I’m standing here on this precipice: Fandom changes

I’m in a reflective mood. I’ve thought a lot about my own fandom changes in the past week.  Amanda said something to me that I continue thinking about.  We had just finished the book and sent it off to the publisher, when she mentioned that going back over our fandom was a gift.

What I can say is that our first draft prior to this was impersonal.  We wrote about the fan community but not ourselves. The second draft, however, was about ourselves. It forced us to really look back at where we started, where we are now, and how we got here.  Doing so, at least for me, was cleansing.

I am in a different place now than I was (nearly) six years ago when I wrote the first post for Daily Duranie. The trouble is, I’m not sure where that place is. On one hand, I still love the music. I have all this history that includes this band’s music as the soundtrack. On the other hand, I’m at a point now where I’m not sure where to go. How long can someone really blog about a band?  How long can someone be a fan?  Do you eventually just get tired of it? Is there ever a point where one feels like they’ve done enough? I don’t know those answers.

So I’ve thought a lot about Amanda’s statement over the past six days. I have a lot of fantastic memories and I’ve done a lot of things. Looking back in the way I needed in order to write was a very good thing for me—sort of like taking a walk through the forest to see each tree, and then hiking to the top of a mountain to see the entire forest.  I don’t think I would have allowed myself to take the kind of time necessary to look at my fandom had it not been for that project.   So yes, in that sense, it really was a gift.

In other ways though, I’m at a crossroads. I’ve blogged for six years. I’ve been a fan for a very long time (Notice I’m not counting the years). I’ve organized fan events from small meet-ups for five people to a convention weekends for a hundred people.  I’ve been in the back row, I’ve been in the front row. I’ve never been backstage. I don’t know the band as anything other than the musicians on the stage and celebrities in the spotlight.  I have nothing in common with them other than the soundtrack they’ve created for my life – which is plenty, BTW. I am a fan like anyone else reading, but also like no one else reading.

I walk a very fine line in between fandom and—something else that I can’t really put a finger on.  I don’t just do fan stuff, I also like to organize the fan stuff, and even produce things of my own—like this blog.  I just don’t know where I’m going from here.  In some ways I feel like I’ve done everything I wanted and needed to do with regard to fandom, and in other ways, I’m wondering if there’s not something else I could do….and why I’m wondering that continues to be a question I’ve yet to answer.

There are a lot of changes happening in my life. My oldest is moving out of the house altogether this summer, into her own apartment. My middle kid—my son—is going to start applying to colleges in the fall.  My youngest is involved with soccer, piano and singing.  She’s finding her own interests. My mom really needs more of my help as she ages. And me? I’m trying to cope with it all. I am trying to figure out where I stand, and where I should go from here.  The joys of middle age, I guess.  As always, it’s not just about Duran Duran, or the things I want, or figuring out the things I want to do.

Part of fandom, I think—is fitting it into your life.  It’s adjusting as we change and grow, and I think that’s why a lot of times people fall away, or why they come back for that matter. Lives and circumstances change. Back when I was a kid, it was about watching their videos, collecting their pin-ups and posters and reading all about them.  After I became an adult, the internet really changed fandom. Instead of just enjoying the music on my own in isolation, I discovered an entire world of people out there who loved the band as much, if not more, than me. Then social media took it all to an entirely different level.

I’ve learned more during this last ten years than I did in the twenty or so prior—both about the band, and about people in general.  Every time something new came up, the internet, social media, and yes, even blogging, I had to find the way Duran Duran would fit into my life. It was a rocky road at times, and much of it, I navigated in front of an audience of readers who wouldn’t let me forget a single misstep. Now I’ve written this monster of a manuscript. I’ve purged a great deal of my own history in the process.  How does fandom fit now? An even deeper question, how do I fit into the fandom?

I feel as though I’m at a point where I will begin again, but I don’t know how it will go.  When it feels right, I suppose I’ll know.

-R

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