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From Professor to Author: 5 Key Lessons for Successful Passion Projects

I started writing fiction during the pandemic, a period of personal challenges, including caregiving for my mother, who passed in 2022. Writing was therapeutic as I thought of my journey and my parents' journey. I focused on their legacy and what they taught me. I also thought of my son and what I wanted him to learn long after I left this planet.

As I navigated through the winding paths of my life - from the corridors of academia as a tenured professor to the intimate world of fiction writing - I discovered profound lessons about engaging authentically in passion projects, such as my debut novel, Legacy Unleashed.

Projects like this are more than just creative endeavors; they are extensions of our souls. Here are five strategies I've embraced, which might guide you in bringing your own passion projects to life.

Show Your True Self

I chose to use my real name for my novel because I believe in the power of authenticity. I encourage you to do the same in your work. Let your project be a reflection of your entire being, with all its complexities and nuances.

Actionable Tip: Reflect on the unique aspects of your identity and experiences. How can these shape and enrich your project?

Transform Challenges into Inspiration

Writing became my solace while caring for my mother and dealing with personal and professional losses. Your challenges, too, can be a source of strength and creativity.

Actionable Tip: Write down the obstacles you've faced and consider how these can fuel your creative process, adding depth and empathy to your work.

Honor Your Legacy

My novel is a tribute to my parents' teachings and a legacy for my son. Think about the legacy you want to leave behind through your project.

Actionable Tip: Identify the values and lessons you want your work to embody and consciously weave them into your project.

Find Therapy in Creativity

For me, writing is therapeutic. It helps in processing emotions and experiences. Use your passion project as a channel for emotional expression and healing.

Actionable Tip: Whenever you feel overwhelmed, turn to your project. Let it be a safe space where your emotions can take form and find release.

Be a Beacon of Encouragement

As a coach and author, my aim is to uplift and inspire. Your project, too, can be a source of encouragement to others.

Actionable Tip: Think about the impact you want your project to have. How can it inspire, educate, or uplift your audience?

Embarking on a journey with a passion project is deeply personal and profoundly fulfilling. As you dive into your creative endeavors, remember to weave your authentic self into every thread of your work.

And speaking of journeys, I invite you to join me on mine. My novel, Legacy Unleashed, is a heartfelt exploration of love, struggle, and resilience, embodying everything I hold dear.

It's got some spice, humor, and real-life emotions that represent realness and the complexities of life. I believe you or someone you know will find a home within its pages.

Check out my author page at, and subscribe for updates about future releases. You can also find me on Instagram @authormonicacox.

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