16Jul

Time & Writing

Recently I recalled what it was like when I had first sold Nights of Villjamur to Pan Macmillan, way back in January 2008. At the time, I had to wait a year and a half until that book was published. I was 26 years old (nearly 27) when I got that deal, which means I must have been about 25 when I was knee-deep in the snows around Villjamur. A year and a half seemed like it would never pass.

It’s now strange to realise how chunks of my life have been allocated to the books, and I can flick through those pages and know exactly what was going on in my life at the time – who needs a diary? Sentences fire something within my brain that can connect a place or a face or a conversation I had.

Well, another chunk has passed – a significant, series-sized chunk – and I find myself needing to be patient once again. The Broken Isles is out there, and now the very next fantasy book I have published will be the Lucan Drakenfeld series. But that’s not going to be for another year. A whole year. As ever, it feels like such a long time to wait. Now before many of you start heckling, ‘Oh you poor published writer’, first world problems etc, I know I’m very lucky to have books coming out. This is merely one of those curious author states-of-mind to get used to.

Something I’ve mentioned in recent interviews is this need for patience:

Learning the ability to wait calmly for something ā€“ be that for getting a new book out there, for feedback on your work, for the chance to prove yourself capable, for even changing direction. So yes, patience, in this job, does wonders for your peace of mind ā€“ which in turn helps you focus on writing. The years pass remarkably quickly when you have your head down in a book.

Projects can feel like they last an eternity; but soon enough they’re completed. They become a new book, then your last book, then something you’re moving on from. They could have been a success, a failure, much talked about or hardly talked about. The only constant in any of this is getting those thoughts from your head onto paper each night, and letting time do its thing.

It’s quite comforting knowing that this time around.

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About Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.