I had long believed that reading other fan fics would somehow alter my writing or even inadvertently cause plot bunnies causing writers to claim the dreaded P word. So I had mostly avoided it. After a long time of getting little to no response on my fics, it was recommended that I should read other fics and leave comments, get my name out there. So I took to the challenge of forcing my self to read other fics. Some were good, while others were terrible (IMHO). But there were the occasional few that blew me away. I think in the long run, thus far, it has actually help me as a writer. Having seen how others set up their stories, pace and flow. My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author? Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?