WARNING: tl;dr coming up...
While I am no longer a mod here in my beloved Writer's Workshop, I do feel a certain sense of pride as one of the elder statesmen here (been here for nearly 3 years although I know a number of people who have been here longer), and I'd like to ask you all for your help.
First of all, I'd like to express how awesome I think the WW is.
As I've said before, with all my health issues, depression, lonliness and apathy are things I struggle with mightily on a daily basis, and as crazy or cliche as it sounds, this place, the friends I've made here, and of course the opportunity to write and post my work here has literally, truly helped me have some semblance of happiness and a much needed sense of comradery and friendship in my life.
But obviously everyone has issues and everyone here loves to write, so I know I'm not alone. That brings me to my main point:
We need to collectively do a better job of reviewing each other's work.
I'm not trying to overstep my bounds by telling you what I think you should do, but we, the Authors and Readers of Bulbagarden's Writers Workshop are a community.
And I realize we all have our own lives and often feel like we don't have enough time to work on our own writing let alone read other people's .
But we have to remember that in addition to being a website on which we are able to post our fics, the WW is a community, a forum.
We all work very hard on our literary projects. We put a lot of time and effort into writing stories and poems that we can be proud of and feel good about and share with others. We all invest a lot in our writing.
Keeping all that in mind, I think we owe it to one another to, at the very least, make an honest effort to review fellow Workshop authors' work.
I know we shouldn't be writing for reviews and instead should be writing for ourselves, but let's face it, we all like feedback and to know that people are actually reading the stuff we pour our hearts and souls into, right?
So join me. If we each make a concerted, honest effort to read and review other authors' fics regularly, I think we could really help each other out. It doesn't have to be a lot. Even if it's one or two chapters here and there, let's do this.
Obviously, Aladar's Review Exchange is a useful tool, but I'm talking about just a change in mindset.
Instead of constantly worrying about updating our own serial fics or whatever we're working on, let's each try to set aside a few minutes to offer our opinions and suggestions to others. If we all work together, we can all help each other out.
There's plenty of awesome stories of a wide range of genres, styles and universes. So go pick something, anything you like and give it a try. Chances are, you'll find something you will thoroughly enjoy.
Sorry for the tl;dr.
Thanks for reading this.