Orson Scott Card's Characters and Viewpoint is one of many volumes in the Writers Digest "Elements of Fiction Writing" series. It's a hoot.
I mention it here because I know you - the world-weary journeyman product manager - secretly wish you were a writer.
Not just a "the system shall remove hair" and "the system shall not cause sudden onsets of itching where sudden is defined as an unexpected event with a rapid onset" kind of writer.
I mean. . . a real writer. Someone who imagines characters and writes of them and their viewpoints.
Of all the advice I've been given and/or heard on writing, the most frequent is to imagine your characters as well as you can and let them go.
In all fairness, I've also been told that:
1. The first draft of anything is s__t. (attributed to Hemmingway)
2. 90% of everything is crap. (attributed to Sturgeon)
3. You write like an addled radio announcer with ADD and Tourette's. (attributed to my wife)
All probably true.
To this I add the following 5 rules, because I am too damned lazy to come up with 10:
1. If you're going to be a writer, write. Do so every day like it is your job.
2. Set a word count deadline. The nanowrimo people taught me this and it really works.
3. Don't spend more time reading/talking/thinking about writing than you do actually writing.
4. Dare to suck. Put another way, dare to really, truly suck. You only get better by being truly awful first, and intermittently awful as well.
5. Don't talk about what you're writing about. Write it and then let people read it. Letting your creativity out away from the written page is a bit like letting the hot air out of your balloon before you take off.
I'll spare you a description of how I write (the pencil I use, the book I write in, the fez I wear, etc.)
I'll also spare you any sense that I know what I'm talking about - I've not sold a damn thing, but I sure as heck plan on selling something.
When I start my "50k in 30" clock, I'll probably have more to say. Refer to the nanowrimo link above for what that means.
Until then, start writing. It's good for you. And it keeps you fresh for your next round of "the system shall produce a hum with a frequency between 33 and 80 Hertz".