Well, that's 2022 out of the way. Phew, I'm glad that's over! It was another busy year, another year where so much stuff happened and I've manged to end it in a completely different world to where I started it.
So where was I on 1 Jan 2022? I was working full time for the Army. I was on a Full Time Reserve Service contract doing a job where I managed basing operations for the North of England and Scotland. I was getting a Major's pay for not working terribly hard. And I'd already made my mind up I would quit. Most people thought I was nuts. Why would I want to quit a secure, well paid, public sector job where I had things pretty easy? Simple. I was bored.
I don't do bored well. I can barely sit through a film without reaching for my phone part way through. I struggle to finish books. If it doesn't grip me in the first few chapters, its unlikely I'll make it to the end. If it moves too slowly I'll give up. That's why I try to make my own books gripping and fast paced. I write how I like to read.
In whatever I do with my life, I like to feel like I'm making a difference. That I can effect change. That I can work to build something, create something, improve stuff. Make things work better. I don't do steady jogging, that's not me. Many people who work in the public sector will probably agree that these aspirations are incompatible with the way the sector works. So I concluded, I'm not cut out for the public sector.
So what happened next? Well, back in December 2021, a recruiter got in touch with me to ask if I wanted to work for Amazon. By the end of January 2022, I'd been offered a job. It gave me the excuse I needed to quit my full time job in the army and return to being a proper Reservist again. So that's what I did, and after working my six months notice, I began my job at Amazon in August 2022.
I've talked about Amazon and my reasons for leaving that job in previous posts, so I won't bore you with the details again. But to summarise, after just four months in the role, I quit, and by Christmas 2022, I was officially unemployed! Or self-employed? I guess you need an income to claim that one. No, actually, I do have an income - it's sporadic and at times, unreliable, but the good old Army Reserve still pays me. Propping up my fluctuating career path since 2006! With the added bonus being that I love it.
After returning to traditional Reserve Service in September, I was reminded how much I love being a Reservist. There's lots of things I like about it, I could write a whole essay on that one. But the biggest thing I love is the people. I've met some awesome folk though my years of Reserve Service, including my husband and most of my friends!
So where does writing fit in? It's not exactly a secret that this whole website exists to big up my books. So you probably want me to talk about those, right? Well here goes. On 1 Jan 2022, I'd finished my first draft of my first book, The Queen of Vorn. I hurled it at a load of folk to read and got on with the sequel, The Prince of Vorn. That was drafted by March, and The King of Vorn followed. By May 2022 I'd written my first trilogy. It should have been over then, but it wasn't. I missed my characters so I started another trilogy, beginning with The General's Son. The first book I'm planning to publish.
The General's Son was done by June, The Queen's Daughter followed. I wrote The Prince's Nephew in August/September and did a fair bit of editing in-between. The feedback trickled in. I adjusted, I edited, I polished. I sent The General's Son for a proper edit in October, then worked though my editor's notes after that. The Queen's Daughter was sent for professional edit yesterday, the Prince's Nephew will follow in February.
It's been a manic year of writing books! But that's me, to a tee. If I get into something I'm like a dog with a bone, or a hound on a trail. I'll keep going and going until I reach my goal, or kill myself trying. From bitter experience, if I fail, I don't take things well. Four years ago I started a property business. A combination of Brexit, Covid and inexperience drove my endeavour not to fail as such, but it wasn't the success I'd envisaged, and it certainly defeated me. Its taken me well over a year to come to terms with my lack of success.
But here I am, alive, well and stronger for my experience. Ready to throw everything I have at trying to make it as an author. I'm confident that if I don't make it, it will be because my books aren't good enough. Because I'm sure as hell going to try everything I can to market the pants of my work. I've not done marketing before, but there was a time when I'd never renovated a house before, I didn't have a clue how to lay a carpet, let alone plumb in a bathroom. But I taught myself to tile, fit kitchens and doors. I learnt to plum, plaster and lay flooring. I've renovated 14 houses and made profit on them all. I designed and built a workshop from scratch, in my garden. I've managed the construction of a basement conversion and three extensions and have built an entire house from scratch. I taught myself how to do all of this. If I can manage that, a bit of marketing should be a breeze, surely?
Charlotte Goodwin is the author of the Gallantrian Legacy series. A set of six books (and counting) set in a universe where magic is real, there's just not much of it on Earth.