2009 started on a bus near Kennington, and ended on a hill in Burgess Park. In January, I was living in Peckham with the Finnish Girl, and by December I was living on my own in Walworth, stressing over the second essay for my MA course in History of Film and Visual Media. It was a year defined by small victories and slight progress - less about paradigm shifts and more about getting to grips with constant, consistent writing and adjusting to the feel of London streets under my feet. Working hard, maintaining composure, and laying groundwork that will hopefully make for a better year in 2010.
I blogged less, but wrote plenty of pieces, primarily for web-based outlets like Den of Geek, Screenjabber and Film & Festivals, with one-off articles for Tiny Mix Tapes, Gamer Bytes, NowGamer.com and Comics Bulletin. That said, there was a handful of Wild Tyme pieces that caught some attention, such as 'Nature and Nurture: Okami and Practicing Shintoism', 'Comics, Continuity and Canon: Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison's Batmen', 'Watchmen on the Thames' and 'Bob Dylan 1966 European Tour: National Portrait Gallery, London' (with the last in particular passing the 2000 hit mark).
Most of my writing activity was published in places other than the blog. For Den of Geek in particular, I wrote over 80 articles, including reviews, features, previews and interviews. Highlights for me have included interviewing Neil Gaiman, and latterly attempting to introduce the Den of Geek readership to the delights to be found in the indie comics scene (trying to 'give something back' to those wonderful people), through my (slightly ambitious) coverage of the MCM Expo. I like to think that it's improved my work ethic, bolstered my confidence and helped me to develop my writing style towards something more workable in a wider professional context.
Speaking of which, I had a few articles that made me proud not just because they came out well, but because of where they were published. First, there was a rocky, stressful birth for my 'Classics Live Again: The Art of Downloadable Remakes' feature, which required a lot of preparation and interviewing, and turned out to be quite chunky and heavy; initially dropped, I was thrilled when it was picked up by Gamasutra, a site I completely respect. Likewise, my work appeared in print twice in Micro Mart, with two list-based features that picked out PC games that require your attention. This is a good start; I need to capitalise, consolidate and expand. Since starting my MA at the beginning of October, I have taken on more Den of Geek work, and found less time for branching out. That will be 2010's goal. More writing, more published work, more creativity. More, more, and more.
As you can tell, I'm a complete bore of late. That will be rectified, too. I've already written about the films that made my year, but in 2010 I want to get back into writing about the things I enjoy outside of work. This year I've spoken less about the music, comics, and video games that have made my life bearable. I have posted about a few, such as Solipsistic Pop, but it's not enough - too much has been left out. Life-aids like the warmly-moody tones of The XX, the chillax vibe of PixelJunk Shooter and the this-needs-to-be-read-more brilliance of Chloe Noonan; or the poetic minimalism of Today I Die, the bold, surprising, Actually Interesting Music of St. Vincent's Actor, and the obscenely impressive nail-on-head madness of Phonogram. Or Tegan and Sara. Or Scott Pilgrim. Or Captain Forever. Or this, or that, or the other. All in good time. Bear with me.
As always, thank you for reading. I wish you all the best for 2010.
Mike, listening to moody disco, South London.