Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Being An Awesome Fan | How To

I came across an article on MTV that Maggie Steifvater shared with her fans on Facebook.  It's a discussion between Cassandra Clare and Maggie Steifvater, discussing and sometimes debating the pros and cons of being accessible to their fans/readers online, appropriate responses to fans based on the gender of the creator/author, social media quirks, and more.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the article that kind of highlight some of the things that maybe we, as sometimes fans, and sometimes readers, can be more awesome at in regards to the content creators we are interacting with.

On negativity in social media: 

"I get told all the time by fans that they hate me — but they mean it as a compliment. I suppose it can be argued that both of these constructs come from a good place, a place of affection. But as someone who loves words, I see a culture shift to a place where being enthusiastic and positive is no longer cool." --Maggie Steifvater

On interacting with fans and readers going forward:

"I think that women authors in particular are asked to be nice online. Always nice, always nurturing, never aggressive. It seems like this should spare them the slings and arrows of online misfortune. But in reality, it just takes away our weapons. I looked around at authors like Chuck Wendig and John Scalzi and I thought — they get to say what they want. When something’s bullsh-t, they’re allowed to call bullsh-t. That. That’s what I’m going to do. If you hate me, you can hate me because I called it as I saw it, not because of some imagined slight. I’m going to stand up for what I believe in." --Maggie Steifvater

On cruel fans:

"I mean we, Maggie and I, are women whose fans are often young girls and women, and they’ve grown up in this world that tells them that successful women are monsters, and that any woman who acknowledges her hard work or success is to be deplored and dehumanized. You often see people talking about female writers and creators saying, “She thinks she’s so great,” “She thinks she’s a Queen!,” “She thinks people should bow down to her,” etc; there’s usually no evidence of that beyond the fact that they’re successful and not self-loathing. I wish that wasn’t a problem for women — I wish these young girls were growing up in a world where it was okay for them to think they were so great." --Cassandra Clare

"She is generally seen as a creator, and I am seen as an author. Those things seem like they should be the same, but I think someone who self-identifies as a fan is far more likely to press physical boundaries than someone who self-identifies as a reader." --Maggie Steifvater

On how to be an awesome fan:

"Engaging passionately and critically with my work, buying the books legally, regarding me as an individual, not making assumptions about my motivations or my politics, buying me an F12 Ferrari in charcoal with black wheels. You said awesome, not just great." --Maggie Steifvater

"Obviously my books mean an enormous amount to me and are so close to my heart, so when I see people loving them, living inside them, it means the world to me. I think being an awesome fan also means being kind to other fans, and kind to yourself. Know that loving a book doesn’t make you a nerd or a geek, it makes you special and amazing." --Cassandra Clare

I'm hoping that's enough to inspire you to head over and read the whole article in all its insightful glory, but just in case, here are the things I gleaned from it as guidelines on how to be an awesome fan:

Treat others the way you want to be treated.  

Oh, wait.  It's as simple as that?  Yep.

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