RA Bloggers’ Reunion

Blog Reunion from @Natazukii

Organizer @Natazuki’s pic to celebrate the #RABlogReunion

I wasn’t blogging or even reading blogs when a lot of the #RABlogReunion participants were blogging, but I have really enjoyed reading some of the older posts when I come across them. And I am certainly looking forward to taking a blogging tour!

It seems funny to call myself a “new” RA blogger, when I’ve been at it for 3 1/2 years now! But it’s all relative, isn’t it? I’d be really interested to find out why others stopped blogging about RA and how you knew it was time. I’ve debated about that a lot lately.

Originally, I just watched a bit of North and South (a.k.a. the gateway drug) on my own, then as I began researching RA, I discovered that there were RA bloggers and realized that there was a whole world of interesting, intelligent women that I had never imagined before! Lurking turned into commenting, until finally the words forming continually in my head urged me to start my own blog at the beginning of 2017. I hesitated a lot, because my work and family life don’t allow for much creative leisure time, but my older son convinced me I should do it and I took the leap.

Over my 3 1/2 years of blogging, my life hasn’t really changed a whole lot. I’m still in the same house, although I discovered North and South before I moved here.  In fact, I have been a fan for a lot longer than I’ve been blogging — I went to see The Hobbit because I knew Richard Armitage was going to be in it.

I have the same (but evolving) job, with a new boss for the last year and a half — she is a real driver, meaning that I have even less time and mental energy to blog than I used to. It’s hard to be creative when you are exhausted.

A year ago, my younger son graduated from high school and then started college in August. Putting high school behind us seemed like a release from prison for both of us. My older son moved out of the house in December, establishing his life closer to where he works. This was a big change, but it was a lot easier for his mother to let go now than it was when he moved out for a short time when he was 19. Still, it means that we haven’t been able to see each other much during this whole COVID thing. I shouldn’t complain, though, because at least he and my husband and I are all working, even if the circumstances are a bit different.

And then I turned 60 on Friday, which is somehow weighing heavily on me.

When I first became enamoured of our man Richard, he looked like this (at least in the shows I was then watching):

Clean-cut, angular, handsome. Was he right that we fell for his characters, not actually for him? Maybe. To me he seemed so refined and bookish and cello-playing. Then I heard one of his characters swear and for some reason I was shocked!

I really liked him as the ultimate bad boy — although I would hope he isn’t really that way in life!

img_2792

When I started lurking around the fandom, he somehow had changed into someone I didn’t quite recognize:

Recognize shoot - richardarmitagenet.com

Not being a fan of the close-cropped hair, I wasn’t sure what to make of him.

But my interest has held, over all his many looks…. well maybe not this one:

Richard as King - richardarmitagecentral.co.uk

I mean, really.

So, what now? Blogging for me has waned, for a number of reasons.

  • How do you blog when you are too exhausted to think creatively? I can do it when I’m away, as my two-day mini-break just before the COVID crisis hit proved to me. But otherwise, vegging in front of the TV seems the easiest option and inertia takes over.
  • Over the last year or two, some things happened in the blogging fandom that really put me off. The changes in atmosphere affected me emotionally and made blogging stop being fun. Things have settled down now, but maybe the thrill is gone? I hope I can get it back.
  • Then there’s Richard himself. Some of the things he tweets, for example, make me scratch my head. Like, I should be glad when he retweets that “SOLT and Equity… have come to an agreement to support actors during the current suspension of West End shows due to the COVID-19 crisis.”? Without any context as to what he’s thinking, my first thought is a sarcastic, “Phew! Richard is being paid!” But then he goes and does a nice little video tour of his home audiobook studio and sparks my interest again!

Well, that’s probably enough said for now. It’s midnight going into the #RABlogReunion Day and I guess I should go to bed. I’d love to hear why you still blog about Richard and/or why you stopped.

Happy Reunion!

(Most photos above from RichardArmitageNet.com and richardarmitagecentral.co.uk.)

 

61 thoughts on “RA Bloggers’ Reunion

  1. I always love reading your blog, whenever you are able to make a little time, so I hope you stick around for a bit!!
    I can sustain my blogging precisely because it isn’t only about Richard. I have periods of complete immersion into RA (or something / someone else) and then I need breaks and move on to other things as well. I return to my past obsessions regularly, return to RA a lot actually, but to keep blogging interesting for me, I need to blog about other stuff as well. If no one reads the other stuff, that’s fine, but at least I was happy unburdening myself and throwing it out there. Maybe one day I will stop writing about RA completely? Although I don’t really think so. I find myself writing now and again about even older obsessions than RA, so he’ll always stick with me, I guess.
    My one aim for my own blog is to keep toxicity away from it and it somehow that has been possible for me in the 6 years that I blog. As long as blogging stays toxic free and as long as I feel free to blog about what I want/like, I will continue doing so, I guess. I am a little bit of a writer at heart and just can’t help myself.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Esther. I enjoy reading your blog too, even going I often don’t manage to comment. (Like, congratulations on your daughter passing her exams and hanging out the school bag!)

      I also can’t only blog about Richard. We have so many other things in our lives that it would be hard to be one-track. I’ve felt kind of disconnected from a lot of the fandom conversation lately. It seems to be going in a different direction to how I’m feeling a lot of the time, although part of it is I just don’t have much time to think and dream.

      I do love to write and I find that it energizes me. Although lately I often sit down to do it and my brain has no words. And that’s just not fun.

      Liked by 3 people

      • No, that isn’t fun. I’ve had dry spells too but at some point always return. It’s Ok to not blog, it should be fun after all, a refuge from an already extremely busy life for you. Maybe to keep going, if you feel you’ve been gone too long, just share something really short like a picture or piece of music or video you like. Even something small like that can lighten things up a little bit. It does for me.
        And pish, don’t worry about commenting (and thanks for the congrats anyway)!

        Liked by 4 people

        • That’s a good idea. I think part of the problem is that I’m bit of a perfectionist. I have an idea of how I’d like a post to be and if I don’t have time to get there, it often seems easier just to let it slide. Anyway, i just wanted you to know that I am reading and visiting over at your place, even if you don’t always see me there.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue I’m happy you are here! I still feel like a newbie and I delved into Richard through Berlin Station of all things!
    I won’t go into the toxic element and I stay away from the blogs that allow it to happen
    And I agree with you about Richard although something physically changed for me from his interview and that infamous pic I just don’t physically connect fantasy wise
    I don’t get his tweets half the time but I think at his core he’s a good guy. I was completely starstruck in Feb and maybe I needed that
    I will second Esther here on her thoughts about blogging and your blog is a joy and genuine
    So I’m glad you are here!!
    60 is beautiful ! 😘❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Michele. He does seem to be a good guy, if somewhat clueless how he comes across on Twitter sometimes. You were very lucky to have seen Uncle Vanya, especially given the current crisis and the impact on travel. Who knows when theatre will properly happen again. Bard on the Beach, Vancouver’s Shakespeare festival has now of course been cancelled for the summer. Too bad. Thanks for the kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sue I know I was very lucky with Vanya and it re ignited a bit of the physical spark which crashed last October big time but since the quarantine truthfully I’ve been put off by his constant Audible hawking especially when so many have lost their jobs or been furloughed or business have gone under
        Our Shakespeare theatre in DC is postponing opening in the fall 😞😢

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “New” is relative, I guess. Somehow, 8 years in, I don’t feel like an old blogger, either. Maybe we should see it in generations? There was a generation before me – the legacy bloggers, many of whom have become inactive – then my generation. Are you the next generation or still in the same one as I? – I guess, it doesn’t really matter. As long as there is fun in it for you, you blog. New or established – doesn’t matter. Oh, and as long as RA still holds interest for you, too. I have long lost that loving feeling, to quote the song, for him that buoyed me through the first few years of being a fan. My interest in him has become more distant and superficial at this point because I find some of his actions hard to reconcile with my wishful image of him.
    As for fandom – I’d love to comment on that but it would be unfair to do that on someone else’s blog or to even throw hints about. Bad form. I’ll address that on my own blog at some stage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s good way to look at it. I kind of feel like I might have been the tail end of your “generation”, I have to see how I can get the fun back. RA still holds a certain amount of interest, although he’s not constantly on my mind as he once was. Better projects might have helped and better Twitter sense maybe.

      I agree that the fandom issues that you or I have experienced are not for discussion today. Thanks for that. Maybe some other time, some other place.

      Like

      • I think it is a somewhat natural progression. The more you learn about someone whom you can’t know as a friend, the more demystified they become. For me, admittedly, there is also a really stupid consideration in there – whenever I feel like chucking in the towel, I think “but I have invested so much time into this”… It’s a bit of a catch-22…

        Liked by 2 people

        • Well, that’s definitely true. And rather than spending less time, you are spending more with the RichardArmitageNet.com. Thank you for doing that! (By the way, I tried to save pictures by right clicking and doing save as [as suggested in the FAQ], but the only option is to save the link. There is no option to save the picture. In the end, I had to use a snipping tool and save that part of the screen shot.)

          Like

    • That’s a very good way of putting it. I liked your story about the tree in the classroom, by the way. I could see it being developed into a kid’s story, if you could figure out what the moral of the story is. (There I go, reading and not commenting in the right place again.)

      Like

  4. the decision to stop blogging solely about Richard was a real struggle for me. I just didn’t feel the same way about him that I used to, the spark and passion that infused all of my words about him were no longer there. I hated that that was the case but after fighting against it for far too long, in my opinion, I finally decided to move on to other things. and then I got all that passion and spark back with someone else and it was wonderful! it was then that I decided I wasn’t going to follow the rules that some fans have about only following one actor at a time, or at least one above all others. that just wasn’t how I was wired, so once I opened myself up to blogging about who I wanted and how I wanted, it all came alive for me again. sometimes who I blog about resonates with readers and sometimes they don’t. while it would be nice if everyone loved who/what I love, it’s okay that it’s not. I just type away, throwing my passion out into the void and it’s very satisfying to get it down in print, to organize my thoughts and feelings in such a way that they actually make sense; that’s an accomplishment I feel proud of. I still work Richard into my posts from time to time, and it feels good when that happens but it’s not something I can force. I hope you can come to terms with your changing blogging/fangirling needs and find a structure that is satisfying for you. it doesn’t have to be all or nothing ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi, Sue! You asked why/how past RA bloggers stopped blogging. For me, I only posted when I felt like it or a creative idea popped into my head. For a few years that was often, and then slowly, less and less until my few-times-a-week gap became once a month or once every two years. I had more babies along the way and more responsibilities… other interests set in (although I’ve remained an RA fan this whole time) and other creative outlets became available. I’m glad my blog is still out there so anyone can read the “old stuff” and I can still hop on there for times like this. Have fun with your blog while you feel like it… I think it’s a good one!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m with you on all three reasons. It’s to the point where, although it looks like my career may be in shreds again, I almost don’t care because at least unemployment will give me a brief break from the non-stop demands of work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope I can find some time over my (once again) working weekend to read your post — taking a quick glance I noticed we both are touching on some of those same reasons. A break almost seems worth it sometimes, doesn’t it? I push myself to do it all, but maybe that’s just not possible. Thanks for your continued support and for tweeting out my post today. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s funny how you as a (relatively) new RA blogger mention things that makes at least one of us RA blogging “oldies” feel like we’re the newcomers. Blog controversy? Infamous pic? What? But on the other hand, do I really want to know? Anyway. I haven’t seen your blog before, so hi! I’ll have to have a look around. 🙂 Happy belated birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Sue, I always enjoy reading your blogs, and much of what you say resonates with me, My fascination with Richard Armitage is still strong (much of it is based on the characters rather than the man – particularly the bad boys) but I do experience ebbs and flows, though it just doesn’t go away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. I’m glad what I said resonates. Characters like Guy really stick with me, but I really wouldn’t want that in real life — or at least not for an extended period! I would like to be able to sustain the fascination, because it’s fun. We’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Sue,
    Apologies – I haven’t visited your blog before. I started blogging in 2009 to avoid fandom contretemps on one of the forums (too long ago now). I was in “full crush mode” up until after The Battle of the Five Armies. Real life events took over and I too found I had less energy to devote to blogging. (I’m also a lazy writer). Moreover, the work Richard chose to do after 2015 was not as appealing to me as it was, prior to The Hobbit. (I love the screencaps of Thornton, Porter and Lucas North BTW – they bring back happy memories). When Nat suggested we have a blogger reunion, I was a bit reluctant to join in as I felt some fans I keep in contact with might be very disappointed in me for no longer being as enthusiastic about him as they still are. But … I’m still a huge fan of his audio work! The magic for me therefore is no longer in the screen presence but in the voice and storytelling.

    Thankyou for this post and sharing your thoughts with us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mulubinba, thanks so much for visiting and sharing a bit about your journey. Sorry not to reply until now — it has been truly a hellish week at work. I really enjoy Richard’s audio work, too. My favourite is probably David Copperfield, but I enjoy his other audio performances as well. I’m hoping to do my blog tour of the reunion soon, assuming I have a bit of time.

      Like

  10. I started blogging about Richard in 2012 or 2013 or so and he kinda jumpstarted my writing after I took a 10-year break. The first fanfic I wrote was for Sparkhouse and then Lucas North and finally Thorin before I resumed my fiction writing.

    I love the people I met along the way, the fellow bloggers and fellow writers and I still follow them on twitter and the blogosphere. I’m just not active blogging about RA anymore although my Tumblr posts are still up. I just pulled up some of my blog posts on the wayback machine and it sure was a walk down memory lane. Belated happy birthday and I’m so glad to have met you through RA!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry for replying so late — excessive work demands. I love your Lucas North fanfiction, but I haven’t read the Sparkhouse. Can you please share a link to where I can find it? It is really something how RA can be a muse or at least a creativity spark for so many.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes. I’m glad to have met you too!

      Like

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