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It’s that time of year again, where all the bloggers are contemplating everything that has happened. Personally, I kind of feel like 2018 has just flown by. In between starting a new job, moving house and crying over Infinity War for months on end, December seems to crept up without me realising!
When I look back at the themes that this blog has had over the year, there are many that have emerged in response to my posts. It’s stuff that I hadn’t necessarily set out to do, but after seeing how strongly others felt on certain subjects, I felt the urge and need to speak out to my fellow nerds. So I thought I’d expand a little more on these:
Building confidence for other fans
When I wrote 'I'm' a Fangirl, and I'm Not Ashamed', I wrote it quite simply as a reflection of my own experiences. I had no idea that it would resonate in the way that it did with so many other geeks out there. Because let’s be honest, nerdy stuff hasn’t always been cool. It’s even still definitely judged by some today. This in turn means that many people keep their hobbies and interests a secret, like dirty laundry to be put away from the prying eyes of the world.
Story time: I actually met a guy on the train on the way home once. He was a business mogul, dressed to the nines in a sharp suit and ready to go up north for a corporate meeting. Somehow, we go talking about Marvel, and it was like I’d unlocked a part of his personality that he'd kept secret for years. “I base so many things off of Tony Stark,” He confessed to me, “My work ethic, my ambitions for my business, even my beard!”
He then admitted that he’d never told anyone that before, simply because he thought that taking an interest in comics and nerdy things would mitigate his status as a serious businessman. And I thought, why should it? The level of research and detail that goes into TV, films and games is highly intellectual, and immerses us in the fantasy world. It’s no different to being immersed in classic novels, or the dramatic arts.
In university, I studied the ‘levels’ of culture as explored by academic Raymond Williams. According to this theory, taking an interest in ‘high’ culture activity (such as operas, theatre, classical music etc) implies that your status and tastes are more sophisticated and more worthwhile in society, which when put in comparison to ‘pop’ culture (in which geek culture would fall into) demonstrates a class difference. To me, this has never seemed something that is fair. Everyone enjoys different things, and our interests should not dictate our standing in society. Just because you like Star Wars does not make you any less of a person. We should ALL be welcomed into geek world, and be unashamed of it.
I'll keep banging that drum throughout 2019, I promise.
Addressing conflict online
The more I speak out online, the more my willingness to call out toxic behaviour manifests. For years I’ve sat back and observed fans tear each other and their groups apart, too afraid to speak about my own opinions in fear of being dragged into all the fandom wars. I wanted to preserve myself, and keep my love for my fandom on my own turf. However, I'm now of the belief that sitting back may in fact do more harm than good.
I was already in the planning stages of creating my article on Fandom Drama when my comment on Tessa Nettings’ video gained a lot of attention. This made me realise that there are probably a lot of other people who are just like me; they stay quiet with their opinions in fear of the fans who drown out the positivity with their hateful comments. And by doing so, they give their fandom a bad reputation.
Well, no more I say.
This article is my most read one so far for a reason. There’s others out there who are like me, staying quiet online to avoid the drama. But here’s the thing; we’re sick and tired of the negative nonsense from trolls and haters alike. So I won’t just sit by and let it continue anymore. I feel like this blog has been a great vehicle for me to share my voice on these matters, and I will continue to do so to create change for others who share the same sentiment.
Celebrating the weird and wonderful
Onto something a little more positive. I’ve discovered more hidden gems this year than ever before. Wild experiences and venues for the geekiest of people out there. I feel like ‘immersion’ is a great way to sum up everything. Bars, exhibitions and experiences are now opening with unique twists designed to entice us nerds away from our computers, and I am living for it.
My personal favourite experience of the year was the magical cocktail experience at The Cauldron. The level of detail paid attention here made it a true standout, and the infusion of science and fantasy made it a crowd-pleaser for all the nerds out there. Thanks to this, I now have many other food and drink outings on my wish-list. Stay tuned.
Equally, some of the figures I've interviewed this year have opened my eyes to the nerdy careers that exist without us necessarily knowing. I've spoken to fashion designers, YouTubers, authors, podcasters and many more... and it's really been a hell of a ride. I love hearing about how creators have made a name for themselves, and I hope that by sharing their journeys on here, I am inspiring other readers out there who may want to kickstart their own passion project.
Remember anything is possible in the world of nerd!
Looking ahead at what's to come
I must admit, I’ve never felt more enthused to improve my work than right now. After being nominated in the UK Blog Awards (for both the Lifestyle and the Arts & Culture categories) I’ve been exposed to so many other talented writers and creators on there. And honestly, when I see what they’re producing, it only drives me to improve my own work and keep up with the incredibly high standards out there.
So what is next for The London Geek in 2019? Well for one, I can definitely see a big website change coming eventually. There’s a lot that I love on here already, but as with anything there are always extra elements that can just add that magic touch. I’ll play my cards close to my chest for now, and share my thoughts when I can.
I’m also looking to ramp up the standard of my photos, especially after investing in the brand new Pixel 3 (is it possible to be in love with a phone?). Despite this being a big treat for myself, I also want to use it to bring my imagery to new levels of quality, and continue on with the visual theme of my blog. My LG could only serve me for so long after all.
And after that, who knows? I’ve been toying with the idea of adding video, or even a podcast to my roster. But it honestly just comes down to what is feasible. My blog will always be my number one baby after all. I’m just excited to see what more I can discover, who else I can showcase and what untold stories I can bring to the interwebs.
Thank you all for an amazing year of readership. Without you guys, I wouldn’t still be going right now. 😊 What do you want to see from The London Geek in 2019? Let me know in the comments below!