Guest Blogger Shelly (Shellysbees): Writing, Passion and Fanfiction

Hey there. My name is Shelly, more commonly known as ShellysBees on the blogging site tumblr and Twitter. When I was given the opportunity to write a piece for this blog I found myself at an impasse. There were a few things I wanted to discuss, all of which were related to how Rebecca knows me, and why she asked me to do a guest blog.

That’s right, we’re talking about Fanfiction. Fanfiction, for anyone who is unaware, is any work of fiction that is directly inspired by another, for example take Sherlock Holmes, and Star Trek, or even the novel Twilight. This includes books, movies, TV shows, art; you name it, there’s probably a ‘fic’ for it.  There are thousands of writers like myself who write for the passion of it all.

If you look through literary and cinematic history, fanfiction is everywhere. It is in no way a new phenomenon. There are a lot of things I could talk about, including the history of fanfiction (which is actually very interesting), but today I want to focus on the basics.  The basics to me are why I write fan fiction.

Why I write fan fiction, and why I love it..

For me, it all started with Doctor Who about a year ago. I’d caught up on the new series, and there was a specific scene that had been referenced a handful of times, but I could already see that the writers had zero intention of ever giving it to us (sure enough, they never did). I could see it. In fact, it was so clear in my mind that I might as well have already watched the scene. All I needed was to put it to paper, so I did. It took me a month, three rewrites and a handful of really supportive fandom friends, but I did it. I wrote the missing scene, and I fell into the world of fanfiction.

Since then I have published twenty-three separate works on Archive of Our Own, one of the largest collaborations of fanworks on the web, currently home to 280495 registered users and 1022978 works. In that time I’ve networked with people I’d never have met otherwise, made lifelong friends and reignited my love for writing. Part of my love for this genre stems from the community that I have found there, it’s a wonderful positive community.  Even if you aren’t a writer you can write there and find a home.

I have a family of readers, writers, and editors. We share, collaborate and learn together. Not only that, but we are there for each other through it all; there is never a day that I don’t have someone to turn to. It is because of this community that I have been able to practice my craft and build the confidence to work on something I can publish and sell in the near future. So why, if I want to publish and make money writing, am I spending so much time writing free fanfiction?

Simple answer?

Because I love it. 

I love writing things that I know people will enjoy, and I love the community that exists around fandom and fanworks. I have found a safe place where I can cultivate my writing, and I don’t see myself ever really leaving.

Writing is an art, and like any art, the only way to improve is to practice. I write fanfiction to improve my writing, to force myself out of my comfort zone, to learn. Since I started my writing has only continued to grow and, in my opinion, improve. I do plan on publishing one day, but there will never be a time that I don’t want to be a part of fandom world. The people I have met there are like a special little family to me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The fandom community has always been a slightly misunderstood world, but it is slowly coming into a broader light. If you’re interested in fanfiction, and how it is changing the literary world as we know it today there is an awesome book that really covers it in detail. Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World, edited by Anne Jamison, is full of discussions from professional and fan writers alike, all talking about fan fiction.  This is a must read book if you are wanting to be a part of this community and why, whom, how and where it all began.

First we both want to thank Shelly for writing this.  We’ve enjoyed reading her work, and had tons of laughs and fun with her.  Follow her on Twitter as well.  –Jordan and Rebecca

On a more personal note, Shelly has been one wonderful lady to me, and without her, and her help, I would certainly no longer be writing.  Talk about great fortune in finding her and her writing when I needed it most.  Otherwise, the challenge would have been too much. –Rebecca