Over the last few years, I have tried to consider myself a writer. I went to university to study it, I spend all of my free time writing. From creative pieces to reviews to blog posts, I have been trying to branch out the best that I can. But there is a particular style of writing that is responsible for my increasing confidence.
For those of you who don’t know, this involves taking the characters from a much-loved television show, film or book and sending them off on adventures of your own making. It is the marmite of writing; some love it, some don’t see the point and consider it a waste of time.
Personally, fanfiction is my lifeline. I have two fandoms that I write content for and have been doing so for the last five years or so. I was introduced to the concept by a few friends and – as a budding writer anyway – it caught my imagination. It is true it can’t get me anywhere in regards to publishing or making money.
But it has taken me to new levels when it comes to my confidence. Writing stories and having platforms to publish them on has helped me develop as a writer. From the start, I was receiving positive reviews, giving me the confidence to ultimately go to university to write – I knew I wasn’t the worst writer out there. The feedback has also picked up on areas where I can improve. And it has given me an audience to bounce ideas off, to try out new writing styles and see if I can carry off big ideas that would otherwise be bouncing around in my head.
It has also given me some life-long friends. There are those I met through fanfiction that have become my rocks. Especially when I have a confidence crises in regards to my writing, they are there to pick me up and tell me that I can do it. While that is nice for fanfiction based things, when it came to university work, it was a godsend.
Some of these friends I have met in reality. Some have become more betas – people who check through my work and help me to edit it. Without them, my writing would not have developed half as much as it has over the last few years. University taught me a lot – the ins and outs of writing, where I’m weak, where I’m strong and what I need to do to get from one to the other. But fanfiction allowed me to put these lessons in practice. I didn’t have to worry about the characters or even the plot. I could focus on my writing style and receive immediate feedback because of it.
So if you want to branch out, if you want to re-write an ending that irritated you, you can. If you are prepared to take the criticism that some reviewers leave (sometimes harshly), then the journey it can take you on is phenomenal.