As such, fanfic is not an inherently radical practice, despite some of the anti-capitalist ideas that undergird the systems that support it. What’s more, the intentions of individual fanfic writers are not monolithic, and, as Copeland Titus puts it, “It is a mistake to assume that everyone engaging with fandom is doing so with the intent to subvert capitalistic notions of authorship.”
Nonetheless, while fanfic writing is not inherently anti-capitalistic in its nature, it certainly exists alongside capitalism in an interesting way. Recently, a tweet about the almost masochistic dedication of fanfic writers went viral. The Twitter user posted a number of screenshots from the “notes'' section of AO3 posts wherein several authors apologized for a new fanfic chapter being late and/or less than perfect, with their reasons ranging from the author having had a literal baby to being in a psych ward. (I’ve collected the first batch of screenshots below). Another Twitter user (above) noted how dedicated these writers were despite having no promise of compensation for their work, suggesting that this goes against the capitalist maxim that nothing would get produced without a profit motive.