I write fanfiction. A lot.
Just to be completely clear, I don’t write anything close to the fanfiction stereotypes. I wouldn’t even know how. I’m not that type of fanfiction writer.
Also, I do not borrow fanfiction ideas in my original works unless they were my ideas in the first place. Everything I write that I don’t label fanfiction is not fanfiction.
Fanfiction, and fic writers, is often not taken seriously. Some of that is because of the above reasons, but some of that is the general way fan creations are looked down upon.
But I want to clear something up. I don’t write fanfiction because I am incapable of creating my own settings, or characters, or whatever. I write it for the same reason I write my original WIP.
Because the plot bunnies will not shut up unless I do.
I’ve found that if I don’t write a story idea, fanfiction or otherwise, it tends to bubble up and prevent me from doing anything useful. And that’s not an exaggeration.
Maybe one of my favorite quotes from someone whose name I forgot is: “The only thing harder than writing is not writing.”
That’s not to say that fanfiction isn’t great practice. For me, it’s a way to learn how to summarize, how to make sure the text looks good despite my phone’s crappy formatting, and other things. But that’s not why I do it.
I do it to make the plot bunnies shut up.
Picture from the FanFiction.Net app.