I didn’t know what fanfic was until about 2004. 2003?
At that point, James Gunn invited a fanfic writer to come to the summer workshop at the Center for the Study of Science Fiction to talk to us about it.
My mind was blown. Not only were there a gazillion people out there writing stuff about Gilligan’s Island and Harry Potter and Star Trek, but they do it for fun.
It had never occurred to me to write in someone else’s world. Never once. Even in sixth grade when I started a novel about cats that may have been highly derivative of Watership Down, it had a different setting and characters and, well, cats.
Yet I learned that people had been doing this all my life. In fact, I suspect there were people writing Dickens fanfic back in the Victorian age, we just didn’t have the internet to spread it around.
So kudos to all those people out there writing, whatever it is you’re writing. Have fun over the holidays ;o)