Louise Truscott on finding the balance between creative and corporate writing
Master of Arts (Writing) graduate Louise Truscott has found the balance between corporate and creative writing. After publishing several books spanning fiction and non-fiction and recognition from the writing world, Louise is more satisfied with her career than ever.
"I was writing in my spare time and working as an editor of accounting textbooks but never thought about post-graduate study. In my mind, it was for people in chemistry, physics or mathematics disciplines. But after seeing a Swinburne advertisement, I realised there was a study pathway for writers.
There was so much more to my masters than I expected. My lecturers didn’t tell me what to do. They challenged me to make my writing more insightful, exposed me to a vast number of authors and really opened up the writing world.
I graduated at the same time I finished my first novel, Enemies Closer. But with my master’s degree I quickly secured my first corporate writing job. I was so focused on that career, and enjoying it, that I stopped thinking about creative writing all together.
"Corporate and creative writing are such different animals. Corporate writing takes a specific kind of person. You have to be prepared to write about things you're not interested in and do it according to someone else's instruction. When writing creatively, you can do whatever you want."
Four years passed and Enemies Closer was finished but still unpublished. It was such a waste. I did a few re-writes and eventually self-published it as an e-book. The traditional publishing route is great, and everyone dreams of it, but that doesn’t mean it happens for everyone. I’ve heard stories of people who tinker with their novels for years trying to find a publisher. I wasn't prepared to do that. People bought and read Enemies Closer and liked it, and that’s all it took to get me back into creative writing.
Project December was a book I never intended to nor realised I was writing. It started as a blog about writing, characters, plot, editing and publishing. Over the course of nine months, I had written enough content to fill an entire book. It took me two weeks to put it in order, edit and self-publish. Project January, its sequel, was written and published in the same way.
I highly recommend blogging to those who want to be writers. It forces you to set a schedule and write regularly.
I would define myself as an eclectic writer. I’m not interested in being pigeonholed into a genre. I just write whatever I’m interested in. For Enemies Closer, I wanted to write an action-adventure. For Black Spot, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Text Prize, I explored the public appetite for young adult novels like the Twilight, Hunger Games and Divergent series.
Corporate and creative writing are such different animals. Corporate writing takes a specific kind of person. You have to be prepared to write about things you’re not interested in and do it according to someone else’s instruction. When writing creatively, you can do whatever you want.
It took me until my mid 30s before I started publishing my books, before I realised that I could do multiple kinds of writing at the same time. Now I've found a balance and I’m much more satisfied with my career in general."