• Member Since 28th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen Jul 5th, 2018

Sunchaser


Chase the sun, and it will smile upon you.

More Blog Posts45

Jul
18th
2013

Let's Talk About 'Ever After' · 2:54am Jul 18th, 2013

I've been thinking lately. Those of you who spend any serious amount of time talking to me, or those of you who really dig in when you read my work, may have noticed that this is a habit of mine.

I ponder things. I like to have complete thoughts and ideas that hold up under scrutiny, and this translates in my writing; it's one of the reasons why it's so sparse.

The other main reason, the one that I've been thinking about recently, I'm going to talk about here. So, you know, fair warning, this will probably be an essay. Maybe I'll TL;DR at the bottom, if it ends up so easily summarized.

Or then again, I could do it now, though this version will take some insight to immediately grasp. And it goes like this:

The honeymoon is over.

Those of you who are sagely nodding, well, feel free to skim and comment as you see fit. But as for the rest, I'm going to expound, because that's also something I do.

=== The exposition begins here. ===

So let's talk about the 'ever after' part of happily ever after.

Because how often does that happen? Talking about after ever after? Very rarely, actually, once you think about it. And there's a simple reason for that.

After ever after is when the puppy love fades. The grand romance ends. The fairy tale swept-up-in-it-all falls away, and you're left with a relationship that seemed like the most wonderful idea at the time, but...

Now the glow dims. The rush of initial passion is gone. The roaring flame brought by the initial spark has died down to a quiet warmth, stable and secure and boring.

It's not new anymore. It's not exciting, adventurous. It's not a bold new direction full of potential and dreams.

Now it's work.

Now, to maintain that relationship, you have to commit effort. You have to maintain it with grit, and chores, and sacrifice.

And who wants to talk, or read, about that part? When they can just move onto the next iteration of shiny and new, adventure and exciting romance again?

Once the honeymoon is over, who wants to stay when they can just move onto the next?

Now, this is an important lesson in the grander scheme of one's life. It applies to people and straightforward romances – indeed, it explains quite a bit of why infidelity and divorce are so rampant in the modern world. Because present-day society is in great part hard-wired to instant gratification, to getting that 'high' all the time, and once it goes away who's going to stick around to work when they can just find it again elsewhere?

But it's not just a lesson about romantic relationships. It applies to just about everything.

Hobbies and jobs. Friends, clubs, societies. The neighborhood or city you live in. The church or even religion you belong to, if any. Even nations, if you take a historian's view.

It's easy to commit to something when it's new. It's different, it's exciting, it draws you in.

Then you learn it. You hungrily devour that adventure, that newness, until none remains. And then to remain in that thing isn't shiny anymore. It takes commitment; effort.

And people are, if nothing else, lazy.

But don't be affronted. I'll be the first to admit how lazy I am, because I understand this very idea. To not be lazy takes so much work, and most of the time that work will only amount to a personal sense of accomplishment—the same kind you can get so much faster, and more easily, in myriad other ways.

This is how consumerism operates. Capitalism as a world economy is built on the necessity of the many consuming. If everyone was more work-inclined, more self-sufficient, a whole bunch of business models would come apart.

There's a whole philosophical rant I could get into about that, and some of you (Ghosty, Bradel, for example) have already gotten an idea about my thoughts there, but I'll spare Fimfiction the diatribe (you're welcome).

All of this exposition is just to make the foundation of my point. Which I'll get to now, and a courteous nod to those of you who've read in entirety. My writing may have its flair, but schpeel like this is still a bit of a grind, I know.

So my point is that the honeymoon is over, and now ponies has become work.

My writing of ponies in particular, but even just overall; being a Brony isn't fancy and new anymore. It's not different and exciting. It's work, with its chores; chores like enduring internet ridicule, like was recently posted on Kotaku (and really; pot, kettle anyone?), and having to explain to frightened parents in movie theaters that we like a show, and are not in fact predators after their children (which also has to do with people being lazy, because it takes more effort to educate yourself than to just be afraid all the time).

And that's aside from the internal fandom crises, like the Brony media competitions that have descended into ridiculous slapfights over such silly ideas as businesses needing to, ZOMG!, pay their bills. And conventions going down in flames (LOL, Unicon), or more recently, quietly imploding due to unconstrained idealism tying venues and expenses to budgets padded with sunshine and rainbows (though to be fair, SwAAC did actually have their finances in order via business loans; they just ended up vastly overestimating their attendance, I expect in no small part because Fiesta Equestria had just happened near them and Bronycon is happening shortly, so their timing was kind of balls).

And then we have such contentious, soul-killing problems like corporate sales managers forcing content creators to make blatant mockery of their star series. These would be the emergence of Twilicorn, the Dread Princess risen from Tears of Faust, and her darkspawned grail-quest Equestria Girls. Now, the studio managed to polish the hell out of Twilicorn and EG both, as I knew they would, but when given crap to work with, even the best of talent can only make really shiny crap.

But things certainly haven't gone so bad as to evoke the much-debated 'quitting the fandom' reaction out of me, that's for sure. Personally, I liked much of season 3 (aside from the finale), and I expect to like much of season 4. Yes, Lauren's departure is clearly visible in the progressing show, but even without her it's still leagues beyond most other things produced in today's media, and the rest of the show staff have proven consistently capable even under corporate duress.

Hell, I certainly wouldn't be running off to Bronycon in two weeks with a huge grin if I was displeased.

But the honeymoon's over. For me, perhaps fittingly, said honeymoon was around Canterlot Wedding, and the break before Season 3 following that.

That honeymoon, I was overflowing with creative energy. I wrote stories for the first time in several years – formulaic academic writing in university had literally killed my desire to creatively write, until ponies and ponyfiction forced me to put pen to paper again. After reading things like Eternal, and Composure, and...well, look at my recommended stories—I just couldn't not write anymore.

So I started drafting ideas, and putting down little bits of stories, and eventually, I got the urge to release something.

I didn't want to get tied down to a long-form story that would take me forever to finish (this is where you smirk at the irony), so I started with The View From The Window. As some of you may already know, I wrote and posted the first chapter in one night, with no planning or idea where it would go from there.

And then people read it. Some of them, namely bookplayer, liked it so much they actually commented and told me so.

It was new. Different. Exciting.

So I wrote more. New chapters for View. A terribad comedy lolfic called Rainbow Dash: Alpha Mare. The more serious A Finer Vintage, which completely to my surprise, made the feature box, and introduced many of us here to each other.

I'll plainly admit that I was proud of that, getting featured. Not just for the accomplishment, but in that my story got spread to so many people. Free access to information is one of my ideals, and for my own stories to be made open to more people is something I like on top of the simple fame aspect.

And I kept reading. Finding other authors with good writing – of which there are many, I note with that same sort of pride. And while I was reading Ariamaki's Four of Two, I came upon the one scene which I won't spoil because it's damned good, which is plainly obvious in that I took that idea and wrote my current opus, The Lavender Letter.

That story took on a life of its own. Top feature for days, read (at least in part) by over fifteen thousand people, and star-favorited by thirteen hundred. It has a like ratio of 98.4%. That competes with the highest grades I've ever gotten on anything in my entire life.

It's also, in my own estimation, the best thing I've ever written to date. I'm damned proud of the story itself, alongside how acclaimed it is.

But four days after Letter released, Twilicorn ascended her throne of skulls and blood, and it all came crashing down. Then Fighting is Magic died. Equestria Girls. Massive drama all around.

The honeymoon had most definitely ended, and with it, writing became work.

I still had plenty of ideas. Still have plenty of ideas; 'Destiny' and Other Lies Told to Foals, which I teased the opening of months ago, is about 70% complete. I also have Conversations with Eternity, which is planned as multi-part but starting with Luna, and that part's half done; aside that there's Unhappily Ever After, with Rarity, and just a few days ago I started another story called The Watcher which is going to break new and perhaps-unexpected ground for me as an author (some of you may like it, some of you may not).

And there's at least three other stories in the wings aside from those.

But writing them is work. It's hard, it's time-consuming, and it's taking a lot of effort that it didn't use to.

So why would I put so much time and trouble into that, when I can just move on to other consumer products, like idling my time away in shiny spaceships via EVE Online (thank Bronyville's Chef Sandy for bringing that itch back) or in pretty desert cities in the FFXIV beta (though that's currently in a between-phases debug)? Why not spend my evenings watching Ghost in the Shell again, or an older but absolutely gorgeous anime I was recently introduced to called Legend of the Galactic Heroes?

Those are new (or at least fresh and nostalgic), and so much easier than writing. They aren't work.

So, in large part, I have been spending my time doing those things. I still think up story ideas, and now and then I'll jot things down, but I haven't been writing. Because writing is hard, and I've been lazy.

I'm going to take a moment here to point out that these aren't excuses, but rather explanations (important difference). I'm not expecting understanding and forgiveness and hugboxing. My time being spent this way is entirely my own doing.

And, for that matter, my vomiting forth...1,900 words, so far, about all of this today of all times has its reasoning. I'll present it shortly:

Why would I put time and trouble into ponyfic when there are easier gratifications?

Because I choose to.

And that's what you have to do, once the honeymoon's over.

When it's fresh and new, it draws you in. It makes the choice for you, until you learn it, and that power it holds fades. Then you have to decide to commit; be it to a hobby, job, group, or person.

So I'm committing to this. Because I think it's worth it to put in the effort—not just because I could end up a famous writer in the fandom. But because through that, I'll meet more people like bookplayer, Tchernobog, Ghost of Heraclitus, Bradel, Tayman, Cynewulf, RazedRainbow, and who knows who else besides. Maybe someday I'll have Cold in Gardez, and Varanus, and Cloudy Skies on my skype contact list. And maybe other people I've not even met, who haven't even written anything yet, but could be just as good as any of us.

Because while I write for myself, because I want to read these stories, I do recognize that other people do too. And while I'll never compromise my writing to please a particular crowd (not even my editors; ask them), I will have a lot more reason to keep writing if there are hundreds of other people who want to know that same story, as they can't just peek into my head and see how it ends.

Because I myself started writing after reading other ponyfic, and I don't think it too unreasonable to think that my writing might help to tip someone else over that edge, and more creation is always worth inspiring.

And just because ponies. Because pastel mares have reminded me that humanity isn't as bad off as the US House of Representatives would have me believe, and that there is still good worth pursuing.

That if you chase the sun, it will smile upon you.

=== Those of you who TL;DR'd, kindly pick up here. ===

So I'm going to start chasing again. Those of you who've been so kind as to edit for me, or just talk to me in the first place, thank you, and I'd like to ask your indulgence; crack the whip at me, if I should need it. Because that helps.

And all the rest of you who take the time to read, and to comment—I may not reply to everything, but I do read everything. So if you really want to know how a story goes, feel free to tell me so. Because I take up that wish, and add it to my own, until the weight breaks through the laziness, and I can't not write. That helps, too.

Now, Bronycon is coming up soon, but I have something planned for before that. Something very large. Something that may inspire revisions to Fimfic's story release guidelines.

Expect it to start soon. Possibly in the next few days, but at the very least I want the dust settled and BDAs coming in before I get on my plane, so there is a hard deadline. By all means—nag me. Pester me with your anticipation. Make great expectations, so that I can meet and exceed them, or at the very least strive to that end.

Demand greatness of me, and I'll deliver it. If with just a little self-importance on the side. ^_^


With fondest regards to my readers,
Sunchaser

Report Sunchaser · 809 views ·
Comments ( 25 )

Something that may inspire revisions to Fimfic's story release guidelines.

:trixieshiftright::trixieshiftright::trixieshiftright:

"Something that may inspire revisions to Fimfic's story release guidelines." So, did you drive a story clear through a hole in some policy or the site coding itself? :derpytongue2:

I'm going to be up front with you, but you may not like what I have to say. Lord knows my comment will almost certainly take a great deal of flack.

I'll start by saying that I agree with your basic logical framework - in any relationship, when the novelty is gone,then it becomes work. That much is utterly certain. One thing you failed to mention though is the payoff. In any situation where what you do is monotonous and boring there is still some sort of motivation for you to keep doing it. You get SOME sort of compensation for it (emotional, physical, money, whatever). In this case, what do YOU get out of writing it? Is it really just a simple since of accomplishment?

If so, I have to wonder how long that will last. (I suspect not very)

I also wonder at you're motives. You claim that your MLP honeymoon ended with A Canterlot Wedding, and I could accept that if you hadn't put so much invective behind your criticism of Twilacorn (or EG, but mostly Twilacorn because it came first)

What I mean is this: You don't like Friendship is Magic as it currently exsists. The newness may have worn off after the wedding, but even then there was the underlying love and enjoyment of the series as a whole and a willingness to do the work needed to "be a brony" (I don't know how else to verbalize what I'm trying to say here, I'm sorry.

Now? You actively dislike the show.

EDIT: As to the conventions and the fact that you'll be attending Bronycon: I don't consider that "work" in the same sense as your writing; Bronycon is a "vacation" where you get to hang out with like-minded people - there is no real sense of commitment like there is with a story that you have to write, edit and do all the general sorts of things that keeping up with a story requires
So what's my point? I suspect that you're nearing the end of your actual desire to continue writing pony fics. Be careful with how many pony-related projects you start or advertise as future undertakings - and to be honest, I don't think you should keep this up, since I get the impression that you don't really enjoy doing the work anymore.

1217762
I was worried that this was the case, too, until I finished reading the blog entry.
From what I understand, Sunchaser isn't actively disliking the show but instead is at a point where the effort in writing is now palpable when before it hadn't been. Now Sunchaser must expend a greater measure of effort in remaining a pony author.

So I'm committing to this. Because I think it's worth it to put in the effort -

I take this to mean that, while Sunchaser experiences a bit less blind joy in writing ponies than before, there is enough value in doing so to keep at it.

And just because ponies. Because pastel mares have reminded me that humanity isn't as bad...

Ponies still give Sunchaser hope. This declaration of faith in turn gives me hope. I've read many a disappointing claim of abandoning MLP; it brings me peace to see an author I respect expressing a measure of support for the show and fandom, even keeping faults in mind.

Heh.

These would be the emergence of Twilicorn, the Dread Princess risen from Tears of Faust, and her darkspawned grail-quest Equestria Girls

Edit: I laughed for a solid minute at that, by the way.

I must admit, I don't see the reason to hate Twilicorn. I started watching the show when S1E25 was released. Fanfiction reading came in the lull between seasons one and duex. My headcanon was Twilicorn. Felt good to be right, not gonna lie...

ANYway. I understand. Maybe not to the same degree, but the basic idea is something everyone has dealt with before. I don't think I have the right to crack a whip at you. Hell, I can't bring myself to do it to the one author I do have the right to.

That if you chase the sun, it will smile upon you.

I needed that.

1217762
Of all the potential responses I expected, I certainly didn't foresee something like this.

I'll start with some clarification: when I talk about 'the honeymoon ending' and reference A Canterlot Wedding through the post-season 2 break, that period of time was the 'honeymoon' for me and writing ponyfic. The ending I talk about came with the season 3 finale and the drama that's come about thereafter. The same stretch of time where, relatedly, I've not really been writing much.

As for why I put such fervor into my dislike of Twilicorn, I have many reasons. The fact that it happened because of sales executive orders. That it expressly broke Lauren Faust's explicit story plans for the only alicorns to be Celestia and Luna (Cadence...well, she's not the series' main character.) Because the episode itself suffered considerably from its rushed production and lack of proper time to tell a good story, and because other than the 'hints' in the season open that only really make sense after the fact, it was completely out of left field.

I dislike Twilicorn in great part because I'm a writer, and as a writer I see a whole load of holes in the story. A lot of this same criticism goes toward Equestria Girls, with a side of blatant corporate meddling and stereotypical misogynist design. I would have preferred that ponies not be reduced to such a thing.

Again, as I said above – the show staff are not to blame for these things. They did the best they could with what they were given, and I recognize that. M.A. Larson and Daniel Ingram / Steffan Anderson are to be commended for pulling off as much as they did.

These things do not, however, mean that I "actively dislike the show". If that were the case, I would not have watched season 3, nor be, as I said above, looking forward to season 4.

Rather, my willingness to criticize the show draws from the very fact that I like it as much as I do. If I disliked it, I would be silent because I don't care anymore, or perhaps even be pleased to see it turned into such two-dimensional merchandizing, as a sort of poetic justice for trampling Lauren's original vision or something.

As something of an aside here, because it's a phenomenon I've seen cropping up more and more commonly in the fandom, particularly around critical reception of Twilicorn and Equestria Girls, I'm going to say this plainly:

Criticism does not equal attack, and those who in turn attack the critics for daring say word one against something should think carefully about whether they're truly helping.

Now then, as for the payoff to the work one puts into something—obviously there's that, yes. But what is there of that for writing ponyfic, other than fandom fame and personal adoration, things that I hold to be actively damaging as motivations? If a person writes just for the fame, they will not write well. If they write just for the adoration, they will not write honestly. And I demand both of those things from myself.

As to your contention that I'm "nearing the end of my desire to write", you seem to have missed the entire primary point of the post, which was consciously choosing to do just that after my initial 'honeymoon' desire had gone out. I've chosen now to actively pursue my writing, knowing full well the work involved. Accordingly I'm going to dismiss your recommendation that I stop writing, aside from noting the titanic arrogance you display in making such a statement in the first place.

I mean, I'm a damned good writer, and an experienced editor, mentor, and teacher, and even with those sort of credentials I would still never even think of telling someone to stop and give up their creative endeavour. What right does anyone but me have to make that choice? And who else knows my thoughts and ideals enough to so choose?

So you can "wonder at my motives" all you like, but I really don't understand why you would want to. Since you read this in the first place, I'm assuming you're on my follower list, and if so you must have liked something I wrote? So why would you not want to encourage more of that, particularly when I explicitly ask for just such encouragement?

As for Bronycon, you're right; it is a vacation, and one I'm very much looking forward to, not least because I'm going to get to sit at a table with several of the authors I've gotten to know here writing ponyfic. That is among the reasons, the external motivations as you suggest, that I write ponyfic. Because I've made friends, met colleagues, and as I noted in the post, I aim to meet more.

The basic 'sense of accomplishment' is the least of such considerations, because as you say, it doesn't last long. This is why I've found other things...which I list, at the end of the post.

So...I mean, I'm glad you responded, and put as much consideration in as you did, but you seem to have gotten almost exactly the opposite out of it as I intended.

This isn't me nobly soldiering on in something I think is dying off. This is me recommitting to something I love, with both eyes open.

1217798 Basically this, yes. But rather than it just being a lack of blind joy, it's a conscious commitment to finding new joys, that could well be ever greater, with eyes open.

1217855 Laughing at it was the desired effect. I'd thought that equating her to the Blood God would be sarcastic enough to be obvious >.>;;

And it's not that I despise Twilicorn--it's the way that it was done. Twilicorn as an idea in the series was more or less inevitable, but the S3 finale essentially macguffined Twilight into wings and crown, and did so without ever even asking what she wanted. This is my primary problem with it.

Well...this is a very complicated topic.

I'm certainly glad that you're sticking with it, Sunchaser. I hate to see people go. It takes a certain stubbornness to stick with something after the gloss has worn off, and even more so when things begin getting rocky.

I personally feel that people's growing dissatisfaction with pony is a result of two major factors: the show has changed, and the fandom itself has changed. I became a brony shortly before season 2 aired, and the general feeling among the fans was just different. It was a different kind of fandom back then compared to the others out there, but it didn't last, which was bound to happen, and now, other than the subject matter (a girl's show), the brony fandom isn't really different than any other. By this I mean the general level of bickering and hate and endless, pointless, flame-filled debates, and the like. I'm not judging any of this, but for a while there in the beginning, the brony fandom showed a glimpse of hope of a future without any of that. You may feel differently, and that's fine, but from what I've seen, many fans are disappointed and a bit disillusioned by this.

When it comes to writing being more work than it used to, and your decision to stick it out, I don't have much to say. You won't find any stories on my userpage, so in many ways for me this entire topic is something I'm still striving to even reach. But I've certainly dealt a lot with the merits of putting blood, sweat, and tears into something as seemingly worthless (in the grand scheme of it all) as fanfiction, especially given my ultimate goals with it.

There are things in life that, when we work hard for them, are very rewarding (love, relationships, family, etc), and others that, though we may work away at for a lifetime, leave us empty in the end (money, fame, career). This is what often holds my hand back when it comes to prereading fanfiction for others. What's the point of getting hung up over little details, of handing the writer a massive, six page thesis on everything they can do to make their story "perfect", when all it is at the end of the day is fanfiction? Perhaps it's that important to me, but should I push that onto others who maybe don't feel the same way?

But I think you touched upon an important element in all of this, and that's the readers. I could plan to be the greatest fanfiction writer in the entire fandom, but I think that, were I to attain such a lofty goal, the only thing which would keep it from being hollow and empty at the end would be my relationship to my readers. If I used my "fame" to positively influence others and be a good example and inspire and help people out of the same ruts I fell into. That, I think, is not only what would make it all worth it, but also motivate me to keep at it when the work was really feeling like work.

Overall, this has been a bit of a simplified dealing with such a complex matter (on my part), as it would at least take a book to comprehensively consider all the ideas involved.

But again, I'm happy you're sticking around. And I'll think twice next time I decide not to poke you with a hot iron about finishing that fic you teased a while back. Because I have done that, but thanks to you giving permission, those days are over. :twilightsmile:

1217903

Ah, my bad. I didn't mean to imply you hated her; I got the sarcasm. I meant the people that were running around on fire in the midst of it all. You're right though. The what was alright, and the why was headcanon, but the how left me wanting.

Anyone who claims that the present-day trends of infidelity and divorce are anything new hasn't taken much of a look at a little thing called history.

Infidelity was common long before the modern era. Divorce was not nearly as uncommon as people believe it to have been as well, not to mention other forms of separation, such as declaring your spouse dead and moving away and pretending to be a window/widower (something several of my ancetors apparently did).

It is important to realize that this is nothing new at all. Divorce rates have gone up as divorce became easier, but the idea that infidelity is more common today than it was in the past is unsupported by any actual evidence.

Also, divorce rates are somewhat exaggerated - while half of marriages end in divorce, a fair bit less than half the population ever gets divorced in the first place. But people who get divorced are more likely to get divorced again than the general popualtion is to get divorced in the first place. This is hardly surprising.

Humans have ALWAYS loved instant gratification. See also: pretty much all of human history. People got high, got drunk, attacked people out of rage or anger or jealousy, and did numerous stupid things throughout history in the name of instant gratification. Indeed, it took great leaders historically to really execute grand projects in any sort of reasonable time scale, which is why cathedrals often took a century or more to build, even though they could have been built in just a few years.

Welcome to reality. The world hasn't changed; as always, people always claim that the past was brighter, full of better, more reliable and caring people, ect. The ancient greeks claimed this, hence the term golden age.

But in reality, history has been the opposite - things have gotten continually better for people over the centuries, not continually worse.

I'm really tired of people saying this. They've been saying this for literally two millenia. Why do you think you are right?

PROTIP: You're not. You're wrong. You're the latest in a long line of wrong people, dating back well over 2000 years, whining about the future while not even understanding the past.

Let's go with reality here.

We are all consumers. Everyone is always going to be consuming as long as they are alive. Food, building materials, energy - consumption is a part of life. Even animals need to eat and nest somewhere. Humans are merely the most advanced animals there are. The idea that consumption is a bad thing is something that a bunch of morons who don't understand entropy came up with.

We consume because that is what it is to live. "But we consume more than we must!" Well, so what? The point is not to live on a privation diet. The point is to lead a good life. As they say, "I don't want to survive, I want to live."

People talk about self-sufficiency as if it was a good thing, and it is true to a point, but it is also full of lies. Why do we have huge agribusiness? Because it is massively, massively cheaper to have a very small proportion of the population do all the farming and produce incredibly large amounts of food, and then sell it to people. Why do we have mass production? Likewise.

It is what is known as economy of scale, and it is a vital feature of all modern life. It is cheaper to have a thousand people producing a thousand things each and have them trade those among them than to have each individual person make one thousand different things. It is just the nature of reality. There is great efficiency in focus and specialization.

For example, take gardening. For a garden to be price efficient, if you have a $14/hour job, and the possibility of working overtime, you have to make $21/hour worth of food from your garden for having it to be worthwhile from an economic standpoint. You are better off, most of the time, not wasting the time being "self sufficient", and instead relying upon other people.

This is how society operates most efficiently.

There are people who whine about this. These people are, universally, morons who don't understand reality. Don't be one of those people.

The truth is that we specialize because it is better to specialize and produce a lot more than it is to try and do everything yourself. No man is an island, and society works better with specialization - everyone benefits from the increased productivity allowing for a better quality of life. Moreover, specialization also makes every individual product better - if the best tailor makes clothing for the entire village, then everyone wears high quality clothing, rather than people wearing a variety of clothing of various lower qualities.

The very fact that you are whining about Twilicorn just reveals what you are. The fact that you are obessing over unimportant complaining and infighting in the fandom is likewise.

I don't know about 90% of that drama, and moreover, I don't care about it. Why should I? It doesn't affect me, and chances are, it doesn't affect you either save because you want it to.

The blight isn't Equestria Girls, or Twilight becoming a princess (something that has been likely to happen since season 1, and all but obvious after the Crystal Empire aired). The blight is within you.

You have chosen to worry about nothing. As that is what that is - nothing. It doesn't affect you in the slightest. Or at least it shouldn't. You write fanfiction. You can simply choose to not care.

You are talking about your valiant struggle against terrible external forces which threaten to prevent you from achieving your true potential.

This is a lie people tell themselves to make themselves feel better about why they struggle and why they fail. They cast themselves as an epic hero, and even if they fall, well, they fought the good fight.

The truth is that the entirety of the problem lies within yourself. Your success or failure, your enjoyment or sorrow, is up to you. And that is the real truth of self-sufficiency, the one thing that no one else can give you.

Well, er, hummm... some interesting discussion going on here and no mistake. I'm not sure what I can add without repeating things, however, on the subject of nobody ever touches ever-after, well there is this thing:

Being Boring, by Jetso

It's Harry Potter fic, but honestly, it's actually more about human nature and the fact that it's Harry Potter doesn't really matter much. You might find it inspiring or something?

I was glad to read this. This sort of thing is far more inspiring to read than the "Whee-happy-happy-joy-joy" mood the Brony community often puts out.

(Plus I've spent countless drunken nights bitching about "the Sisyphean tragedy of humanity" with friends, so I rather empathise.)

1218105

The very fact that you are whining about Twilicorn just reveals what you are. The fact that you are obessing over unimportant complaining and infighting in the fandom is likewise.

I don't know about 90% of that drama, and moreover, I don't care about it. Why should I? It doesn't affect me, and chances are, it doesn't affect you either save because you want it to.

Uh, I know I'm at risk of sounding like a dick here, but doesn't it strike you as a teensy bit hypocritical to put this sentiment in the middle of a condescending 1k word rant about gratification and economics (issues dealt with in passing) on someone else's blog post?

1217903

:facehoof:

Okay so I'm bad at expressing myself and I fully admit that I misinterpreted a portion of the original post *sigh*

What I'm posting here isn't meant as a rebuttal, more of a clarification of my own post because some of it was poorly worded

When I said "...you actively dislike the show" what I should have said was you actively dislike the direction the show is taking and there is nothing to suggest that that direction is going to change with season four (at least from what I've seen)

Thus I predict that the show itself will continue to irritate you and probably do more things to piss you off.

As this happens, your interest in the show and the community will wain even further and as such these things that will motivate you will lessen. This would have happened anyway I know, but now, with season four looming and 26 more episodes filled with all sorts of potential irritants, I suspect this is going to happen sooner rather than later.

That's why I made my suggestion. I'd rather not see you give up in disgust at Hasbro after their latest screwup, with all your active stories on Hiatus or cancelled. Look at Four of Two. That is one of my all-time favorite fics and it is effectively dead (or at the very least, a zombie) and not necessarily because of Twilacorn or EG. So let me restate my suggestion for the sake of clarity:

Take stock of the projects you start, because the more you start, the greater the disappointment of your readers when you finally put away your quill, inkwell and parchment. Yes you are a damn fine writer that I enjoy reading a great deal. This means I and your other readers/fans will be extremely saddened when you put away your tools and will be very disappointed if you do so with stories that are hypothetically in progress and will never be finished

Again let me state that this is a clarification and not a rebuttal I don't expect you to take my suggestion anyway even with this and I'm not trying to convince you, I'm trying to help you understand where I'm coming from too.

---

As for your motivations: I retract what I said and blame it on being up too damn late and not having my head on straight.

---

As for your views and reasoning on why Twilacorn and EG are the spawn of Satan: This is rather irrelevant to my point because for me it doesn't matter about why Twilacorn or EG pissed you off. The only thing that matters to me is that it did, and there is absolutely nothing to show that things will improve with the next season end everything to show that it will get worse

---

Some things about your response really stood out to me, so I'd like to address them individually:

As something of an aside here, because it's a phenomenon I've seen cropping up more and more commonly in the fandom, particularly around critical reception of Twilicorn and Equestria Girls,

I'm going to say this plainly:
Criticism does not equal attack, and those who in turn attack the critics for daring say word one against something should think carefully about whether they're truly helping.

And I'm not trying to say your're wrong in your criticisms either. What I am saying is that EG and Twilacorn, taken together indicate that the show itself is deviating from its original plan and is almost certainly headed in a direction that is going to cause you further grief.

As to your contention that I'm "nearing the end of my desire to write", you seem to have missed the entire primary point of the post, which was consciously choosing to do just that after my initial 'honeymoon' desire had gone out. I've chosen now to actively pursue my writing, knowing full well the work involved. Accordingly I'm going to dismiss your recommendation that I stop writing, aside from noting the titanic arrogance you display in making such a statement in the first place.

I'm trying to suggest that you stop writing ponyfics because the direction Hasbro is taking FiM seems to indicate that you won't enjoy it for much longer and frankly I'd rather not see you force yourself to keep going beyond the point of "no enjoyment" to finish whatever project(s) you have on your plate.

EDIT:

These things do not, however, mean that I "actively dislike the show". If that were the case, I would not have watched season 3, nor be, as I said above, looking forward to season 4.

I'll admit that this perplexes me. How can you be looking forward to season 4 in the face of everything you listed? As you yourself put it, Twilacorn and EG were [shined up turds] so why would you think S4 would be any different?

This isn't me nobly soldiering on in something I think is dying off. This is me recommitting to something I love, with both eyes open.

I'm not trying to say that - what I am trying to say (or get a sense of) is "how much longer?" With everything negative about FiM that you pointed out, it really makes me wonder how much longer your love for the series is going to last. I know that you can't answer that in a quantifiable sense, but I still wonder.

1218283
Well she touched on it in her post too. She was blaming Twilight and Equestria Girls for her problems writing about ponies, when in actuality the problem lies not in external things, but within herself.

People don't like to blame themselves for their troubles. And if you look at this post, she points the finger at a lot of places, and talks about how she is going to overcome these challenges.

But the challenges are all in her head. You can't overcome the challenge of Twilicorn and Equestria Girls because they aren't challenges in the first place; they're not barriers to writing fanfiction about ponies at all. The same goes for the continual vocal minority of FanDumb. It is an externalization of problems, blaming external things for internal issues.

If you're inspired by this, then you're probably "inspired" by a lot of Deeply Wise (TM) things which are not in fact wise at all. This is bad, because these things are useless at best and often actively harmful, both by concealing real issues from your eyes as well as deluding you into thinking you know more than you actually do.

Because how often does that happen? Talking about after ever after? Very rarely, actually, once you think about it. And there's a simple reason for that.

It's because there isn't any 'after ever after'. 'Ever after' never ends, it lasts forever afterwards. [/totallymissingthepoint]

1218105

We consume because that is what it is to live. "But we consume more than we must!" Well, so what? The point is not to live on a privation diet. The point is to lead a good life. As they say, "I don't want to survive, I want to live."

I'm rather curious: what is your idea of a "good life"? What does it mean "to live" to you?

As far as your "so what" to the issues of consuming too much...that can be a problem, if one assumes a limit on the number of resources. Also, just because humanity has done something or exhibited one trait or another all throughout history doesn't illuminate whether it's right or wrong, if you believe in such a thing. I think a reason people take issue with the "mass consumerism" of today is because they feel it demonstrates an immoral, unappreciative and wasteful attitude.

But the challenges are all in her head. You can't overcome the challenge of Twilicorn and Equestria Girls because they aren't challenges in the first place; they're not barriers to writing fanfiction about ponies at all.

Hmm, I could be wrong, but I think you are treating this topic of the show and fanfiction and people's attitude towards both as a wholly objective matter, when I believe that it's really quite subjective. While the ultimate decision to give up or continue lies within the author, that doesn't mean the show can't make it difficult for them, given the type of fanfiction writer they are. Some people chose to remain as faithful to canon as possible, while others don't (herein lies some of the subjectivity); Twilicorn is a pretty big change, and until season 4 comes out, we don't know how much it will alter Twilight's relationship with her friends or the princesses, a matter which is at the heart of a great deal of fanfiction. In other words, it has changed people's understanding of some of the core foundations of the canon. I know one very skilled and popular author for whom this has been a road block, until he is able to arrive at a new understanding of how things work--and he likes to remain faithful to canon, so for him, saying "oh what the hell, I'll do what I want" isn't an option, because it's not how they work.

1218417

Well, aren't you charming?

Now, I don't mind much if you're going to make disrespectful suppositions as to my character. But, if you're going yo respond, you should at least be honest enough to answer my original point: Is it not hypocritical to make a post whining about how people shouldn't whine about things beyond their control? (And, now that I look at your original post, you also claim not to care about drama while actively encouraging it.)

I don't see the slightest gesture towards an answer to that question. Beyond that, there's little substance to your response beyond a glib and pompous recitation of self-help cliches. There's little I have to say to that. As a moment's introspection should show, such assertions are false. Often, when they encourage people to think that mental troubles are voluntary, they are actively harmful.

1217916
I also hate seeing people go, much as I may understand why they do, which is part of the reason why I'm sticking around. And yes, you're also right in noting that the fandom has changed; I would posit that some of that has to do with it "becoming mainstream", in that once the Brony fandom got large and visible enough it became trendy, and we have those sort of people on board now—and I would contend that they are the ones most likely to loudly whine and complain whenever anyone disparages "their" show, engage in the vitriolic bickering, and so forth.

As for your striving to reach for something...chase it! Maybe it goes well, maybe it doesn't, but either of those is better than wondering 'what if'. So I'd suggest that you try writing something. It doesn't have to be a grand epic or great meditative treatise to be valuable. And for that matter, to sweeten the pot I'll toss myself in as an editor in advance.

In regard to that, in handing authors pages of critique and such on what you think is important to a story...well, that's the whole idea. Because it's not just important to you, and it's not 'pushing onto others', but rather offering alternate perspective that the writer themselves may not have. We can only write what we know, and none of us knows as much as all of us together. Maybe the author takes your suggestions, maybe they don't, but they're still better off for having had them. Well, that's my approach, anyway. :twilightsmile:



1217925
That's essentially my position, yes. Twilight becoming an alicorn unto itself is fine. Even the reason isn't terrible, though there could have been potentially better options. But indeed, how it happened leaves me lamenting.



1218252
Yes. Interesting is the word.

Did I say no one ever touches ever after...? If I did then I misspoke, because I only meant that it's usually ignored in favor of the shinier romantic part beforehand. I'm certainly not the first person to be talking about it here, of course, but it neatly sums up the core of the idea I was presenting, is all.



1218396
Eh, it happens. I myself may have been a touch harsher in my response than I would have preferred, but as you said, up too damn late.

And you do make a fair point in that I may be likely disappointed by what happens in season 4 given the current trajectory—but I know that. Both eyes open means acknowledging that it very likely won't be everything that I hope, and accepting that as being okay.

The short of it is that I've resolved my pony stories to utilize a tangential canon, taking from the show what works, and leaving out what doesn't. Some people will be okay with this, and some may not be, but that's fine too.

As for Twilicorn...'spawn of satan' is rather a strong way to describe it, and I certainly wouldn't go that far. There is considerable facepalm and shaking-of-head, but I'm not angry about it; I'm just disappointed. Mostly in that it takes away the opportunity to make such a momentous event as Twilight's ascension something far greater, like, say, an entire feature movie with an epic story.

And yes, the show is splitting from Lauren's original vision, and I do sigh at that, but this doesn't make it irredeemable. A Canterlot Wedding technically started that deviation, in Princess Cadence (since Lauren wanted Celestia and Luna to be the only alicorns), but it's one of my favorite episodes because it's damned well done. Magical Mystery Cure...if it had been a two-parter, it may have hit that bar itself. Equestria Girls...far too much blatant sales pandering for my taste. It's being plenty successful in its demographic, and that bodes well for continuation of Ponies overall, but it's not something I'll be taking into my canon considerations.

As for Hasbro taking away what I like about pony...well, yes. It's entirely likely they may do that. But the things that ponies has inspired in me, and in the fandom at large—aside from the trendhoppers—isn't something that they can just take away by merchandizing. Equestria has a place in my head now. I have my own Twilight Sparkle, and Rarity, and Flutetrshy, etc in my head, that go into my stories, and those stories are not contingent on the show remaining shiny. It could go entirely to hell in season 4, and I would still finish these stories, because they stand on their own now.

They may have initially been inspired by the show, but they've become self-sustaining. All it means is that my story canon and show canon will now visibly branch apart in places—but that's what the AU tag is for.



1218105
So, I'm going to try not to let this turn into a second essay. To that end I'll just cover the important points.

In short: you make a bold argument here, but on inspection you've spent a lot of questionably-considered words attacking a row of straw-men, and it doesn't really go well for you. But in detail:

You open your argument with a non-sequitur. I commented in passing about divorce and infidelity as broad-stroke examples of my overall point, and you seize on my particular wording to accuse me of ignoring historical precedent. Except I never said anything about those things being different now than they were historically. You may, however want to brush up on the Protestant Reformation in 16th century England, and look around for some contemporary news articles about the fact that divorce has become so commonplace that some people are now actively hesitant to marry because of the legal and financial risks involved. Or I could give you one or two right here.

You then present a lot of unsupported, subjective information, citing 'apparent actions' of your personal ancestors, claiming exaggerations of marriage and divorce rates without providing evidence (find some linked above), grossly generalizing the nature of mankind and providing unrelated anecdotes about historical architecture and engineering to suit your position. And then you 'welcome me to reality', and label me 'the latest in a long line of wrong people'.

So that's an argument from incredulity, some ad hoc reasoning, and a sprinkling of ad hominem.

But I'll still answer your question. I think I'm right because I question everything I see, seek additional information to acquire the best possible position, and am always willing to admit I'm wrong in the face of quality evidence.

You proceed to go on a lengthy diatribe about consumerism and economies of scale and the virtue of specialization of production in a communally socialized setting. And, you know, fair play—a lot of what you say here is very intelligent and quite valid. But it has little to do with anything I had to say proper, and so just ends up coming off as pretentious self-important posturing; information dumping for the sake of prestige.

And then you transition from your treatise on historical economics to my dislike of Twilicorn...? Non-sequitur man picks up a fish.

You then return to argument from incredulity, criticizing me for my thoughts on fandom drama and concerns on show quality because they don't matter to you, and thus must not be important. Then it's into ad hominem again, saying that there is a 'blight within me', tossing in some analogies about how I'm apparently presenting a valiant struggle against non-entities, and how this means I'm lying to myself to feel better about failure.

Your final paragraph there is, at least in part, starkly apt. You note that my success or failure, my enjoyment or sorrow, is up to me—which is the entire point that I was making.

In regard to your followup response to Scramblers and Shadows, you suggest that I blame various external events for my own failings, and attack me personally for refusing to accept the internal nature of the problem. Except that there's this:

I'm going to take a moment here to point out that these aren't excuses, but rather explanations (important difference). I'm not expecting understanding and forgiveness and hugboxing. My time being spent this way is entirely my own doing.

I explicitly noted that the issues I'm confronting are internal. The events in question are at most "responsible" for destroying the 'honeymoon' blind joy, which as I said was never going to last forever anyway.

Now, if I was using these events as a justification for giving up my writing and loudly leaving the fandom, you would have a powerful point. But...I'm doing precisely the opposite of that.

And finally, you criticize Scramblers, dismissing their being inspired by me as taking stock in false wisdom, as this leads to the concealment of real issues and deluding oneself into thinking they know more than they truly do. I can't help but find that scathingly ironic, given that throughout the entirety of your contribution here thus far you've done little but attempt to appear wise and discerning through a fumbling deployment of sophistry and poorly-considered argument, and ended up making yourself out to be something of an arrogant, posturing fool in the process.

Quod erat demonstrandum—your willingness to challenge and debate is laudable, but I suggest that you spend some time better considering the origins and support of your arguments, particularly if you're going to launch a challenge as potent as you did here.



Also, for the record, since it seems to not be common knowledge--while I have a considerable appreciation for the fairer gender, I am not counted among them, and am in fact assuredly male.

1219329

As for Hasbro taking away what I like about pony...well, yes. It's entirely likely they may do that. But the things that ponies has inspired in me, and in the fandom at large—aside from the trendhoppers—isn't something that they can just take away by merchandizing. Equestria has a place in my head now. I have my own Twilight Sparkle, and Rarity, and Flutetrshy, etc in my head, that go into my stories, and those stories are not contingent on the show remaining shiny. It could go entirely to hell in season 4, and I would still finish these stories, because they stand on their own now.
They may have initially been inspired by the show, but they've become self-sustaining. All it means is that my story canon and show canon will now visibly branch apart in places—but that's what the AU tag is for.

This certainly makes me feel better about your future as a pony author, I'll tell you that much.

As for the "Spawn of Satan" quip: forgive me for that too, I've been party to one too many rather heated discussions on the matter and I transferred some of the participants' animosity about Twilacorn to you by mistake. I apologize

1218609
Well, the truth is, as we all know, there is no meaning to life save that which you yourself ascribe to it. As such, it tends to be an individual thing.

Personally I'm about accomplishments and enjoyment. The more energy you have, the more fun you can have and the more you can accomplish. But obviously this is only true up to a certain point, beyond which you have diminishing returns on investment (but remember, time is also an important factor). Look at computers - they use energy, sure, but they give massive ROI. Automobiles get you from place to place very quickly, airplanes even faster, but you have to trade other things (money, which is really just time, energy, and talent) for them.

The reason capitalism works is that money can be used to measure the value of anything, as you can interconvert between money and time, energy, resources, talent, ect. It is a means of converting what you are good at into things that other people are good at.

So ultimately our energy use is limited by how much time, effort, talent, and resources we're willing to put into it. As all of these things are limited, each individual tends to value their own things differently. As resources are limited, they become more valuable the more difficult they are to extract for use, the more desirable they are, and the like. All of it ends up balancing out.

Efficiency acts as a booster to all of this - if you are efficient with your time, talent, energy, and resources, you get a better ROI. Thus we should seek efficiency in all things. Likewise, energy can be one shot (in the form of, say, oil or uranium) or "renewable" (in the form of solar, wind, hydro, ect.), meaning you get energy over time with renewable resources. Energy density is also an issue - one of the major problems with solar power, for instance, is that while it is handy, it isn't very energy dense. Gasoline is so useful precisely because it is concentrated energy, meaning you have to haul less fuel around, which increases efficiency. As time goes on and battery technologies and other energy storage methods improve, the value of solar increases relative to gasoline, but gasoline is probably always going to be better in and of itself as it allows for very high energy output.

As for right and wrong - they are, again, arbitrary. There is no real "right" or "wrong", there is just desirable outcomes. Personally, I plan on living forever, so obviously we want to make sure that our civilization is set up such that we can meet our energy needs indefinitely - which means we need to improve renewable energy while simultaneously making good use of our existing resources to boost us to the point where we can switch over to renewables entirely (as we will have to eventually, in a few millenia if not sooner).

People take issue with mass consumerism because they don't really get it. The truth is that there's nothing wrong with it; people will consume. Waste is bad, but what is waste? Useless things that people don't use. If they're using it, it isn't really waste, it is just what we consider to be inefficient use of things. And the truth is that, given the way that the world works (you don't get something for nothing), it has to be that way.

If you are awesome and are thusly rewarded with a lot of money, you get to pick how to use it. That's how it works. If you don't like how other people are using money, outcompete them and get the money for yourself.

Regarding staying faithful to canon:

At this point, why is this a bad thing? We have no idea how season 4 is going to be, so you're wide open. You can do whatever you want with it. Have her move away from her friends? You can do that! Have her stay with them? You can do that too! Have her relationships change in a major way? Why not!

It is open season now. Once season 4 starts, you'll be much more limited to stay within canon.

1218680
I love SLAs. Charm person is a great one.

And what do you mean you don't see the slightest answer? Firstly, the post wasn't whining. THIS IS WHINING~

Okay, more seriously, no. It isn't wrong to tell people to buck up, and it isn't wrong to tell people their problems are internal rather than external.

And I don't know what you're talking about self-help cliches. The reason people tell you that the reason you're failing is yourself is because most of the time, that is the reason why you fail. Johnning, blaming external forces for your failures, is never helpful unless they legitimately caused you to fail. If during a bicycle race, a fan runs out into the course in front of you, yeah, you just got screwed. On the other hand, if during a bicycle race you aren't paying enough attention and hit a rock on the road and crash, while the rock "caused" the crash, you could have avoided it - thus your failure to avoid it is your own fault, even if the rock not being present would have allowed you to succeed.

"I got screwed" doesn't help you learn how to get better. Figuring out what happened and how to avoid it is what allows you to get better for the next time, or to turn failure into success.

1219329

You may, however want to brush up on the Protestant Reformation in 16th century England, and look around for some contemporary news articles about the fact that divorce has become so commonplace that some people are now actively hesitant to marry because of the legal and financial risks involved. Or I could give you one or two right here.

People were whining about how the institution of marriage was dying in the nineties. The 1890s, that is. People have been complaining about this for well over a century now, and probably longer still.

The truth is that both marriage and divorce rates are dropping (as, I will note, your own link points out), and that as a fraction of the population, divorcees haven't really been increasing all that much. It is also worth remembering that back in ye olden times, widows and widowers were massively more common than they are today - so yeah, you might have fewer divorces, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the average person was marrying all that many fewer people.

Ultimately as well, if people choose not to get married out of fear of divorce, that's a good thing - the point of marriage is "til death do you part". If you aren't so sure about that, don't get married.

There is nothing inherently good or bad about such rates in any case, but the idea that this is anything new is a bit silly. Yeah, sure, the divorce rates have risen since the institution of no fault divorces - but that doesn't mean that infidelity is any worse today than it was in the past, nor that people are "less willing to commit" or whatever. Being trapped in an unhappy marriage is even worse, as is people declaring their spouses dead in order to remarry (something some of my ancestors did, and which also artifically dampened the divorce rate).

If people are choosing to marry less often, and therefore are making fewer mistakes in whom they marry, that implies an increase in personal responsibility and the understanding of commitment, not the reverse.

So that's an argument from incredulity, some ad hoc reasoning, and a sprinkling of ad hominem.

An argument from incredulity is about your argument relying on the fact that you are incredulous. An argument with evidence is not an argument from incredulity. It is not wrong to be incredulous when their argument is bad. It is bad when you use incredulity as the BASIS for an argument. As I did not... well... not the fallacy.

As for ad hoc reasoning - uh, what? Ad hoc reasoning is adding something arbitrary to avoid falsifying a hypothesis. Given I was working at discrediting your ideas, that's not ad hoc reasoning. Indeed, attacking your arguments is precisely how you are supposed to argue. The idea that humans are less willing to commit, and citing divorce statistics as an example, can be countered by the idea that humans aren't less willing to commit, as attested by our large scale societal projects. That isn't ad hoc reasoning - that is supplying evidence to support or contradict an argument.

Ad hoc reasoning would be you countering my citation of large scale projects by saying, "Well, that doesn't represent personal commitment, but commitment by many people."

Ad hominem is an attack on the person rather than the argument. Note, however, that ad hominem arguments are not inherently logical fallacies. Yes, in formal logic an ad hominem argument is fallacious, but in informal logic (i.e. the sort used in the real world), it is not always fallacious. "George W Bush is not an expert on climate change", for instance, is a legitimate argument against his credibility when he makes an argument about the science of climate change if he is presenting evidence of his own. "Exxon will make more money if they don't have to pay a tax on carbon, therefore their research might be biased" is another example of an ad hominem argument which is not, in fact, fallacious. The reason is that the crediblity of the person making the argument can be important if they are presenting evidence of their own and you have reason to doubt their evidence.

Something like "TD is a jerk" is going to be fallacious, as being a jerk has nothing to do with the strength of my arguments or my evidence. "TD is not an expert in this field", on the other hand, would be a valid argument if I did not provide additional evidence.

So if, for instance, you said "TD is not an expert at logic", you could make that argument, but it would easily be countered by, say, looking up the various terms - if I am correct about what they mean, then it is less likely that I am not an expert at logic.

Calling you the latest in a line of wrong people is not actually an ad homimen argument, though. The argument is "This argument has been made, repeatedly, for over 2000 years, and has been proven wrong, repeatedly, to the point where 'golden age fallacy' is Googlable." This is an attack on your argument, not on the person making it, and while saying that you are the latest in a long line of people who are wrong is not especially nice, it is not an ad hominem argument. Saying that the argument has been falsified repeatedly in the past is a pretty strong argument, actually, as is pointing out that it diverges from historical trends - the scale and scope of human activity and civilization has only increased over time, which is a rather strong point against the idea that suddenly we have trouble getting things done.

But it has little to do with anything I had to say proper, and so just ends up coming off as pretentious self-important posturing; information dumping for the sake of prestige.

You DID complain about consumerism. Though yeah, I mean, 90% of my post was addressing 10% of yours, and 10% was touching the other 90%.

Your final paragraph there is, at least in part, starkly apt. You note that my success or failure, my enjoyment or sorrow, is up to me—which is the entire point that I was making.

Ehhn... you did a lot of Johnning leading up to it, talking about all those various external factors which had harmed your ability to care for what you were doing. That's an attempt at mitigating the focus on the self, however subconsciously.

Also, for the record, since it seems to not be common knowledge--while I have a considerable appreciation for the fairer gender, I am not counted among them, and am in fact assuredly male.

Heh, dunno where I got the idea you were female from.

And then you transition from your treatise on historical economics to my dislike of Twilicorn...? Non-sequitur man picks up a fish.

Sorry, I didn't exactly proof my comment. It was somewhat "read something, respond to it". So it probably is more than a little messy.

Quod erat demonstrandum—your willingness to challenge and debate is laudable, but I suggest that you spend some time better considering the origins and support of your arguments, particularly if you're going to launch a challenge as potent as you did here.

Eh. It was at least 50% argument by verbosity anyway. It could have been way shorter and better written, and more pertinent to the issue at hand.

If you come to know me better, you'd know I don't dislike you or anything. I just enjoy arguing a bit more than I probably should.

Anyway, hope it didn't upset you. I do actually follow you, after all, and would love to see more work from you.

I just hate people griping about the kids these days. Always has annoyed me, probably always will. People are getting better over time, not worse, and I think that the trend is for greater and grander things rather than the opposite.

1219329
Um, sorry, I guess the way you started got me invested in the first topic, especially as I remembered that particular story and I believe it is required reading for anyone who uses Hollywood romances as a roadmap for how they expect their own to play out. Then you pulled a twist where the first topic was only a lead in to the second topic, but, um I'd already drafted out a reply in my head and I wasn't willing to let it go.

For what it's worth, I know exactly what you mean. That's why I don't have much to add; you've said it all just fine.

1219848

Hold on, it seems that you're conflating a couple of different ideas.

First, there's the claim that internal challenges don't really exist. "You can't overcome the challenge of Twilicorn and Equestria Girls because they aren't challenges in the first place..." I don't really see how this could be true unless you're using an idiosyncratic definition of the word "challenge".

Second, there's the claim that when a person fails at a task, usually that person is the one responsible. "The reason people tell you that the reason you're failing is yourself is because most of the time, that is the reason why you fail." (What an elegant sentence, by the way.) In some sense, this is trivially true because in every event where someone fails, there will be a causal link between their decisions and the event. But let's suppose we were able to pin down a more nuanced definition of responsibility. In that case, this is an empirical claim. But you don't provide any evidence for it.

Third, there's the claim that sometimes one is responsible for one's failures and sometimes not. Evidently this idea is complex enough to warrant a thought experiment about bicycles. Well, I don't dispute this one. It's just a rather weak claim and doesn't give any support to the other claims you make.

The upshot of all this: Is it wrong to tell someone their problems are internal rather than external? In general, yes. If you don't know the circumstances then it's possible you're saying something false and pernicious.

Finally, still no response to my original point. You didn't even try for an easy evasion like "It's not whining to tell someone to buck up." You just said it's not wrong, which is beside the point.

I'm going to stop here. It strikes me as a little rude to fill the comment space of someone else's blog with an argument, especially one as anaemic and unproductive as this. You can have the last word if you like.

1219329
:pinkiegasp:
Yes! I am so going to take you up on that :rainbowkiss:
Not to get too sappy or anything, but I really appreciate your offer to be a least a temporary editor. That's awesome. :yay:

As for being a prereader/editor, yes, you have a point and I agree with you. I still try to practice restraint though, simply because I've seen stories never get posted after going past me--stories which I liked, but that I suggested massive changes for. Now I could be wrong, and ultimately the decision to listen to me or not is the writer's, but I can't help but blame myself somewhat. For some people, fanfiction isn't a very serious deal; all they want is fun (well, everyone wants to have fun with fanfiction, I think, but others treat it more seriously, I would say). Some are up to the task of putting lots of extra work into their stories, others aren't, and I don't want in any way to prevent someone from doing what they want (posting a story) by discouraging them with proofreads that are too much of a burden, given where they're at as a writer.

1219848
Very interesting. I don't agree, in many respects, but that's fine. Thanks for answering my questions :twilightsmile:

1219848

Heh, dunno where I got the idea you were female from.

You're not the first, and for that matter writing-analysis algorithms will almost invariably return my work as female-source. I'd say I'm just very well adjusted.

If you come to know me better, you'd know I don't dislike you or anything. I just enjoy arguing a bit more than I probably should.

Anyway, hope it didn't upset you. I do actually follow you, after all, and would love to see more work from you.

As you may infer, I'm not so unlike that myself. And it didn't upset me, but rather I mostly wanted to put down a comprehensive response before any other commenters got seriously drawn into a spiraling debate (which I've seen on other authors' pages, and it's never pretty :facehoof:).

So I'm entirely content to put it to bed and carry on writing merry tales of pastel mares. :twilightsmile:

1221589

i... didn't say any of the things you quoted :rainbowhuh:

1221625 Huh. No, you didn't. And...well, odd, because I hit the reply on 1219848's comment above...or maybe I was just blind and hit the comment above the one I wanted.

Anyway! I'll just, er, fix that. :twilightsheepish:

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