This really has nothing to do with anything at all, but since it is related to reading and appreciating fiction, I think I'll throw it out there.
If any of you have heard of FictionPress, you'll know that it's a site where many authors start out. S.J. Maas first posted Throne of Glass on there, although she called it Queen of Glass instead. The feedback she got was part of the motivation for her to get her book published. S.C. Stephens also first introduced Thoughtless there.
There are so many other beautiful stories on FictionPress, and the wonderful thing about the authors on there is that they don't feel any need to fit into a particular category or to cater to the masses because they aren't writing for fame or royalties. They're writing because they want to hear what curious readers have to say about their work, and they're writing for themselves. Obviously I can't speak for the general masses, but most of us don't write because we want to become authors. We write because we already are authors and because we have stories we want the world to know.
While it can be annoying sometimes to sift through the piles of not-so-good stories on FictionPress (one of the disadvantages is that bad grammar is rampant), there's also that breathless sensation when a story captures your attention. I've spent many a night under my pillow, reading late into the night because I was desperate to know what happened next. I was struck by the poignancy of the stories there, of the intense love and fanaticism that they encouraged.
I wanted to encourage people to visit FictionPress, to try it out, whether it be reading or writing. If you're out of books or just want a change but don't want to deal with the bad stories that could be clogging up the website, and you love romance like me, try out the SKoW website. Also known as Some Kind of Wonderful Awards, it revolves around stories that stand out in multiple categories, from best MC portrayal to Best Breakout Author. They've just started a new round of nominations, so many fresh stories will probably be popping up. And maybe after you've read all the stories on there, you can try to find your own hidden gems on FictionPress. Trust me, there are many, though you have to search for them.