When I don’t have anything original bouncing around in my head, I often write fanfiction, although I never post it. Part of the reason I don’t post is because I use the fanfiction as writing exercises and they don’t really make sense. I don’t timeline them or keep track of details, so they seem disjointed.
The other reason I don’t post them is because I often insert myself as a character and try to function within the parameters of canon as best as I can. It doesn’t always work out for me.
Now, the self-insertion is not a Mary-Sue. I try incredibly hard not to make her perfect, because I know that bothers the hell out of me when I read it. No one is that perfect; it isn’t possible. But I do like to put myself as a character because it is fun to see where I could go. The last one that I finished, my character was a single mother working to make a better life for her son. In the one I’m working on currently (it’s 117 pages and counting. It’s really pathetic) my character co-owns a boutique with her sister. I do try to make her successful.
And I only actively insert myself into fanfictions. I try very hard not to do that with my original stories. My characters have enough issues without having to deal with mine on top of everything. But working with myself as a character is interesting, because it is me, but it isn’t, particularly as the timeline moves and she gets older and I’m still twenty-something.
However, writing is writing, and at least my brain is creating something. Even if it is just fantasies.