Most writers I know also have another passion. For some it's photography, for others it's movies. Maybe you play a musical instrument, or you're into programming. Your non-writing passions make you a better writer. For example, one of my favorite living writers, Haruki Murakami, is passionate about music, specifically classical and jazz. Simone de Beauvoir was an existentialist philosopher and political activist. Zelda Fitzgerald was passionate about ballet and was an accomplished dancer herself.
Whether you're in the long, hard process of writing a novel, or are simply trying to improve your skills with character sketches, essays, or blog posts, don't ignore the part of you that's passionate about something other than writing. The skill and practice you devote to fly tying or compiling baseball statistics ultimately makes you a better writer.
The late Kurt Vonnegut said it perfectly: "[The arts] are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."
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