As I strike a red cross through yet another day, the calendar tells me we’reĀ almost half way through the year. Hard to believe right? It seems like only yesterday I chose my word for 2017, and put a plan into action.

So far, 2017 has successfully been a year of focus. Back in March I decided to par back my personal blogging to focus more on writing. At the time it seemed like such a huge decision, one I grappled with for quite a while. But three months later, the sky hasn’t caved in, nor has my blog fallen to pieces.

In fact, quite the opposite. Visitors to my little piece of the internet, newsletter subscribers, and my social media (especially Instagram) are up. And the best thing? I’m connecting with like-minded writers and authors, as well as readers, and those generally and genuinely interested in my journey.

Well, that’s not actually the best thing. The best thing is I’ve been focused on my current manuscript.

After masterclass in April, I committed myself to a writing contract. 65,000 words later (over-achiever I know, I can’t help it), I am taking a break from the actual writing, and devoting this week to plotting.

I’m old school. As much as I love Scrivener, physically being able to move my chapters around on cards allows me a deeper connection to the overall story and arc. Sounds silly, I know. But, it’s the only way I can get my head around the plot. Maybe it’s because part of my story is set in the past and interweaves with the present. I’m not sure. But the tactile nature of chapter cards makes an incredible difference to sorting out plot, story structure, and pivotal points in the narrative. So that’s where I’m at this week.

Next week it will be back to the word count and writing contract as I flesh out scenes, add in new chapters, and tighten up the story. Then, I’ll be done.

Done.

Not finished. But done.

Then, it will take two to three passes to add in colour and texture to characters and scenes, and to do a proofread and copy edit. And then?

Then, I’m ready for submission.

And I am ready. I need to finish this manuscript and keep moving forward. I don’t know if this work in progress with be ‘the one’. I could be three, four, or more manuscripts away from having a publisher take me to the next step. All I can do is keep writing. Keep rewriting. That’s what writers do.

My favourite quote at the moment is:

An author is a writer who didn’t give up.

And I’m not giving up.