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Online writing friend stopped talking to me (twice)


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Hello,

 

I've had two close online writing buddies in the very small fandom I have belonged to since 2017. The first one really brought me down in a lot of ways, and randomly stopped talking to me a while back for no reason, and so I suppose good riddance I guess as she was constantly trash-talking others and it wasn't sustainable. The second friend I made recently is fantastic; we have SO much in common and really enjoyed talking to each other about fic and writing etc, but now she is ghosting me and not really engaging anymore. Leaves me hanging after I message her. I am not pushy at all and won't message her again unless she messages me first, but I just can't help but feel really sad now about it, and can barely get up the motivation to write this week. This keeps happening to me where I make these awesome fellow-writer friends, and then they always end up ghosting me, even after an amazing connection is made between us. It was so nice, having someone to talk to about our WIPs and comments and the struggles of writing. I was always so encouraging to her, and she encouraged me right back. We would tell each other our word counts and motivate each other, things like that. I thought it was great, and now that she has stopped messaging me, I feel kind of empty.

 

If this friendship really does end up dying like my first one, I don't think I will have it in me to make any more fandom friends. It hurts to go from talking to them about writing and our fandom all the time, and really having a connection, to nothing. Getting treated as though my feelings do not matter really hurts. Writing is such a solo activity and I really enjoyed having someone to talk to about the joys and pitfalls that go along with this (sometimes stressful) hobby, but I don't think I can handle this again. It hurts too much. I don't have anyone IRL who writes or is into fanfic, and so I suppose I will end up crawling back into my shell and live for the rest of my fandom life as a hermit whose only presence is the occasional AO3 update. I don't want it to be this way, I liked having someone to talk to who really understands, but I cannot deal with this again.

 

Anyone have any advice? I don't even feel like writing now. I'm sure I'll get back to it in a few days, but right now all I can think about is this feeling of being rejected, and also the fact that I no longer have anyone to talk to about this stuff. I don't think I said anything "wrong" to her and always made sure to compliment her work, so I am not sure why this keeps happening to me. Anyone go through something similar? How do these people go from excitedly chatting all the time about writing and each others work to nothing? Like it never even meant anything? We talked a lot about our lives, too, and I thought we were really connecting. :( I just feel really rejected and my anxiety is through the roof wondering what it is I have done wrong.

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I'm sorry you're feeling like this, OP. But to be honest, most people don't put as much stock into pen-pals as you're hoping.

 

That's not to say you can't connect with people this way, but you might want to re-evaluate your expectations. It seems you're getting quite emotionally invested in these people and that's why it hurts so much to realize it isn't the same for them. Real life happens outside the screen and it's probably where they eventually turn to. Online communication tends to taper off after a while, as people have other interests, activities and responsibilities to attend to. I doubt they intend to hurt you.

 

There's also the chance they sense your attachment, and pull back so as keep a boundary there.

 

What's your social life like offline? Do you have friends, a job/studies, other hobbies?

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Slow down if possible and don't go to such extremes. You swing so far into happiness chatting and then get so low when you go without for a few days or if someone doesn't respond as quickly as you. Maybe that person had a good reason.

 

I think if you want to keep up your craft you're going to have to dig a lot deeper. You're searching for motivation and encouragement from outward means. Being a creative is draining. You have to learn to harness your resources and know when to start using your reserves of energy and motivation. It has to come from inside you. Don't let outside influences harm your creative spirit.

 

Spend more time on your own. I think you need it. Start making this a practice and a mindful exercise. Whenever you start to feel a bit anxious and panicky force yourself to be still - mentally. Tell yourself that your craft is not dependent of what others think of you as a person.

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Redirect your focus away from online writing buddies to real life friends.

 

Concentrate on cultivating, nurturing and maintaining real life friends even if you have to face time them during this COVID-19 pandemic. Don't over do it with electronic communication otherwise most people will burn out, drift apart and fade away.

 

Try not to figure people out so much. People lose interest and become easily distracted. They also grow bored and writing online had run its course. This is why it's better to have real friends and when you do, again, back off on constant correspondence. People don't like to be bothered and shackled with relentless communication. Keep the friendship fresh by living your own life and then reconnect ONCE IN A WHILE ONLY. No one enjoys bombardment. :upset:

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I have had a lot of penpals over the years and in all but one case, they've drifted off, never to be heard from again. I've never done this, but it shows that to sustain a friendship in writing over a long period of time is unsustainable for many people, so try not to take it too personally.

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Sorry to hear this, catscoffee. I was a fandom writer too and had my little circle of friends. It was a very special kind of relationship. At the time we were very close and it felt really good to have someone to talk to about this part of my life where none of my real life friends would even understand. But those friendships rarely last. Over time people drift apart, get into other, different fandoms, or just stop reading/writing fandom altogether. I myself sadly was the one to drift away when life changes got in the way and I stopped writing. Over the past few years a couple of the old friends reached out to me randomly and I was always very happy to hear from them, we would talk for hours and maybe keep texting back and forth during a couple of days to weeks, but that was pretty much it as we all know I wasn't gonna go back into the fandom world anytime soon. I do miss those days and friends every so often but my lifestyle and priorities are simply different now. It wasn't personal and people are generally understanding. Enjoy your fandom while you still do and just make new friends as they join. Perhaps also reconsider the balance between pen pals and real life friends so you wont rely too much on your fandom circle for friendship. Good luck!

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