The other day Servetus brought up "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" over on Skully's blog and so I was thinking about James Thurber. One of the many pieces of trivia rattling around in my head is that when Thurber had insomnia he'd rewrite "The Raven" from the point of view of the bird (thank you, junior year American Lit) which made me think about fan fiction in general.
I remember reading somewhere that 19th Century Janites would gather and exchange their own versions of her works (I'm too lazy to search it right now so go with it) as would the Baker Street Irregulars. In I'm With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie Pamela DesBarres talks about the drawerfic that she and other BeatleSweeties wrote in the early 60s. The online Beatles fanfic community has really constricted in the last few years but you can still find some fantastic stuff over at the Rooftop Sessions archive; my personal favorite is "Fiendish Machinations" by Margaret C. Racine, a goofball romp through a hotel. Don't even get me started gushing about The Gossamer Project.
The question has been asked in The Samurai Klingon Fandom about what it is about Worf's half-brother that unleashes creativity. I've said before that I think he's only part of the equation, the larger part being the community itself. Entering a community of like-minded supportive women can be a beautiful thing. It took me a while to figure out what about the community was strange to me but I finally put a finger on it: the lack of masculine voices. The only guy is the one everyone is focused on and I've never participated in a fandom where that was the case. It's definitely interesting.
So...what was your first fan fiction or fan creativity experience? Was it exhilirating as wish fulfillment? Did you immediately start something of your own or were you kind of intimidated by it? Comments are open.