Passion Begets Passion

Writing, I think most writers will agree, is fueled by passion. There is something in me that will not let me NOT write. Not anymore, anyway. The push to write, the organic motivation driven by something beyond me, yet within me, is not new. But the acceptance of that gift, my own willingness to embrace and nurture it is. I’ve been a writer since I was little. I’ve always known that.

What’s weird is that I’ve been something else since I was little too — a dancer. I have been a ballet dancer since I was three years old. From the time I was old enough to have a consciousness of myself, I described myself as a dancer. That was how I knew myself. I’d taken dance classes my whole life, from three to eighteen. I performed with a company, dabbled in the requisite eating disorders and vied for the all-important solos, self-administering the appropriate amount of self-hatred when I did not get them.

I left ballet when I went to college to pursue other activities. Like drinking, for instance. But every couple years I’d take a class, and play with the idea of going back. I dabbled here and there for twenty years, and finally returned to ballet “for real” in September of 2011. I worked hard and got myself strong enough even to return to pointe, though I soon realized that there was little point to this endeavor (no pun intended.) I continue taking two classes a week, which is great for my body, but even better for my mind.

For I’ve found that pursuing one long lost passion has ignited and fueled the other passionate pursuit. When I’ve missed ballet for a week or so, I don’t write as well. I can’t say why exactly, because my usual workouts (Crossfit, high intensity circuits or running) don’t seem to have the same effect. It’s ballet that is somehow connected to the core of who I am, and when I’m channeling that, I write more and better.

Have you found a connection like that? I’m interested to hear if other writers have seen one passion fuel their writing in the way that ballet fuels mine.

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3 thoughts on “Passion Begets Passion

  1. I love that you are into ballet! I’m a huge fan. I took lessons when when I was young until high school when I pursued other activities that I had much greater talent for (I am a huge klutz, with no grace, and am way to curvy to be a ballerina). But I still love the art and have season tickets to our local company.

    Writing distracts me from my other hobbies. It’s easy for me to neglect my other interests in favor of writing. Recently, I’ve been trying to approach my commitment to writing with word count goals and timed activities to my running. My best friend is all into marathons and we have this goal of doing a Napa-Sonoma one together as part of a wine vacation. We’ll see if I can keep up with her…

    • Wow… that’s serious running. I don’t do that. If someone was chasing me, I might be able to pull off about seven miles. Then I’d have to figure out some other way to save myself (hide in the bushes and trip ’em?). And wine and running don’t combine too well for me… I like one way better than the other. (guess which!) Good luck in your training!

  2. I can’t say that I have one particular passion that fuels my writing. It’d be better to say that I have two. The first one, the one that spurred me into being a writer in the first place, would have to be reading, especially fiction of any type. I love delving into a story and getting lost in the depth of it and seeing the story unfold. When I’m feeling out of sorts or burned out I’ll run to a book. I could happily read the whole day away without thinking about it (yes, even burned the midnight oil doing so)

    The second one would have to be my art and coding in relation to the web. Just getting in and trying to figure out a way to make it work AND look good just gets my juices flowing and opens me up to the world around me.

    Finally, when I’m stuck, I go for a walk. I find that being out and about gives me great ideas. For example had an idea for a short story today walking through the parking lot at work, though it did make it hard to focus on work LOL.

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