These are difficult times. I will admit, I haven’t finished an original, non-fanfic story in something like a year. It’s weird to think about all I’ve done and written in the past year and call it fallow time, but it’s certainly been hard. Part of that is personal, as my husband has been finishing up a program that was brutal and starting a job that is equally hard during a time that has made it about 5x worse. Part of it has been professional. I will admit that Dreamspinner’s financial disaster and betrayal of its authors is something that has been really hard to deal with. I write a lot of fluffy queer sff romance and erotica, and while it’s been relatively easy to place most of the time, it’s also been something that has brought me the most amount of grief. Presses that have shuttered without paying me. Presses whose shuttering meant there wasn’t a great fit for some of my work. Presses that haven’t shuttered but just decided...not to pay me. Queer romance is...a mess, and feeling like writing in that space is futile because I don’t want to self publish, because I don’t want to be burned yet again, has killed a lot of my enthusiasm about the writing at all. I’ve been poking at fanfic (mostly Suikoden).
And I’ve been reviewing. Reviewing has often been my coping mechanism. I enjoy it, and people seem to enjoy that I do it. Where I’ve never been able to capture that feeling of immediate feedback and positivity in fanfic because I don’t write in popular spaces, reviewing has almost always been a positive for me (at least, once I started doing it on my terms). And at this point I even make a bit of money off it through my Patreon. More than I probably could even doing short fiction (though the rate per word is waaaaaaaay lower). Still, it’s getting paid for basically coping with the world. Win-win.
5000 reviews is a lot. I accomplished the feat in 2060 days. That’s 2.42 reviews a day over the course of over five and half years. I don’t want to say that it’s something no one else has ever done. Likely there are more prolific reviewers out there marginalized or lost. But even so, I do a lot. Those 5000 reviews have had an impact. Have been nominated for awards. Have been widely appreciated and shared. I’m pretty awesome, to toot my own horn. Toot toot.
And that’s about it. I’m here. I’m queer. I’m tired af. But I get to take this moment to point out that, yet again, I have hit a milestone, a goal. There’s really only one more I expect to hit, and that’s to get to 6 years. Next year I’ll be switching things up, so I’m probably not going to get to 6000 reviews, at least not any time soon. But still, 5000 is huge. Thanks for getting here with me. Cheers!