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.