When it comes to committing to a big writing project like a novel or book, I totally understand that feeling of resistance that pops up for lots of us. Doubt and fear play a role, definitely, but one of the more surprising obstacles can be a sense of guilt.

With creative passion projects like novel writing, it would be very easy to dismiss the time we spend on it as self indulgent or unnecessary. After all, there's no financial return, no neatly measurable reward (for a long time, if at all).

Because of this, we imagine it's also hard for those in our lives to understand why we do it. Why on earth would we choose to spend a few hours quietly writing, when we could be spending that time with them? We're projecting this fear, this feeling of judgement, onto them - when really it's our own guilt doing the talking.

Finding value in the time we spend on creative passion projects.

Why do we take on so much guilt for something that brings us joy, that enriches our lives?

To overcome this block we've got to find the value in our purpose, in our reasons for writing. We do it because we love it, we do it because it helps us unravel and shape our thoughts, because it allows us to process the world around us or create a new one to escape into.

By shifting our mindset to one that values that writing time, instead of feeling guilty for taking it, we allow our projects to flourish and shine, and we find it easier to make progress on those big dreams.

Meeting our own needs in this way is the first step towards being the best version of ourselves, one that is creatively fulfilled and stimulated. What might it look like, for you to be the happier, more fulfilled version of yourself? I'm willing to bet that it looks like you being more present, happier, and kinder in all the other areas of your life, too.

Creative passion projects are called that because they light us up, they propel us towards our dreams and nurture us in the most important ways.

It doesn't have to be either/or with writing - and it's letting go of this conflict that really helps that guilt to ease up. You don't have to choose between being a good parent, partner, or employee and being a writer. There is always a balance to be found - a way to write that enriches your lifestyle instead of leaving you under pressure from your other responsibilities (and if this is a block you're struggling with, finding specific ways to do this is something we might cover in a mentoring session).

How to shift your mindset from guilt to value:

  • Accept that your writing time is selfishly yours, and no one else's. Trust that being selfish about that one thing means you can be less selfish in showing up for the people you love, because you're seeing to your own needs.

  • Why do you write? What do love about it?

  • How do you feel/act after a good writing session?

  • How do you feel/act when you've had to push your writing session to make room for something else?

Remember that we can choose to put our passions first for a change, and value the time we spend on bringing them to life. Those little moments, the ones where we're pursuing the things that matter to us, are the ones that make us feel most fulfilled and contented.