By sininferno

December Meme: Sharing my fannish life IRL

First, I'm just going to apologize for how far behind I am on answering comments. I think, at this point, I need to just admit that I'm not going to get them answered, even though I enjoyed and appreciated receiving them.

Now onto alphaflyer's question: How do I decide who I will trust with my fannish existence?

I keep IRL and fandom pretty rigidly separate. Certainly I do not need my students to ever, ever find that I have written porn about fictional characters. Mostly, though, I like having one thing that's just mine. I think my husband has figured out that I write fic, but I've never told him directly and we don't talk about it. I actually got involved in fandom about the same time that our relationship turned serious. At the time, the idea that I would share so much of myself with one person was kind of overwhelming, so I really liked having one thing that was just mine. Because of that, I got used to the idea of thinking of fandom as this secret, separate aspect of my life, and I really enjoyed it. Since it's so disconnected from the rest of my life, it's also separate from all the other pressures and expectations I put on myself, which makes it easier to write just for fun.

Exactly two people IRL know that I have a fan fiction hobby. Both of those people are former students, and I told them because we were discussing how feminism influenced our ability to enjoy our favorite geeky television programs. We were all so frustrated by the portrayal of women in sci-fi/fantasy shows, and also so frustrated by feeling like our voices just didn't matter to the writers of those shows. I mentioned that I write fan fic as a way of telling stories about women who are overlooked by TV and movie writers, and they thought that was neat. But that was the last time it ever came up.

I do think it would be fun to have some RL friends who enjoy writing fanfic (as opposed to just consuming various geeky media), but I've yet to meet anyone who does.
I do talk to RL people about fanfic, but I also like to keep fic as separate as possible from many aspects of my life. I feels much more free and means I can put less pressure on myself. When I see people talking about fic becoming more mainstream or putting their real name to their fic, it makes me intensely uncomfortable!
Yup, I keep RL and fandom completely separate, and I don't tell anyone else about what I've written ad fanfiction - only what I've written as original work.
I'm the same. It's a little easier for me since I don't write it but few people in my life even know that fanfiction exists and I intend to keep it that way.
Interesting perspectives. When I first started writing fanfic, the anonymity of it was a huge part of the appeal. After all, I had been inhibited from writing for years by the fear of letting someone look inside my head... But then I realized that if I ever wanted to be a "real" writer, I really had to crack that fear all the way through. And so I told some friends what I was doing. Some were not all that keen on reading in the worlds I was writing in, and that's perfectly fine. Others turned into pretty keen readers, which surprised and delighted me to no end. But no one turned up their nose. Fanfic may not be Shakespeare, but writing is a pretty neat hobby. And people appreciate that.

Another reason for "coming out" to a (limited) number of people was that in my line of work, having secrets is a bit of a career impediment, and this way I will always be able to say, "But X and Y knew. What secret??"

So, all this to say, there are a small number of friends and colleagues who know that I write fanfic. And that's okay.
My immediate circle of geeky friends know I write fic, and some of them even read it if it's in their randoms. None of my work colleagues know, and they never will. I use a pseudonym for my tics and frankly, I doubt any of them know about AO3, where I post.

So, keeping work and my non-fannish friends separate from my fandoms and my writing seems like a good idea.