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Friday, 11 October 2013

Rod Dearing on rest and refreshment for writers

Healthwise the last six months have been a tad trying for me (and 
for my family) but from a creativity and writing point of view I can’t complain.

You see because of my aches and pains I was forced to slow down and rest up. Take some morphine pain killers. Stay in bed longer. Snooze out in the sun. Snuggle deep into the cushioned comfort of the old grandfather chair and doze off. Forget about the stresses and tensions of the outside world. Let my mind wander aimlessly and dream a little. Dream about the really important things in life.
It's extraordinary how life’s priorities change in Dreamland where there are no boundaries and restrictions, pressures or timings to meet. Creativity can flourish unfettered.

Fresh plots emerge out of the mists. New characters make their acquaintance and either stay to converse or, as in Macbeth ‘is a poor player who struts and frets his hour on the stage and is heard no more’.  The impossible becomes possible and acceptable. New norms are created and a myriad of hitherto undiscovered views offer themselves for exploration.

‘Ah,’ I hear some sceptics say, ‘it’s the morphine pain killers!’ And in my case, having led a very sheltered life that could well be a contributing factor. But on the other hand it’s far more likely to be that I was forced to take time out to repair the body and spirit.

Do you think that we writers should deliberately plan to take ‘time out’ as a means of recharging our creativity?

Settle down, switch off and ... dream a little.


Rodney Dearing

Author of 'Brilliant Mr Badger' and 'Cadet Willie McBride' stories.

74 Temple Street,


Auckland 1072

New Zealand.

Tele + 64 09 521 5193

Mobile + 64 027 3333 984


  1. Too true, Rodney. I find some of my most creative moments are in the middle of the night when I don't have a notebook and pen nearby. They're gone in the morning, of course. Maybe we writers should plan on having a half-hour during the day to meditate or just slumber in the sun!

  2. Absolutely Rodney. I lie half awake in the early hours of the morning snuggled down warm and comfortable and let myself dream mindlessly. At these times, I often solve my problem about how to move my characters from their comfortable place in the story to their next far more important sequence of events, if only they would co-operate.