For context: It's probably no secret that I absolutely adore S9. And what I've found is that it's taken me full circle with my relationship to SPN--because I feel like I'm back where I was when I started watching it during S4/S5, if now slightly better-seasoned. :P When I started off in SPN fandom I was all about mytharc/plot, at least inasmuch as that was explicitly tied to Sam's/Dean's/Castiel's character arcs. Which I never abandoned, exactly, but as I spent more time in fandom I feel like my approach to these things shifted, and they became more tied to tropes and the exploration of these characters via tropes--which I feel like is pretty par for the course for fandom, because what is fandom without our delightful array of tropes, right? Mine were all gen H/C tropes, rather than pairing/kink tropes, but it's the same deal. But with S9, I am so invested in what canon's laying out, and the wealth of things to explore in canon, and just kind of dealing with/writing out Sam and Dean in ways that really don't fit into fandom's tropes very well--and certainly doesn't showcase them in a way that feels gratifying to the trope!--that the way fandom is organized, or what I feel like its interests are, are not as useful or meaningful to me as they have been in the past. If that makes sense?
And I mean, sure, I've always been a fairly intense canon (and/or canon-interested alternate timeline) devotee, but for a good three years I was definitely all about the hurt/comfort, all the hurt/comfort, nothing precedes the hurt/comfort. XP I've sort of passed out of that. Like, it's there in the pervasive sense that hurt and the need for comfort is standard-issue when it comes to the Winchesters and their fucked up little universe and all its sad supporting cast satellites, but not in the "omg, I could always go for some tropey straight-up H/C fic" sense.
Which, at the moment at least, translates to SPN itself meaning more to me than SPN fandom, I guess? Which was not a state of existence it's ever occurred to me would exist. XP I always assumed it was a linear trajectory, where you get really into a canon and then gradually spin away from it and into a fandom that exceeds your love of that initial canon "first date." That's how it's always worked for me, and how it seems to happen to other people (unless they find themselves in the center of some kind of wanky shitstorm and leave a fandom because of that--which thankfully is not my case, aha XP).
Ultimately, I suppose I'm okay with stepping away from H/C fandom (or most of it, in any case--there still remains those cases where SPN is impossible to extricate from the genre!), though it's the only corner of SPN fandom I'm actually, uh, familiar with, ahaha. It's kind of like, if you spent your whole fandom experience shipping Sam/Dean and then one day you woke up and YOUR ONLY REAL ONE TRUE PAIRING was like, Abbadon/Missouri or something.
(And of course, then you're required to weather the attendant headdesk where you realize, FUCK ME, now I really am going to have 1) nothing to read, and 2) actually no readership. /O\ /O\ /O\)
I'm not sure how I feel about the SPN > fandom part. Because SPN/me is a ultimately solitary, private venture, and fandom is supposed to be a community of real people and creativity and collaboration and dialogue and camaraderie. And that is a great, great, great thing. And I totally do still want to endlessly fic SPN and talk SPN and contemplate SPN. But at present I feel less like I belong to a place where I fit in, and where I can do that. Which I guess is partly about losing interest in clearly-defined tropes as a common language, and partly about what I've lost that interest in favor of, namely S9; I feel like so much of fandom is taken up either by hating S9, which I love and want to talk about, or by Sam Dean versus debate--which is not all wank, but isn't interesting to me in any shape, regardless. So idk. tl;dr sadface! confused!face! wistful!face!
I cried like a baby after I finally unearthed this vid by zimshan from 2010, or S5-era SPN. I couldn't remember who made it, so I ended up looking through about a year's worth of roque_clasique's journal trying to find her rec (which, if you haven't flipped through an entire year of her journal, you should!! you are missing out!!), which was pretty fun.
Anyway, Kill a Man is a phenomenal vid about SPN fandom, and the nature of fandom, and what kinds of creative magic can be wrought by fandom when we use our powers for collaborative, happy good. And to reiterate, yes, I cried like a baby through the whole thing, and I love it. In case it wasn't clear, or is buried under all the dreck preceding it, THIS IS A BIG FAT REC. REC REC REC.
To articulate my present experience of/feelings about fandom, though, I'd be playing this video in reverse. I hope that means the vid is the thesis, where I'm at right now is the antithesis, and eventually I can achieve synthesis. Because I'd like that very much.