I was working on a writing project, and something in it made me think of Horatio, and by extension, Ioan. Which sent me into a feeling I've had on and off for the last few years whenever Ioan or his characters cross my mind; melancholy. While I still had a fondness for him, I haven't really been doing much on the Ioan front for quite a while. There are reasons for this that I'll discuss shortly, but that, combined with the fact that it's hard to find fellow Ioanites nowadays (also something I'll discuss soon), can make me feel a little sad when it comes to mind.
So as a trip down memory lane, I pulled up Ioan's IMDB page to replay a game I played around the time I first started this journal; ranking Ioan's characters based on how much I liked them (or, in the case of ones I hadn't seen, how much I think I'd like them based on what I knew about them). In the course of doing this, I glanced over to the side of the page, where IMDB keeps the three most recent news articles about the actor you're looking at...and saw that the third article had the words "Alice Evans" and "divorce" in it. Shocked, I started looking into it, and the rest is history.
The point being, I was already in a frame of mind where I was thinking that I wasn't as actively invested in Ioan as I used to be, and now I'm suddenly confronted with a major piece of news...three months after the fact. It showed just how out of the loop I was, and in-between trying to process what was going on with Ioan, I started thinking things over.
(I apologize in advance for both the length and the lack of an LJ cut. Given the reason for this post, I thought it best to just have it all out there for people to see.)
First off, it's harder to be a Ioanite than it used to be. Not because of Ioan himself, but because it's harder to keep updated on him. Ioanonline closed its doors in 2007, but when I joined LJ in 2008, there were still plenty of other sources that could provide pictures, links to interviews, and discussions/rumors of upcoming projects. The two big ones were the IMDB message boards, and a site called Ioanzone. I used those for most of my information over the years, and all was well.
Then the IMDB message boards were shut down in 2013-2014, which made things harder. Ioanzone held out a bit longer, but the last post I distinctly remember from it was in 2015, and a year or two later, it disappeared. That's not to say it doesn't technically still exist, though; google "Ioanzone" and you'll see that there are accounts with that name on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. And therein lies the problem, or rather, my problem.
I prefer to keep my privacy online as much as possible, and places like LJ or Ioanzone, where you can create a random identity and talk about as much or as little about your real self as you like, were ideal for me. But that type of internet communication seems to be being phased out in favor of sites that favor both brevity and openness. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all seem to prefer that you post under your real name, and while I'm sure it's not a hard and fast rule, it still feels too personal for me. Besides, as both this post and the last post show, I prefer being allowed to write as much as I want about a subject, rather than having to keep it short.
(Tumblr is the one place where anonymity seems more accepted, but I've heard it can be difficult to use, especially for text posts, so that's still a problem.)
Long story short, there probably are other Ioanites out there, but they're congregated in places I'm not inclined to seek out. Prior to this latest development, the only ways I could keep track of what Ioan's doing are via his filmography on IMDB (which honestly doesn't have new material anywhere near as much as I'd like), his twitter (which was mostly him posting or retweeting promotional material for his latest shows, so you had to wade through a lot of samey stuff to get to anything new), news articles (and up until the divorce, I honestly didn't really consider that an option, because it seemed to me like he wasn't doing much to get him into papers or gossip mags), and, very sporadically, updates from places like following_sea. Which brings me to my second point.
LJ, or at least my corner of it, is pretty dead. Most of my friends list hasn't updated in years, and those who have generally aren't posting a lot of Ioan/Hornblower/Forever related stuff. Most of the communites are inactive too; following_sea got a small shot in the arm last year, but if you check it out, the most recent post is from November 2020, and the prior post was July 4th, 2020...when I jumped on to wish Horatio a happy birthday.
Which leads to point three, and the biggest one. As you can see from my most recent entries prior to this year, I'm part of the problem. At this point, I basically post on LJ twice a year; once on July 4th at following_sea to wish Horatio a happy birthday, and then again here on my journal to wish Ioan a happy birthday on October 6th. There are a lot of reasons for this;
*Lack of engagement; it's never fun to feel like you're posting into the void, especially if you combine that with the sensation that you're the only one who still cares about Ioan.
*Real life stuff: self explanatory.
*Lack of Ioan material: There just hasn't been much for me to talk about. Most of Ioan's projects post-Forever have either been things I can't get my hands on or things I don't have a lot of interest in watching.
*Lack of creative inspiration: On a related note to the previous point, since Ioan's not on my radar, I don't have as many ideas for stories featuring his characters, so that's another potential reason to post gone.
*New faces: Because I don't have new Ioan material, the door was opened for other interests to come along, and to spark or rekindle some crushes on other actors/characters. So most of my fannish attention has gone to that over Ioan stuff. As I mentioned, I feel a little bad about that, since Ioan's been a huge part of my life (and on LJ, my "brand"), but I know these things come in waves, and all it takes is a good role for Ioan for him to come out on top again. It's just that this has been a particularly long dry spell.
So after all that, I can finally get to the point;
I'M OFFICIALLY PUTTING THIS JOURNAL ON HIATUS.
I still consider myself a Ioanite, but for now, there doesn't seem to be much reason to keep this journal running. So for the forseeable future, I won't be posting here, not even for my annual birthday greetings to Ioan and Horatio. I'm not deleting this journal (though if LJ decides to do so, that's on them; that being said, since I've seen journals that haven't updated in 12+ years, I'm not too concerned at the moment), and I'll still be at least somewhat active on Ao3 under the same username. So if you've enjoyed my fics and picspams over the years, they're currently not going anywhere.
I have no idea when, or if, I'll be back. If things continue to be quiet on here (I'll probably check in on following_sea anonymously every so often to see if there's anything new on there that might rekindle my interest), then I'll probably just let things lie. But if there's a sudden resurgence of people/Ioanites on LJ, or if Hornblower comes back with Ioan as the lead, or if Ioan does a project that really grabs me, I'll probably come back for a bit. Even if I don't get a lot of responses to my posts, at least I'll have an easy place to gush.
For my friends lists and the denizens of following_sea, thanks so much for all the fun times. I appreciated your comments and content over years, especially if they ended up inspiring me to come up with more stories or weird posts. I hope you're all doing well, and that you continue to do well.
And on the one in a million chance that Ioan finds this or is already aware of this blog; this isn't anything personal. As I've said, this is more about realizing this journal currently doesn't have much to sustain it than it is about what's currently happening. Thank you so much for everything; acting as my muse, helping me make friends (real life and online), and for your kindness and understand when we met back in 2013. May everything go well for you moving forward, and may you get roles in the near future that both of us enjoy.
Smooth sailing, everyone.
With fond affection,