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Living Loz
This train don't stop there any more... 
5th-Oct-2010 09:34 am
Loz Target
Like with many things, fandom is only as good as the people joining in, whether actively or passively. The more people who are active, the better it is. More fic, more art, more vids, and recs, and discussions, (but we can't forget the audience is necessary too.)

I can understand drifting away from a fandom, feeling like you've said everything there is for you to say, no longer getting that oh! I need to write/vid/draw this! idea, finding other characters in other fandoms you want to read about, look at, and watch. The allure of the shiny shiny can be very strong.

But all too often what I see is that diminished drive and activity accompanied by --- hell, sometimes justified by --- plaintive cries of 'this fandom isn't what it used to be :('

I've seen a lot of different people say this about many different fandoms. I've done it myself.

Well, yes. If you're no longer writing that much fic/making vids/creating art/joining in discussions, chances are you're going to miss the excellent discussions and plot bunnying and general craziness and hilarity that fandom's notorious for. The general rule of fanfic is "if you write it, they will come". If you want to see a particular theme explored, write it, and see the inspiration it gives other writers. I'm fairly sure these maxims apply to all facets of fannish activity.

I always feel like it's a bit of a disservice to new fen when old timers say 'this fandom isn't like it used to be :('. No. It may not be. But it could still be rather excellent. It could be smaller, yes, less active, but no less wonderful.

I've lost several waves of friends in Life on Mars fandom over the years --- some of whom I'm still, thankfully, friends with! \o/ But some with whom I've lost touch. Do you know what? I made new friends among the new fen, by trying new fic, engaging in discussion, interacting. I wanted to do this, so I did. I've long, long, long since given up saying 'this isn't what it used to be :(', even though it isn't; I've seen the fandom take many incarnations and for, oh, a year there, the fandom was a hotbed of inspiration and fervour. But I --- I like a lot of the new people who have come over the years, and I think they've brought valuable insight, and they've created some truly great stuff. I don't want to discount them because they're new.

I have lost the drive to fic, mod or set up, before now. There have been some months where I haven't had the least interest in a time travelling cop. Quite a few times where I've said "this will probably be my last fic" (with the insistence that I am, always, a liar.) But I've lurked around until I felt ready to participate again. I eventually learned not to blame my lack of drive on new fen.

I'm not saying people shouldn't be allowed to drift away from a fandom, or that they must cling on even if it isn't enjoyable any more. That would be ridiculous. What I am saying is that 'this fandom isn't what it used to be :(' isn't the world's best excuse and I'd quite like not to see it any more.
5th-Oct-2010 02:41 am (UTC)

If the fans who keep lamenting the decline of the community would put that energy into participating, the community would be livelier. It's axiomatic!

As a (comparatively) new fan who *adores* LoM fandom, I do sometimes feel discouraged when this refrain comes around. It's good to hear the details of your experience. Perspective always helps ♥

Edited at 2010-10-05 02:43 am (UTC)
6th-Oct-2010 04:30 am (UTC)
It's so easy to wish for things to be the way they used to be, isn't it? I feel like that quite frequently about all kinds of things. I do wish that wishing came with accompanying action or awareness that you can't go home again, so you might as well deal.
5th-Oct-2010 05:22 am (UTC)
Totally agree. People do change, and they drift away from fandoms - maybe *to* new ones - but there's an unfortunate tendency to blame the fandom (or even the source material) when usually it's the people themselves who are responsible. That's usually been my experience; I drift in, stay a while, say what I want to say, and then drift out again. Although I retain contact with all my old fandoms, I very rarely contribute to them any more - and in my case I find the smaller fandoms last longest because there's less chance of going over ground that's already been thoroughly trodden. I wish I *could* find a One True Fandom and stay with it for ever and ever and ever, but I think that's unlikely to happen now. Sigh. Although the one I'm in is keeping me nicely entertained at the moment!
6th-Oct-2010 04:34 am (UTC)
I like lurking on the fringes of many fandoms, I don't particularly feel I have to be that interactive in them. I think, as humans, we like to lay blame on the easiest targets as opposed to ourselves.
5th-Oct-2010 06:59 am (UTC)
That stuff usually makes me think projection. Because people feel guilt (sometimes unreasonably guilty) that they're no longer putting in the effort to make things fun, so they shift the guilt by blaming the fandom. "I've lost my drive to read new fic" becomes "There's no good new fic", because they feel like they're somehow obligated to read fanfic they're not interested in, just in case it turns out to be good.
6th-Oct-2010 04:36 am (UTC)
Yeah, some of it does seem like guilt for some people.

It does suck when fandom feels more obligation than joy, though. I understand people getting annoyed and turned away by that.
5th-Oct-2010 12:51 pm (UTC)
It is very easy to drift apart from virtual friends, unfortunately. The contact is so tenuous, although the connection may be quite strong (hope that makes sense!). But it is also quite easy to drift apart from real life friends - been there, experienced that - so I don't think there's anything sacred about the loss of mutual interests, the drifting into new connections.

I really appreciate your point about "things ain't what they used to be" not being a worthwhile excuse. One has only to look at Star Trek to know that a fandom can have a LONG, LONG life.
6th-Oct-2010 04:37 am (UTC)
One of my favourite things about fandom is how you can make friends and still be friends with that person years later, even if you're watching entirely different shows/reading different books/listening to different bands. Or how your friends drag you into new fandoms. How you drag your friends into your new fandom. All of that is awesome.
22nd-Mar-2011 11:35 am (UTC)

If the only thing keeping you in touch with a friend is a mutual interest that one of you has lost, you're going to drift apart anyway because you've got nothing to talk about.

I don't bother staying, because most of the boards I’ve been on for bands have been about going to their concerts, which is all well & good if you can, but since a lot have either split up or are about to (The Hamsters), or worse (Gary Moore) – although I still luv them, there's not much point in staying. I think if you really like something you'll luv it till you die.

The day I feel obligated to visit any website I go on is the day I stop bothering.
(Deleted comment)
6th-Oct-2010 04:39 am (UTC)
We are awesome, you are correct in assuming this. :D Fandoms always change! Different people bring different perspectives and interests and this is fun!
10th-Oct-2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
Here from mars_daily.

Is this said of the LoM fandom as well? I discovered LoM only five months ago, and I was very pleasantly surprised by how active lifein1973 is three years after the series aired (in Britain).

(Unfortunately I am not creative and therefore audience only.)
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