It is the 30th of December, 1:30 AM. I’m sure that someone famous will have died by the time the auto-publisher sends this post live.
Good people die every year, but it seems this year really has it out for the artists and the creators. Among the golden throng I would really like to mention Richard Adams, who wrote Watership Down and Shardik.
It has, I admit, been a year of loss. I’ve lost friends. I’ve lost people I loved. I’ve lost absurd amounts of money. The computer that I lovingly built no longer starts. My right foot feels like someone drove a couple of nails through it. I’ve lost three phones and two girlfriends. The cat has lost every fight he’s been in.
But in retrospect, it’s been a good ride.
In this year I have written the first? second? third draft of the book I began, 80,000 words, on schedule. I have studied literature, cryptocurrency, economics, philosophy, marketing, data science and taught myself to code again. I have read a little over sixty books, organized disaster responses, hosted events, gotten tattooed, argued in panels, explored two countries, dived in strange seas, hiked and biked for hundreds of kilometers, and, almost completely out of the blue, won a shiny gold medal.
The losses and the heartbreak balance out on the sheet as experience; the empty bank accounts into new stamps on my passport. And I am in possession of all my limbs, and still highly functional. And for all those friends I’ve lost on the wayside I seem to have come across others willing to walk with me.
It’s not just me that’s having a good 2016. Amidst other things, SpaceX landed a rocket successfully, and we made new advancements in data storage and artificial limbs. There’s a particle accelerator project bringing back the spirit of scientific collaboration into the Middle East. There’s even a whole new theory of gravity. That’s amazing.
But most importantly, I’ve finally realized what I want to do for the rest of the foreseeable future: writing.
Everything I’ve done in my life has involved writing in some form or the other. I wrote my way through school. In 4250, the indie gamedev company I started with four other friends, I wrote the stories, I wrote every single line of dialogue, and I wrote most of the code. Later, when I started Indiegraph, I wrote. I wrote at Readme. I now write at WSO2. I’ve more or less written my way through life. It’s a terribly new life but it’s always been full of words.
This realization is important. It’s the difference between getting up because you have to and getting up because you want to. It’s one of those things that give you reason to put not just one foot in front of the other, like every plodding soul does, but to run, and keep running, and actually enjoy it.
Writing is not the most glamorous profession – sitting still and thinking for long periods of time is hardly exciting to watch; and I’m far from being the best wordsmith in the world; but when I write I forget the world exists. It makes perfect sense to continue.
I genuinely am excited for 2017. Among other things, there’s a Mass Effect game, the Ghost in the Shell movie (starring Scar-Jo), the Circle (with Emma Watson) and a new Westworld season to dig in to. And, if I play my cards right, the book.
What’s not to like?