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Anonymous

Have you ever considered that maybe you want to stop RPing?

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I'm not talking taking a break. I'm not saying that moment that you are like "Well maybe I'll pick it up later". I'm more asking have you ever considered leaving all of the sites you are on, leave all the directories/resources you're a part of and just no more. Pick up a new hobby and move on.

 

I ask because sometimes I get so exhausted sometimes. The drama, the slogging through terrible admins, terrible members, lost RP partners, great ideas that die within a few months and all of it just goes around in a circle, round and round and round. Isn't that the definition of madness? Doing the same thing, over and over and expecting different results?

 

Sometimes its rewarding sometimes I feel like its an uphill battle to enjoy myself.

 

Do you ever feel this way? How do you deal with it if you do?

Anonymous poster hash: 8409d...b8d

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I think that feeling in particular is one anyone can have with any hobby or fandom or Thing You Enjoy, especially if it is a social one. I certainly don't think you're alone in it. I've definitely had it before, myself. I joined a site, got super invested in it, and then found it plagued with drama, terrible admins, sudden stupid rules that the admins didn't have to follow but everyone else did, etc. When the site died because all of the admins were 'busy with RL stuff" and never came back, I definitely considered giving up for good. I didn't write on any forum for a year. 

 

The only thing that kept me going was one friend inviting me to a new site, after a whole year had elapsed.  I almost didn't join. It was a site based on a book series I'd never read (and still haven't. I tried. It's not made for me, but I might try again sometime).  I was afraid of not being able to find plots, or that the site would die again. But, it had been around for more than 3 years already, and there were plenty of members, and my friend was there, so, I joined. It was 18+ only, as well, so the amount of childish drama was significantly lessened. 

 

After that, about 8 months later, my friend disappeared from the site. And I almost left. I had created multiple characters just for them, and I was only there because they'd encouraged me to be. But the admins allowed me to re-roll the characters to remove their connection to my friends (in those 10 months, surprisingly little had happened, it turned out. My friend wasn't great at posting). So I kept going. 

 

Now I've been on the site for over 2 and a half years, I'm a moderator, and not once in my entire tenure on the site has there been any massive drama. The only people that were ever banned were banned before they got off the ground, for being under 18 and lying about it. The only application that was rejected, was rejected because they took the character from an unrelated fandom and tried to copy and paste it into our (very different) setting.  People leave, ideas die, but new people come, too. And with them come new plots I hadn't even thought of. 

 

So, the moral of my post is that things can change. For the worse, for the better. If you decide to leave and not write anymore, then you're probably doing it for your best reasons. But if you want to write more, if the urge is too strong to really leave forever, then a month, 5 months, a year, later you can find that there ARE good sites out there. One can be found.  And it can definitely be worth it to come back. 

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Yes, I have thought about it. And when I'll close my site, maybe in one year, maybe in two, it will be the end for me. Not joining or opening another. Just returning to writing integrally alone. But it will be sad...

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Unfortunately things have reached a point where the thought of throwing the towel has crossed my mind. Not on the hobby as a whole, but on the site that I've been part of since 2008. It's unfortunate to see that the community is now feeling its age on both fronts. Firstly in terms of the median age of the member base; when I first joined in 2008, I was actually one of the few working adults on the site, while most of the community comprises of highschoolers to college undergrads. By the time I took the reins as the new head admin in 2015, most of the community is made of working adults. Contrary to popular stereotypes, I have found that young students generally are the sort of RPers who like to commit themselves to the "big picture" stuff, and engage in overarching storylines and long-term character development and the ilk. Y'know, the kind of things that makes a community vibrant and interesting. But as working adults with many RL obligations and responsibilities, I found that this is often not feasible - as the community ages up, I find that there is generally less and less vested interest in any long-term, big picture stuff.

 

Then secondly is the community itself. When I joined in 2008, it has already been running for a good 3 years. But it seems that eventually it reaches a point when most of the member base have more or less settled down within their own tight-knit circle of RP partners to care about what goes on with the bigger picture. Now, they aren't exactly cliquish, but as a rule of a thumb they have basically gotten too comfortable with their "inner circle" to care about what goes on outside these circles. So there's generally a lot less open RP threads or open discussions of plotting opportunities going on in the site or its Discord group. Which IMO, perpetuates a vicious cycle of insularity that makes the site seem cold and distant to newcomers; which was a far cry from the site I joined back in 2008. 

 

Basically, things have gotten stagnant (and as most of us know at this point, any community that stagnates will begin to shrink) and even most of the staff are too engrossed with their own RP inner circles to care, (I don't hold anything against them - they still perform their duties well when it comes to reviewing applications, moderating content and the like... just, they don't seem to have any vested interest in adding content to the bigger picture or openly plot outside of their RP circles - the stuff that helps newcomers feel welcome and get settled in) and at this point it feels like it's only me and one other mod who still has any vested interest in contributing to the big picture to try and draw in newcomers... but with just two of us there's only so much we can do.

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Yes, I have. Several times, and more and more often the older I get. 

 

I have all but sworn off forum roleplay, even though I still put out feelers for some every now and then looking for one I can call home. I've decided I won't ever admin an open forum again (I own a small one I use only to store stuff and with a space to roleplay just in case someone I like having as a partner wants to).

 

Trying to join a site nowadays is a mess. The first issue is that people don't seem to read the requests you put out. You write "I'm looking for a real life, modern day, site" and you get "well, here's my medieval fantasy site based on Game of Thrones (note: this is a completely random example), join us!", and then the person gets upset that well... that's not what you're looking for? The whole word count vs no word count, trigger warnings vs not (I don't join sites that require them and never will), the focus on aesthetics rather than a clean and functional skin, the face claim wars (I love face claims, but if the one I wan't isn't free, I'll just pick another - not ask the person using it to change their so I can have it), the faceshipping without any regard for the fact that sometimes characters don't match (heck, I've been kicked off a site because I didn't want to ship with a staff member based solely on my face claim when our characters were the worst possible match). And the people expecting roleplay partners to be therapists or walk on eggshells around them. It's just become way too dramatic and stressful for a hobby. And the smut hounds (note: smut is okay, it's trying to force others to write it that's the problem) who don't understand that sometimes you're not in the mood, and that's life, and so many other things.

 

Nowadays I still write through email with two partners, and that's it, but if those ever stop writing or the roleplays run to a close and we don't start a new one, I'll probably stop roleplaying completely and just focus more on my solo writing, unless I can find another partner like me, who just wants a drama-free, fun, low-stress collaborative writing experience.

 

So I feel you. If you feel like quitting, give yourself time - step back, focus on other things. You'll know if you want to stop, which's completely fine, or if you're just burned out and need a break, which's fine too. When the hobby stops being fun, it's time for another one, after all. 

 

You're totally not alone.

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Shady McShaderson

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I have the problem where I've given up rp multiple times but always come back to it when I'm bored and craving a social writing outlet. I struggle writing something I find meaningful on my own anymore - I feel like my ideas stagnate and I need outside, collaborative inspiration. I've tried quitting rp and joining writing meetups, exploring different writing mediums like scriptwriting and journalism, but they're just...not the same. I don't get the same excitement from them. So I always inevitably come back even after I've sworn it off forever. It's a vicious cycle for me - I've done this several times. 

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I feel ya... I feel that circle of madness. Having the rp itch, joining a forum or group, getting invested, really...really getting invested, obsessively so, then discovering the site or group is bloated with all the issues that frustrate me, the issues that make rping on a forum (my preferred rp!) or a large group boring at best and aggravating at worst, and finally ghosting the place before that rp itch can be scratched. Repeat a month later. And then again, and again... I've repeated the cycle so many times, I don't feel any guilt over ghosting a forum anymore. Nor the impish "Ah-ha! Serves y'all idiots right!" that came with shameless ghosting. Now I just range from frustrated and hateful to numb and...still hateful.

 

I've basically sworn off forum rp at this point, and haven't been an active rper for about three years now. Before - when I was a lil' bright eyed squishy thing - I could browse through the info pages of a new, interesting site and be full of hope that maybe this place would be different. Maybe those issues that plague my enjoyment in this hobby will not have infected this site too, or be present in small, avoidable or at least tolerable amounts. I'd join, have my hopes dashed, start to wonder if I'm the issue since I'm the common factor, mmnnneegh...and shamefully ghost the site. Now, I can identify the problems before I join. I see the redflags in the wording of rules, the attitude and behavior of staff, and just how the rp is unfolding. I save myself the time and trouble of joining a game I'll just leave soon after jumping in, but there is a certain bitter melancholy in the absence of that hope I once felt. I wonder why I bother at all.

 

I've tried other forms of rp, too. 1x1 has never held my interested for too long, I really enjoy the large groups and singular settings or arching plots ya get with forums. Chat rp is too sloppy for my tastes and plagued by the same issues that repel me from most forums. Game-based rp is an even worse offender on those two fronts that make chat rp unbearable for me. I started to consider leaving the hobby behind for good, yeh. If I did, I would be able to let go of this old knot of frustrations and just keep the fond memories. As I write this, considering leaving feels good. Relieving. I empathize muchly with the stories and complaints in this thread.

 

But if I left, right now, I would regret it. Long ago, I identified the issues that prevent me from enjoying rp. Relatively recently, I played on an rp that - although the site didn't survive its first year due to its own issues - proved to me that some of the larger, most offensive problems I struggle against in forum rp can be solved. And not just solved in a manner that forbids or discourages the problem, but also encourages very fun and rewarding play. If I don't attempt to make the game I've been looking for, if only to finally determine with certainty if I was the common issue in all the rp I ghosted over the years or if the rps were the problem... If I don't attempt to make my perfect rp, not knowing for sure if I could have had a forever-rp-home or not will drive me far madder than the current cycle of disappointment. I always joked that the dysfunctional rp cycle was "Join a forum, play on the forum, hate the forum, make own 'better' forum, fail and rejoin the first forum." I've never made it to step four, and I think it's high time I gave it a go.

 

Who knows? Maybe my game will fail miserably or I'll discover that I just am not cut out for rp, and should instead focus on my own neglected writing projects. Maybe my game will succeed and I'll live happily ever after. -shrug- So...yeah. Long-short, I feel ya. I've got nagging unfinished business I must wrap up before I can give up rp for good, but I one hundred percent feel ya. If not for that urge to try my hand at a game, I would probably be long gone by now.

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Dear OP, 

 

I think this happens to all of us. In fact, I almost didn't come back to writing, but one of my best friends and favorite RP buddies really talked me back into it. If it hadn't been for her, I wouldn't have created Tempest and I wouldn't have built up my RP buddy friendship base as much as I have. The constant wave of disappointment is exhausting - I get it. It's important that when you feel that disappointment, you remind yourself that you're not going to be the RPer that bails, you're not going to be that crappy admin, you're not going to be that person. And yes, it's sometimes hard. When I get into a slump like this, I do actually take a break. I'll step away for a week and re-evaluate. The one time when I thought I was stepping away for good, I had decided that I wanted to write alone, and it was so therapeutic. However, my favorite part about RP is the collaborative nature, and I missed writing with other characters that I didn't control. It eventually got a little lonely and ultimately, when I realized that someone actually missed me writing with them, it pushed me back in. 

 

Maybe a change of scenery is what needs to happen. Maybe its time for you to be an admin if you're not already running a site. Maybe you should step down as an admin if you are one and take a break for a little period of time. Maybe it's time for you to find a new genre and give it a whirl. Those are other things that have helped me in the past as well. Learn to only write the fun things and avoid people that give you red flags. Make it about the no-nonsense that you want it to be about and be a little more picky with who you write with. Don't let other people ruin your fun or make it feel like a chore. If you want to reserve your writing to people that you know are stable and that you know will always be around, do that. You don't have to RP with everyone. 

 

I really hope that you find your interest renewed, OP. RP is one of the best hobbies that I've ever had, and I feel like we're a dying breed around the interwebs. It would be a real shame to lose someone over drama like that, and if you ever need to talk, feel free to message me personally. 

 

xoxo, 

 

A veteran RPer

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Yes....but I always end up coming back (usually out of sheer boredom).  It's not a pretty cycle, but sometimes that's just the way it is.  If you don't want to play anymore, you don't want to write anymore, then -don't-.  you shouldn't be killing yourself mentally for something that you don't enjoy anymore.


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I have quit before. At the moment, I am enjoying RP so I'm not in that space but I've definitely been there. Sometimes, it just gets to a point where it's not fun anymore or there's too much crap to put up with that dampens whatever fun there is to be had. When the stress outweighs the fun, that's when I have to step back and evaluate. And yeah, in the past, that meant quitting RP altogether for a while. You should never be FORCING yourself to do anything so if it comes to that point, it's all right to be like "I'm done." It doesn't mean you'll never come back but if it does, so be it. You'll find other ways to occupy your time or new hobbies.

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I've definitely considered it.  I've even taken a hiatus.  But the truth is, I'd miss rp'ing too much to leave completely.

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Without reading through everyone else's replies, I think @VirusZero has pretty much summed up my feelings on the matter. I've not done any real rp for a long while, and events of the summer that has just gone changed my perspective on a lot of things. My partner was ill at the beginning of the summer, Icyboards shut down (that threw a big spanner in the works - it always seems like I have to start something from scratch, and doing that with a forum is a lot of hard work.), but what really was the last straw was losing our dog (my partner's illness was bad, and we were very lucky with that, and it could have been a whole lot worse that it was, but it was worrying and stressful all the same.)

 

I don't take rp as seriously any more. If it goes well and I have fun with it, that's enough. If it's the writing that you enjoy, in rp, you can still do that, you can just cut out the collaborative writing aspect of it. Find other ways of enjoying yourself if you think that rp is no longer enjoyable for you, and if it's a fandom that you are in, there are other ways of enjoying your fandom.

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