While the four days in March – specifically the 4th to the 7th – certainly don’t come close to the drama of those four days in June, on a personal level they’re undeniably significant. More so than any other time in the year, these four days give me a time to reflect on the differences that 365 days can make.
Today – March 4th – I am finishing the first draft of my second published novel. The first novel isn’t actually out yet, but that’s probably understandable considering I only put the finishing touches on it in mid January (publishing is at best a slow business, and at worst leads to all sorts of strange, warped release schedules). Tomorrow, March 5th, is going to be my 24th birthday. March 7th will be the first anniversary of the day I sent a cover letter to Games Workshop, hoping – yet scarcely believing – that they’d hire me as a tie-in fiction writer.
The latter half of 2015 and the early months of 2016 look to have been the breakthrough I’ve been working towards since 2011 kicked off with the horrifically cliched resolution, “I’m going to be a write.” Since April last year I’ve had four short stories, one audio drama and two novels published by Games Workshop’s publishing wing, Black Library. I should be getting the commissioning forms for a third novel in the next couple of weeks. Once the first two start hitting the shelves, at least one will be getting stocked in high street book stores like Waterstones – a personal dream come true. Breaking into the “pro” market has also meant that, for the first time in my life, I can say I’m self-sufficient. I can finally pay for food, rent and my University’s tuition fees without having to take out loans or lean on my parents for financial support.
March-to-March, it’s been a great year. Even more surprising is the realisation that all of the writing I’ve done for Black Library bar a single short story (so three shorts, the audio drama and the two novels) have all been written since November. Nor does the workload show any sign of slacking. For a budding freelance author, that’s a welcome realisation indeed.
These four days in March let me take stock and be thankful. I’m happy in the knowledge that, even if I haven’t written a single thing more when we eventually get to March 2017, I’ll still be able to say I’ve achieved things I’ve always wanted to do.