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Fandom Friday: An Introduction

Today kicks off a new series – Fandom Friday! Every Friday, I’ll discuss some aspect of fandom, be it my own personal experiences or fandom in general. I’m planning to alternate weekly posts between this blog and my YouTube channel, because certain topics are better suited to written or video formats. So ever Friday, either here or on my channel, I’ll be chatting all things fandom!

I’m excited to begin this series! Fandom has always been a big part of my life, ever since I was 13 and discovered the Harry Potter online community. This was back in the heyday of Live Journal, and I was quickly introduced to fan fiction, online RPG, and the amazing sense of community. Granted this all began back when I was in junior high, and the slightest hint that you were involved in anything fandom related was enough to warrant merciless teasing and being called a nerd, the most horrifying thing a teen could ever be accused of . Needless to say, I kept my fandom involvement to myself, and for years never spoke of my online interests to anyone in my everyday life.

Fast forward a decade or so, and things have definitely changed. Fandom has become a normal part of popular culture, and there are more platforms to espouse the wonders of fandom than ever. Tumblr, podcasts, Archive of Our Own – these are a few of the major players and probably the best sources for those just getting started in any particular fandom. The advent of major comic conventions that have become star-studded affairs has helped to make fandom culture more normalized, and these days TV shows/movies/books are able to achieve massive levels of success by understanding the value of fandom. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child sold over 4 million print copies in its first week. Marvel movies regularly dominate the box office. Popular YA series skyrocket onto the NYT Bestsellers List before being adapted into successful (well, sometimes) TV shows or movies. Fandom plays a huge role in this.

As I said, I got into the fandom game relatively young, via Harry Potter online RPGs (seriously. It’s still not something I’m overly proud of) and fan fiction. There’s been endless debate over fan fiction and whether it’s plagiarism, and you’ll find plenty of Creative Writing professors more than willing to dismiss it as a joke. But you’ll find none of that here! I still remember the early days of fanfiction.net, and the epic HP fic repository that was Fiction Alley. Fan fic and the fandom community soothed the agony of waiting years between Harry Potter books, a much-needed alternative to obsessively checking MuggleNet every day for news.

While I started in the Harry Potter fandom and still consider myself very much a part of it, I’ve been in plenty of fandoms over the years. Usually my stay in any one particular fandom is brief, because I don’t have the attention span or desire to be active in more than one or two fandoms at a time (look, fandom can be draining, ok? I’m talking time, resources, and emotions). Some of my biggest fandoms have been Teen Wolf, The 100, The Hunger Games, The Raven Cycle, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and of course Harry Potter.

Fandom Friday will cover a wide range of topics, and I’m hoping this will be a great way to get a bit more personal on this blog and my channel. If you have any recommendations of things you’d like to see me discuss, let me know in the comments!

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