I really should take this month off…

… but not surprisingly, I started trying to work on the Gym Rivals project last night. Oops?

Maybe “oops” implies that I feel bad for starting this project and not taking time off — and, you know, I think I probably should feel a little bad because I could always take more time off — but I don’t think I’m surprised (nor, I’m sure, are you if you know even one single thing about me) that I’ve decided to go ahead and just… try my hand at this ol’ thing.

photo of my desk – my writing notebook is in the foreground, covered in post-its, and my laptop is open to what is trying to be chapter 1 of this new project. I also, of course, have a mug of tea on my mug warmer.

This was the project that, about a month ago, when I was knee deep in edits for the travel book, decided to pop, fully formed, into my brain and demand to be written. Which, by the way, is very annoying? Why does that happen? Like, brain, can’t you see that I’m in the middle of doing edits on this other project? Edits I’d really like to get done?????

I guess you can’t complain about when you’re getting ideas as long as you’re getting them, but if I could teach my brain how to have a better sense of timing, that’d be lovely.


I sat down last night and cracked my knuckles and thought, you know what, let’s just give this project a go. I’ve got a whole playlist, I’ve got a few pages of notes, I have the whole plot sorted, this will be so easy to draft!

Oh, past me. A fool!

Like most novels when I finally get around to properly drafting them, I have several moments later in the plot that I’ve written out a few lines for (though here I think I have more moments planned than usual, see above about have the whole plot sorted). Typically, though, the first thing I get popping into my head (or one of the first things) is the opening of the novel, and this time??? I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THIS THING OPENS.

I have a general idea, especially because I have the whole rest of the arc basically done and plotted (I’m a plantser by nature, but even this is unusual for me — like, who is this woman who did all this planning, could not possibly be me), but the words? The words are just not coming. And it’s driving me up the wall, let me tell you, and so I just needed to have a little rant about it (beyond the mini rant I already posted on Tumblr).

For now, I’ve dropped myself a note underneath “Chapter 1” that literally reads, ‘Give up on writing a good opening right now!!’ and I’m hoping that that will help me get through whatever is blocking me so that I can at least get something down here. Because without this, honestly, I’m finding it hard to even write some of the later scenes that I’d already started drafting! I never would have expected this, that the beginning of the story matters so much to me, that without it, my brain apparently just throws up its hands like well, let me know what you figure it out, I’ll be over here thinking about Avatar.

I think the beginning of the story, though, is where I’m really setting the tone of the story. It’s where, I’d hope, the voice of my main character is front and centre so that the reader can get the vibe of the whole story right away. And I have my character’s voice — I know exactly how she sounds — so I’m not sure why it’s giving me so much trouble. Maybe I’ve been trying too hard to force it at this point and I need to just… take a step back.

Here we are, back at the idea of taking a break again 😂

I am going to take a break for a few hours today — even writing this post was a nice break because it really helped to get my angsty feelings out — and then hopefully, when I go back, I’ll have a better idea of what to say. And, hell, maybe I can just throw myself right into the deep end and do a short writing sprint.

Actually, that sounds like a halfway decent idea.

I hope you’re having a lovely day and that you’re enjoying the rest of your weekend! Sending love and lots of good creative vibes. x Elle

6 responses to “I really should take this month off…”

  1. I end up having kind of the opposite problem. I end up thinking of a beginning and no matter what I do, I can not change how it starts. The first line and pretty typically, the first paragraph, are solidified as soon as they come to me. No matter what I try, I can’t change them.

      • I think it’s a mix between I want to change them because I’m not sure if they’re the right sentence or if I can find something better to start the story with and I can’t change it because that’s how the story started in my head. It’s a bit of insecurity about it. But it hasn’t been strong enough to make me change it yet. Although I think I may end up cutting my first chapter and sentence in one of my WIP’s so it’s been interesting to go through that.

      • I totally get that insecurity. I find it so hard to change things sometimes, too, especially when they just popped fully formed into my head. If you do end up cutting the whole first chapter, let me know how it goes! I always feel like cutting stuff (just to see what happens) is a good idea. Even if you end up putting it back, you know that you’re adding it back in because the narrative really needs it.

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