7:21 PM, Friday June 17th 2022
I've also struggled with the 50% rule - I still honestly do, but that's mostly because I've barely tried to apply it; each time I get myself to draw something for fun, I get slightly more used to it.
In general, the 50% rule is just 'drawing your own stuff for fun' - for a lot of people, that's "don't draw from references, and just mess around with imagination (which is why a lot of people give that as their answer)", for myself (and it seems you?) it means "still draw from references and use drawabox methods as you learn them, but don't put any stress on yourself to do anything as well as you would when doing coursework.".
So, if drawing from references is how you have fun with drawing, do that.