It’s that time of year again, dear Wanderers. Yes, you got it right – for a lot of your fandoms, it’s the mid-season hiatus. It always comes at this time of year, and it leaves us feeling quite restless, wanting more, but knowing that because of whatever reason, we have to wait. But… then again – using a sort of sweeping generalisation here but it is based on years of observations – fandoms seem to see a kind of … uprising in the winter months. No, wait, uprising sounds more like rebellion and that only really counts in certain fandoms. Helpful hint here while we’re on the subject: don’t mention rebellions around Les Misérables fans. It tends to bring on the ‘feels’.
So, yes, what is it about the winter months that does seem to inspire a bit more productivity in the fandoms? Apart from the fact that the weather’s usually pretty bad meaning that most of us need to stay indoors and thus fandom gives us a chance to interact with the outside world, keeping some form of socialising present in a time when you could just be driven mad by prolonged exposure to, let’s say, your family. Actually that’s a pretty good reason in and of itself, but it’s not quite the answer we’re looking for as such. Except it sort of is. Okay, this is harder to articulate than I had originally foresaw; I’m thinking that perhaps I should have planned this article a bit more than I did, but what’s done is done so on with the motley.
In sense, when we regard the above reason as being a truth for many members of fandom, we could then suggest that it is fandom that offers a safe escape for a person. During a time of year in which it’s expect of us to socialise with people who, it may be, are not usually open to spending time with you, or are just… not pleasant to be around, then having that safe escape can be downright needed. I mean, those are not the only criteria for escaping into fandom at this time of year, but for some people they are ridiculously important reasons. Apart from the occasional spurts of drama, fandom is a safe place, a place in which you can be who you are, and you’re not going to be judged for loving something the way you do, because everyone else in the fandom has similar feelings to you.
Having that safe space, even if it is virtual, to retreat to can be a lot more comforting that most people can realise. To just be able to escape into your favourite fic, or fan video, when everything else is getting on top of you and just constantly being too much. Being able to just, even for a short while, pretend to forget your worries can do a lot to lessen any stress that you feel Wanderers, and since we’re all aware that too much stress is a bad thing and that it seems to come so much at this time of year… Well, let’s just say it’s understandable if you’d rather just watch a DVD on your own than have another hour of family bonding time.
But is any of this actually answering the original question with which I started off this article? Well, yeah, it kind of is, albeit probably not as directly as we’d like. When it comes down to it, like I stated, for many of us fandom is that safe space. During a time of year that somehow calls for more socialisation than many people are comfortable with – there are one in three people apparently suffering from some form of anixety, after all – being able to take a step back but still interact with others can be a great help to make sure you don’t, well, start to feel very uncomfortable.
The winter time is a great time for fandom, even if a lot of them are on hiatus. So go, be merry, enjoy the holidays. Just remember to take some time for yourself, okay Wanderers?