Why We Write | Kate Alexander-Kirk

Why do I write? Because it’s what I enjoy doing. For a long time I denied myself the pleasure and the power. I don’t know why. I guess I didn’t think that I was good enough or that I didn’t have anything important to say. I know now that I should never have stopped. It’s almost inevitable that the first draft isn’t going to be the polished, completed version of the story or the poem or the essay or the song. It’s the experience of writing that’s important.

Reading is crucial as well. Let’s face it, have you ever met a writer that claims to not be a reader? Aren’t the two mutually exclusive? Books and other pieces of literature online or in libraries are an endless source of inspiration and enjoyment. I would always encourage people to read – even if it’s just the back of the shampoo bottle in the bathroom. Take a moment to look closer at the world around you. It only takes a spark to create a raging fire, let your imagination do the same with the inspiration all around you.

Oh, and if that story’s driving you mad, take a step back. A change is a good as a rest. It’ll still be there when you’re ready to return to it.

— Kate Alexander-Kirk| Zest Editor

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Why We Write | Carol Anne Grady

I tell you what — it’s been harder to write two paragraphs on my writing process than it was to write my submission for Zest in the first place. One might be tempted to say ‘Process? What process?’ I suppose that would be skirting the issue. Plus it doesn’t fill the space, unless I wrote it really big and we’re getting into cheating territory there.

Still, I am tempted to say it. My process is only to write. There is no planning, as little agonising as I can manage, and only the occasional midnight strop where I wish I had made a plan. I sit, and I write. I remain hopeful that my characters will tell me what they feel like doing, and that I will be able to help them do it. I write until I feel like I can’t write any more, and then I check my wordcount and end up writing more, anyway. I sometimes stop for an alcoholic beverage, which I can recommend. For me, if I want to be a writer, I have to write. It’s as simple, and as complicated, as that.

— Carol Anne Grady | A New Start | Issue 1

Why We Write | Amy

Why do I write? Because I have to. Because I need to. Because I want to. It’s not always easy to get the words flowing or to find the right words at the right moment. But, with a constant plugging away, one starts to see the changes happen as each piece of writing, which started as an inkling of an idea, starts to change, evolve, and grow. To me, writing is like going for a long run. I don’t always enjoy it while I’m in the moment. Sometimes I want to stop, or cry, or hit delete on the whole thing. But, I push on as slowly or as quickly as is needed. Then when I stop, I can reflect back on what I’ve done, knowing it may not be perfect just yet, or ever, and that there may be a long way still yet to go, but for a moment I can feel at peace.

— Amy | Zest Editor

Why We Write | Anthony Campo

We’re pleased to announce a new series to the Zest Lit blog, where we’ll regularly feature contributors from each issue discussing what inspires them to write.

We hope you’ll leave comments in response and let us know how you write, what gets those creative juices flowing, and what you like to write about!

Please welcome our first contributor: Anthony Campo

I’m not exactly sure what inspires me to write. I’ll get an idea and it will combine with another idea in a new way, an unlikely way. Sometimes I’ll sit down and write something around it. Some of my works are based loosely on real life events — these are often written as metaphor, so that others can read their own life experiences into them, and maybe discover some common ground with mine.

A lot of my stuff is about more or less regular people thrown into unusual situations. Or more or less unusual people thrown into regular situations. I tend toward the speculative and the situations are often highly unlikely or bizarre, but not impossible.  I guess I write this type of fiction mainly to experiment with ideas. Mixing everyday things in a new way, breaking down old connections and discovering new ones. That’s probably the closest I can come to summing up what I do, and why.

— Anthony Campo | May Ends & A Child of Autumn | Issue 1