What kind of year has it been?

2010 was the year where things got proper friggin’ serious for me.

In January I was a complete nobody writer. You probably hadn’t heard of me. I’d finished a single novel, experimented (largely unsuccessfully) with selling chapbooks of short fiction, done a few small games, and wrote a visual novel in a month for the past three Marches in a row.

Then in February of this year, I figured I’d do that visual novel early and do something else in March. It’d probably get about as much readership as I normally got, which was about a dozen or so people; less, because it was kind of a crazy idea about an obscure part of computing history.

"A few dozen or less" ended up being countless thousands. When that weird obscure project started to get attention, it blew me away. It still does. Digital is forever going to be a defining point in my writing career, the point where everything got serious, and like, holy crap, man.

A lot of people I respect very much said nice things about it. Way too many to name individually, in fact. It’s on the reading list for several university courses. I even got invited to The Next HOPE by the guy whose archives I used for research, to talk about the game! I’ve gotten so much fanmail I’ve had trouble keeping up with it. And the fact that people have said my name in so much as the same sentence as “game of the year” is completely mind-boggling. At some point, completely unbeknown to me, I became an “indie game-maker.”

So that’s nuts.

During the summer, during the lunchbreaks of my office job, I made a fansite for Apocalypse Sentai Skyfighter, a fictional sentai show with the help of two super-talented artists, which I’m pretty god damned proud of.

I also started working on my first commercial project, as well as an RPG I’m really excited about. They’re both still in progress, thus marking the longest I’ve ever worked on a project without abandoning it before.

During a particularly nasty bout of depression, in order to cope with the fact that it had been months since I’d written anything significant that I could show anyone, I made A Single Word in Her Beautiful Calligraphy. Not only did I feel a lot better, but a few people even liked it! Not many. But a few. That’s a few more than I expected.

I got a chance to start studying the Joseon Dynasty in more depth like I’ve wanted to for a while now, by way of poetry.

But above all that, even above the holy-shit-life-changing-new-success and all that, is what didn’t happen this year.

I didn’t suffer a nervous break-down because of the stress of university, no matter how bad things started to get near the end of the last two semesters. I didn’t suffer through any bouts of depression that lasted more than a week. And for the first time in God knows how long, I’ve gone a whole year without having any relationship problems. That means more to me than you might think.

Not only did I survive, but 2010 was great for me. There’s no question that it’s so far been the best year of my life, by absolutely every conceivable metric.

I’m going to declare it right now, though: 2011 is going to be better.