Author has written 3 stories for Yu Yu Hakusho, Star Wars, and Dynasty Warriors.
Years ago, I wrote fan fiction for a number of reasons. It was a release of creative energies and for my inner nerd. Eventually, time passed, and I moved on to other hobbies. Making YouTube videos soon replaced written fan fiction for me, and eventually, I moved on to try and create my own original work.
It has been a struggle to break through in that arena. You can't just write a story or make a video and see if it catches on. You have to wait, knock on doors, compromise and elbow rub. It can wear you down. It can make you question yourself and all your ambitions. That is why so few truly "make it." One day, I hope that can be me. For now, it is not.
I guess what I'm getting at is that looking back, fan fiction was the purest way I ever got to express my creativity. I just could sit down and write. I looked forward to it. I never thought of it as work. Even when I abandoned my KOTOR fic, The Wayside, it wasn't because I didn't enjoy it. I just lost the spark for that particular tale.
I'm not sure if I'll write fan fiction again. I have been considering it. Just as a form of release. However, I will never regret the fan fiction I did write, even if the quality of them may be suspect. There's a little bit of my younger self left in them, from a version of me that had yet to trip and fall. So whatever mainstream society says about fan fiction, or whatever jokes people may make, I will always look back at my time writing it with a smile.