This is sort of a partner post to my wrap-up of Dicember, since Dicember is basically all you’ve gotten out of me this year. I had a good time with Dicember; I’d rate 2021 as a whole significantly lower. I don’t think I’m in the minority there. Like most of you, life has been messy for the past two years, and shows no sign of clearing up nearly as quickly as I’m sure we’d all like – between baffling displays of human idiocy and selfishness, overwork and burnout at day jobs, frustrations with family who are themselves backed into various corners by life at large, and so on, I’d say we’re all pretty stoked for the end of 2021 and looking at 2022 with a mixture of trepidation and exhaustion.
But I’d like this post to be more than a list of negatives and sore spots. I’d like to look back at some positives and list some aspirations for next year.
In 2021, I can report these positives:
- Created things for 31 straight days! That hasn’t happened in ages.
- Moreover, I managed to make time to do so. I wish I’d managed that earlier in the year. Life nowadays is busy, and messy, but I am always in a better place and state of mind when I can make time to do creative things – it’s just also the easiest thing to jettison. There’s a valuable lesson here I will need to relearn a dozen more times before it sticks.
- I got back on social media, which you’d think is a bummer because social media is often terrible, but it enabled me to catch back up with the absolutely wonderful people I’ve been lucky enough to befriend in this hobby/field. Come join us on Twitter; there truly are so many kind and welcoming and helpful people there!
- My day job, which is demanding and absorbs like 60 hours a week, six days a week, has been very successful this year.
- I released an adventure! An entire PDF. It’s not very fancy, it’s not super deep or “new”, but I made it in a few evenings and I am proud of it.
When I look at the year ahead, I feel a bit apprehensive. I want to lay out grand plans and set big concrete goals for myself – absolutely finish this module or that module which have been in progress for ages, or blog twice a week, or something of that nature. But honestly? A frankly unhelpful and largely self-imposed fear of failing to live up to those goals or letting people down leaves me feeling overwhelmed in advance. So instead, I want to be really realistic about it and try the following in 2022:
- Not go more than a month without checking in. Twitter, Instagram, something. Every month, at least once. Surely I can do that.
- Every year this blog costs money, even if I don’t post to it. So I should probably try to do one thing per month here; that would defray the cost to paying about $29 a month for the privilege. The hell am I doing again? Oh, right. Labor of love.
- Play more games. In 2021 I managed to play… zero. No, really. I’m serious. I played zero. This means there’s nowhere to go but up from here! First thing on the docket is to play the Wrath of the Lich King version of Pandemic that I got my wife for Christmas (pre-ordered it in July!) as she is a board game fan and a Wrath of the Lich King-era WoW fan. I’ll worry about the next one after that. Baby steps.
- Finish one thing. One project. Something I was working on before, maybe, or something new – doesn’t matter. I have a supplement about dogs that’s about 95% done since 2017. I have a medium-sized dungeon module with some neato gimmicks that’s about 75% done since 2018. I have a big city/setting/faction supplement (in the vein of any of Chris Kutalik’s Hill Cantons series of books) which is about 40% done, I’d say, and it’s also been that way since 2018. I am really proud of what’s in each of them, but I am a perfectionist and I have a bad habit of lacking follow-through on creative things like this; I leave video games at 95% complete all the time too. My day jobs never suffer from this fate. I need to harness that and release just one thing. Hopefully sharing those little guarded tidbits spurs me on to do so. Maybe finishing just one thing opens the floodgates to more. Maybe not. But I’ll finish one thing.
So that’s 2021 and 2022 for me, I guess. Mixed bag – anxious, but hopeful, which I guess is what everyone feels. But as long as we keep sharing, spreading positivity and encouraging kindness with each other, and standing up against difficult times together, we’ll be okay.
Exclusive Joesky Tax
I can’t make you read all that without the decency to give you a take-home present. Plus, it’s auspicious to start the new year with gifts!
This map comes care of the wonderful Dyson Logos, with his blessing that I key it. He retains all rights to the original and, frankly, also this keyed one. Support Dyson’s work anywhere you can; he is arguably the preeminent cartographer in our little slice of the world and he’s a damn cool cat besides.
Download The Island Tomb of the Death Matriarch!
(11×8.5″ 300DPI PDF, ~2MB)
As an element of appropriate credit to the artist kind enough to share a design so freely, the featured title graphic for this article is a modification of the 2021/2022 Public Domain Day graphic by Cienkamila, modified under CC-SA 3.0. I would humbly beg forgiveness for my dorky alteration.