Trials and Tribulations of being an Outlander Fan(atic): What have I done?

Written by: Holly Richter-White

Mostly, during my life when I've exclaimed, “What have I done!?”, I've meant it as a rhetorical question, but not so as an Outlander fan  For me, as an Outlander fan, it’s interpreted quite literally.
My house is a freakin’ mess.  I live in a constant state of guilt.  What kind of world do we live in where someone would choose Season 1 episode 16 over laundry?  (EPISODE 16 people!) And yes, I once tried multi-tasking, during Episode 7 no less, but folded a grand total of two shirts in the process.

I had three hours today to clean and instead I read two chapters of Voyager, again, and watched one episode of Outlander.  I ended up with one hour left.  So one-third of the results achieved (and that’s a good day).  I’ve learned to adjust and live on lowered self-expectations.  I am an Outlander fan after all.
I am determined, organized, and do have a general priority ranking system:
Outlander > dishes
Outlander > house painting
Outlander > paying the bills (except electricity and cable, which makes perfect sense)
Outlander > walking the dog (oh wait, I listen to podcasts while I walk him, so thankfully he and I are still within the acceptable BMI) 

I now live in Outlandia, which is like Portlandia only weirder.  Because it’s the 1700s AND verra Scottish!
I’m linked in through the social networks too.  I now receive “lip biting” photos, or know when any fan takes a pic with Sam on-set. I knew the actual millisecond they cast Roger AND Brianna. I even get a Scottish scenery photo everyday #potd thanks to Matthew B. Roberts.

Good god, how did it come to this?  I was going places.  Now I have guilt mixed with self-deprecation?
So I looked it up.  And according to Dr. Google, I am certifiable.
Not only do I exhibit avoidance behavior*, but avoidance conditioning** and escape behavior***.


*any behavioral act that enables an individual to avoid anticipated unpleasant or painful situations, stimuli, or events, including conditioned aversive stimuli. (watching Outlander instead of cleaning toilets; the Skye Boat song is my ring tone for work, so I just let it ring so I can listen over and over)

** refers to the establishment of a pattern of behavior that prevents, postpones, or reduces the frequency of aversive stimulation (Outlander>laundry, making dinner, school lunches and/or vacuuming, generally everything else)

*** a response that is designed to move away from aversive stimulus by withdrawal or entering a fantasy world. (Outlander better than the real world, like duh?) 

Of course, I’m not alone.  I am part of a tribe.  And within this obsessed tribe there are far more useful people than me - like Martha (although, she does talk about herself in the third person…hmm....)
This is Martha... This is Martha's 2nd read-through of Outlander... Martha replaced all her paper bookmarks with Post-It bookmarks... Martha is obsessed with Outlander... Martha has an addiction... Don't be like Martha....... LOL! 😜

Wait, what? She’s gone through and painstakingly added tabs.  Color-coded even. 


Red = Sex or Implied Sex

Purple = Kisses & Compliments

Green = Things that made me LOL or Smile 

Blue = Clues & Further Research

That’s crazy passionate! What a scatterbrain well organized person!
But to be honest, my very first thought was, I should so be more like Martha.
Even HERSELF thinks we should all be like Martha!

(Insert sigh here) 
So this could be the end of my very sad story but alas, like the book series, it does have a faery tale ending (right Diana, it will end well !?).
Not only do I know a lot about Outlander, the book and television series, I know way more about certain historical issues than I probably would have. And history can be verra interesting.
History is not the story of heroes entirely. It is often the story of cruelty and injustice and shortsightedness. There are monsters, there is evil, there is betrayal. That's why people should read Shakespeare and Dickens as well as history ~~ they will find the best, the worst, the height of noble attainment and the depths of depravity.” (David McCullough, US historian)
I know more about social and health issues than I ever have before, like the critical importance of bees. (thanks Caitriona!) Also: refugee shelters and Syria, the dreaded Monsanto; cancer; I’ve already written about THIS guy and the myriad of charitable issues about which he’s made us aware; herbal remedies, the British, and why Scotland would seek independence (thanks Diana); diversity, artistic careers and women’s issues (thanks Terry, the human library).
I am less of a helicopter parent. Otherwise preoccupied with my 117th  viewing of the wedding was a good time to test my child’s ability to dress, clean and bandage their own wound.  And they can make their own snacks, the lazy bums!
I am more of a minimalist.  Being preoccupied means I have less time to shop for stuff I don’t need.  Of course this doesn’t include shopping for whisky, which any fan will affirm is medically necessary, or for my new cowl which as it keeps me warm is also a health benefit. Besides, I really like the idea of replacing “stuff” with “experiences”.  Like a wedding anniversary trip in June.  To where else but Scotland!

I get really creative when I think about Outlander, especially the drama and human relationships, which fuels my writing pursuits.  For every hour of Outlander, I think I get about 3 hours of creative productivity (but of course that’s when I’m not watching Outlander… see my never-ending circle problem here?).
I have a whole new set of Outlander friends, who turns out, are lovely human beings who have similar interests and values.  And now I’m in the My Peak Challenge Prep Program, a whole new (and amazing) level of peer support (did I say the support was AMAZING?!) to get my lazy butt off the couch (and which seems to be working).
So there it is, laid out for all to see. 
The greatest thing though, is that I know I’m not alone.

I am an Outlander fan, and I wouldn’t change a thing*.
*(spoiler) except maybe those parts dealing with Roger, poor lad

What are some of the more quirky things you do as a fan?


  1. I don't see the problem. Also, I now feel guilty that my books aren't arranged as neatly as yours and I'm thinking tartan page flags must be 'a thing I must buy.'

    1. Keeping up with the MacDonalds (aka the Scottish Jones's) is verra hard, no? lol. I don't see a problem either.

  2. Oh Holly what a great post,have laughed so much,but do understand you,I'm a big fan of OL,maybe not as big as you or some others,but this made my day!ThankYou!Anyhoo no truer words were written as this post!

    1. Thank you. it was just nice to write it down. Kind of like a catharsis : ) Glad I could make you laugh- it's a light hearted look at my new fun crazy obsession.

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  4. My family thinks I'm NUT|s, and I live alone - so that tells you a LOT about how obsessed I am. Heck, everyone I meet or speak to, wonders if I know anything about any other subject that is Not Outlander. You have no idea what a relief it is to find other people who also live in Outlandia, as I've been living there since 1994.

    1. We are all one big crazy family, and I love how supportive everyone is. Forget Kevin Bacon, I'm convinced there's six degrees of separation from Outlander: )

  5. Okay...I'm right there with you. I was going to try to find an Outlander anonymous 12 step program, but maybe I'll just hang here with all of'll keep me balanced,right??

    1. Definitely hang in there! We've got your back. Lol.

  6. Okay...I'm right there with you. I was going to try to find an Outlander anonymous 12 step program, but maybe I'll just hang here with all of'll keep me balanced,right??

  7. Great fun to read, thank you! I recognized myself in this post. I haven't had a hero crush since I was 15. My outlander obsession is amazing and hilarious. I can't believe I'm so crazed but it's reassuring to know I am not the only one :) PS have read Outlander so many times my book fell apart/

    1. Everyone one-ups me on their book treatment! But we're all on this ride together.

  8. Wait a minute! You described me! Are we long lost twins? I have to have my daily dose of Outlander and if I'm upset, it's diving into whatever book I'm reading to escape. Plus, I've developed this nightly taste for Scotch....

  9. ***SPOILERS***Does the Outlander Cast Blog have a page devoted to clues yet from books 1-8: Why some people can time travel? Who Frank "neutralizes" & sees watching Brianna? How/why Frank accepts Claire back & stays married while cheating on her? Is it do with his previous work at MI6 during WWII?

    Where do fanatics go to discuss these questions while waiting for book 9?

  10. Okay, when you enter a room with people, does anyone else have the urge to cut to the chase and want to blurt out, "Are there any Outlander fans here?" 🙋🙋🙋 or is it just me?

  11. Love true. Might I suggest rereading the book series as audible books with Davina Porter narrating. A wonderful experience and it takes the Outlander addiction to a whole new level.

  12. I have watched both series twice,just finished reading book one and have ordered the last six books. I have the dvds and sat up on Saturday morning eating my breakfast and watching Sam and Cait in Seattle. I have it bad!

  13. You are not alone! When I casually slip it in and they know about OL or want to know about OL (or I assume they do), I go on and on until I see their eyes glaze over or convert them. So fun!

  14. Thank you for making me feel normal(ish) and giving me some great ideas about color coding my kindle notes 😬 Great read!

  15. Love this post! I enjoy this blog too! You make me laugh, your creativity is beautiful.

    I had a 2 hour conversation with my sister recently (about OL, of course) and our dad popped his head in the room and said "it's only a book, girls" to which my sister replied "Um, it's books, plural and we are having a literary discussion". That was putting it SO mildly.

    Like you I am certifiable and I think we should be loud and proud about. Thanks for sitting down amidst us other certifiable fans and getting dirty (because we read too much!) right along with us!!

  16. I love this post. I thought it was just me.

  17. Anything that generates this amount of devotion has to be a good thing! Look at all the stuff we are all learning! Some of us (not me personally) are even getting physically active because of Sam, as a result of his fame, as a result of the show, which is a result of the books. Money is being raised for charities! People are taking up intellectual pursuits! It's all good! As for fanatic behaviour, I have an Outlander shelf. If has the books of course and the DVD's, the POP vinyl Jamie and Claire, a mini rock wall I made myself with Scots pine trees at the top, a celtic cross made of centuries-old petrified peat, mini bagpipes that play "Scotland the Brave" when you squeeze 'em, a mini pewter quaiche, a Dragonfly in Amber votive holder (made it myself) and a mini purple heather arrangement (made it myself). Oh, and of course the magnetic bookmarks and mini mortar & pestle. Did I mention the full moon over the Scots pine trees? Yup, I'm a fan!

  18. LOVED this article. I'm newer OBSESSED fan of Outlander(about 2 months now). My family already say I need to be committed somewhere(mental place I think they mean). I have watched S1 & S2 many, may times. I watch The Wedding everyday(now 60 x). Reading the books, up to Snow & Ashes. Re-reading Voyager for Sept 10 season 3 premier. On twitter everyday, chatting about Outlander. Yep posting pictures of Outlander cast. I have NEVER in my life(almost 60 yrs old) have I had a reaction like this from a book or show. And I have read TONS of books. I'm so "involved" in Jamie & Claire's story. I dream about them. I wake up thinking about them. So at least I'm not alone in this maddness called


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