The rapidly impending New Year brings with it many things to look forward to. For instance, Twilight Zone marathons, and bowl games I could not possibly care less about. But it also is a time to reflect on this year, which turned out to be a pretty good one at Scratchbomb HQ.
It didn’t start out well. We had another death in the family, the latest and hopefully last in a string of them that’s hit my extended family in the last five years. I was not enjoying my job very much, and then I was not enjoying it all because my entire department was eliminated. The novel I’ve been working on for years remained on flatline.
In general, I was in the same creative and personal funk I’d been in for years, one that made me feel like not only did I have no time to work on anything meaningful, but that I never would have any time. I had this self-pitying, self-fulfilling dread that the deck was stacked against me and nothing was ever going to get better. It wasn’t fun.
And then, out of nowhere, things got fun.
Most importantly, I got an amazing amount of support and help from tons of friends–online and off–during my unemployed period. Amazingly (considering the economy), I found a new gig in less than a month, one much better than my previous job for a multitude of reasons. I was honestly inspired by how many people helped me–from people who sent along my resume to folks who offered a “that sucks, dude,” it was a total George Bailey moment.
With the knowledge that I had so many people behind me, I made the biggest, most life-changing decision of my life: I would not be negative, at least about myself. I would pour myself into work and not get bogged down in the self-defeating mire of Who cares? Who am I doing this for?
The amazing thing was how easy it was to give up being negative. It’s my default setting, something I just lapse into when I have no other reaction. Getting rid of this was like taking off a heavy winter coat drenched with snow once you come inside. I feel 50 pounds lighter, in my head.
So I poured myself into my writing, and the results speak for themselves. This year, readership on this site EXPLODED, killing, I mean, reaching hundreds of thousands of folks. I started to do some regular Mets-centric writing over at Amazin Avenue, and that has been extremely fun and rewarding–as will the Amazin Avenue Annual, which should be available in your local book shoppe by Opening Day.
Speaking of books and baseballing, I’m pulling together something based on the two exhaustive look-backs I did on Mets seasons: The 1999 Project and In the Year 2000. Based on reactions to these efforts, I think there’s a book to be written/sold about them, and I would like to do that writing. (Someone else can do the selling.)
I’ve also ramped up work on the novel again and should have a shoppable draft ready in a few months. And I wrote a pilot for a thoroughly hypothetical sitcom, which will definitely change television once someone decides to actually make it. (Well, it’ll be funnier than Outsourced, anyway.)
Will all of these things bear fruit? Will any of them? I’m not even concerned about that right now. I’m doing the work, rather than wondering and wallowing in the wasteful space of Should I bother? It’s my belief that notice and success will follow, and the early returns on this belief are good. So while I’m apparently one of the very few people sorry to see 2010 go, I’m looking forward to more awesomeness in 2011.
Everyone who read Scratchbomb this year, commented on it, linked to it, recommended it on Facebook, tweeted about it–I can not thank you enough. You bought low on Scratchbomb, and I hope someday you all get to say you were on board when nobody was here and you can complain about all the newbies that ruined the site.
Onward and upward!