Things I have learned about Fandom.
Tips for beginners.
I’m staring down my 9-year anniversary here on Tumblr, and I thought I’d share some thoughts from that perspective. I discovered fandom (and Tumblr) when I was 41, so I’ve obviously never been a teenager online, but I think these are pretty universal for newcomers of any age.
Pick a name that doesn’t reflect your current fandom, because the odds that you will move on in 1 or 5 or 10 years are very high, and changing your url often means that your old friends don’t recognize you anymore.
Keep your friends! Your current fandom friends are going to migrate to different fandoms than you will. You will generally not be able to convince them to love your Next Hyperfixation. Learn to enjoy the eclectic oddness that your dash will eventually become.
Don’t be afraid to move on. Fandom is Brownian Motion. You will drift from one space to another as the spirit moves you. It’s okay. In the beginning, it can feel like a betrayal to leave a fandom, to start reblogging things your current friends aren’t in to, to lose interest in their meta/writing/art, to change the feel of your dash. It’s okay! Everyone does it, although some take months and others take years. Just let them know that your hyperfixation has changed, but your heart and friendship have not. It’s that simple.
Be Kind. To everyone. You have no idea what they’re going through or who they are. Try to not say anything to others that you wouldn’t want aimed at yourself. (You’re going to fuck this up. Everyone does. Give yourself some slack and remember to absorb the lesson, if there’s one to be learned.)
You are going to stumble. Especially in today’s hypercritical climate. You are going to say something that starts a fire. Just say sorry (if it’s warranted) and move on. Delete that post and take a break for a couple of weeks if it gets too hot. LEARN from it, but don’t fixate on it. Make liberal use of tumblr’s Block feature.
Learn to recognize wank (“discourse”). Know that if you jump in with your opinion, you will very likely become some rabid person’s target. So make that choice with your eyes open. Try to avoid black-and-white thinking (we're right --> they must be demons). It's really not helpful.
Online stress is real. Online hurts are real hurts. So learn how to protect yourself. Curate your dash, block people and tags. Learn to recognize when tumblr thoughts follow you into your real life and affect your happiness. When that happens, take a break. Change the makeup of your dash.
Don’t make assumptions. Your friend might be older or younger than you, might be from an entirely different culture. It’s easy to assume everyone on the other side of your keyboard is a mirror image of you, with similar experiences. They very likely are not, so always tread lightly.
Guard your personal information. No one needs to know your real name! And probably, they don’t need to know your age, either. Especially if you’re young. You are your url, and in a fandom community, that is enough.
Being part of a fandom community takes time and effort. You make friends by commenting, reblogging, encouraging others in their writing/art/meta/whatever. If you are a creator yourself, please don’t be discouraged by a slow lift-off. That happens for everyone (except a lucky few).
It isn’t necessary to make friends with the BNFs out there: make friends with other newbies. Your shared experiences will be stronger for that!
Have fun! And if you realize it isn’t fun anymore, walk away. People take breaks from fandom all the time, and it’s still there when they return. Even if it’s been decades. 😉
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“...and all you have to do is signed on the dotted line,” smirked Felix.
“You think I’m dumb enough to make a deal with the devil?” Marinette snarled, crossing her arms as she glared at the floating demon.
“I’m flattered you think I’m that powerful but what you believe is of little concern,” he purred. “Either way, your soul belongs to me now, all thanks to that little liar who so easily traded her soul for yours. So, since your soul is forfeited to me, why not take advantage of this opportunity while you can? Three wishes. Anything your heart desires. Fame. Love. Revenge. Nothing is off the table. All you have to do is signed...”
A demonic-looking feather quilled appeared in above Marinette’s head, a sickly green eye embedded in the base stared back at her. Then a parchment contract manifested as well, baring the terms and conditions of the demon’s contract. And at the bottom, taunting the pigtailed girl, was the X-marked dotted line.
“So...do we have a deal?”
Was inspired by @nobodyfamousposts Enemies to Lovers AU for Felix July featuring Demon Felix. Really hoping NB continues it because it is just an amazing prompt and it has such an interesting take on the Felinette pairing.
Spent the weekend doing this, kind of cheated with drawing Felix since I’m still learning how to draw guys. Overall, I’m glad with how the drawing came out.
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