So, the Batman drabble community has gone 'on hold' for the next couple months, I guess because the participation has dropped so dramatically in the past few weeks. Since I'm the only community member who has written at least two drabbles a week since the end of August and answered every challenge, I find it both ironic and expected.
This fandom exploded right before and after The Dark Knight
premiered, with much of it centered around The Joker and pairings involving him. As is typical for me, my favorite ship had nothing to do with the 'mainstream' or popular pairings, so I played mostly in my own little sandbox, with the exception of this drabble community. Still, I subscribed to all the big communities and watched the torrent of stuff flow through my friends' view. Lots of new fans and very young fans, which is okay, although it generated a backlash with many other 'more established' or 'more serious' writers and artists and inspired several snark communities. For weeks I found it all entertaining, including the latter. There was, I admit, much to make fun of.
I don't care if you're a new fan or a 30-year BNF; it makes no difference to me. Someone who's been a fan for two and a half days, or someone attracted to a fandom because he/she thinks a certain actor is hot or identifies with his tortured character has as much right and reason to participate with fanfic, fanart and fanvids as anyone else, even if they contain questionable original characters. When I was an LOTR fan, I was one of the 'johnny-come-latelys' who hadn't read every word Tolkein ever wrote. And even though I researched the hell out of my few fanfics, my stuff was sniffed at from under very long noses in this fandom (for a lot of reasons, including this one).
Still, fandoms expand and contract, especially before and after the release of major films. And I saw this coming a mile back.
This drabble community based itself on quantity over quality in the first place, designing a competition that rewarded 'teams' who made the most submissions. One week I was determined my sub-performing team would win, so I wrote something like 13 drabbles. (We still didn't that week, but later we did win a couple times.) Despite the fact I told myself it was ridiculous, I couldn't get away from the competition thing for quite some time.
Then the weekly participation waned and the interest of the primary moderator turned to another fandom and ~ surprise! ~ the community takes a break.
Now how a 'break' is going to generate more interest is beyond me. But I think the maintainer just wants the break, frankly. I expected something worse to happen, so a couple weeks ago I gacked all my drabbles and put them in a separate journal.
Writing at least two drabbles a week is good discipline for me, and I've already found at least one more community to play in. I need a prompt and a deadline, and I'm good to go. And if I haven't said all I want to say in the Batman fandom, I can post that stuff somewhere else, of course.
Or maybe the hour or so I spent on the two drabbles can be spent on my novel . . . or even on my treadmill. One of the valid things mentioned at the writer's workshop we went to last Saturday was that we all need to be aware of what things on line are just wasting our valuable time. I agree. And as long as I'm writing something for the 'right reasons' (to keep my brain oiled, to keep my 'muse' functioning), I consider it time well spent. Still, the urge to write fanfic needs to be managed, just like the urge to play Zuma. As we get closer to spring, my time will become more and more scarce, thus more and more valuable.