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Some Thoughts on Fandom, Privacy, Money, and Other Stuff - Mo's Journal — LiveJournal
July 25th, 2008
09:57 am


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Some Thoughts on Fandom, Privacy, Money, and Other Stuff

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[User Picture]
Date:July 26th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)
Very little of what you've mentioned is helped by linking your fan ID to your legal one. ("Good at writing, want to share it with friends & acquaintances" is one of them. "Fun to talk about" isn't--you can talk about fandom & fanfic w/o mentioning userIDs.)

There's a difference between being public about your involvement in an activity, and being free & open with the (potentially TMI) details thereof.

I'm not ashamed of my sex life, but I don't show photos of it to my co-workers. And if I'd told someone in confidence what positions I liked, I sure-as-hell wouldn't like to see my name on a website under "People Who Like [69]." (Hypothetical example. Not admitting anything. Not denying anything, either.)

I think that's the core issue here: not so much saying "X person is into fanfic/fandom," but saying "X legal name is attached to Y specific identity & activities in fandom."
[User Picture]
Date:July 26th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
First of all, you seem to have understood wneleh better than I did. She asked was there an advantage to not being secretive about fannish activities, and that's what I thought she meant so that's what I answered. I wasn't addressing the specific question of linking one's pseudonym to one's real identity, although I will in my response to her response, since it seems that *was* what she was getting at.

Secondly, ime when I do talk about my fannish pursuits, people who are interested ask a number of questions and one of them is usually "Where can I read your stuff?" At that point I am in the position of either telling them the name I write under or refusing to. I emphatically do *not* view giving them access to my stories as "TMI" - they're written to be read.

And that's why I think your analogy with sex is way off base, at least in my Weltenschauung. I view sex as a very private activity. I don't talk about my sex life in public at all, and in private only with very few people. But my stories are out on public websites to be read by total strangers, and I think that's true of most fanfic writers. So it doesn't seem to me that wanting to hide one's fiction from cow-orkers is analogous at all to not showing pictures of oneself having sex to cow-orkers unless you're putting those pictures out on public websites for total strangers to see but not wanting your cow-orkers to know it's you.

Actually - and I realize this is a digression, but if you can't digress on your own lj, where can you? - one of the reasons I write slash is that I think writing about sex is really interesting but I don't want to write anything about my own sexual behavior or anything that might be construed as about my own sexual behavior because I do feel strongly that my sex life is private. So writing about men having sex gives me a distance that makes me more comfortable.
[User Picture]
Date:July 26th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
I agree w/ Mofic; I've found that talking about my fanfic often leads to requests for examples. Going further - for someone important to me to really understand how large a part fanfic plays in my life, it helps if they've read at least a little. So, for example, after years of casually mentioning it to my parents, I handed my dad my laptop last year open to a story of mine and said, okay, HERE'S what I'm talking about, please read!!

The sex analogies don't really work with me; I'm pretty open about my sex life IRL, in generalities at least. For instance, birth control, how to deal with co-sleeping children, and cyclic changes in desire, are all common playground conversation topics. OTOH, my fanfic has about five kisses in it total.

I think that's the core issue here: not so much saying "X person is into fanfic/fandom," but saying "X legal name is attached to Y specific identity & activities in fandom."

Just FTR, I totally support people establishing their borders, and community enforcement of respecting those borders. I'm just wondering where those borders should be for me personally. This is partly because I've started leaving comments on articles in the print media that completely screw up their representation of fanfic, and when I do this I use my legal name. This in itself feels like a break of fannish protocol; but, if I (who really don't care about exposure) don't do it, who will? And I do this knowing that many, many people would be much more articulate; but they're, yk, teachers or live in more repressive societies or whatever.
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