Glad I signed up for mating_games now that it's a couple days and a couple of challenges in. I'm having a ball to be honest, because the community aspect of it now that we're divided up into teams is fantastic.
I don't know, there's something about being herded into a private comm with a limited number of people that seems to work for me. And chat, OMG, I've been spending some time on IRC over the last couple days, more than I've spent on it since my early days on the net.
Total time suck, but sociability-wise, good for antisocial me, I think.
It's probably the most I've felt some kind of community in the Teen Wolf fandom since I entered it. It seemed so scattered before.
It feels like NaNoWriMo to me, actually, but for fandom. I do the social thing during NaNo because I'm in a very small region and there are other authors in my region that come back every year and the regional forum is nice and cosy and supportive.
Another part that feels very NaNo is participation in the challenges. They keep track, and the team leader reports it in the team comm, so you can see your progress. NaNo works for me for some reason because I can't bear to not reach my minimum word count when (for me at least) it's reasonably easy to achieve. I can see already that Mating Games will be the same.
I'm not so quietly nervous about the voting part, the challenge 'winners' part. I learnt in twi fandom, where for a long time the only fest type things were contests and awards, that voting and winners take a terrible toll on my self-esteem. Illogical, of course, because not everyone can win, and I definitely don't think I'm a better writer than anyone else, but it's a thing.
I know it's not always so, but I like to think of fandom as a non-competitive, sharing, caring, happy fluffy place. Competition inevitably makes me feel like a big fat loser, and I don't enjoy it.
Competing against myself to reach wordcounts and milestones suits me so much better. The satisfaction of reaching my own goals and helping my team or region to reach the collective ones are definitely what drives me best.
So I'm going to make sure I get every goddamn participation point available :D And do my best to ignore the voting (while still voting myself, because PARTICIPATION POINTS). It won't work, but I'll try. There'll still be that heart in the mouth hope before reveals, and the disappointment when I don't place. But that's a personal issue, and I signed up knowing it would happen, so I'll deal with it as best I can when it does.