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Six (Not So Long) Years

Posted by Arithmancy_Wiz , 08 March 2012 · 910 views

I don’t do a lot of blogging, but considering what this week represents, it seems only appropriate to commemorate the occasion with a few words.

Last Monday (March 5th) marked my sixth anniversary of joining HPFF (my 6th anniversary on the forums will be on the 9th – PS I like presents). I really and truly cannot believe it has been six years since I joined this crazy train. And before you say it, yes, I know there are many of you who have been around a lot longer than me, but I still can’t help but be shocked and surprised at where the time has gone.

I remember with vivid detail what those first few days were like. I had never in my life been on a forum. I’m old enough to remember when AOL first came out, and I had visited a few of their (what I quickly learned were very sketchy) chat rooms, but a forum was a whole new world to me. I was also brand new to fanfiction. I honestly didn’t even know such a thing existed. I was just out browsing the internet, minding my own business, looking for some good Harry Potter news, when I stumbled across a version of this site very few of us would still recognize.

I’m not a fiction writer by nature. I didn’t spend my childhood writing stories, I didn’t study English or Literature in college, and to this day I am still more comfortable critiquing other people’s work than I’ll ever be with creating my own. But something about this place made me want to give it a try...made me feel like it was possible. I submitted my first chapter not long after I joined. It was...not a rousing success. I struggled to get that 500 word minimum, baffled by how anyone could be expected to write such a LONG chapter. And, as is often the case, my first chapter was rejected...by Violet Gryfindor...for failing to properly insert my banner. I recovered from the trauma (and I’ll admit, it was a little traumatic), and continued to write, though not very well. Six years later and all traces of that first story are long gone (as are the three I wrote after it). And while I can’t say hanging around here has boosted my confidence, I can be objective enough to recognize that it has certainly helped me improve my writing. Well, my chapters are longer at any rate. And that has to count for something, right?

I got an unexpected trip down memory lane today regarding my joining the staff, which happened in September 2007. I got the news I had been accepted into the fold while in a hotel in Chicago. I may or may not have raided the mini-bar in celebration. And in case you are wondering, the answer is YES. I still have the PM timeturner sent me asking if I wanted to be a Validator (and later an Archive Admin, and eventually a Senior Staff Member).

Curiosity may have been what drew me into the site but being a staff member is why I stay. Maybe it’s the work itself – though it isn’t always glamorous or fun. Maybe it’s the awesome people I get to work with – which is undoubtedly true. They are some of the funniest, zaniest, dedicated, most caring and straight up craziest people I have ever met and I am lucky to know them. Really though, a big part of it is knowing there is a place here where I belong. It’s cheesy, I know. But so many crazy things have happened to me over the past six years. I have moved four times, living in five different apartments in four different states. I earned my Masters Degree, completed my PhD classes. Seen boyfriends come and go. Had a family member pass away. Watched my best friend go through a painful divorce. Traveled to Turkey. Got my first grown-up, adult job. Went into business for myself. Bought a Mac! On and on it goes. And yet, every time I moved and didn’t know a soul in my new town, I had HPFF. Every time I went through a break-up or straight up mental breakdown, I had this place to come back to. No matter where I went, it was still here, waiting for me.

How long will the site go on? I guess that’s between Jay and the Big Man upstairs. How long will I hang around? Hopefully not past my welcome. Hopefully I will only stay until the site no longer brings me the joy and purpose it does now – until I have given to it and received from it all I can.

I’m not an outwardly emotional person (read: inside I’m NUTS!!). I’ve always been and imagine I will continue to be that awkward kid who doesn’t now how to play with other children unless we have structured activities. But there are people on this site I consider as real friends – not just internet friends – and I’d like to think they know who they are. Just remember, you don’t hang around for six years and 2400+ posts if you don’t care. So thanks to all of you who humor me and let me take over every planning thread ever created. Thanks specifically to timeturner and Jay for creating this site and allowing me to have such a role in it. Thanks to those of you who are willing to acknowledge in public places like Facebook that you actually know me. And thanks to BitterEpiphany for always being quick to reassure me there are other people in the world whose way of thinking can be just as distorted as mine.

So here’s to the next six years...

(oh dear God, save us all)

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Wow six years, good for you!

I love that you wrote this, and I love the part how you were I didn't major in English, I wasn't always writing, because it feels so real. I haven't been a writer for long, there is only so much that I can give to the world of writing, if nothing at all, but I still love ti, and I think it's great that you've been on for six years.

Loved this.
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Mar 08 2012 09:48 AM
I loved to read this blog entry. I had my fifth HPFF anniversary in January and reading other people's blogs about their anniversaries in February and March makes me feel bad that I forgot to celebrate mine in anyway. But, never mind...

There are so many things I recognised in myself in your blog entry. In some ways we seem to have quite a lot in common. Though I think you're much more organized and dedicated to the things you start than I am. Still struggling to get my masters degree after years of it, but a big reason is because I didn't focus on one thing, but soon have another bachelors degree too. I didn't write always either. I did write a couple of childish birthday poems to relatives and some angsty teenage poems in my diary and I did write a little diary at times or tried some very little fiction writing outside school just to try out some technique or something. But mostly I was more into visual arts; painting and drawing. But I've always needed that creative outlet though.

And my feelings about the site are much the same as yours. Plus of course I still have my invitation PMs to moderator and validator. :) I'm also not an outwardly emotional person. You could say I'm a little reserved and a little shy in some ways. So it's great for me too that there are people on here that I wouldn't want to let go off. People that I miss when I'm not around here or they are away.
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Mar 08 2012 01:39 PM
Love you girl! So glad you're here, and my friend, and that I got to meet you in person :) You are awesome.

I still have my PMs from tt too! I'll hit 5 years on the site this summer. And hey, my very first chapter was rejected too *high five* 15+ No Warnings here, but I don't remember now who rejected it. I want to say sauerkraut poet?
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Mar 08 2012 04:15 PM
I found myself saying Yes to like everything you said in this blog! 6 years is such a long time but it goes by so fast on this site because you want to be here not that you have to be here but you want to do it and the people here are so amazing and welcoming, it really is a wonderful site. I still have my pm from last year that announced me with the sorting hat award for house pride during the 10th anniversary. Congrats on being here for 6 years!
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Six years? I have one HPFF year under my belt - hopefully I'll be here for a very long time! Congratulations. Everyone here is just so nice and I don't know what I'd do without this site. I have met some amazing friends and read some great stories!

Six years!!
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Violet Gryfindor
Mar 08 2012 07:23 PM
Oh gosh, I'm sorry! You still remember that I rejected your first story! *runs and hides* Though it doesn't surprise me that it was for improperly placed banners, as I had a bad habit of doing that. :ph34r: It's funny as I could have sworn you (and WTM) have been here for longer than 5-6 years - it certainly feels like you've been here forever, and you've done so much for the site!

Here's to the next six years! :happy:
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Mar 10 2012 08:52 PM
Wow 6 YEARS. I hope I look that good when I've been here for that long. I congratulate you on reaching a mile stone. Myself (and I'm sure the rest of the staff and members) I wish you all the best for the next six years and beyond.
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Mar 13 2012 03:41 AM
Wow, six years! I've only been on this site, what? Seven months? Of course, I was reading fanfiction long before that, but I only got the courage to actually post a chapter last August. (Mine got rejected too. High five)

But even though I've only been here seven months, HPFF is such a big part of my life. It's the place where the majority of my writing goes (which is a hu-uge part of my life) and everyone's so friendly here. I've never met any of you and I feel like it's so easy to relate to people here (and not just because of the Harry Potter obsession;) ) I hope I reach a six year anniversary because I cannot imagine life without this site.
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