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Being as insecure as I am, I spend a lot of time complaining about all the things I'm insecure about. You never get to read those ramblings -- mostly because I'm sure if I posted them, you all would stop reading. Or I'm afraid that you all will point out that the ramblings aren't insecurity, they are an accurate portrayal of how much of a failure I actually am. Or no one will say anything because no one ever reads this stupid journal anyhow. Or, worse yet, you all will feel the need to post a comment to make me feel better but only because I'm an insecure, whiney brat.

And then I decide not to share my insanity with the world and happily pretend I never wrote anything.

I share all this only to let you know that I have managed to work a few things out in all these 750-word-a-day-rambles that you here rarely see. One of them is why I don't have a beta reader or anyone who can reliably read my fics before (or even after) I post them. It's not because I'm a terrible writer. I form complete sentences, I (usually) spell things correctly and have decent grammar (comma splices aside). I do have issues with tenses occasionally (tenses? we don't need no stinking tenses!), but they're usually forgivable mistakes to the majority of non-grammar-Nazis.

Nope. My problem is the same problem I've had all my life: I'm too eclectic and I'm too eccentric.

I'm just not focused enough in my fandom choices. I don't find one thing I love and stick with that. No, not me. I love lots of things. That wouldn't be such a bad thing in itself if I would love one just fandom at a time and then move on to fall in love with another fandom. But I don't do that either. Instead, I play around with a lot of different fandoms, all at the same time. I love them all -- all the shows, all the characters, all the themes -- and want to play with them all.

More than that, I never really move on. I can't think of any show or characters that I've fallen out of love with. I've lost "fandoms" -- as in the groups of fans. Sometimes it's because they've come the the end of their on-line life, i.e., The A-Team, Stargate, Blake's 7. Or they just get completely batshit crazy, i.e., Supernatural. None of that, however, affects my love for the shows and the characters. I still love them all, even if it's not for the same reasons that everyone else does.

Which brings me to my second problem -- I'm too eccentric. As with all groups, there is an ebb and a flow to fandom. More than that there are tropes and norms and subcultures that take on a life of their own. The characters I like aren't generally the characters other people like, and if they are, I like them for different reasons. It tends to make me a bit of an outsider.

Of course, what really makes me an outsider is that I don't ship. I don't ship. I don't slash. I don't romance and I don't porn. Since 90% of everything online has to do with sex in one form or another, I'm out of luck with a lot of fandom. I can't tell you the number of memes I skip or the number of friending posts I don't do because half the questions are "What's your favorite ship?" or "Who's your secret OTP"? I get tired of writing "I'm sorry, I don't ship". Plus half the time people end up complaining that I must be homophobic because I don't like slash. It's at times like those that I say I don't participate in fandom because fandom is full of idiots. Which is unfair, but not necessarily wrong.

So what does this all have to do with my lack of betas or dedicated readers? Everything, actually. It's other fans who do the beta reading. They tend like very specific fic and are, usually, neither eclectic nor eccentric. They like to read the fics from a writer who writes the fandom they love best and tell the type of stories that they like to read. They generally don't like to read fic in fandoms they don't like or never heard of. It's really hard to find a beta who has an understanding of all the fandoms I write in. I've written 83 different fics in 34 separate fandoms. That's a lot, even from my perspective.

So while I have a lot of things to be insecure about, lack of readers isn't really one of them. I could get more readers if I would write a different type of story, if I wrote for a specific audience rather than write what I like. But in addition to being eclectic and eccentric, I'm also stubborn. I like to write what I like to write. If people don't read it, well I guess I'll just have to live with it.

No matter how insecure I am.

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