hexcore-juggler:hexcore-juggler: One reason I think it’s important that tumblr understands that AO3…



One reason I think it’s important that tumblr understands that AO3 emails spark dopamine and not serotonin other than the fact that I’m a neuroscientist who is very tired is because dopamine is part of the reward system.

I honestly think that emails from AO3 affect the reward system very similarly to gambling. When you get a sudden, random reward (AKA a comment on your fic), it feels great, and you want that again. But as the gambler writer, you have very little control over when the rewards come in or how many. There are games fandoms where you might have a higher chance of getting a response, or tropes, pairings, etc, but in the end, the reward is up to fickle fate (or possibly fantastic marketing on your part if you know how).

Randomly received rewards are incredibly addicting.

Similarly, not receiving a reward when you think you should get one feels very, very bad.

People who are more satisfied in their lives are less susceptible to the highs and lows of gambling and other addictive behaviors. If you are finding your relationship with you AO3 stats page or AO3 emails is unhealthy, it might be worth it to 1. turn off email notifications (so the randomness of the reward is removed) 2. Pick a time each week to check for comments (now it’s on a schedule) and 3. See if there are ways to improve your life elsewhere so that your mental health does not fluctuate with the whims of strangers sending you comments.

It’s not a moral failing to like attention. I have no judgment for people who get into a negative cycle with these things. This is for your mental health. Writing can be so rewarding for so many reasons, and I really just want to see other people find the joy in it.

This post has been going around again, and the question you should ask yourself is not, “am I addicted to emails/comments/AO3?” But “does posting fic put me in a bad mood? Do I get anxious waiting for emails? Is my relationship with AO3 causing me mental pain?”

The problem isn’t whether you are “addicted,” the problem is whether you are experiencing painful emotions in response to a hobby that should be fun. That’s what needs evaluation.

this super explains why I just don’t understand the posts that go round saying “You Must Comment On Fic Or You Are The Worst And I Shall Never Write Again* ” like… are you not writing because you just… want to write sometimes?

* My immediate reaction to those is pretty much “stop writing then” soz guys

amatesura:Guillermo came up with these ten-page backstories for…


Guillermo came up with these ten-page backstories for everybody. He goes into descriptions like, ‘Likes: The smell of good tobacco, the taste of very bitter chocolate’ For me it’s a dream come true because then I look at this and then I go, ‘Oh my God, okay Chopin, graveyard poetry, I have a book of graveyard poetry now in my trailer. It’s a great starting out point. (x)