Everbody's Free (To Be Fannish)

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Title: Everbody's Free (To Be Fannish)
Creator: elizah jane
Date(s): January 23, 2010
Medium: Live Journal post
Fandom: it has a Supernatural slant, but it multifannish
Topic:
External Links: Everbody's Free (To Be Fannish)
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Everbody's Free (To Be Fannish) is 2010 essay by elizah jane.

It is the fannish version of "The Sunscreen Song."

"I had occasion recently to link someone to the sunscreen thing and it got me thinking. I'm sure that there are approximately half a billion of these for fandom, but whatever. Here's mine!"

The essay has 295 comments, most of them very short.

The Essay

Fangirls of the internets:

Get a laptop.

If I could offer you only one tip for fandom, a laptop would be it. The portable benefits of laptops have been proven by con-goers everywhere, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own fannish experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and freedom of your fannish persona. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and freedom of your fannish persona until real life causes you to take a fandom hiatus. But trust me, in the middle of RL bullshit, you'll look back at your post-episode reactions and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much fun you really had. You are not as cynical as you imagine.

Don't worry about being wanked. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to apply logic to shipper wars. The real wank is apt to be something that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindsides you the first time you check your inbox after posting something offhand and walking away from your computer for four hours on some idle Tuesday.

Read a story every once in awhile that scares you.

Post.

Don't be reckless with other people's fanworks. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Feedback.

Don't waste your time hating BNFs. Sometimes you're part of the "in" crowd, sometimes you think they’re douchebags. The internet is huge and, in the end, they’re just fangirls like everybody else.

Remember anonlove comments you receive. Ignore the anon hate memes completely. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old icons. Throw away your old flames.

Go to Wincon.

Don't feel guilty if you don’t like everyone your friends like. The most interesting people I know have some crazy-ass, wanky fangirl friends. Some of the most interesting people I know are crazy-ass wanky fangirls. ♥

Get perspective on the things that irritate you from your friends. Be kind to the people you disagree with. You never know when it might be your head on a pike.

Maybe you'll rise to BNFdom, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll write a popular series, maybe you won't. Maybe your vids will go largely ignored, maybe you're fanart will be linked to all over the place. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Fandom reaction isn’t always the best measure of the quality of your art. A lot is based on people’s kinks.

Enjoy the dirtiness of your imagination. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of your kinks. I guarantee there’s a fangirl out there pervier than you are.

Make up stories, even if you only ever tell them to yourself.

Read the highly-rec’d stories, even if you don't end up liking them.

Do not read fandomsecrets. It will only make you feel bitter.

Get to know your friendslist. You never know when they'll fuck off to Star Trek. Be nice to your friends from previous fandoms. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to read your stories in the future.

Understand that lj friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in fandoms and favored pairings, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were a crazy Clexer.

Skim Fandom_Wank once in awhile, but stop before it makes you angry. Read icanhascheezburger.com, but leave before it makes you speak lolcats indefinitely. Comment.

Accept certain inalienable truths: People are bad about leaving feedback. There will be wank over hiatus. You, too, will become a Bitter Old Fandom Queen. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, fangirls left glorious feedback, hiatus was for porn and fanbrats respected their resident BOFQs.

Respect your resident BOFQ.

Don't make sweeping proclamations that you’ll never cross line "x". Maybe you only write gen fic. Maybe you still love your original OTP. But you never know when the CW will premiere a new show that makes you want to ship two brothers so hard it hurts.

Don't mess too much with your lj name or people will become hopelessly confused as to who you actually are.

Be careful whose meta you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Meta is a valid use of that English degree. Dispensing it is a way of fishing out the best parts of your show, stringing together the overarching themes, putting them into essay form and persuading people to see the show the way you do. (You don’t have to be right, you just have to be convincing!)

But trust me on the laptop.

Some Fan Comments: At the Post

[girl wonder]: hahahaha. The best part is most of this is totally advice I'd love for baby fangirls to get.
[nightswhisper]: I love you so much right now. I could hear the original voice saying this all the way though. Nicely done.
[harwhon]: This is awesome - hilarious, yet completely true. Makes you realise how awesome fandom can be, really.

Don't make sweeping proclamations that you’ll never cross line "x". Maybe you only write gen fic. Maybe you still love your original OTP. But you never know when the CW will premiere a new show that makes you want to ship two brothers so hard it hurts.

This made me LOL - it's crazy how many of my lines I've crossed ever since I discovered Supernatural.
[ukshewrote]: This was so awesome I want to share it with my RL friends. Sadly fandom is a concept more alien and incomprehensible to most people I know than 'String theory', but it was a joy to read Thank you.
[apetslife]: I think you should know, you had me rolling with laughter and nodding "yes, yes, THIS" by the third line. But the closer just about killed me dead with its extreme awesomeness.
[balefully]: Aww, this made me so emotional T_T SOMETIMES I REALLY LOVE FANDOM. Even with all its drawbacks, the fannish experience is so unique and amazing. <333 Thanks for that reminder.
[itsthedetails]: This is funny and great advice. It made me feel all nostalgic for the old days when I was discovering and making some of these realization in fandom.
[iibnf]: I love these. This is so much like the one I did a few years ago, but more updated, (well, SPN wasn't around then...): Everybody's free to get a fandom live journal

References