So you want to be a writer. Congratulations! That means
you’re a writer. There’s no hard-and-fast rule about what makes a writer a
writer. Maybe you write poetry, or blog posts, or novels, or infomercial scripts.
Or maybe you write fanfiction.
A lot of people will tell you that fanfiction is not a
legitimate form of writing. They’ll say that it’s “cheating,” because you draw
inspiration from other people’s work. They’ll say it’s low class writing, because a lot
of fanfiction is smutty (or, frankly, gay).
Well I’m here to tell you, fanfiction writers, that you have
nothing to be ashamed of! Well, maybe you have other things to be ashamed of.
But you should not be ashamed for writing fanfiction.
Fanfic is a gateway drug for many writers. It’s a way to
explore ideas, practice writing, develop skills (like plotting, character
development, continuity). It’s a place you can go to get instant feedback,
boost your confidence, get critiques. It can help you form lasting relationships,
from the beta readers to best friends.
Writing fanfiction is, for many writers, not only a stepping
stone to writing original fiction (and doing well in the publishing world), but
also a valuable experience and asset. Or, you know, fun.
Absolutely fantastic, well written and elaborated argument that breaks down how common fanfiction is, how most literature is actually fanfiction, and that writing has inherent value whether or not you’re a professional – aka paid for it.
(Also, who says people need to write for money? It can just be a fun hobby. If all you ever write is fanfic, that’s okay too. We don’t tell kids in Little League not to bother because they won’t ever go pro. You’re allowed to write fanfic because you like writing fanfic and never make a cent from it. That’s a valid option!)
I am so happy this point was made. I can’t stand the idea that it’s only worth it if you’re going to make money on it.