Writing Holiday a Wipe Out

A plan to finish a novel gets beaten by the beach.


“So here’s the plan,” my partner told me, just over 6 months ago. “Pack the car and go north for the winter – to the Great Barrier Reef. It’ll be warm. We can camp.”

“Can I write?” I asked, hopefully. A self-imposed deadline to publish the third book in my Wisdom series by the end of the year would be looming by August. As a full time wage and salary earner, and only part-time writer, I knew I wouldn’t be finished the beta draft by then.

“Of course. There’ll be plenty of time.”

And she was right. There has been plenty of time.

Turns out, time isn’t the issue.

What I really need is light and power…

…Oh, and motivation.

Funny, isn’t it? It never occurred to me that a camping holiday along a string of beautiful, white-sanded, jade-watered beaches; with whales spurting in the distance, and dolphins chasing mullet a few metres away from where we stand, would not afford me sufficient resources to write.

The book I’m trying to finish is set in a bleak, post-apocalyptic landscape. My characters are battling snow, toxic atmospheres, and deadly enemies. My motivation to leave my beachside idyll and venture into my imaginary hell has been sadly lacking. Who’ve thunk it?

What with sleeping in late, walks along the strand, beach-café breakfasts, cups of tea, gazing at stunning sunsets, looking up to the heavens, and much navel-contemplation, there just simply hasn’t been an opportunity to really get into writing. Plenty of scenes have taken root in my head. Few have made it to the page.

I have managed about 1000 words. These were written by head-lamp in a snatched couple of hours when a long, tiring, drive sent my partner to bed early.

But don’t pity me, dear reader. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.

Oh, look, another dolphin. Ooh, and another sunset. Divine!

J-L Heylen is the author of six self-published works in the genres of Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction, Lesbian Fiction and Steampunk.


When she isn’t taking a beach holiday, she lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her wife and three dogs, a wayward cat, and a coffee machine, and writes commentary, blogs, short stories and novels. She also helps manage lesfic down under, with fellow speculative fiction author Kate Genet.

Links to books, contact details and other information can be found here, or through the links below.






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