24 Reasons Readers Don't Send Feedback

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Title: 24 Reasons Readers Don't Send Feedback
Creator: Destina Fortunato
Date(s): 2002
Medium: online
Fandom: multi
Topic: fic discussion, fic readers
External Links: 24 Reasons Readers Don't Send Feedback, Archived version
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24 Reasons Readers Don't Send Feedback is an essay by Destina Fortunato.

For additional context, see Timeline of Concrit & Feedback Meta.


Is feedback a better yardstick for judging the worth of a story than many of us would like to believe? The short answer is no, and this 'essay' - which I originally posted to my livejournal - is an attempt to give a partial list of the reasons why. There will be sarcastic bitchitude ahead; you have been warned. Note: I'm going to use the word 'you' in the general sense, as in 'you folks in fandom' or 'that writer over there who isn't you'. If you really think this 'you' is you, it probably is. Or maybe you're just paranoid.

Also note - writers read; readers write. All of us are readers. Big-ass glass house, tiny pebbles. We have met the reader, and "they" are us. I don't endorse any of the following theories, except for the one I do identify as my own. I'm just thinking out loud.

The quality of a story simply can't be judged by the feedback received. Any writer who goes down this road is just daring depression and self-esteem issues to reach out and smack her in the face. I believe the intrinsic worth of a story is often inversely proportional to the amount of feedback. And also sometimes, it's not; sometimes, a story gets exactly the amount of feedback it deserves, on either end of the scale.