How important is it to have a writing outlet other than commercial work?
Vital. It’s very easy to get into a business writing rut. Fictional writing gets you out of that rut and helps improve your business writing. For the past year I’ve been writing a collection of stories that have come out of the Dark Angels programme.
It’s useful to have a creative outlet to counteract the corrosive effects of too much corporate bollocks, but in my case it isn’t writing. I’m rather glad about that; it means I’m spared to torment of comparing the freedom of personal writing with the restrictions of client work. But each to his own and all that.
A friend of mine has written so many first chapters, she once considered bundling them all together as a complete book. I suspect many of us have drawers (or computers) full of long-abandoned scripts, half-written short stories and neglected poetry. That’s no bad thing, even if your words never see the light of day. Breaking out of the corporate ghetto once in a while and experimenting with new forms, styles, freedoms and restrictions can only make you a better writer.
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