The 26th of April 2012 was an ordinary Thursday. I was studying for my finals in May, but my mind was elsewhere. I had only recently discovered a tall, dark, handsome British actor, and somehow, things had come to a breaking point. I had already delved into much of his work, but there was so much more to discover. And most of all, I needed a platform to
vent gush over this new crush because I just couldn’t keep it to myself any longer.
After a few reblogs on tumblr, I quickly connected to the fan community over there. And inspired by their creativity, I also started creating edits and posts. Friendships were established, some of which exist until today *waves at Abby and Violet*, other early friendships fizzled out when the fans in question stopped blogging or switched interests. New friendships developed over the years *hello mezzmerizedbyrichard, nfcomics, riepu10 and many others*.
My creative contributions were initially confined to tumblr, but even during the first year I was looking outside the microblogging platform, devouring fan fiction on AO3, Fanfiction.net, Wattpad, Dreamerfiction and Fedoralady’s Livejournal page and commenting on the (large variety of) basically pure Armitage blogs on WordPress such as me+richard, The Armitage Effect, RA Frenzy, I want to be a pin-up, Confessions of a Watcher, The Squeee, zRYSIOwana, Zaniam, Mulubinba, Funky Blue Dandelion, CDoart etc. Those were heady days, even though we were operating in the vacuum: Richard had been incommunicado on the Hobbit sets for two years. But we were living for the impending release of TH, the premieres and press that would accompany it, and the brave, new world that would come after. And we had no problem filling the waiting time with discussions of his previous work, any news that filtered from the set, early press, and happy speculations of our own.
I set up this blog in November 2012 for the sole purpose of being able to guest-blog on me+richard. My plan had always been to keep it anonymous by limiting my own fangirling activities to tumblr. But over time my home on WordPress grew bigger and bigger, and eventually took over as my main blogging platform. (It probably was a natural progression because I had been a serial blogger even prior to starting tumblr – with several individual blogs covering everything from crafting, photography and expat life to travelling. I even conducted my mandatory “visual diary” as part of my photography degree as a blog. Way back in 2009 that was actually a “first” for my lecturers in college! They loved the idea – and I got top marks for it.)
Interestingly, blogs are now on the way out, it seems. Armitagebesotted shared a New York Times article with me yesterday, about the demise of a popular blog. Engagement on blogs is dropping, and most internet users nowadays prefer accessing information and commenting on Social Media rather than conventional blogs. It’s a trend I have noticed, too. While guylty.net continues to receive likes, comments and views, the short, sharp engagement happens on other platforms (Twitter, FB, IG). That is a general trend, and not limited to the small world of Armitage blogs. But even while conventional blogging was already in decline, new blogs sprang up in our community that have become absolute mainstays in my daily reading – among them Armitage-centric blogs such as Armitage Agonistes, Ancient Armitage, NowhereinparticularRA or Crystalchandlyre (now all defunct) and My Dearest Louise and Opera is Magic – as well as blogs by Armitage fans who also generally record their lives and times: Minor Herba, Book Esther, Nellindreams, Teapowered Crafting, I’m Feeling This, Zeesmuse, Nokisuu, and more that may not be on my reading list. My intention with *this* blog is to keep bucking the trend. As long as there is engagement, I will continue creating content. This is, after all, my creative outlet that fulfills more than just the need to crush on Armitage. I enjoy the creativity of blogging, the inspiration it provides for my crafting, and the opportunity to communicate with others.
As for the fangirling – well, that looks to stay, too. What else would I write about in my fan blog 😉? And how else would I have a happy reason and a handy occasion to communicate with you, esteemed readers and valued friends? Thank you for being part of my journey as a fan. I doubt I would still be an active fan if it wasn’t for you. It’s the friendships that have developed, the continuous meeting of new people, the fun of discussing our shared interests (even beyond RA), the challenges, prompts and inspirations provided by you, that keep me interested.
Here’s to the future!