Guys, I just…. I’m having some feels over here. Some massive feels. Now, my blog is titled what it’s titled because I’ve found that a lot of the things I like separately eventually at some point cross paths with one another and I freak the fuck out.
Let’s start at the beginning…
It’s amazing, the connectedness, and it has unexpected delights. But specifically this:
I was saying to Peter some weeks back, “The one thing these kids have [by which at the time I meant the new young writers coming up into the writerly workplace] — that I envy them, that we didn’t have? Just knowing that they’re not alone.” Because both of us started becoming writers by ourselves, without any local support, without any dream that there might ever be any. Families laughed at the writing, or were annoyed by it, or didn’t want to know.
And fandom, too, was a late discovery for both of us. I had already been writing fanfic for the first twenty years of my life before I discovered that other people were doing that too and that the pastime had a name. Peter, much further out of the mainstream than I, didn’t go to conventions for ever so long because he thought you had to be published to go to one. By the time he found out otherwise, of course, he was published and it was too late: he would never be able to experience a con from the strictly fannish side.
Now we have a whole generation of new writers coming up who will never have known a time when there weren’t thousands of other people doing the same kind of writing, just for the joy of it, and who will always have known that there’s agreement for this kind of behavior — that it’s not just you, that you’re not crazy, that there’s worth in the work. Naturally not everyone will be able to make a living out of this kind of creation, and not everybody will necessarily keep doing it. Some loves cool, some passions burn low over time. But that’s probably not the real point here.The point is: new writers who love some genre to death don’t have to do it alone.
And at the fannish end: suddenly there are exponentially greater numbers of people to share the fun with, and you don’t have to spend huge amounts of money on travel and hotels to do it, or wait for fanzines to sporadically arrive in the mail. This is a golden age, and we should all just enjoy the hell out of it. Yes, there are cranks and trolls and idiots about, just as everyplace else in the real world. But they can be worked around. The rest of us can sit here and geek out in company, and share our joy in realtime.
Which is, I firmly believe, the best thing, and what it’s all about.