The experience of fandom, especially in the age of the internet, is one of binge reading: most new fans, upon discovering fanfic, gobble it down. The first story you read is usually an eyebrow raiser; shocking, maybe a bit embarrassing. “What is this craziness? Do people really do this? I don’t think I like it. Are they all like this? Let me just look at one more …” And then the next thing you know, it’s four in the morning, it’s three days later, it’s ten years on. You are at your friend’s house, and the floor around you is covered with zines. You are on the internet, and you haven’t showered in days. Your browser history is a dreadful embarrassment. You’ve read roughly forty-five thousand stories, some of them amazing, many of them terrible, and you now have all sorts of opinions about tropes and genres. You have developed a particular taste in fanworks. You really like femslash, or hurt/comfort, or cavefic, or long, plotty gen. But I guarantee you this: no matter what you like, and no matter how much there is of it–there isn’t enough of it.
And so some readers (and some of you) will start to write. You’ll write the thing you want to read, because how hard can it be? You can do better than that story you read last night. And that other story you read was okay–except, you know what would have been really good? You know what would have been great? This. This is gonna be great.
– Francesca Coppa, The Fanfiction Reader: Folk Tales for the Digital Age (ix-x)