So, Wanderers, I’ve got a confession to make. I was meant to be writing a ton of articles this week, but then I thought to myself,
“You know what would be a fantastic idea, self? I’m gonna watch an episode of that show that everyone’s talking about on Tumblr, you know, just to see what the fuss is about.”
Bad move. Next thing you know, I’m on episode fifteen and nothing else has got done whatsoever. What you are about to read is an attempt to spin procrastination into gold, dear friends, so let’s see how this works out. [Oh, yes, let’s. This should be entertaining. -Ed.]
Fandom, you see, is a really good way to get out of your own brain for a bit, to step away from the everyday bothers of filling in tax returns or washing the car or doing your homework and just relax for a bit. OK, so the media that inspires fandom is probably the real escape – especially if part of your experience of fandom is being quizzed on the wider implications of a recent casting, or being sent requests for specific fanart/fic – but the fandom itself is the bit that is always going to be there, even if you happen to get a weird bit of Lord of the Rings nostalgia at 3am. You don’t actually need a new instalment; you can just log on and find some gifs and some people to talk to about your ‘epic Frodo feels’. And if you really do need more stories to feed your hobbit habit, there’s always fanfiction.
If you’re anything like me, you can trick yourself into a real sense of false productivity with fandom, as well. I wrote half a dozen fanfics today, so who cares if I put off that article for a few hours? I’ve worked really hard… on those stories. But is it really such a false sense of security? I mean, I still created something, and people – hopefully – got some enjoyment out of it, so who cares if it’s not the article I should have been writing? Or, indeed, any of the work I was supposed to do… oh dear… I think actually I might care.
That’s the thing, Wanderers. If you’ve read any of my past articles – and I’d understand if you’d developed a tendency to skip over them, but for the sake of my poor bruised ego let’s pretend for a moment that you avidly read everything I submit to this publication – you’ll know I am a staunch advocate of all things fandom (as long as you’re responsible with it). Sometimes, though, responsible fandom means knowing when to prioritise other things.
Whether it’s writing an article your boss is starting to get anxious over, or finishing that page of equations, or tidying your room, or finishing off the application form for your dream job, the chances are there are things you’re supposed to be doing at the moment. And maybe they seem intimidating, or dull, or just unappealing right now. Maybe you’d rather curl up in the back of a Chevy Impala and throw salt at your TV screen. Perhaps you’ve just this instant had a brilliant idea for a fanfiction you just have to write, or someone else has had a brilliant idea of something they wish they could draw but know you could.
I hate to say it, gang, but sometimes, you’ve got to fill in that application or make some space on that floor before you can relax into being a fan. It’s a more rewarding experience when there’s nothing looming over your head. Especially during the working week, you may find you don’t have enough time to indulge your fandom the way you’d like. But you know what? Fandom is a really good way to lose a weekend. Indeed, it’s a great way to spend any of your free time; time is precious, after all, so let’s not allow any of it to be spent in boredom.
You may remember that at the beginning of this article, I was lamenting my own lack of priorities and trying to make up for it on the fly. How’d I do?
Eleanor Musgrove (wants to watch episode sixteen now!)