Sunday 15 March 2015

Muddling Through the Middle by Melissa Gijsbers #ChaBooCha

Keep Going Through the Middle

It’s about the half way point of the Chapter Book Challenge, and we’re all at different points in our journey. Some people are powering along, and others are still just starting. Wherever you’re at, well done. You are further along in your book than you were at the start of the month.
It is also the point when many of us start slowing down and getting burnt out.

Don’t worry; you’re not the only one feeling like this.

I’ve been participating in the Chapter Book Challenge since the start and here are some of my tips for getting through the middle:

Take a break – A night off can make a huge difference. I now factor in a night off when I’m planning my writing time.

Sit somewhere different – Maybe you just need a change in scenery. Take your notebook or laptop to a café, or even just sit on the couch if you usually sit at a desk. A change is as good as a holiday, right?

Use a different medium – If you normally write on a computer, try writing a chapter in a note book, or vice versa. It’s the same idea as writing somewhere different as a change can help you get a new perspective and help get you excited about your writing once more.

Get some feedback – Sometimes it can be helpful to get a bit of feedback on what you’ve written so far. It could be from other members of the challenge, or from someone in your family. I get feedback from my kids.

Review your research – If you’ve been doing a lot of research for your book, reviewing your research can give you a fresh perspective on your topic, or give you some ideas for things you could include. Even if no new ideas come, it can help you get excited about your topic again.
Whatever you do to refresh yourself, keep going. There is still half the month left. You can do it.

About the Author

Melissa Gijsbers is an Australian author and blogger. She has had flash fiction stories feature in a number of anthologies and her first children’s book, Swallow Me, NOW! was written in the 2013 Chapter Book Challenge, and was published in October 2014. When she’s not writing or coming up with ideas for stories, she’s running around after two active boys and working in the family business. You can find her online at or on Facebook


Melissa Gijsbers has generously offered an e-book copy of her book "Swallow Me, NOW!" as a prize for one lucky member. If you are a signed-up member of the challenge, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post in order to be entered into the drawing. the winner will be selected by a random number generator on March 31st.


  1. Swallow Me Now-Wow! What a title. Makes me want to read.
    Thanks for your thoughtful post...take a break from the every day, every way. I like it.

  2. thanks for the post Melissa. writing is usually my break anyway, but sometimes just changing perspective can be a great thing.

  3. Thanks for these great suggestions. I've had a few of those times where I just can't move forward. These will help. Love the title of your book!

  4. Melissa, I swear you've communicated with my cat. Every time I start to get burned out, he comes by and pesters me for a snuggle - of course on the couch. So I get a break and a change of scenery. Thanks. :-)

  5. Breaks are very important. We all need to remember that.

  6. I love the idea of change of scenery and changing your writing tools! I once saw a little girl writing beneath a willow I zoomed in to get a closer look...imagine my surprise when I was a memory of a younger me! Thank you for sharing this wonderful post Melissa and also your precious time!

  7. Helpful ideas. I will be using them!

  8. Great post! Love your ideas about taking a break from writing, which I usually do puttering around in the garden…I can’t wait for all this snow to be... GONE!!

    Swallow Me Now… What a great title! I just put it on my Amazon Wish List but would love to win a copy.

  9. Ah, if only that pesky middle wasn't soooo long. Best of luck with your book!

  10. Thanks Melissa. Just what I needed to hear. Now I'm determined to bring a couple chapters to my writing group this week. I was afraid to let them look at it because they all write for adults. But no matter, just doing it will push me forward. Thank you.