Author has written 20 stories for Sherlock Holmes, Avatar: Last Airbender, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Once Upon a Time, Thor, Avengers, and Angel.
I'm in the US, I'm in my early 40s (god why), and when I'm not writing fic I work as a freelance manuscript editor. I know there are a lot of people here on FFnet who are considering or actually writing their own original fic. If you decide you might want to publish, and you're shopping around for an editor, drop me a PM and we can talk fees and such. I am not a publisher, and I make no guarantees that your work will make money, but I can promise that it'll leave our hands (you and me, we're a team) cleaner than when you first handed it to me.
Squee! I won Best New Author at the 26th round of the Sunnydale Memorial Fanfic Awards! (This was when my BtVS story Distress Signals was new.)
Here are two miniature rants disguised as helpful tips:
1. If no one in your story is actually getting sick or injured, and no one else is actually taking care of them, then don't label it hurt/comfort. Seriously. I am a h/c junkie. Almost nothing is more annoying than hunting for something to read, finding a story tagged hurt/comfort, that doesn't actually have anything to do with the genre. I say almost, because...
2. The very best way to write a songfic is: don't. I hate songfics. I know it's a matter of taste and some people like them, but I just really, really don't. At all. By all means, get your inspiration from wherever you want - certainly there are some songs out there that really capture a mood - but when you intersperse your story with song lyrics every two or three lines, it throws off the rhythm of the story without actually adding anything. If you want, use the lyrics to write your story, sprinkle them in there wherever it makes you happy, and then once you're finished - go back and delete the lyrics. Read the story through again and see if it doesn't flow better. I am trying to remember if I've ever read a songfic that didn't annoy the heck out of me, and I think there might have been one once, back in the 90s, but I'm not sure anymore.
I have other mini-rants, but I promised myself I'd stop at two.
Fanfic is awesome on so many levels.