking for that right now anyhow. Becuase just because I want to have friendships and ideally ones where I receive things too, I don't expect to never give in return and I worry that I just don't have a lot of myself to give right now. Relationships, even on the internet, take work and time and energy and understanding and so on. I just don't know if I can do that.

(I think the moral of the story is all of my fandom life problems would be solved if I could just draw myself stuff or just wrote whatever the hell I feel like at any time as gifts to me instead of worrying about works in progress, self-imposed deadlines, what others will think of where my stories are going/doing, etc. lol.)

Also, this was all to whine and vent and get some of the feelings off my chest. To be a little petulant and immature. Becuase when I write them out I'm usually like: Well, gee, self, is this what's got you bent out of shape? Really? Don't you see how silly this sounds when you put it all out there? Calm down a bit. It's not that dramatic.

Which is why I don't plan on publishing it anywhere more public like my Tumblr- I don't want to risk pity responses that would make me feel gross like I'm just whining to get something. I'm not. I literally don't ever expect anything. Ever. The majority of my feelings of "I deserve good things" usually end up getting projected onto characters I identify with or even channeled through friends by give-give-giving so they don't have to struggle with what I do. So maybe I wouldn't even know how to receive even if it's what I crave. But I'll stop this conversation before it starts to derail down another rabbit hole. The point is, and maybe it's unhealthy and part of the problem, I might want things (for myself from myself and from others), but I do not feel any sense of entitlement to them. On the contrary I usually don't feel entitled to the space I occupy a good amount of time, but that's another story. (and, sigh, no self not another reason for you to try and write that teen au with Bruce suffering from body dysmorphic disorder or that other au idea of Bruce suffering from factitious disorder good grief just stop brain you don't have to have a million ideas, just go to sleep a bit.)

AO3 Update as of 9/26/16

It's been a little overa month since my last update. A run down of accomplishments since then for my own encouragement:

1. Forged With Blood, Forged With Fire gave me hell, but it's finished! And I'm still in awe of the feedback on it.

2. Updated Mr. & Mr. Stark! (Extremely sad about Brangelina right now though.)

3. Added an entry to the Lucky Thirteen series, a ficlet that's been in the works for a couple of months.

4. Challenge completed! Since my last update I've managed to do my friend's write, don't worry, publish challenge and it ended up being my "a High School Musical inspired AU that maybe some weird people like me would want" idea.

5. Updated Arrhythmia!

Now I just have 13 comments in my inbox to get to...

Now for what I'm working on, goals, and ideas.

  • Arrhythmia - THEY KISSED THEY FINALLY KISSED! Okay that's my joking, immature way of saying that I finally got over the hurdle of writing the scene that would sort of define the dynamic of Bruce and Tony's relationship from that point of the story until the climax, and then of course also effect the resolution. Now I feel like I can breathe easy for a little bit and move on to the next major development issues leading up to the climax and resolution. Since I've been writing a lot on this one and making it my priority my hope is to have it finished by the end of October. I'd like to have it done before the start of the holiday season since goodness knows that's where all of my attention goes in terms of writing.

  • I've written some of the next chapter of Mr. & Mr. Stark and while I may update it one more time before the end of this month or the start of next month, it may just as easily be on the back burner while I focus on Arrhythmia.

  • I'm shooting for a major installment to Lucky Thirteen on the one year anniversary so that gives me about a month and a half.

  • I'm shooting for wrapping up the Bear Banner-Stark series in October.

  • With Halloween coming it's a pipe dream type goal to have a 10,000ish word Just Like Heaven inspired AU finished. (It's sitting at about 2000 words at the moment).

  • I have a few dadficlet ideas including one with them taking their kids shopping for costumes, one with them dealing with a teenager, one with the other Avengers de-aged literally because I haven't played with that trope yet.

  • And last but not least, in addition to all of the other ideas dancing in my head at all times, I am going to get back to S for Stark, Not Santa since holidays are coming and I don't want to rush when they do.

BUT that leads me to an off topic point regarding how pop culture can effect fanfiction. I'm not writing that fic in succession so some later stuff has already been written. At one point in S For Stark there is a scene in which Tony is speaking to Charles at a food court while he's there Christmas shopping with his family. Here's an exceprt of that scene:

"Charles, thank goodness I found you," Tony says when he comes up to the telepath at a table amidst a loud food court. "I know you're on vacation for the rest of the year, but—"

Charles holds up a finger and turns around quickly in his chair. Tony scrunches his face and follows the man's gaze to see a young boy and girl pulling a toy back and forth as they stand in a long food line. Charles moves that finger to his temple and the older redhead standing right in front of them turns to look at him and then down to the boy and girl. She clearly chastises them and then takes the toy from them before pointing at Charles. The kids come over with slumped shoulders.

Charles chuckles. "Sorry, darlings," he says as they both plop down into empty chairs. "But you weren't behaving like you promised."

"He started it," the girl says petulantly.

"Did not!"

"Ah, now, none of that. I need to speak with Mr. Stark." Charles looks back at him then. The kids look up at him as well and when Tony smiles at them their eyes widen and they glance at each other before sitting as straight as possible. Charles chuckles. "Well, then. Maybe we should invite you to move in with us. We have plenty of empty rooms, you know."

"You won't if you and Angelina still plan on adopting every kid between here and Westchester," Tony says with a shake of his head, still smiling.

"Actually I'm Angelina, thank you very much," Charles clips as if it's a matter in need of clarification.
So what does one do when you make a pop culture reference in piece that has yet to be published that becomes irrelevant before it's published? Especialy in a sensitive case like this where the reference is a real life couple now going through real life drama where the kids may have actually been in danger? Obviously it's a rhetorical question as sensibly speaking, one just deletes and reworks it. It's obviously not a necessary joke. But I think the interesting thing about it and why I'm discussing it at all is how pop culture effects writing in general. Obviously we can't ignore pop culture altogether so the argument that good stories, films, etc. don't contain pop culture references is ridiculous. On the other hand if we rely a lot on pop culture do we run the risk of dating things and making the work seem irrelevant? And especially when an author no matter the medium is working on something and culture changes faster than publication/release, is it risky to use many pop culture references in that case since it could lead to things like this? Had I published this fic last year, it would have been a sad, dated comment in retrospective readings. If I were to publish it tomorrow as is, it would be in bad taste. What if all of the Brangelina trouble turns out to be less extreme as it started come December (when this fic takes place) and our culture has shifted its views again? What if the trouble escalates and it gets worse? This is one of those unique, hard to predict, things about being a creator any sort of art that I wonder if there is even a right answer.

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Every time I have to put myself out there in a reply, etc. I feel so drained and it always negatively affects my writing.

So of course the timing of it this time around is impeccable. I'm in the middle of finishing up my roommate's, Don't Think Just Write challenge where I try to write a multiple chapter story based on the crackiest idea I have on hand and feel inclined to just start writing and see where it goes and there's three chapters left and probably about 9,000 words the way it's going and the set up of the story so everything in my head right now is screaming over loudspeakers right next to my ears:


Because I know what I'm writing is objectively awful even as I write it, even as I subjectively enjoy the awfulness of it in my own weird way, because you know, when I don't think about things, my imagination tends to think it's permanently on acid or something. And I'm a little insecure at the moment that I shouldn't be wasting my time and that I should be focusing my efforts on finishing other things, and writing those things as well as I can. I don't know. I just, I wish my headpace wasn't such a downer. Maybe that's why it runs amok on acid when I let it go (I feel like there might be a Frozen reference in there somewhere if you squint), because it's so happy to be free it goes to the opposite extreme and lets me and everyone else know how strange I wish I could be openly... or something.

I think what I wish I could escape the most in all of this, what really holds me back, is the extreme feeling of inadequacy I carry around with me 24/7. Then maybe I could understand a little bit better how to respond appropriately or how to be me without feeling like everyone in the world is out to invalidate me when I am being me. I feel like somebody somewhere programmed my brain to believe that everyone is out to get me and the world and everyone in it can never ever be trusted. Ironically, I've tested above average on the theoretical empath scale so I don't know what that means. You'd think I would know better then, unless because I was in such a negative and toxic environment as a kid that all I internalized or ever felt from others was that negativity. Where's Charles Xavier when I need him?

Book Rec Request

x-posted from Tumblr.

With fall coming, I want to finds some new books to read.

So do any of my followers have any good/fave book recs published within the past 5 or so years? Preferably LGBT since I have a plethora of het books I still haven’t dented and could use more non-het recs.

Also preferably romance, even - or especially - cheesy romance. Basically, for those who have read my fics, that’s pretty much my preferred reading material too (lighthearted, domestic, sap, leans more toward vanilla than hardcore explicit or kinky, etc.). Not to say I mind if the romance books get, idk, steamy? Is that how we still describe romance novels these days? Erotic? Idk I’m so out of the loop with terminology. Lol. But I like soft, and/or cheesy, romance that I can just curl up in front of a fire and read and escape in, you know?

I’m also cool with other genres, or books that have a LGBT protagonist and romance isn’t the main focus. I’m not really fond of YA, but not pretentiously speaking (I mean kudos to the writers who genuinely love and want to foster the YA market regardless of the dirty term YA has become thanks to editors, and some writers, trying to capitalize on it). I just usually don’t typically make a connection with teenage characters in books (but do in film/television which is odd), but I’m always willing to give interesting sounding books a chance even with YA so feel free to rec it anyways if you love it!

Anyways, if you have a rec, thanks! I’ll look into it.

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I wrote 2200 words of Forged With Blood, Forged With Fire yesterday. That's usually how much I write in one hour, I believe my max one time was writing 8000ish words in a little over an hour (do not recommend by the way), but this was 2200 words over the course of about 4 hours so believe me when I say it felt tedious and I had to keep telling myself to just write, let it happen, even if I don't like the result or decide the plot needs to be tweaked here or there accordingly later on.

Those 2200 tedious words were necessary and I'm glad I made myself muscle through them. Because now my juices for this fic are flowing more clearly, I can see the end nearing, and I have the motivation to get there one way or another rather than just putting it off until inspiration strikes.

In addition to yesterday's word count I've spent time brainstorming and outlining a way to get from where I'm currently at in the story to the end, even ended up coming up with a new bridgework (or filler lol) scene that I adore and would have been sad had the fic not had it, and have started writing some more today with a similar goal of at least 1500 words, but hopefully closer to 2000.

So I'm feeling good about it! I mean, not good. It's still convoluted as all get out and while I love bits and pieces of this new chapter and can't wait to get it finished for that reason, I'm still me and still 'meh' about most of my works when I get to this stage of the writing process. I just want it done and off my back and out there for the masses to do what they will with it for better or worse. In my head it's always for worse, but I don't know if that'll ever be helped.

I'm crossing my fingers that I can get it finished, edited and uploaded by the end of this weekend.

Hulk Is Where The Heart Is Picspam

So this post originally had commentary and I was working on it for about five hours off and on, but then LJ ate it or something so now here's just a bunch of random screencaps from Iron Man Issues 131-133 (which I call "Hulk Is Where The Heart Is" as that's the name of Issue 131). I have way more caps than this - and I might just post the whole three arcs at some point here and/or on Tumblr. But these are the ones I went with for now. Also got some icons I made at the bottom.

Just as a foreword since I'm not doing commentary, this arc is one of my most favorite of all time. It was and still is a formative arc for how I personally interpret this ship, the dynamic, and the characters individually. And for anyone following Arrhythmia, there's a few shoutouts to elements from these issues.

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I just remembered why I stopped posting entries here back in the day. The autosaved/draft fuction is abysmal. I just lost a very long post with pictures and commentary that I was working on for about 5 hrs on and off. This is off to a lovely start <_> My problem is I'm quite long-winded and can't devote a huge chunk of time to one post at once, or even always twice.
AO3 Profile Pic

AO3 Update as of 8/17/16

I've been in a weird writing slump. In that I want to work on really random or new things as opposed to the things that I really, really want to finish. I'm not sure how I should go about it. Currently I've not been fighting where the creative juice is flowing, but at the same time I hate the idea of being a fic-abandoner or someone who leaves everyone waiting a million years because she starts more fics than she can possibly finish. I've also tried not writing anything for a week, but that may have led to my random inspirations now? Haha, I don't know.

  • Forged With Blood Forged With Fire is giving me hell. I really want to finish this because I think not having it finished is beginning to stress me out. I want it finished so much to the point that I'm thinking the end quality will end up being a mess because I just want the monkey off my back and to stop looking at it, thinking about it, etc. Of course, there's always that underlying added stress - but if you push out a sucky quality final part people will harass you. There's really no winning haha. The thing in particular about this fic is I'm at the climax right now and I suck at climaxes, particularly of the action-y kind. I know what I want to happen, but the making it happen is the pain.

  • Arrhythmia is my darling right now and I want it to be perfect. I'm currently writing chapter 10, but chapter 10 is a chapter where things need to start happening in a careful order to develop well toward the climax and resolution. In other words, I fail at writing because the characters aren't behaving. Essentially I just need Tony and Bruce to make out in this chapter and get it over with so I can get on with everything else.

  • I feel like I haven't played in the Yours. Mine. Ours. verse in so long and it makes me sad. And I regularly get comments and requests for more in this verse. Trust me I want to give so much to this verse. I really do. I want readers to know every little detail. Tentative plot bunnies include: a proposal fic, a siblings-centric fic so we can see how they have progressed in their consideration of one another as brothers and sisters, a short ficlet with Steve on medicine, a fic with all the girls in the fic having girl power trip with maybe Pepper and Jen, multichapter sequel called Luckier Thirteen possibly with the wedding as the main backdrop among other stuff, flashback ficlets to Bruce ‘collecting’ his kids, maybe some Tony/Maya and their kids flashback stuff, Steve/Sam fight fic, a disastrous second Christmas ficlet, some flash forward fics (but that thought makes me cry because I just want them to stay in their happy little bubble and not grow up and leave the bigass nest), and a recent request for some of the dad-kid one on one time (or 'dad dates') implied at the end of Lucky Thirteen. Phew.

  • Wrote a little of the next entry in Gluten Free Waffles, which is another monkey I'd like to get off my back.

  • Have some ideas for the My Universe Will Never Be The Same prompt, but the last entry has got me writing bits and pieces of a freaking kinda steampunk space au and I'm pressed about it because that was never even on my radar and now it is. Sigh.

  • S is for Stark, Not Santa isn't on the front burner since Christmas is still a while away. But it will also be here in no time.

  • Some of the random ideas that have possessed me as mentioned above include: a Pixar's Cars inspired AU that nobody wants, a Just Like Heaven inspired fic that people probably would want, a High School Musical inspired AU that maybe some weird people like me would want, and identity porn AU I would probably butcher (with Romanogers as the secondary pairing because I'm feeling the love for them lately in the face of all the hate against them/the pairing's fans), another Romanogers pairing ficlet alongside science boyfriends with Tony and Steve teaming up to 'break up' Bruce and Natasha who aren't actually together they're just jealous idiots ficlet - or something to that effect, a few fairytale aus, a Tony falls in love with the pizza boy ficlet, a and last but not least a gothicy fic where Bruce lets an old Victorian house and finds out that a heartless, ageless man resides there in the shadows. MY BRAIN NEEDS TO STOP ESSENTIALLY.

  • I'd also like to get back to Mr. & Mrs. Stark at some point. Or Iron Mutant.

  • I'm still contemplating wrapping up the Bear series with one more chapter in Genius’ Guide and a One Year Anniversary fic. Not sure yet. While the ambitious and sentimental sides of me would love to keep building that world, and yes finally give them a kid or two for Bear to play with, I don’t know if that would ruin the overall series, if anybody would want that, or if I’d even have time to keep expanding the world. I may not mark it as complete just in case, but I will at least add those two more entries so it feels complete should I not get around to more.

I think that's about it for now. As if it's not enough.