May 20, 2015

fandom 1 elitereI’ve been meaning to write this for a long time, but it never seemed like the right moment. Why now? Well, Mihaela asked me to write about someone inspiring and that’s quite a generous topic. Who was I supposed to choose? There are so many people out there who deserve our attention and you already know of some of those who inspire me. For this article, I decided to follow a slightly different direction. I want to speak about fandoms. Ah, but not just about general aspects. I guess you already know that it’s all about fans and who/what they love, but come with me and let’s see what else we can find under that… title.

I wrote the article on fanfiction because I found Kyla‘s stories and wanted to make things a bit clearer for those who were just beginning to discover that particular side of the groups. From outside, I think that a fandom is seen only as that: a group of teenagers. But this label covers only a small part of what fandom means. I can’t speak about all the fandoms, I don’t know how things are for Supernatural fans, for instance (though I’d love to hear from you guys), but from what I’ve seen in the groups where I’m active… we come from different cultures, different backgrounds. We are of different ages and bring all kinds of expectations.

As it always happens with large groups (we are talking of anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of people), especially online, sometimes there are problems. From time to time, a troll will make its way in the fandom or pointless arguments will arise (trust me, you do NOT want to get involved in those) and you must always be careful with the information you offer. Remember: regardless of the situation, do not offer personal information easily. There is a dark side to every fandom… and not the “come to the dark side, we have cookies” kind of thing. No, I mean the kind where you’ll find people who can only be rude, who will refuse to acknowledge that they are wrong, that there’s no excuse for bullying. The good thing… they may be loud, but it’s not all that difficult to ignore them.

That aside, you will have the chance to speak with people all over the world. You’ll get support, encouragement and friendship. It can be limited to this online environment, but I know for a fact that it can easily move and grow in everyday life. I’ve been fandom 2 eliterearound fandoms for quite a few years, but started to pay more attention to them last year, not long after we opened eLitere. They came one after another: Tom Hiddleston and Loki (thanks to the lovely ladies from Edge and Back), Benedict Cumberbatch and Sherlock, Doctor Who, many films and books. I found so many wonderful people, extremely talented, kind… and making use of that sexy imagination of theirs. Now, don’t expect me to tell you everything because, to be honest, you won’t be able to fully understand what’s going on unless you are part of it all.

If you do join a fandom, and it’s your choice alone to join or leave it, you’ll definitely find a place where you can speak with people who love the same things you do, who are creative and passionate. I knew of Once Upon a Time since 2013 and I wasn’t interested in watching it until I came across a part of the fandom. You might disagree with me, but I think that fans do a better job in promoting a book or a show when needed. They take the time to speak about all that is beautiful in it and they do not brush off its flaws. Or maybe you want to share your thoughts about books and see what’s new in your country or abroad. Keri knows more about this. You will find what you are looking for. You might even come in contact with authors and, really, how wonderful is that?! To be friends with someone you admire, someone who has created characters you love.

When speaking of fanart, the first names which come to my mind are Hash and Retrogirl. Their work is marvelous. Oh, and they’re not the only ones whose creations you’ll enjoy. But, if you want a starting point, go to them. And then follow your own path, through tumblr and google or other fan-pages and groups. You’ll discover new takes on scenes you love and “what ifs”. It’s a great source of inspiration and there are cases where you can buy different things (I don’t know, paintings or t-shirts) made by our artists.

In fandoms, you’ll find help. More than once, these people came together and raised money for different causes… promoted cases which needed more attention. You see, being part of such a group is more than talking about how great this and that is. It’s also about bringing people together. If we find common ground, if we share our passion, imagine how much can be achieved (and right now I’m thinking about Cyndi and Nancy and their activity within different fandoms). It’s not always something big, but even the smallest change is important. Kind words, encouragement, jokes, stories, hugs… they all matter more than you can imagine. They make all of us stronger.

So, my lovelies, these are some of the people I admire. I’m also proud of the fandoms I’m part of and of the way things are handled fandom 3 eliterethere. My advice to anyone interested in one fandom of another is this: be respectful and have fun. I look forward to read about your own experience in fandoms. Until next time!

Image source: 1 – kevinbolk; 2, 3 – 

by Elena Atudosiei

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15 Responses to Fandoms

  1. Robert Carlyle Universe | eLitere on May 20, 2015 at 12:09 pm

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  2. Nancy Pedersen on May 20, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Lovely article!!! Although there are always fans who are jealous of others and who love to start rumours and cause drama, mostly for self-importance, they are few – even if, sometimes, they seem like many! Especially on the internet!!! I have been active in various fandoms since I was allowed to join the Official Beatles Fan Club in 1968, when I was 12. Most of the fans I have met in general and, specifically, those who have become close friends, are very intelligent, astoundingly creative, hilariously funny and witty and just very nice, sincere, honest, loving people. I love fans. That’s a major reason why I always get involved in my most passionate fandoms! Fans tend to be treated as a bunch of freaks, but that’s really not true at all. There will always be the lunatic fringe… but, especially in Sci Fi/Fantasy fandom, there is a positive place for the so-called misfits of society… the geeks and the nerds and the ones who have trouble with the social amenities. I am proud of that.

    • Elena Atudosiei on May 20, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      “Fans tend to be treated as a bunch of freaks”… that is, unfortunately, true and I honestly can’t understand this attitude. However, things are changing. Not as fast as they should, but still. As a teenager, I was interested in fandoms only for simple stuff, stories or maybe fan art. But even back then I made some wonderful pen friends and it was fun to write stories together and just talk about anything and everything with someone from the other side of the world. Now I truly understand and appreciate the talent and potential in our groups. There are still issues inside and outside fandoms, but I’m confident that we’ll manage to make things better. I’d say that we’re on the right path. It’s easier when we stay together.

  3. Alina Andreea Cătărău on May 20, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    This article is wonderful, dearie! I also remember those times when I was writing short stories and poetry for two sites and talked a little with people from other countries. That experience was priceless and I really miss that period, especially when I/we were messaging Joyce. I sometimes wonder where is that crazy girl and how is she now? I was and still am a big fan of a few music groups and artists such as Il Divo, David Garrett and a few Romanian rock bands. Lately I’ve been following a few pages about literary and film fandoms, usually Regency and Victorian novels and Romance/Historical Dramas. They aren’t all English pages, but learning a new language can be fun and it’s never harmful for your mind.

    • Elena Atudosiei on May 21, 2015 at 5:59 am

      I miss Joyce so much! I’ve no idea where and how she is right now. May be we’ll get in touch again one day… who knows?! I hope she’s happy.

    • Elena Atudosiei on May 21, 2015 at 6:02 am

      And yes, I can’t think of a better way of learning a new language or information about a different culture. Everything is easier when the process is turned into something similar to a game, when you want to learn because you love what you discover.

  4. Mihaela on June 6, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    This article is truly inspiring! You always deliver, Elena and I love you for it. Fandoms are amazing and make you feel like you belong and I find that extremely important. For the first time in my life I went to Comic-Con this year and I felt like that was the place I have waited my whole life to be in. It seemed so perfect, like it was a part of a completely different world than our own. Honestly, I don’t know where would I be without fandoms. This article came at just the right time for me to read, although I feel the need to apologize for my late feedback. Thank you so very much. 🙂

    • Elena Atudosiei on June 7, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      I love your ideas! Soon I’ll be able to fulfil the other part of my promise as well and I hope that you’ll enjoy reading that too. To be honest, I was a bit worried when I heard nothing from you, but now I’m curious to learn more about your experience at the Comic Con. Fandoms have so much to offer and I intend to write more about this subject (on or outside eLitere). Love you, darling! 🙂

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  7. Ininya on August 7, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Okay. I got to this topic thru something else. And I really enjoyed your wise yet to-the-point short words. It’s very true, those times to be in an active fandom. Sometimes it’s very hard and stressful. Ive been there a lot. I’m on a weighting scale of good days and bad days in my fandoms every day, every hour. Especially in the Loki fandom. Of course in every fandom there will be the harsh fans, or so I think they are anyway. They come and bash hard blows on the loved character there. And it’s very stressful to fight back even with points & facts. Sometimes I’m just one kid so I’d lose. And sometimes I get backup so yeah. Hooray. So yeah, I totally feel your article here.

    • Elena Atudosiei on August 8, 2015 at 6:56 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’d say that it’s a good idea to step into a new fandom with caution… not because there’s an issue with the whole group, but because certain toxic people should be avoided. So many great things have happened when fans got together. Don’t let hurtful words take away a pleasant experience. I know it’s difficult, especially when they are extremely loud, but maybe it’s better to ignore rude people if it gets to be too much. Use your energy for something better.

      • Ininya on August 8, 2015 at 9:11 am

        Aye. At first I think of myself, as arrogantly maybe, that I’m an experienced fangirl l in some fandoms. But I am very wrong. I’m just at the start of it. And I’m still on my road to learning how to deal with people. Good or bad. My main concern these days is me finding out about comics. How I grew up admiring them as good and entertaining literature. But alas. Wrong again.
        The lot of them are very graphic and sexual, it disturbed me. But that’s another story. I won’t bother you with it . It’s the fandoms that get me now and then. Yes, like you said I shouldn’t let hurtful words get to me. But still some I get to read. And feel them. But not for long. Not anymore, I’ve learned my lessons. Like you said. I’d have to use my energy for better. Not waste on them. I’d have to be strong. Thank you for your words.

        • Elena Atudosiei on August 8, 2015 at 10:01 am

          I guess I’m not a particularly experienced fangirl either. The thing with me, I get bored easily, so I usually don’t stay in a fandom for a long time. I still love a film/ artist/ book etc, but I’m no longer active in a particular goup. We’re all learning and it’s not a competition. As long as you’re having fun and YOU are focused, polite and creative, that’s what matters.

  8. Devika Fernando | eLitere on December 2, 2015 at 4:39 am

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