Z is for Zeal & Zest

by Pauline Reneaux

My journey with 318 Central began with my piece, “A is for Adventure” and November finds me coming to the end of the alphabet with “Z is for Zeal & Zest.” The two pieces really go hand in hand. Writing is an adventure for me as I travel through life. Experienced writers tell all of us following in their footsteps that when writers are not writing they should be reading … reading to improve our craft … reading for inspiration. I have zeal and zest for both.

If you examine the words zeal and zest you will find that they share the idea of having great energy and enthusiasm, but zeal takes this one step further. Zeal uses energy and enthusiasm as the rocket fuel to achieve an objective or champion a cause. The zeal that I have for writing is fueled by my why. As I work diligently to pen my own novel, I want my work to offer hope to my readers. If I can do this for at least one person, then my story will have all been worth the adventure. I think all of us can share our life experiences as we journey through. When we do this, we can become a beacon of hope for others and this helps us make the world a better place.

My mom liked to say, “you can’t put an old head on young shoulders.” While I agree with these words of wisdom, I think if we write down our thoughts and the lessons we have learned as we travel through life, then we leave a map behind for others to one day read, so that they may learn from our experiences.

My excitement and enthusiasm, zest and zeal for writing is evident to all who meet me. I have been blessed with incredible mentors along this way, from Louisiana authors, Ernest Hill and Curt Iles, to New York Times bestselling author, Bob Goff. All three of these men use their authentic voices to craft their work and have graciously shared their own life experiences, to help guide me on my journey. When we are transparent and authentic in all that we do, I think the result is something that others can embrace.

Sometimes our life experiences can feel like we are in the trenches of a battlefield in a faraway land, but that is exactly what equips us to help others. It’s easy to be encouraging if life hasn’t dealt you lemons, but to take lemons and turn them into an experience that isn’t bitter, that still leaves us with a zeal and zest for life, well, that is a gift.

Though this is my birthday month, I want to use my words to finish my manuscript and bring my work into the world. Yes, writers are a plenty, but each one of us is unique, and our work is the gift that we offer the world.

If you find what brings zest into your life and a zeal to provide focus for your efforts, these are the best gifts you can give yourself. If you use this enthusiasm to help others, then it’s just the icing on the cake, which makes life sweeter for those around you. As we give thanks this month, what gift can you bring to others? You do not have to wait for Christmas. If you help someone turn their lemons into lemonade, then, you will not only give them something to be thankful for, but it may be the most priceless gift they receive this holiday season.

Blessings, Pauline


To learn more about Pauline Reneaux, visit her blog at

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