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ACW

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

A Change is as Good as a Rest by Rebecca Seaton


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.

8 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful summer Rebecca :)

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  2. I love the idea of 'focused procrastination' and 'ruminating with intent'.

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  3. You should persuade more of your friends to invite you on month-long holidays abroad!! It sounds as though it was very fruitful :) I had more time this summer to write because I'd left my job as an English teacher in a secondary school and started working in an alternative provision centre instead, so I didn't have the normal workload I'd got used to. It felt very strange, but very wonderful ...

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  4. I was feeling guilty that despite having edited and partially rewritten the first half of my WIP in my head, I haven't actually sat down at my computer and got on with it. Now that I know this is focused procrastination I feel much better about it!

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  5. The battle with procrastination is one most of us have to fight. Great post Rebecca. You are definitely not alone in this!

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  6. The battle with procrastination is one most of us have to fight. Great post Rebecca. You are definitely not alone in this!

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  7. What a wonderful summer! Lovely photo. I always find I breathe more deeply by the sea, and find God there too; a great opportunity to find a bit of head-space to organise thoughts, but I, too, need to find a way to do it every day, wherever I am. Thank you for the reminder to slow down and contemplate and 'be'. Wise words.

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  8. It's definitely better to sit down and write once you know roughly what you're going to say, rather than face a blank screen/sheet. Glad you had a fantastic summer. Teachers deserve that.

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