As a teacher, I look forward to the summer as a chance to relax, recharge and catch up on things which need doing. I usually divide the six weeks into a short break or two, household chores, school work and catching up with friends and family. This summer was slightly different. I received a last-minute invitation to visit friends in Australia – for a month. Although I always enjoy my six-week break, the reality is that things like jobs around the house and school work (and TV shows, if I’m honest) can all distract me from my writing. Suddenly, I was faced with the prospect of both time and an unexpected location.
While I was away, I also took a book a friend had given me: The Bloomsbury Introduction to Creative Writing by Tara Mokhtari. In it, she discusses the concept of ‘focused procrastination’. The idea that my daily tasks and mental wanderings could help me work out where to go with my WIP was encouraging.
I soon found I could spend a happy morning walking around the nature reserve or down to the beach, praying, thinking, trying out ideas. Then, in the afternoon, I was able to get some of my thoughts onto paper more easily because I wasn’t thinking about them for the first time.
Now I’m back home, things obviously won’t be the same. I can’t walk to the beach and there will be plenty of marking and planning which needs doing. But…I can make more effort to go for a walk, I can switch off the TV while I iron and ruminate with intent, I can get that interesting thought onto paper the same day, rather than waiting.
I’m grateful to God (and my friends) for giving me an opportunity to seek new ways to get writing. My prayer is that I don’t forget the lessons learnt this summer but instead look to God to keep things new and fresh amongst the everyday.
Rebecca Seaton writes YA fantasy novels, as well as fiction and non-fiction for her church. As a teacher, she also enjoys encouraging the next generation of writers.