Particularly in my larger stories, I have often wondered if someone I knew was going to look at the main character and tell me "that's you, isn't it?" Truthfully, all my characters are me. Everyone, from the most critical starring role, to the quickly forgotten background character, they are all a piece of me in some way. They might be an exaggerated characteristic I see within myself, or they might just be some voice that I hear sometimes when I think of other. But in one way or another, they all come from me, and they are all some part of me. But also truthfully, my main characters usually are a greater portion of "myself" than the other characters. It makes them easier for me to write and understand, easier for me to cast their objectives and motivations, and even makes it more natural for me to write their dialogue. But I never really considered them to be "self-insert characters" because I could also see so much that was different between them and myself. But lately I've been working on a story where the protagonist is far more of a self-insert character than any I've written before. And as I've been putting this together, I've been stumbling into some writing problems, and I've realized the true problem with self-insert characters. Since the character is me, I already feel attached and connected to this character. But the reader does not. And I keep failing to show to the reader why this is a character they should care about. In all my attempts, I grow attached to him too quickly, and I can't properly see how the reader will really react. I underestimate what it will take for the reader to care about this character. I misjudge what qualities the reader will find valuable/interesting. In the end, I've made a shallow and boring character who fails to capitalize on the good character traits I thought I had given him. I suppose I've had this problem in the past with my other characters, but I've still made them distant enough from myself that I could still give them some interesting traits, and ultimately they become slow-burns. But a character that is a true self-insert? It's hitting too close to home for me to be able to see what are the aspects that I truly need to build off of.