I just now got a "review" of a fic I wrote over on fanfiction.net. That's what passes for comments on their horrible system, and I LOVE getting comments on my work. Feedback is one of the reasons why I post this stuff instead of just sitting on it after I finish it. So with hope and anticipation in my heart I went to read my very first comment on my latest Zelda fic... and what did I find? Somebody whining about how I should go finish the third book in a totally different fic I'd been writing. Not a discussion of the fic it was posted on. Not a compliment, nor even a helpful critique, nor even an unhelpful critique! Just a complaint that I wasn't slaving away on what THAT person wanted me to be slaving away on. A comment just like WAY too many I got here a few days ago, in fact. I am getting REALLY fricking sick of them, to be honest.
Look. Try seeing this from my point of view. I basically am saying, "Hey! Here is this thing I worked really hard on. I put in so much effort. It took a long time to do, but it's finally done! And it's for you, free, a gift. Here, have it. I don't want anything in return." What response does this deserve? Well, there are many possible things one could say, but "Geez, what took you so long?" is NOT ONE OF THEM. You ever hear about not looking gift horses in the mouth? It's fricking rude. Quit doing it.
Why do I write this stuff? Because writing it is fun. It pays me zero money. And I don't get much in the way of compliments on it either, if we're being honest here. I am not famous. I get very little attention. That would be okay if half the attention I have gotten lately wasn't people being DICKS about it! I can deal with not being famous,and I can obviously deal with not being paid. What I can't deal with is people who think they are entitled to my hard work just because they want it. You get to feel entitled to my work the day you PAY ME for doing it. As long as you're paying nothing, you are entitled to nothing. (And yes I do literally mean that if somebody were to commission me to finish this thing, I'd finish it. But you'd have to pay me enough to pay for the writing time, and you'd need to pay my editor as well. It wouldn't be cheap.)
I write this stuff because writing is fun, but the more entitled, whiny nonsense I get in response to it the less fun it gets. Capiche?
And in case you think that I'm the only one who feels this way, I could direct you to dozens of other brony creators I've seen say exactly the same, but instead I'll send you to something even better. Neil Gaiman's excellent essay that, by the way, posits that even people who get paid to do this are still allowed to take time, have personal lives,and work on other projects.
Go, click the link, read it. THINK about it. And then stop leaving me comments that make me want to erase my hard drive and never write again.
"Wait. Read the original book again. Read something else. Get on with your life. Hope that the author is writing the book you want to read, and not dying, or something equally as dramatic. And if he paints the house, that's fine.
"And Gareth, in the future, when you see other people complaining that George R.R. Martin has been spotted doing something other than writing the book they are waiting for, explain to them, more politely than I did the first time, the simple and unanswerable truth: George R. R. Martin is not working for you."
Edited to add: I think my muse is insane. Ironically after getting all pissed off and threatening to wipe my hard drive and never write again, the muse has decided to whip out half of Chapter 9 in just a couple of hours. WTF, seriously.