Everybody's free to get a fandom live journal

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Title: Everybody's free to get a fandom live journal
Creator: Bernice (on the website post), llbnf (on the Livejournal post)
Date(s): February 2004
Medium: online
External Links: Everybody's free to get a fandom live journal, Archived version
also here, with 269 comments: archive, page 1, archive, page 2, archive, page 3, archive, page 4, archive, page 5,
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Everybody's free to get a fandom live journal is a 2004 essay by Bernice.

It is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek list "Based, obviously, on Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen (The Sunscreen song)."

The comments provide a really interesting snapshot of early Livejournal and fandom: permissions, requests, vocabulary, linking, and community.

Some Comments from the Author

In the comments section on the Livejournal post:

"I'm really surprised by the people who were touched by this. I was going for the funny, and was careful not to say anything unpleasant (very unpleasant, anyway ;D ) but it seems to really have touched some folks sweetly. Which is great, of course!"

"You know, I thought maybe it would be nice to do a smut free version, and send it to Brad (LJ founder) as a present. A goat version, perhaps? Ode to Frank? Thanks for liking it :D"

"It wasn't intended to be warm and fuzzy, believe it or not, but I think that a lot of people have read it that way. Hey, as long as people enjoy it, I'm happy :D"

Some Topics Discussed

  • printing out fic on paper
  • flaming other fans
  • the benefits of Livejournal
  • betas
  • LOTRIPS fandom

The Essay

Ladies and gentleman of Century 21 Fandom.

Get a Live Journal.

If I could offer you only one tip for fandom interaction, live journal would be it. The long-term benefits of live journal have been proven by fans who have abandoned e-mail, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own extensive experience. I will dispense this advice now.

*backing music begins*

Enjoy the power and beauty of your talent. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your talent ever. But trust me, in a few years, you'll look back at printouts of your old stories and recall what a great time you had writing all this smut and the fabulous feedback you received. You are not the hack you imagine.

Don't worry too much about who will enjoy your writing. Or worry, but know that no matter what you write, someone will be interested in what you are writing, even if it's just yourself. The real troubles in fandom are apt to be the things that you never expected, like the rabid loonie that blindsides you at 4am in some idle chat room.

Do one thing every day that scares that bitch that flamed you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, remember, some people are very sensitive to criticism - no matter how much they may need it. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours, but ask them for criticism anyway.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes an author you hate gets more feedback than you, sometimes you get more. The writing is fun and, in the end, it's only for yourself.

Remember the good feedback you receive. Forget the flames. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old supportive live journal comments. Throw away the crappy ones.


Don't feel guilty if you have an idea for the filthiest, most degrading story out there. The most memorable stories I know stood out from the crowd by taking chances. Some of the most beautiful stories out there rely on well loved cliche.

Get plenty of fish oil. Be kind to your fingers. You'll miss them when they're riddled with tendonitis.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, remember to post about it in live journal every day. In great detail. So will everybody else.

Enjoy your fandom. Use it up in every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the most enjoyable waste of time you'll ever have.

Post, even if you have nothing to post about but the fact that you're bored.

Read the smut, even if you don't like the pairing.

Do not attack people through fandom wank. That will only get you unfriended.

Get to know your local fans. You never know when you'll have a huge falling out over LOTRIPS fandom and never talk to them again. Be nice to other fans in your fandom. They are most likely to link to your live journal and let you see their friends only posts in the future.

Understand that friends come and go depending on what fandoms you're in, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because no one really cares about those things on the net, all they want is the porn.

Get a Greatest Journal once, but give up after finding out it's crap and just use it for icon storage. Get a blog once, then abandon it when you discover Live Journal's friending functions.

Write Porn

Accept certain inalienable truths: Newbies will annoy. Know-it-alls will patronise. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasise that when you were young, you were never an annoying newbie, know-it-alls actually knew something and readers gave feedback to good authors.

Give feedback to good authors.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you'll get a paid journal from an anonymous admirer. Maybe you'll sell enough shit on ebay to pay for it yourself. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your website or by the time it's finished it will explode with unreadable java.

Be careful which beta reader's advice you take, but be patient with those who supply it. In fact, buy them lovely presents and chocolate, because they do a difficult job. Beta reading is a form of power. Dispensing it can be a way of trying to get an author to write just the right kind of porn to scratch the beta reader's itch. This is not a bad thing.

But trust me on the live journal.

Comments at the Livejournal Post


My cheeks are aching from smiling at this.

So clever.

And I'm right there with you on the tendinitis. Do you get that thing where your finger bends into your palm and won't unbend by itself?
[I am awed. I will now get down on my knees to worship and grovel at your feet.]: I am awed. I will now get down on my knees to worship and grovel at your feet.
[ bethbethbeth ]::::sniff::

Oh...that was...


so beautiful


There are no words... :::sniff:::

Especially this: "Do one thing every day that scares that bitch that flamed you." *g*

Words to live by, my sister. Words to live by.
[ cesperanza ]:Oh, hilarious. I enjoyed this so much!--thanks!
[ veronamay ]: That's the best thing I've read all day. :)
[ lyricalnights ]: *[[fangirls]] you harder than I ever thought possible*
[wyomingnot]:What's one more incoherent comment?

This was absolutely fucking brilliant! See? It's reduced me to obscenity just to express the depth of brilliance you've posted.


*fangirls you ruthlessly*
[thepsychicclam]:ok, this is gonna sound kinda weird. but this was exactly what i needed. i've felt so burned out on fandon, but this kinda hit something.
[sarren]: Love it, love it, love it!!!

You're, as always, fantastic.

(also not on your friends list, recced by Speranza) Plan to rec it on my lj to the other Perth slashers if you don't mind.

[llbnf]:Thank you. Always great to see another Aussie! Rec away - I'm absolutely stunned by all the people who have enjoyed this!
[rahalia_cat]:Absolutely brilliant! Consider yourself linked-to, hon ;O)
[neerod]:I found this through friendsfriends surfing... and wanted to take a moment and squee my adoration and thanks at you 'personally'. *g*

More wonderful and truer words re: journaling were never spoken. Sooo... do you get anything from the lj people by pimping their service to the fandom crowd?? *snickers* No? Well, you should. This would convince me!

[gaaak]:I noticed you already have more than a hundred comments. Well, here's one more to clog your inbox.

The Sunscreen Song always makes me feel nostalgic. But it has never brought tears to my eyes the way The Livejournal Song did.

I've met so many people, and we stay connected through LJ. One day I may look back and laugh. One day I may look back and cry. But I'll never regret my Eljaying days. Thanks to people like you.
[rohandove]:I was just linked to this from my friends page. I had to stop over and say, this was wonderful to read. There is way too much in the way of negative thinking out there right now, I *adored* reading this. Matter of fact, last night I had just posted a challenge to everyone on my flist to write a small summary of one thing you do like in fandom, to counter the negativity.

Thank you again for sharing this. Was a truly great read!

::friending you::
[tammylee]:=D Such wisdom has not been dispensed since Moses came down from the mount.
[lazy daze]:THIS IS BEAUTIFUL. And so true. So much love for eljay *hugs* and I am totally friending you now, if that's okely dokely with you :)
[ancientsavvy]:That was wonderful, thanks for writing it and sharing it. Its making the rounds! :-) And its so true! There is something freeing about LiveJournal, I've been on mailing lists for years and they just don't have the same feel to them.
[llbnf]:Thank you - I'm stunned by how far this is spreading - it's really struck a cord with people, hasn't it! I think that the mailing lists just don't have the autonomy that LJ gives us, nor the sense of community.
[tehills]:What a great adaptation of the song. I'd say parody, but it's not quite that. Lovely job either way. ♥ *adds to memories*
[bitterbyrdy]:Man. This is so meta/not-meta that it boggles. I love it. I'm virtually applauding you. :-D