I didn't mean to let this sit for so long, but it's been a hell of a week for me...
I did laugh aloud at the overt fanfic author bashing. My own impression of that community's work is that maybe 1 in 100 is worth investigating, and that only a small fraction of that is worth a reader's time. If 1 in 1,000 fanfics is well-written, that'd pretty much meet my expectations. I've read some that were as good as canon, but it took hours of searching to find any one of those decent stories floating among the vast seas of meaningless drek out there..
I posted this topic (or a link to it) over an AnimeNation as well, and I was finally blessed with a response that made me think a little bit. The highlights are here:
Jabberwork at AN wrote:Entertaining read...
Honestly, I don't think that Desslock's generalization of AMV creators is all that inaccurate; but that admission comes with one caveat.
... Desslock, as someone who has taught writing to others, don't you ever remember telling aspiring writers how absurd their egos must be to imagine their words worth reading?
... So, you ask why creators submit their work and fear negative responses? Simple. Because they're not good enough yet and a little part of them knows that. And the sad bit is that until they learn to step down and listen, they'll never be good enough.
I suspect you know this, though. Which is why I'm curious now.
I never thought about it that way, because I've never taught writing that way, and I was never taught to write that way. But... I can't just dismiss it, either. The more I tossed it over in my mind, the more I thought, "You know, that's almost a valid approach". I taught something comparable, of course, but... more along the lines of assuring the class that their perspective wasn't any less significant than those of great authors, i.e.: "Samuel Clemens? Just a pundit who grew up on the river. You're living in an information age beyond his wildest imagination. Write about that." or "Hemingway? An alcoholic expatriot asshole. He wrote about what he knew in a style he believed to be the most effective; you should do the same."
But... I think he has a point. When you're teaching any form of creativity, you have to teach self-confidence in one's expression. But ... can it really hurt to teach arrogance as well? I don't know. I guess that so long as one also teaches the arrogance of "you can take any criticism", then it couldn't hurt, but... I still think it's an interesting perspective.
Thoughts along those lines, anyone?
Also: Ha, thought people might jump on the chance to critique my posted writing (in the link). I don't care either way (I was personally happy with most of the piece), but I expected to get beat up a bit. Haha.