Once upon a time, people believed that the greatest heroes were honored by being placed in the night sky as constellations, to shine forever against the dark velvet of the cosmos. Not everyone could become such a hero. Not everyone was so inherently great. The most that any could aspire to would be to rise and become one dim star within the legacy that was the constellation.
One dim star. That was all the reward many hoped for, to be the least part of a larger legacy, a larger story.
I can respect that.
I believe in fanfiction. I believe in the overpowering urge of fans to contribute in some way to that which means so much to them. Fanfiction, Fanart, Cosplaying, Fanvids… anything and everything that fans do to show their devotion.
I write fanfiction. I started writing it when I was just starting in college, back during the mid 90’s, when the Internet was starting to become an actual thing for most people. I wasn’t aware of it up to that point, mostly because I wasn’t part of any sort of fan-community. When I started college, I got dragged into computer literacy against my will, and ended up discovering email discussion groups. That was when I started writing fanfiction.
At the time it was a shortcut to an audience. I’ve been writing and telling stories since I was six years old, consciously training myself in writing since I was twelve, give or take. But I needed to know whether or not I was any good at it. A person can work and work and work at something, but if they lack the natural talent for it then they’ll never be as good as someone who has both the talent and has put the work in. Dreams are wonderful things, but if they aren’t achievable then they end up draining a person until there’s nothing left.
As it turns out, I do have the talent. I was nowhere near as good then as I am now, and I still have a long ways to go, but the dream I seek, the dream that drives me day in and day out, is achievable. I’m good at this.
I still write fanfiction, though. I probably always will. To share in the reflected glory of something which means so much to me, to contribute to something which helped make me the person and the writer that I am today, I know the yearning to be one dim star in my hero’s constellation. I share it with so many others and I hope one day to see that same yearning in another writer’s work as they seek to be a single dim star in the constellation that is my work.
What a wonderful day that will be.