Okay, first blog post! I figured I'd get some news out there about what I'm working on.
I've gotten about 15% of the way through "A New Harmony" chapter 3, but progress is slow. This was my first fanfic, and it got accepted over at Equestria Daily with very little revision. Then it got ripped over there, starting a little above 4 stars, bottoming out around 2.5, and finally settling around 3.1. As my first story, I didn't know the conventions about what tags to put on stories, and labeled it comedy since I sprinkled humor liberally throughout, even though the plot itself isn't funny. I got bombed by a lot of people who expected a funny story and didn't get one. Plus, from what I hear, there's some reflexive bombing that goes on over Dark as well. Ok, lesson learned, but apparently over at EqD, tags get set in stone. They wouldn't remove the comedy tag or update the character list when I added chapter 2. In short, that whole experience has really sapped my enthusiasm for writing this story. I promise I will finish, but it may be a little slow.
As a precaution against this happening again, I've basically decided to adopt the practice of finishing an entire story before posting any of it, then releasing a chapter every 2 weeks or so. In addition to continuing "A New Harmony," I've finished 2 (of probably 5) chapters of a Slice of Life story about Twilight Sparkle; I'm about 10% of the way through chapter 3 of a shipfic; I'm nearly halfway through a one-shot sci-fi crossover that may develop into a series; I've got the plot planned for a one-shot side-story to "My Funny Sister," and would like to write a sequel if I get an idea worthy of it; and I've got basic ideas for another crossover and another sadfic.
That said, I am sometimes dismayed at the way many people vote on stories, as it doesn't seem to push everyone toward better literature. Oddly enough, IMO, it's even worse over at EqD. *gets on soapbox*
When I vote, I consider 3 things: quality of premise/plot, writing style, and grammar/spelling, in that order. I don't believe it's fair to vote down a story because it doesn't suit my tastes, so if it meets my 3 criteria (well-written, believable, mechanically correct), I'm willing to give it a good rating, even if I didn't like it per se. I will not vote down a story if I wasn't drawn in by the description. If I decide to read it anyway, by rating, recommendation, etc., I will vote positively if I am pleasantly surprised, but will not vote it down if I don't like it, since it's not fair to the author for me to put myself into a situation where I should have known I wouldn't like it. In that case, my vote is in the form of refusing to increase the story's view count. I will only vote down a story if I think I should have liked it, but didn't, and again, even then there would have to be significant problems in style, plot, or mechanics for me to justify it as other than a difference in taste.
I'm just tired of seeing authors who are obviously talented get trashed because their stories don't have wide appeal, and other authors who rate a 4.9 even though the plot is incredibly simplistic and there are 2-3 mechanical errors per sentence, just because it's about a popular shipfic coupling, or focuses on everyone's favorite character. Just my two cents' worth.