Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to write books. So why did it take me until my forties to finally get serious about it?

The sad truth is this: I didn’t think it was important.

I knew it was important to ME, but never translated that into the reality that a creative gift is the most important gift we will ever be given in this life. Even getting my first publishing contract didn’t help me figure out this truth. I was writing - a lot! And getting new contracts. And having some success.

Being published was not enough, and it didn't really make me happy. Sure, there were moments of jubilation when I got a contract, when a book released, when a reader would let me know that they loved what I had written. But I was overwhelmed and swamped by my inner demons.

I have a lot of these little guys, but let me introduce you to a couple.

1. Creative Guilt. Even after I had contracts and it became feasible that a book might actually add to the family budget, I had guilt about writing time. Because, you know, writing is the thing that makes me feel more alive than anything else. And if I’m taking this much pleasure in something that isolates me from my family and friends, keeps me from doing the housework that would make home a more pleasant place for my family and maybe for visitors, then it must be frivolous, if not outright sinful and it would be better if I didn’t enjoy it so much.

2. Striving for success. There is no true benchmark of success in publishing. When is enough enough? Making one of the big lists? A particular Amazon ranking? A number of published books? A starred review from one of the big trade reviews? Add in the fact that there is no control over any part of this kind of success. You can’t make people like what you write. You can’t get that stellar review or that New York Times ranking just by working harder. Or at least, I can’t. Because I’ve been busting my butt toward those goals and not getting any closer, it seems, no matter how many books I publish.

Everything changed this year when I discovered Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching and learned some all important truths.

1) My creative self is just as important as all of the varied needs of my family, friends, and strangers. (So is yours. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise)

2) Pursuing my creative gift makes me a better person who is then more able to love and serve the people around me

3) I can approach my writing with joy and enthusiasm, no matter how my books are doing on the charts or what the reviews are like, because I can always love the process of creation no matter what else might happen

4) I want to help other creatives come to their work with more joy and freedom and less guilt.

Since I’ve been wanting for awhile to get away from a structured day job to allow for more creative time, I started Swimming North Coaching. This way, I get to focus on my own creative passion while doing the other thing that lights me up: serving as a catalyst to help other creative souls grow joyfully into their gifts.