2016 has been a year of cognitive dissonance and emotional whiplash for me. In almost every way that matters this has been an awful, awful year. It’s also been one of the best years of my life. If you read my last Lab Notes then you’ll know that the last few months have been hard for me, but for the most part the story of my 2016 has been one of my life coming together as the world tried it’s best to tear itself apart.
To illustrate what I mean: back in June I met one of the biggest goals I set for this year. I got Moviebob, one of my three big idols along side Laura Kate and Jim Sterling, to like and retweet an editorial I wrote. That was a huge moment for me. But then I had to deal with the fact that my first big “fuck yeah, I’m getting good at this” moment was riding on the coattails of one of the worst domestic terrorist attacks the US has ever seen. That piece I wrote was about the blowback Moviebob and others got for saying that E3 presenters should maybe think about what they were presenting as the Orlando shooting had happened the day before. While I’m not going to go into all the awful shit that happened as my life seemed to be getting better, I think it’s important to know for an honest assessment of my 2016.
This year also saw me finally getting review codes! Back in August I got my first code, for the game Bear With Me Episode One, and a little bit later I got my first pre-release code for The Final Station. While I haven’t done nearly as many reviews as I would have liked, this was another step in the right direction. Ever since then i’ve made enough contacts with developers and publishers that I honestly don’t always remember who I’m already on their press list and have to check before sending out emails. I mean, Nintendo probably won’t be sending me review codes any time soon, but I’m at least a little more sure that’s I’m making progress.
I also met one of the most important people in my life, my editor and best friend, Cathy of IndieGamerChick.Com. Cathy has done more for me than anyone I’ve ever known, both professionally and personally. When it felt like my life was falling apart she was the only person I could really talk too and she has helped me improve as a writer to an astonishing degree. Honestly, go read my old Poor Mans Geek reviews to my the last few I put up and it’s night and day. Hell, compare my ClusterTruck review to my Dark Souls 3 review (which I put out before working with her) and you can still see the improvement. But as great as all that is the best part is just having her as a friend. Literally almost every interaction I have with her makes my day better just by the fact that I got to have that interaction. I don’t know what else to say other than she has made me a better writer and a happier person. Cathy, if you’re reading this, I love you friend and I wish I could repay you for everything you’ve done for me.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Vikkie Blake followed me on twitter and I have semi-frequent conversations with Joe Parlock. So I’m getting noticed not only by really fucking cool people, but people I hope to someday work with. Vikkie even called me cool on the podcast they do, so that’s pretty neat. If either of you two are reading this, keep doing what you;re doing: your both amazing and I look forward to reading many more piece by each of you and suffering through as many bad jokes as the world can produce along side you both.
I am not where I want to be just yet, but this year has made given me the hope that I can get there one day. While I do kind of hate that I can say that in a year that’s been as awful as it’s been for pretty much everyone, I can’t lie: I will always look back at 2016 with some degree of fondness. I’m looking forward to the upcoming year, and I feel ready to take on whatever 2017 has to throw at me.