I've had these two passions since I was a kid. Like, five years old. I loved horses and I loved books, and I would write stories about horses. And then later stories that mimicked the high fantasy I grew up on (Tolkien, Dragon Lance, Tad Williams, Tamora Pierce, etc.). I've gone through stages with both where I took a break for a while, but they've always been woven into the fabric of my being and always will be. I consider myself very lucky to have such unshakable direction in my life.
For the last five years, writing took the main stage, and while I had horses, I was terribly remiss in doing anything with them other than keep them as fancy lawn ornaments. My current horse, Max, was born at my house and so for many years was too young to ride. And then he got old enough and I procrastinated. But last year I got a divorce and moved into an apartment with no room for an equine, so I had to start boarding him at a farm about 20 minutes away. Over the last year, I've made more progress with him than I have in the last five. Funny how things work out that way. I think what I missed was a support system of other horse friends, and I needed to regain my mojo. I had a totally untrained horse on my hands who has a pretty dominant personality, and I'd lost a lot of my own boss-mare attitude. So, I've been finding it again and Max and I are doing awesome.
On the other hand, my writing in the last year has been fairly slim. I've played around with a bunch of different projects, and nothing has quite grabbed me. I'm very Type A about certain things, and am used to slamming out full novels in 6-12 weeks, so this was very disconcerting to me. But then I had an epiphany the other day: it's okay to let go sometimes. I know I can make deadlines. I've written four complete novels. Last year was a year of transition and finding a new balance. And it's okay to slow my pace a bit.
Do you balance more than one passion in life? What are your thoughts on the ebb and flow of your focus and inspiration?