I am infinitely thankful for this competition. When I first saw the ad on MyAnimeList, I was in...well, a bad place is an exaggeration but it certainly wasn’t somewhere I’d like to stay. Nothing was specifically wrong with my life, only that I felt empty going from day to day, place to place. It was the latter half of my mid-year break from University and I had started it with wild hopes. I was going to hang out with my friends and do all sorts of stuff. Then, a lot of that fell through and I ended up losing a close friend (it’s complicated).
As a result, most of my holidays were spent in my dorm room, only leaving to grab food. I played a lot of Minecraft and some Final Fantasy XIV. I hesitate to even say I had fun playing those games since I just spent most of my time monotonously grinding while binging true crime documentaries on Netflix.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I was lonely. I had friends and they were great people, I just found myself struggling to feel truly connected with the world around me. Please don’t feel bad for me: my issues are pretty much the definition of a first-world problem.
That brings me back to Honeyfeed. This competition was the kick to the balls I needed to take my laptop out and finally do some writing. And holy shit, I have never written so much in such a short amount of time. It wasn’t easy, especially with my assignments and lectures piling up, but after finishing, I think it was worth it.
But perhaps what I’m most thankful for is this community. Don’t get me wrong, some of you are absolute dicks, but damn did I love being on the Discord server. I can’t even tell if it’s because the community is genuinely good or because I was just so starved of human attention, but I really dived in head-first.
Here, in this community, I felt appreciated. I felt liked. Might not be the truth, who knows, but it made me feel good inside. That’s why I devoted so much of my time to all of you. As cringey as it is, I felt good being called the Meme God, having even the admins say I made them laugh. Whether it was making shill videos or huge universe-spanning flowcharts, I gave this community my all.
For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a part of something. I blame the shitty anime I grew up watching where every protagonist had their rag-tag team that supported them through thick and thin. The power of friendship. The power of found family.
I wanted that.
I think I get overly attached sometimes because I really want something like that. Even if sometimes it meant forcing it. Yet, over the years, all the groups I thought would stay together, never really did. People change and close friends slowly drift apart. That’s just the nature of the world we live in.
I think the same thing will happen to my community. I think Honeyfeed will stay Honeyfeed, but I think the regulars in the server will slowly leave to do other things, especially after this contest is over. I don’t even think I really have plans to stay.
Honeyfeed will remain, but the people that populate its community will shift over time, the newcomers becoming regulars and the old leaving onto other things– not better or worse things, just different ones.
The community I know, that I was a part of, is just a fragile moment in time. A handful of people from all over the world that just so happen to cross paths for a few months. I spent weeks of my life, making memes and chatting, just for a group of people that may never talk again after all of this.
Was it worth it?
Yea, probably. At least, I really enjoyed myself.
Anyhow, this afterword is way longer than it needs to be and I know for sure the people reading this are bored out of their mind, so let me hurry this up.
I want to give my biggest thanks to Olivia and Arcticus, my beta-readers.
Olivia, who was patient enough to spend many sleepless nights just hearing me ramble on about my bullshit.
Arcticus, also the person who made my cover. You were here from the beginning and looking back from where we’ve started, it’s pretty cool to see how far we’ve come. You can find her on Artstation (https://www.artstation.com/arcticus_art).
Moving on, thank you to Oscar, James, and znf. You have been my most loyal readers from start to finish.
Oscar especially, thank you for being my gateway drug into this community. Out of all the fucking weirdos here, I’m very lucky that it was you.
James, thank you for probably being the first person to read every chapter. Your criticism and feedback always made my day.
Znf, my slave who’s been desperately begging for his unpaid wages for weeks now. Sorry lmao, sucks to suck.
Thank you to everyone who’s read my novel, from those generous enough to comment and like to those who never make themselves known, I appreciate every one of you regardless.
Thank you again to this community. There’s too many of you to name but you know who you are.
A small thanks to the members of the MW community who reached this far. I’ll be extremely surprised if there’s more than like, two of you, but I hope you enjoyed what was essentially my shitty mafia au fanfiction. You were my first love as far as communities go, and you will never be forgotten.
Whether I see all of you again or don’t, I am infinitely thankful to have been a part of all this.
UnCrowned is not done. This is just volume one and I have every intention to keep writing.