The pinnacle of the millennial internet experience was, quite possibly, having a multitude of platforms that gave us the power to never shut up about the things we unabashedly loved, and to be unaware of how ridiculous we might have sounded as we did so. The good news is, we don't have to stop!
Don't get me wrong, there are buried aspects of unaware teenager-hood that would embarrass me to no ends now. But there are two traits that I most miss about being a teenager, though I am truly only a few years older. The glory about existence before adulthood is, for a while, lacking the voice in your head that stops you from creating anything. As a teenager, I was never worried about what someone would think of my writing, what I could be doing instead of writing (ex: making money), or any of the other boring aspects that adults like to drag into creativity. Returning to writing fanfiction is somewhat of a delve back into this welcome teenager mindset towards creating. Knowing that your end goal is simply to get something out into the world, to a group of people excited by whatever you might throw at them, without these people really expecting anything, is unbelievably freeing. "Just write", especially for a perfectionist, is far easier said than done, and I find this a much better alternative.
The other very valid point I'd like to make is that any writing is still writing. Fanfiction might very well one of the best ways to practice writing, and to zero in on exactly what you need to improve, whether that's character studies, dialogue, plot development, etc. Someone has already provided all of the (high-quality) tools, and is giving you free reign of a non-judgmental practice space. Fans love to lift up fanfiction authors, so there's also a very good chance that you'll be given some pretty positive feedback right when you find yourself needing it most. The general understanding that everyone on any given social media site hosting fan creations is also only doing this for fun, because they genuinely enjoy it, is also and incredibly freeing feeling. Remember what it was like to do things and actually enjoy them?
Sometimes, writing will feel like a chore. We all know this. Sometimes, however, the writer just needs a little dip into a source of genuine happiness, an exploration of something they truly love to do, in order to re-inspire them. One of the (other) best tips for writing that I've been given is to remember why you write, and for some of us, that began back in the early digital age, exploring our favorite media with all of the reckless delight that only teenagers can possess, though we all attempt to harness it afterwards.
Remember kids, the real treasure is the friends we made along the way. Happy writing!