Reading and writing on holiday | Elaelah Harley


There’s something about holiday freedom that makes you want to put everything on airplane mode, take your shoes off and throw them in the lake (thanks Kate Bush – Hounds of Love), or at least in my case, run out into the beach with glee and forget my day job.

But for those who follow my Instagram, you’ll know I’m very much keeping my focus on writing this November, and a holiday is no exception. In saying that – it’s hard to stay on track when literally every part of your holiday pay is telling you to ‘just take the day off’.

There are a few ways to make it easier to stick to your resolve, especially in the writing world. Firstly, taking part in a challenge has helped my productivity tenfold. There’s something about not wanting to fall behind – not wanting to let myself down, or even not wanting to let my boyfriend overtake my words-per-session since he’s participating in the same challenge. I’m quite a competitive person, if you haven’t realised already. With National Novel Writing Month in the works, getting that 50,000 words in a single month is a big commitment. It’s not one I’m planning on leaving behind.

The next step is sticking to a schedule. When you really have plans you don’t want to put aside, I’ve learnt it’s important to map out your day so that there’s plenty enough room for the project at hand. That means if I plan to go snorkelling in the Whitsundays, I’ve got to map out the time for travel to and from, the activity, and even the post-activity nap because I’ll be stuck out in the sun for longer than I’m used to. Skimping on the reality of how long things take will only make things harder for you, so make sure you’re being honest with yourself when you create your writing calendar.

Lastly, it’s all about making sure the people around you support your journey. Luckily, the only other person on holiday with me is my partner, who as I’ve previously mentioned, is aiming to complete the very same challenge by the end of November. By having people support you in such a busy month, it means they will be more understanding when you can’t make certain friend or family based plans. It’s so easy to treat writing like a hobby, when if you’re hoping to go commercial one day, it really needs to be treated like a job. Would you stop a workshift half way through to go for coffee with friends? If you can, I’m honestly envious of you. But if not, that’s the same level of dedication you should place on your writing time.

These few points aren’t to lecture you into taking stride with your hobby of choice and blocking out the rest of reality – it’s just my way of enforcing my ideals on myself, and I’m glad you’re here for the ride.

If you’re thinking of starting a project – whatever it may be – make sure to hit me up! I’d love to offer any support I can!

Book Recommendations

Now that my rant is over, I’d love to get into what I’ve been reading in the first week of November.

I’m about a third into The Red Queen, and while it was a slow-starter due to the story not being exactly my genre, I’ve become hooked. Something about Victoria Aveyard and her creativity keeps me guessing, and I’m loving the social commentary via the Reds versus Silvers communities. I know this is just the first of its already established series, but I’ve already got very high hopes for the rest of the literary journey.

Question of the week: What was your favourite read this week?

I’m always excited to learn about new fiction. Leave a comment to tell me what your latest favourite book is and why.

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