In your own space, talk about what you think the future holds for fandom. What are your hopes and dreams for fandom? Do you have any predictions about what the next five years holds for fandom? Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
I got involved in the Tolkien world of fanfic several years ago as a reader. I was looking for information for an enamel project and started following links one afternoon, finally stumbling on two very different works: Fiondil's "War of the Valar" and Nilmandra's "The History of Middle Earth". I started reading and I was hooked.
Through these two, I followed more links and more links, read more and more, and began harboring a desire - never expressed - to write some of my own works based in this world that I knew so well and had immersed myself in for so many years. It took B2ME 2011 to crack my shell and start my writing, and Lizard Council (all praise to those long-suffering and patient mentors) to help me realize what needed to be improved before I wrote much more. But despite and in spite of all, I was producing some decent work in that first year. I expanded to take several courses in creative writing, joining challenges like Tolkien Weekly and LOTR Community Challenge, and still write daily today.
Where will fandom go? Fandom will always exist, although the specific worlds expressed in amateur writing will ebb and flow with popularity. Tolkien fanfic isn't as large a volume as Harry Potter, but it has authors who are completely amazing and a level of talent that sets a high bar and standard. I don't think that fanfiction will die, but it will continue to ebb and flow as time goes on, and as e-publishing becomes more and more accepted, I suspect that more and more fanfiction writing will be shared not only on the pages of HASA, SOA, LJ and DW, but also as e-print downloads.
In your own space, talk about setting yourself a fannish goal. Big or small, it doesn't matter. Some great examples include: complete a bingo, sign-up for a Big Bang, write that fic you've been thinking about for years, podfic that story that you love, make a fanmix for your fandom, post that bit of meta or reclist you keep postponing. Maybe resolve to be better at leaving feedback, or answering comments. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
My goal is simple. I'm a very solitary worker and tend to not stretch much outside of myself when writing. I know, however, that I do need editing assistance and have taken advantage of one friend's very generous offer for my longer works. I need to find a Beta reader who can do quick turnaround on shorter works. I find this difficult because I am a tinkerer. I will write something and store it. I'll open it back that night and tinker, then store it again. And I'll go through this process anywhere from 4-8 times. When I don't do this, I look at the piece I've posted and I growl because I know that I didn't put my best work out there. Sometimes I am pushing to get something out before a deadline, or in rare cases, I want to get something out because it is an unusual challenge, but usually I do have the time to play a bit with the editing. I need a second voice at my side and I have yet to find one that I trust as much as I used to trust Lizard Council. It wasn't that there was any single person on LC who really worked well with me, it was more that there was an aggregate of opinion that I could choose between and polish things accordingly. Of course there were also problems, which is why I am no longer an active member of that group. But...I need a beta. That's my goal for the next year - to find a good beta that I will be comfortable working with and not feel as if I am imposing with the volume of work I tend to put out.
- Erulisse (one L)