During and after NaNoWriMo this year, I got lots of queries from freelancers who wanted to get started writing fiction. They worried that they could be “wasting time” if they devoted valuable writing time to fiction.
Here’s my response: nothing you write is ever wasted. I wish I’d learned that as a young writer — I could have saved myself a lot of tears and heartache. Every time I had a “failure”, that so-called failure turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me, because without it, I wouldn’t have had a later success.
In brief: if you’re inspired to write fiction — go ahead. Even if you never sell a novel or short story (unlikely), writing fiction will improve ALL your writing.