Scott Langston – author

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I am a writer. There, I said it. For the longest time, I thought one had to commit fulltime to writing to earn the right to call oneself a writer.

I used to have a dilemma. Was I a writer who taught or a teacher who wrote? I used to feel that I had to declare myself and ‘just write’ to be a real author. I would constantly berate myself for not having the courage to stop working and commit myself. I have come to learn that a writer isn’t someone who chooses to write – it’s someone who has to write. Working or not, eventually my mind comes back to my writing. And I’m learning to be more gentle with myself.

I took a year out of ‘proper’ teaching whilst living in Greece; the result was ‘The Alpha to Omega’ and a realisation that the world didn’t stop revolving if I wasn’t in full time work. I kept up a steady stream of English lessons, did a tremendous amount of Oral Examining for the British Council, and thoroughly enjoyed myself into the bargain. I was lured back into the classroom, however, and found myself teaching ICT at a Greek International College – an ill-fated choice, as it turned out, cut short by a nasty motorbike accident that led to my leaving Greece.

The wonder lust remained, however. I met my wife in Brussels and we quickly headed once again for warmer climes. I took up the role of Headteacher in an International School in Saigon, Vietnam. Long story short, I discovered that I need time and relaxation to find inspiration, and there’s little of either commodity in educational management…

I spent some more time doing what I’d only once previously allowed myself to do. Writing. Full time. Which meant, in reality, lingering coffees in various Saigon cafes, days spent with neither computer nor pen, mulling quietly to myself and, occasionally, a flurry of activity as an idea took form. My ‘Vietnam’ novel of that time, The Year of the Monkey’, stalled and still haunts me mildly from time to time… I know. I’m working on it.

Then I found my way back into teaching, discovering a whole new world in the guise of the IBO, the PYP and a plethora of other acronyms. Suffice to say, the writing suffered.

Fast forward to 2016 and life in Nanjing, China. My teaching role has morphed into a High School Counselling role. Plans involve another career break, this time travelling in Canada and the US with family in tow. Literary plans include jumpstarting ‘The Year of the Monkey’ (it being, well, the Year of the Monkey), a non-fiction work on vegetarianism and allowing myself to write for writing’s sake, non-judgmentally and for the joy of it.

Watch this space.