December 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
Jessica writes, Help fanfiction rules my life and I can’t go a day without it! What am I supposed to do?
Jessica, I feel your pain. I’m 28 years old, but I still get motion sickness from reading fic on my iPhone on the subway. My goodreads book challenge for 2013 is 62 books behind schedule because of fic. I missed a dentist’s appointment last month because I stayed up until 2am reading a 38 chapter AU of my OTP. Fanfiction is a gigantic inconvenience, but it’s also a precious distraction from the day to day grumbles of life.
The problem with coping mechanisms is that they sometimes work too well. We start out using fic to distract ourselves from the worries that bounce around in our heads at night, and we end up using it as an excuse not to face the challenges that come our way. The goal isn’t to stop reading fic or perhaps even to decrease how much we read, but to examine what exactly is the distraction we’re trying to escape.
Over the next week pay attention to the times when you are tempted to read fanfiction or think about it. Writing a story in your head as you walk home at the end of the day is different than reading one to put off updating your resume or completing a big project. The more you use it as a distraction from opportunity, the less satisfying it will become over time. If you can figure out how to use fic as a reward for a good day of BAMFing, then you’ll be able to savor the squees like they were meant to be enjoyed.
For more fic related exercises check out chapter three in my book.
Have your own fangirl dilemma? Let me know!