Love and Support

Ah, February. A time marked by the ancient practice of showering someone you love in little tithes of your devotion.

Here on Ficly, a disturbing trend has emerged in this month of love — stories about blood, cutting, suicide, addiction, and death.

Has February become a second October??

I feel the need to challenge my ficly family to reach out with words of support.

Most entries involving the maiming of flesh, contemplating suicidal leaps into the ether, or depressed declarations of desire to end it all are written to console the author and keep them from actually doing these things. At least, I’ve been told by some of you that writing is your catharsis and not to worry, you really won’t do anything brash.

For the duration of this month of love, I propose we comment on such ficlies with encouraging words.

Perhaps you are the one who makes that person feel better.

That is a gift worth more than chocolates or roses!

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Comments (28 so far!)

  1. Avatar In Night's Arms

    Certainly a good idea. Though it shouldn’t be something we need ti make an effort to do at a specific time.
    I had noticed the trend already too.

  2. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    The blog post worked better with a theme of valentine’s day, not that this should become a tradition, but would it really be so bad?

  3. Avatar In Night's Arms

    No I’m not saying it would be bad at all. But we don’t need a specific time to be encouraging.
    I have issues with the whole valentines day thing anyway.
    But no, this is a good idea. So I agree with what you’re saying.

  4. Avatar August 2nd

    The winter is often a bad time for depression. My advice to anyone out there that is suffering depression is to first and foremost, see your doctor if you’re able to. There are medications that can help as I can personally attest to. (I returned to work last week after 4 months off on medical leave for depression.) Secondly, you need to talk to people about anything at all and preferably in real life. But if talking to someone anonymously will help, exchange notes with someone here that you like. Plenty of people here would be happy to give you the support you need. Just don’t do nothing. Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It’s an illness. Treat it like one.

  5. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Fabulous words, August, and well said! Especially the part about talking about anything at all. :) Also, real depression is, at its most basic definition, sadness that lasts at least two weeks. Just so you all know.

  6. Avatar memento

    I must admit, as Ficly is a fiction writing community, it is especially difficult to tell the difference between a sincere cry for help and what is merely a well written story that has melancholic tendencies.
    Generally, I agree with August. While internet acquaintances can be helpful, nothing beats real people for conversation, especially if those people have direct insight into you situation. I understand that not everyone has supportive family and/or friends, but seriously: we on the internet can never know more than you are able to tell us. A good friend can let you know when your problem is external (a bad situation, unfortunate events in your life, etc.) or internal (overreactions, emotional confusion, unrealistic expectations, etc.), or both.

    And just as depression can be medical, it can also simply be emotional. Understand the differences and treat them appropriately.

  7. Avatar 32 ^2

    A Ficly member who mentored me when I first started writing told me he could no longer read my stories, he couldn’t take it anymore, he was done with me.

    What he was experiencing is known as Secondary Trauma. Sharing a particular brutality is made worse if it’s articulated well. His comment was exactly what I needed to hear, and I was in a good mental place to take it constructively; I trusted his criticism too.

    You must show some level of compassion for your readers. I decided my poison was not a good thing to share. I would never think of even offering any of you sour milk, why my sour history?

    Respect your readers; there’s worse things to read than swearwords, sexual content and gore. If you see that you write only is this format and can’t seem to shake it, print your stories and share them with a counselor, most suggest writing therapy anyways.

  8. Avatar Abby (LoA)

    Having another go at a comment in case my last was too personal for some people.

    It’s often difficult to actually tell if a ficly is real or made up. There’s no difference between a horror story written about a character who suffers terrible things, and the genuine documentation of someone’s personal experience. From a reader’s point of view, this is Schrödinger’s Ficly, where we can assume the story to be both real and invented. It can therefore affect us no differently in either state.

    Besides, in a world craving drama and horror, why shouldn’t we draw on personal experience to entertain. I’d rather read about someone’s pain and help them, than waste my time on unicorns and fluffy bunnies.

  9. Avatar Abby (LoA)

    In direct response to the blog, I’ve never appreciated anything over the years as much as I appreciate the community of Ficly. It’s not just a place for ‘constructive criticism’ or a ‘writing forum’. It’s an actual family – something that everyone seems to have forgotten (except Elsha – bows and worships) We should care about each other beyond the writing that unites us, and want to support each other.

    Yes, I’ve grown as a writer because of the site, but also as a person. It’s seen me through hard times. So…apologies for my part in all the depressing writing. I do hope that I’ve commented and challenged enough to balance out my tide of poison.
    Thank you, and good-night
    Abby x

  10. Avatar 32 ^2

    @Abby.

    Yes, there are distinctions between fiction and non-fiction. However, when a story is written, or a poem penned, it’s not a secret that the writer bleeds. World views and experiences are not camouflaged in different sections of a library.

    A great example is a famous short story, assigned in many college courses, that stands as a testament to the invisible bridge between fiction and non-fiction.

    The story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, written by Flannery O’Conner, is pure fiction. Or is it? The first half is a rough read, but the last half makes you appreciate your own patience. It’s that phenomenal.

    Fiction? Maybe. But it’s not fictional that Flannery was suffering severe pain and dying from an incurable illness. Her anger at God, at knowing she would be cut down in her prime, is blatant. You can feel all of her non-fictional emotions in-between the lines.

    http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~surette/goodman.html

  11. Avatar Robert Quick

    I love my Ficly Family. I want the best for all of us. I apologize for not showing it as often as I could but I do think our positive spirit shines through at times. Sir Bic’s comment tournament comes to mind, as does zxasdf’s challenge to create a strange and wonderful house, not to mention Abby’s own “A Piece of Ficly Love”.

    Personally, I suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) and retreat from the world from September through December and often channel negative feelings into my writing.

    Writers (including poets) tend to be a broken lot. The demons that plague us often drive us to our most profound works. They give us/feed off our passion. I’d rather be my broken self than become one among the banal hordes of humanity. I’m not trying to diminish any personal tragedy, I’m trying to say that acceptance is part of our community and I am proud to know you.

    Lastly, I would like to offer my note-box to anybody who feels like they need to talk. You are NOT alone!

  12. Avatar Kihd

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OJCCl5vOqg

  13. Avatar In Night's Arms

    @Robert
    I like how you throw poets in there like an afterthought. My first reaction was “I’m not broken!” And then I had to laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of that.

    @Abby
    You make a good point. This is a family, a strange one. But a family. In the past few weeks that is something I’ve been starting to realize, mostly because I’m trying to make a point of being more involved. That’s something I’ll keep trying to do, because I like this family. There aren’t people in my life who write like I do, or deal with the things I have going on, so having this group of people here is pretty great.

    (I always feel like I stray away from the point I want to make)

  14. Avatar Robert Quick

    @ In Night’s Arms- Believe me you weren’t an after thought but I wasn’t sure if poets consider themselves writers and I wanted to make sure they knew they were included. Personally, I think everybody is broken, but writers (all of us, from poets and authors to comedians) appear to be more so, perhaps because we present our broken-ness publicly?

  15. Avatar In Night's Arms

    @Robert
    Oh I’ve always thought of myself as a writer. We accomplish the same thing, in the end. Or try to at least.
    And I agree. Everyone’s broken. Merely a matter of how well we can hide it, or how much of it we are willing to share.

  16. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Schrödinger’s Ficly! Love it @Abby! That is exactly what I meant when I wrote this blog. :) Also, thanks to RQ and Night’s Arms and Abby for finally saying what I meant by this post. I was worried the message did not get through and I’d have to amend..

  17. Avatar 32 ^2

    If it transfers from the brain through some common or bizarre medium, you’re self-expressing, that includes writing.

    Writing is the first step in exercising self awareness. It’s also the first chance, and maybe the only chance, a person get’s to speak their voice. I used this voice to send Elsha a note about this issue, and she was kind enough to pick it up like a big sister and run with it. I became afraid to read some of the people I was following, and had not written for a number of days. Maybe big sis sensed this, a slipping away, thanks Elsha for trusting that my concerns were probably shared by others too.

    There’s many ways to define “writer”. Here on Ficly, Writer defines as “To commit one’s thoughts to writing”. We also need to recognize that the best way to confirm if a piece is good or not, no matter the subject, is if it evokes an emotional response. Some of us are able to read the dark stuff, it just seems that there was a theme happening on Ficly that needed to be addressed.

  18. Avatar Mighty-Joe Young (A.K.A Strong Coffee)(LoA)

    Elsha you are always apologizing. you apologizing for being ‘you’ is as ridiculous as an albatross apologizing for not being an aardvark. this was a great blog with a very heartfelt sentiment. Keep up the good work. I think ill write some romantic thing now. or maybe not lol.

  19. Avatar Wednesday [PJ] ((LoA))

    I agree with Mr Young. I love you Elsha, and if it weren’t for you being you I would not be the somewhat stable chick I am today. Stop apologising.
    I love this family so much. There are so many people on here who make me smile, and coming back after an unplanned hiatus is a relief to the system that I adore
    I have to be grateful. I want to get more involved again. As much as I can. Love to you all.

  20. Avatar Kihd

    I also feel like I need to get back into the motions of at least commenting regularly. The gears in my brain felt a little stickier than usual during my hiatus.

  21. Avatar memento

    The Ficly community is evolving!
    It’s becoming…
    THE FICLY FAMILY!
    +25 commitment pts
    +20 endurance pts
    +15 imagination pts

    Cheers, Ficsters. Let’s make 2012 a year to remember.

  22. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    ROFL

  23. Avatar Kihd

    I remember when a bunch of us were talking about a Ficly Convention. Where has time gone? That was about a year ago, if I remember correctly.

  24. Avatar memento

    It was. Right after I joined, I think.

  25. Avatar Abby (LoA)

    I remember that. Oh, happy days. And that boat idea was great – that’s all I remember of it.

  26. Avatar The Ghost in the Machine LoA

    If we could get a convention of some sort together that would be pretty awesome haha I would go. I wrote on the old ficlets but theres been alot of turnover since I came back here so I’m still trying to get to know everyone

  27. Avatar In Night's Arms

    That would be really awesome, I would totally go too

  28. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Well, now I feel especially bad for having been absent lately. You guys have already hit the high points, so I’ll just sit here in the corner and smile and nod with a sanguine sort of look on my face. I’m really just spaced out from my own medication, but hopefully it will look like I’m all wise and stuff.