October 5th, 2010

Winter Sunlight

I <3 my flist

So today, I woke up in a dark mood and sulked around through my morning, and then I went and hunted down some ATLA fanart to rec at [community profile] fanart_recs - and, I don't know, as I poked through art, my mood cleared up and I realized that it's not the only time. I've been prone to depression all my life -- usually not severe enough to need to be medicated for it, but I'm definitely prone to pretty low down-swings. And I'm coming to realize that fandom is, in fact, one of my coping mechanisms to get myself out of the downward spirals that I can get into. It's not a magic cure-all, of course, but you know what? It helps. It really does.

I got back into fandom in 2006 after being gone for years -- I tried to pull back, tried to stop writing fanfic because that's what I thought a serious, aspiring-pro writer needed to do. I was also moving and starting a new job, and even before that, I hadn't really been in fandom per se (at least not fanfic fandom) -- mostly I just read and wrote fic. So it didn't seem like a difficult thing to give up. But then I fell hard for SGA in early 2006, and got into LJ, and, well ...

It's been awesome.

There have been major downs to balance out the highs, of course. There've been times when I just wanted to turn my back on the whole mess, times that fandom has made me cry and scream and throw things. I'm still guilty and embarrassed over some of the mistakes I've made and the careless things I've said; there are things I wish I could take back, and times I really wanted life to have an "undo".

But all in all, ups and downs together, how could I trade the last four years and all of you guys for anything? I've made so many friends. I've gone places, done things, seen things that I would never have done if not for people I've met in fandom. I've been introduced to hundreds of new books, movies, TV shows, manga and anime. I've had wonderful, thought-provoking conversations on so many different topics. I've read blog posts and critical meta that's opened my eyes to things in the world around me I never dreamed about.

I love you guys. I love that you share the things that thrill you and make you squee, because reading your squee-posts makes me happy and high, even if I'm not in your fandom or 'ship zone. Sometimes I have to struggle with guilt about just being uncritically happy about something, but you guys set a fantastic example. Never feel guilty for being happy!

But don't feel guilty for being critical, either. I love that you all are smart and thoughtful and that I can have smart and thinky conversations with you. I love that I have learned so much, through fandom, about different ways of thinking and seeing and being; I feel like I'm not only a much better writer but a much better, more empathic person because of the things I've learned from all of you, from the discussions you've had and the ones you've linked me to. I love that so many of you, in big and little ways, are doing things to make the world better; even if we disagree, I still respect your bravery to stand up for what you believe in, and watching you makes me want to try to make the world better, too. (But there's absolutely nothing wrong with just showing up for the squee and the fic! It's not a party if no one comes, and if fandom is an escape zone for you -- as it often is for me -- please don't feel like you have to change!)

I love how so many of you have become not just LJ friends but real true friends, most of whom I've actually managed to meet in person at least once! (And eventually, I hope I'll meet all the ones I haven't!) And maybe some of you that I don't know very well are just friends I haven't made yet (including the lurkers! how could I not mention the lurkers? I've lurked through entire fandoms in the past; there is no shame in lurking!).

I really appreciate that those of you who've moved most of your operations to DW are still willing to use LJ enough to stay in touch with me. :D Knowing how some of you feel about LJ, that really means a lot to me.

Fandom in general (sort of like life itself) can be a big, terrifying, often war-torn place. No one should have to navigate fandom alone, without a road map and a safety net. ♥ That's you guys: the people who listen and comfort me, the people who share fic with me and point me to the links I'd otherwise miss -- the people who help me find my way around, and then provide a comfy place to come home to when I've had enough of the big scary world for a while.

Just writing all of this has basically put me on top of the world.

I think I can say without any bias at all that you guys are the very bestest flist ever. ♥ ♥ ♥

(no subject)

... although, on a somewhat less chipper note, LJ is slow again. *pokes it*

State of the Novel:

42000 / 52000 (80.77%)

And now to get some writing done. *makes tea*

(My creative impulse appears to be entirely fueled by tea, which would be a serious problem in the case of apocalypse or worldwide tea shortage, I suppose ...)