Preface: The first reason, for someone who is a writer by nature, for whom writing is one of the most fulfilling things we can possibly do, is that we have to.
When I was in high school, and a bit in college, I used to write fanfiction. It was mostly Harry Potter, with a bit of Wheel of Time and some other stuff thrown in there. I liked writing stories that put Hermione together with Draco Malfoy. So entertaining.
I usually try to keep all that separate from this blog and anything else I write now. Although certain books that shall not be named can make obscene amounts of money by starting out as fanfiction (and at least I also write well…), I am not looking to just make money. For my writing career work, I want people to see the writing I have inside me that isn’t trying to be popular or build on someone else’s empire, but is just me saying something… I feel as if that was not as eloquent as I wanted, but hopefully you know what I’m saying there.
I also try to keep my fanfiction days separate because it’s kind of embarrassing. It shouldn’t be, because thousands of people did it, and I would venture to say that my fanfiction pieces were much better written than most of them. However, I still want to blush bright red and hide my face behind a pillow until all mentions of fanfiction go away. I think the thing is that I can’t take it seriously myself, so I don’t really want to publicize my silliness.
However, since my fanfiction stories are still up on the site, people are still reading them and sometimes I still get reviews for them. I got one the other day that I would have to say is probably the nicest thing a stranger has ever said about my writing, and reminded me why I was writing fanfiction to begin with. Mostly, because it was a way to work on writing and have a sort of built in “fan-base,” even though they were J.K. Rowling’s fans and not mine. I am just going to put the review right below…
THANK YOU *SOOOOOOO* MUCH for writing these fabrics. Your “No Longer An Enemy”
is one of the best things I’ve ever read. You should print it out, bound it
together as a book, an get it published. You could really make some money! I
know there are a LOT of Dramione shoppers out in the world who would eat it
up! Also it would be so cool to be able to keep the book on my nightstand. And
you already have a name for it, too! I just wanted to let you know that I
absolutely LOVE this fanfic. Because of school and work, it took me about a
week to read it. When I finished, I just about cried. “What am I gonna do with
my life NOW?!?!” So, thank you for making that fanfic so good 🙂 You’re
awesome and NEVER doubt your writing abilities – they are ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
I could just hug you to death because of how amazing your stories are! Thank
you 🙂 *BIGGEST HUG EVER!!!!*
Granted, I don’t actually want to be hugged to death, but I figured that wasn’t literal.
When I read over this story again, a number of years ago, after completing it, I couldn’t help noticing all the mistakes that I’d made, and things I would have done differently. I used to just write one chapter at a time, posted with proofreading but not really revising the story as I went along, so that’s understandable. However, I’ve been instructed to “NEVER doubt my writing abilities,” so I guess I have to believe in myself now.
This is Reason #2: because you will write something that will give someone else pleasure because it’s enjoyable to read, or release because it reaches their emotions, or inspiration because it reminds them of their love of art and creation or something like that. Reactions like this to something you made are just so heartening, it’s hard not to have your spirits lift when you see them. And although legions of fans like musicians or books or movies that don’t really have much artistic merit, but a single glowing review from an individual is worth a lot more than a horde of screaming dummies. (No offense to the screaming dummies.)