If you don’t enjoy reading stories about people finding time to write a novel while juggling parenthood and work – what’s wrong with you? Besides having a very cool surname, Rebecca Freeborn has done just that. She’s a senior communications officer in the South Australian government, mother to three wide-eyed children, and in late 2016 landed a publishing deal with Pantera, beginning with her book Hot Pursuit. You can read more about her writing on her blog.
What do you like most about your work?
I kind of have three jobs:
I know being a mum is not considered a job, but it bloody is. The best part about that is seeing my kids learn new things, and seeing the joy on their faces at the most simple things.
The best thing about my work in communications is simply being considered an expert in my field. Despite the occasional frustrations of working in government, I’ve never grown tired of this and I still can’t really believe I get paid for using skills that are mostly innate. I’ve also been lucky enough to have worked with an amazing team of talented, funny, legendary people over a number of years. Long may we work together.
Having only recently signed my first publishing deal, I can’t yet comment on writing fiction as a ‘job’, but there’s nothing in the world like that burst of adrenaline when your fingers fly over the keyboard in an effort to keep up with your mind. The feeling when you just know you’ve nailed a sentence or a paragraph. Genuinely laughing (or crying) at your own words.
How is your industry changing?
In the communications field, we seem to be expected to do more with less resources…though I imagine this is probably true of most industries these days.
What part-time jobs did you have, growing up?
I worked as a checkout chick at Bi-Lo, starting when I was still at high school in Murray Bridge, then in Mt Barker after I finished school.
What scares you?
Spiders (not ideal when you live in the Adelaide Hills!). Donald Trump (and his supporters). Society’s continuing disrespect of women.
What makes you laugh?
My husband, my workmates, my kids (when they’re not flushing things down the toilet). Toilet humour (with the exception of previous point). Sweary, gutsy feminists.
What’s your favourite type of media to consume?
I’m currently on maternity leave, so I spend a lot of time on Facebook when I should be doing fun stuff with my kids. Or cleaning the house. Or, you know, writing.
When I’m at work I usually have Twitter open and I do tend to get sucked into the fast pace of that. I get most of my news online through these two mediums, and I must admit to being fairly clueless about almost all other forms of social media.
Five-year plans: a good idea, or unrealistic?
I think of five-year plans as being a bit like a birth plan – nice to have as a guide, but don’t be surprised when life intervenes and laughs them into irrelevance.
“there’s nothing in the world like that burst of adrenaline when your fingers fly over the keyboard in an effort to keep up with your mind”