Zeal is a word that often has negative connotations. It is a word that describes a state of passion and excitement about something. Zealots and Zealotry have come to describe people and ideals that are beyond reason.
Having zeal or being excited about something is the cornerstone of achieving success in any endeavour. If you aren’t excited about what you do why bother? If you aren’t passionate about what you do what is the point of it? If you don’t have zeal when you work at something the result will be mediocre at best because you haven’t put your heart and soul into it.
On the other hand, in Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind the protagonist Richard discovers the Wizard’s Third Rule: Passion rules Reason.
This is as true for muggles as it is for war wizards! If you do not use your brain muscles to reason logically, then passion and zeal become warped into Zealotry which coupled with narrow-mindedness can lead to racism, bigotry and violence towards those who disagree or who represent the object of their hatred.
Zeal in itself is neither a good or a bad quality to posses. Like all things it is how it is used that defines its worth.
Writers need passion and zeal in order to write. Why else would anyone spend so much time lost in their own thoughts, sat a computer screen tapping their life away on the keys. This is true for whatever calling you have be it writer, teacher, doctor, wildlife ranger…
Zeal, for me, comes in two forms:
- It is the sore eyes open wide unblinking continuation of writing long after I should have stopped to rest, only I cannot stop I am caught up in the fervour of story; and
- The childlike excitement when I get a new idea: I can’t stop thinking about the implications it will have to the story or the characters. The physical characteristics of this include literally jumping up and down on the spot…
Zeal is also what makes obstacles vanish because your perspective becomes one of excitement and possiblity. People with zeal tend to act decisively.
This could be to do with the release of adrenalin. With zeal comes a physical call to take action within the body. You become ready to DO.
Do ever feel over come by zeal whilst writing? How does zeal or passion take you over and do you ever have to reign your passion in with reason?