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You can call me Hal.

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Sunday night meta.

Fandom. I had this realisation last week, when I was thinking, "I never get any work done on weeknights". I had this realisation yesterday when I was watching the Vividcon DVDs and thought, "I should be writing up a report on these." I had this realisation two minutes ago when I thought, "Maybe I should Sim for the 30 minutes before I have to go out. No, I should get writing this LJ post."

Fandom is not my hobby. Fandom is my part-time job.

To me, a hobby is something that you do to entertain yourself. Something that you do when you want to.

Fandom entertains me, but I don't participate just when I want to. I have responsibilities. I have commitments. I have deadlines. And so do you, likely. I do these things even when I don't feel like it.

It's a big deal, especially now. I used to be in X-Files fandom. Then I was in Star Wars fandom. Et cetera. Somewhere along the way, though, that changed and now I'm in Fandom, where "fannish" is a certain way of approaching and engaging with media. And now we're fannish about pretty much everything we watch and read.

This is my job description:

I write fic. I feel that I should always be working on something. And I am and when I'm not, I feel guilty. Which I probably shouldn't, but hey. I don't actually enjoy the act of writing all that much. Shorter pieces are easy to bang off, but longer things I have to whip myself to write. Blood Will Tell was three months of whinging, despair, and damned hard work. (Ask kestrelsan -- she had to put up with me through it all.) So why did I even do it? Because I'm a fan and that's my job.

I respond to feedback. That's not a trivial thing. (I don't mean to make it sound like I'm drowning in feedback, though, because I"m not.) I try to respond in kind, so much as I can, so longer feedback notes take longer to respond to. Sometimes I fall behind, but I do get everything replied to, to the best of my ability. Why? Because I appreciate that someone's taken the time to respond to me and I feel it's my responsibility to acknowledge that.

I read fic. Not so much as I used to, but I want to participate in the fandoms I'm in. And that means reading. Why? I enjoy it, but also because I don't think I can expect people to read me if I don't make an effort to be involved in reading myself. And for the most part, I need to know the fandoms I'm working in, beyond the source material.

I send feedback. If I enjoy something, I say so. It's only fair. (I'll only send crit if I have an established relationship with the author. But feel free to send crit to me regardless. I like it.) Why? Somebody took the time to make something I enjoyed. I ought to thank them.

I keep a LiveJournal. I try to post something most days, and something fannish, usually. Something related to media. I feel that I have a responsibility to the people reading to come up with something interesting to say. It's part of my job as a fan to produce opinions, analysis, and gratuitous squee about the media I'm engaged with.

I vid. Sometimes. And I feel that I should be doing it more, that I should be striving to improve.

I archive my fiction and vids on my websites. Which I'm behind on right now. Bah.

Some people do a lot more: rec sites, multi-person archives, art, et cetera, et cetera. I don't know where they find the time, but I certainly appreciate it.

So, I have a part-time job called fandom. I just don't get paid for it. *g*

OK, I do. I get to hang out with smart, cool people, enjoy the works and opinions they produce, and gain (hopefully) the respect of most of my peers and the friendship of some. And that's why I do it. Even when I don't feel like it.

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What a nice post. I feel like fandom's my part-time job too; my personal job description's slightly different, but the essence is the same.

And the salary sucks, but the fringe benefits make it all worthwhile.

And the salary sucks, but the fringe benefits make it all worthwhile.

That's it exactly. :)

Beautifully stated. I would write more, but, sorry, I have to get back to my own part-time job. ^_^

Hee. My first favorite movie romance.

Hee! We're on the clock.

I think all social hobbies get like this. I'm fairly fringey in both fandom and the SCA, and I still have responsibilities for both that I feel like I'm shirking. And I suspect that playing a team sport would feel the same way, though I've never, ever felt any desire to do so . . .

True. Roleplaying (D&D, etc) is a lot like this for me as well, though I'm on hiatus from that for a while.

My God! Your icon! TheirLoveIsSoPure!!

. . . And so much about the pointy noses . . .

I read this one installment of KODT Online where Bob and Dave were rolling up new characters. I can't remember exactly why -- maybe Bob had forgotten his -- but Dave offered to let Bob use his dice.

I sat there with my mouth open and thought, my god, Dave has it *bad* for Bob!

If I recall correctly, the LARP vampire sequence was also rather telling.

That's why I call fandom a "volunteer opportunity" more than anything else. You're not getting paid but there's still a sense of commitment to whatever it is, and you can up and quit if you really need/want to, but then there will be people other than you that are disappointed if you do.

Exactly. We just can't list it on our CVs. *g*

I know exactly what you mean--when it feels like I really have work to do, I'm talking about writing or reading or archiving or art, not cleaning house or doing the stuff at the office for which they pay me. I think I spend about two hours a day doing work work, for that matter. Luckily, they like me there! ;)

I know -- it was using the word "work" to myself that tipped me off to this. Sadly, I have to spend more time than that doing work work so my fandom work has to fit in around it.


This is a perfect mirror of the way I experience fandom, although I'd add to the list: "responding to comments in my LJ" (which could either be a sub-category in the LJ section or the responding-to-feedback section.

I mean, yes, my primarily 'job' vis a vis LJ may be trying to say things that might be of interest to my peers, but then when I *do* say something that people actually reply to, I start to feel it's part of my job to acknowledge their interest, particularly if they've spent some time composing their reply.

D'oh! I forgot to add "answering LJ comments" to my list. Which I do attempt to do. And to make comments in other people's LJs.

A woman's work is never done.

If only this job *paid* slightly better. *g*

This is really neat. It describes a lot of what I feel, though I do a lot less. I'm a slacker at my unpaid, part-time job.

I feel like a slacker a lot of the time too. For instance, I haven't updated my website since September.

At least we don't have a pointy-haired boss hovering over us. :)

sometimes i get overwhelmed by the responsibilities i've set up for myself in fandom. i email myself reminders to read certain fics, i work on my own stories on my nights off from putting my child to bed and i try to alway remember to post recs as soon as i've read them. i have such fun doing it all, but get completely enveloped and sometimes overwhelmed if i get out of step or behind. then i just need to remind myself to relax, it's not that big a deal and i'll eventually get to everything after the rest of my RL is taken care of.

Fandom entertains me, but I don't participate just when I want to. I have responsibilities. I have commitments. I have deadlines. And so do you, likely. I do these things even when I don't feel like it.

I agree, but I also think the best thing about fandom-as-part-time-job is that you *can* take a vacation whenever you like, and nobody gets on your back about taking too many Mondays off. *snerk*

Seriously, though, it *is* exceptionally time consuming. Yesterday, when my niece kicked me off the computer to do her homework, I was like, "But I have *coding* to do! And I wanted to *write.*" Of course I didn't say anything, because her homework is more important than mine, but I did have that feeling that all my plans for getting work accomplished had been pushed back by several hours. Because once she wasn't entertaining the youngest niece, that fell to me, so it wasn't like I could even write by hand (which I like to do sometimes anyway.),

Otoh, as I said, the good part is that you can walk away for a while or just talk to two or three people who are essential, if the hooha gets to be too much.

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