“The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” ~H.L. Mencken
If you’re reading this, welcome. And by that I don’t mean welcome you not to the site. That’s been done. No, I welcome you at this point to the status that will be inevitable as you continue in your ficly ways. You are here at the beginning. Yours are the stories that will build the foundation of what is to come. Yours will be the pennames routinely on the ‘Most Active’ and ‘Most Popular’ lists. You are the Old Guard.
As human beings, social creatures, we seek out hierarchies and measures of status. In this setting, those measures will be the things I just mentioned. The momentum inherent with having been here longer, having more contacts, having published more stories, all will imbue you with an aura of importance. To newcomers, please be aware that for all your foibles and shortcomings, you will appear to be the wise elders of our new society of storytellers.
That is your mantle. Take it up with full knowledge of what it is and what it means. The neophytes will look to you. If you peevishly create your own monoliths, they will do the same. If you leave constructive, meaningful comments, they will strive to do the same. If you bluster about in an attitude of megalomania-driven self promotion, they will do that in spades. If you work together to create complex, cooperative tales of wonder and imagination, they will want to play too.
You are the Old Guard. My you wear the mantle well.