Keitha Smith – What inspires you to write?

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Keitha Smith – What inspires you to write?

Someone recently asked me, “What inspires you to want to write?” It’s an interesting question, given that I’ve written twelve full length books including six unpublished novels, four published novels, one published non-fiction book and one further novel in the pipeline. That’s certainly a significant portion of time invested in literary endeavours. In short, I should have a ready answer, shouldn’t I?

In pondering this question I have to conclude that the answer is both simple and complex. On the face of it, my first response is to say that it’s more compulsion than inspiration that keeps me returning to conquer the blank page. My brain has a way of conjuring up characters that take up residence in my synapses, begging to have their story told. This strange sort of multiple personality disorder is motivation enough to want to commit their lives to paper especially when those characters move on once the story is finished.

On a deeper level, my inspiration to write lies in a desire to communicate and share ideas. I have a background as a course writer and presenter and currently mentor writers and tutor teenagers in NCEA English so I tend to think about ideas and concepts in terms of how to teach what I know. Combine that desire to communicate with an inclination for education and you have another powerful motivator for creating story. And, at the crux of it, that’s what it’s all about – creating that age-old and precious tool for communication – story.

Ultimately the process of story creation brings me great joy, which on its own is motivation enough for pursuing just about any activity, in my view. I look forward to seeing you at the festival to share with you more of my love of writing.

Keitha Smith is a writer of women’s contemporary fiction. Visit Keitha’s website

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