I have no clear idea how to write about this incredible thing that’s happening in my (little) corner of the Outlander fandom at the moment. I think I mentioned several times that I’m rather happy staying on the outskirts of this fandom or of fandoms in general these days, because it can get exhausting and sometimes even nasty in the thick of it. On the other hand I know (and I think I’ve mentioned that as well) that fandoms and connecting with other fans can be amazing too.
Two days ago the Golden Globes nominations came out and Outlander scored three of those. Yay! Best show, Caitriona as best lead actress and Tobias as best actor in a supporting role. I’m thrilled and happy for everyone on the show and of course for Cait and Tobias especially. But I still think Sam Heughan would have deserved a nomination as well! I don’t want to go into why and maybe I’m too bias anyway. Let’s just say I was pretty upset and pissed off and really disappointed on his behalf.
For the past few days/weeks I’ve been trying to get a more positive outlook on life. To not let too much negative thinking and worrying and anxieties and self esteem issues drag me down. I’m not sure how much headway I’m making with that in my “real life”. But this attempt for a more positive way of thinking also meant that I didn’t want to spend too much time being upset on Sam’s behalf. I quickly realized I wanted to DO something. Anything to let Sam know that no matter what any award jury might think, we fans (well I, anyway) think he did an amazing job in season 1. Let him know how much I appreciate his work and his dedication to the craft and his way of staying the lovely, humble, generous lad he seems to be. I considered trying to start some kind of Twitter campaign / party thing, where we all use the same hashtag to tweet him our support and such.
But somehow I thought I might want to channel my “rage” about that Golden Globe snub into something more positive and productive than just a Twitter thing and I thought about what Sam might like to see us do. The idea to set up a fundraiser page for Bloodwise UK, a charity I know has his support came to me rather quickly then. The biggest hurdle was to come up with a suitable amount which had some kind of meaning and seemed in reach in the next 4 weeks. As I had given the campaign the title “In lieu of a Golden Globe nomination” I knew I wanted to keep it open till the ceremony on 10 January 2016. I remembered having read somewhere that the Oscar’s statutettes only had a value of about $400 so I googled about the Golden Globe and found two source stating they have material value of about $800.
$800 in 4 weeks seemed doable to me. Because the thing is: I’m not the most outspoken person. I have a hard time asking people for a favour. And here I was even asking for money! Not for myself, but still. So I wasn’t sure if I really would gather the courage to actually put the whole idea out there and ask other fans to donate and to share the link and everything. I was also worried that others might think this is a stupid, silly, useless, worthless whatever endavour. I was worried that noone would donate or share it or that people might make fun of it or anything. You name it. Anxiety galore!
I went ahead with it anyway, because deep down I knew that most of these worries had no basis in reality and were just in my head. On Twitter I asked two of the Sam fans I knew had a large followership to maybe RT the link and they were on board immediately. And thus I became a bit more confident in tweeting the link to a few more fans on Twitter. One of the first two AniaNL was so, so supportive and tweeted and retweted and liked and it was amazing! The snowball started rolling and the $800 were reached within a few hours. Woah!
The new target I set was $2016, because it was about the Globes 2016. But this target was met almost as quickly. After only one day, around 60 people had donated over $2.700. And I was floored. And in awe. And overwhelmed. And giddy. And nervous, because I had no idea what I should do now. How ballsy would it be to raise the target again? Would I be able to get some more people to donate? Would the momentum go on? Or would people realize quickly that I’m just a fluke? It’s just ME after all. I’ve never set out to do something THAT big. I just wanted to channel my rage about the Golden Globe snub ;-)
I did raise the target after all (one Globe for each episode = 16×800 =) to $12.800 *gulp* and the donations started slowing down a bit and my mind went havock. “It was too much too ask.” – “Of course, the momentum had stop at some point.” – “They don’t care that much after all, it’s silly of YOU to care that much.” – “Who do you think you are, to believe you could pull THAT off?!?!?” All that kind of the usual crap! I didn’t listen to these voices though and drudged through all the small anxities they caused.
This morning I went out of my comfort zone and tweeted the link to some more fans with a larger followership and quite a few cast and crew members, asking to share and maybe even to chip in a little. I know in 99% of the case, they probably won’t do either and I was afraid I might be pestering them too much. But even that fear is once again not based in reality, I think. It was one tweet today among several they all get from fans each day. And asking them to RT something for a good cause is not pestering, is it? No it’s not. I know it’s not, but I was still worrying. Not too much, but a bit. At least I caught myself worrying for no good reason, before my mind went down the spiral of negative thinking. Which has been a interesting experience. Worrying. Realizing, I was worrying. Realizing, that there is no need to worry. And to actually STOP worrying. Mostly anyway :-)
Tonight I went out of another comfort zone and shared the link to my fundraiser in two Facebook groups and people there liked the idea as well and started donating. Woah!
And then there is all the praise and thanks directed at me, which I still have a bit of a hard time to get used to. Speaks volumes about my self esteem, right? Anyway, it’s so nice to have so many people share and praise this small idea and congratulate me on it and support it and say all the nice things and help get the word out and… everything. It’s lovely to be a part of something so positive.
The only thing I’m still a bit worried about is (I am a “worrier” after all), that people are leaving so many lovely messages about and for Sam on the fundraiser site and I have no idea if I will ever be able to get him to read those. And I’m worried I might let people down, by not making sure these messages get to him, as they are adressed to him or are about him. He deserves to read them. And every single one of the fans who donated and left a message deserve that he reads them, too. I have one or two ideas how to make sure he will, but I don’t know if these ideas are feasible. We’ll see….
Another thing I’m still a bit unsure about is how this has changed my perspective on or my role in the Outlander fandom. I gathered quite a few new followers on Twitter for instance. Do I have some “klout” now? (Is that even still a thing *g*?) Oh well, maybe I’m overthinking things again. I KNOW I’m overthinking things again. Instead I should just roll with it and enjoy it while it lasts, right?
Ending this post with a current state of affairs: 2 days and just a couple of hours after I started and was worried I would never ever mange to raise $800 in four weeks.
WOAH! If you want to join…
I am so glad to see you take my suggestion and raise the goal to represent 16 GG’sfor Sam!
I shared your fundraiser page with the Outlander facebook group I’m in (395 members, just for people in my state), as well as the Outlander subreddit on reddit.com!