Whelp. I've gone and done it. I've signed up for another fest even though I swore I'd quit doing that after I had to drop out of the last two I tried. The thinking about it is driving me round the twist. I'm not sure what it is about fests--they are supposed to be only fun, but they always hype me into an anxious, competetive overdrive. Each time I am determined to present a well thought out, interesting fic that satisfies on more than just one level/dimension. I am determined to make my prompter/giftee ridiculously happy, and spend half the fest wringing my hands and worrying that I won't succeed. I get so obsessive that I have friends who refuse to talk to me during fest months.
When it's finally over and turned in, I'm usually extremely pleased and relieved...until it posts. Then I anxiously read the comments and worry about hidden meanings or why THIS person commented THAT whilst THAT person didn't comment at all but did on other people's fics. I'm never so insane about comments or reviews when I'm just writing normal fanfiction. I think it's because I know the people here better, and know that they are exceptional writers, and hold their opinion with higher esteem than I do the random reviewer on AO3 or FFN.
It's honestly exhausting, and I have no idea why I do it to myself. Is it only me, or do other fest-goers have similar feelings of anxiety about how their work is received?
*stares at the screen for several moments, watching the curser blink*
I think I keep pushing myself into these things because after the unavoidable freak out happens, and the fic is finished, I'm genuinely proud of what I've done. Look at me! I've completed a fic, which is not something I'm especially good at. I have dozens of half finished fics in "Tyche's Bunny Pound." Not only is it finished, but it's generally something I feel like I can be proud of. Getting Past Broken and Happily Ever After the Fact both came out of fests/exchanges. I come away learning something.
And even though I know that my fics were not my giftee's favourites in the fest (which really, considering how many incredible, talanted writers and artists sign up, is entirely understandable), I am proud of them. And hope springs eternal that one day fests will be "easy" for me. Or at least won't induce panic attacks.
We get our prompts tomorrow. So at least the worry about not knowing what to write will fade as I formulate a plot. I can instead start my insane process of outlining, reading some of their works (if I haven't already) reading some of their favourite fics (if I haven't already) and hyperventalating about writing for THAT AMAZING writer/artist. *sigh* Wish me luck, friends!