Hello, one and all, and welcome to my final posting of 2016! As you can see, we’ve all but made it to the end of the year now, and as such, I thought that it was a good time to reflect on how things have been in 2016 and what I’ve got planned for 2017.The main things that I want to talk about are this site and my books, so I’ll start with an overview of those.
Writing: online and elsewhere
In many ways, this has been a good year for me. As at time of writing, the number hits received by this site has increased by more than 300% from 2015. I don’t expect this level of growth to continue indefinitely, but it’s really cool to see. If I can get any more growth at all in 2017, I’ll be happy with that. There haven’t been any postings that have failed to get a good number of hits, but there have definitely been some favourites. For straight up anime posts, Anime Review: K and Anime Review: Nisekoi – Season 1 have done well, as have the Crunchyroll of the Dice 2016 posts. For general non-anime postings, Comic Review: Dragon Masquerade has grabbed a fair few readers. In terms of my own projects, my books have done well, as did my Rouge Cosplay. By and far though, the most popular overall posting has been my Bi Visibility Day 2016 one. I’m really happy to see that because, while it wasn’t an overly in depth post, it did cover an important issue while still linking it back to the animated medium.
Outside of the site itself, there have also been a few successes. As we came close to the end of the year, my first two books nabbed an increase in sales. Now, I’m not talking about making enough money to retire to Japan here, but there were some consistent figures coming in that, while not massive, have been really heartening to see. That, coupled with the strong reviews I’ve had for WICK and, in particular, CARNIVAL, really pushed me to keep pushing on with the writing. The result of that was a productive 2016 with not only CARNIVAL being released, but the follow-up novella, GIFTS. On top of that, I manged to sell the rights to a children’s dark fantasy/horror novel titled Basille to Black Rose Writing, and a cyberpunk-ish novel called Addict to the LGBTQA focused NineStar Press. Thus far, I’m happy with both press houses, though both have been treating the projects differently. It’s interesting seeing things from this side as opposed to just the self-publishing side.
2017, here we come!
Now, going forward into 2017, I’m planning to take a break through January. The reasons for this are two-fold: First, I don’t want to burn myself out. I plan to keep up a relatively healthy post count, and in order to achieve this, I want to give myself some time to build up one or two pre-set posts and to allow myself some rest. Second, and this is a big one, there’s the job situation. I’ve mentioned briefly before that as of the end of October I am unemployed for the first time in over fourteen years. I’m not dwelling on this, and I don’t want to post too much about it as I’d rather keep this site as primarily positive, but the simple fact is that I need to look for work. I am, of course, already doing so, but having that extra month to focus primarily on that would be useful to me. There will be exceptions to this break though. If something comes up that I feel should come out earlier, such as a cover reveal for Addict or something like that, I’ll post it. There will also be an unboxing or two. I’ll also still be around liking and commenting on things. The main thing though is that regular posting is not planned to resume until February.
As far as content goes, having a mix has been good for me. My main focus is still anime, but I want to continue posting some other bits too. My goal is to have a regular posting schedule so that people know that I’ll have something anime every A, an In Desperate Need Of Love every B, a Way Cool Wednesday every C, and so on. Keeping a decent structure feels right to me in that respect, though there will, again, be exceptions. For example, my unboxings can only come after I receive a box. Any delays there will delay the post itself. That’s OK though. As long as I can get the brunt of my stuff into some sort of order, that’s the main thing.
A Very Alien and Predator Xmas by ryn0saur, click for source
A note on 2016 as a whole
A lot of stuff has happened this year, hasn’t it? Political events across the world have caused quite a stir in so many ways. There have certainly been a lot celebrity deaths too, and a few of those have made me quite sad. Honestly, I cannot recall a single year where I’ve heard more people declare this to be ‘the worst year ever’, and believe me, you hear that a lot every year, especially on social media. Right now though, there are people out there who have genuinely suffered horrific things this year, and for them, 2016 will have been appalling. Was it their worst year ever? Very possibly.
Here’s the thing. Sometimes, really crappy stuff happens and there is no real way not to be dragged down by it. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve had a good life so far, and I’ve been far more fortunate than a lot of people, but I’ve still hit rock bottom more than once over the years. Have I done so this year though? No. Am I sad to see people like David Bowie and Andrew Sachs pass on? Yes. Have things happened in the big wide world that will have long lasting effects on countless people, and in turn have left me dumbfounded and more than a little perturbed? Yes. Is 2016, in my opinion, the worst year ever? No.
Like I said, I’ve seen what rock bottom looks like, and it is not this. There are reasons to smile for me. I’ve seen friends become parents this year. I’ve found countless things to enjoy, whether it be books, comics, films, games or shows. I’ve had fun with people, I’ve had success in things that I’ve worked hard at, and I have been loved. Despite some setbacks this year, I’m still standing and I’m still loving where I’m at. If you honestly feel that 2016 is the worst year ever, then please, look around you. If there truly is nothing redeeming about the year for you, then go right ahead and describe the year as negatively as you want, because you’re exactly where that phrase has most meaning. If there are things that you can find joy in though, no matter how small, then it really doesn’t have to be the worst year ever. And if you can still smile about things but you still think it’s the worst year ever, then that’s a blessing in itself, because it means that you haven’t yet fallen as far as you could.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: It’s OK to feel sad about the death of someone you’ve admired or who has provided you plenty of entertainment over the years. It’s fine to be worried about what’s happening in the world. But don’t give up hope. Mourn loss and remember that the good times are still there in one form or another. Learn about the things that worry you and see if there’s a way to get involved or safeguard yourself. But spare a thought for those who have truly suffered, and those that continue to do so. If you are not among them, then try to help them if you can, but always be thankful that you are not at the bottom of the pit trying to haul yourself up. Smile, because there are good things out there. Smile because you’re still here. Smile, simply because you can. If you can do that, even the worst years don’t have to be that bad.
Stitch and Toothless by TsaoShin, click for source
So, there we have it. This brings 2016 to a close for Matt Doyle Media Dot Com, and I for one am looking forward to an awesome 2017. All that remains is to wish you all a Happy Holidays and a Cool New Year. Thanks for reading everybody, I’ll catch ya later.
BONUS: As a bonus, here’s a link to a list of some of the cool stuff that’s happened during 2016