2006: The year I made contact

At year’s end, I’ve often taken the opportunity to look back over the events that shaped my life in the past spin around the sun. 2006 was a big year for me—easily the biggest since I graduated from college. Life had abruptly shifted direction in 2005, and the subsequent year was about taking that change of momentum and turning it into something productive. So at the risk of waxing self-indulgent, let me just follow through with my New Year’s tradition of recalling the milestone events on a month-by-month basis.

January: Attend Macworld in San Francisco, where I introduce myself to Macworld Editorial Director Jason Snell, who encourages me to apply for a blogging position at MacUser.

February: On the very last day of the month, my blogging career begins with my first post on MacUser, which, unsurprisingly, is also my first professional blog post containing geek references.

March: On the very first day of the month, I have a lovely first date with a charming young woman. We also being our tradition of being approached by random crazy people while on dates, in this case a bizarre woman who asks us not to laugh.

April: I buckle down and finish the first draft of my second novel, The Road West, despite increased time commitments from adding a second blog to my duties.

May: Two of my best friends from college finally get married, almost eight years after they started dating, and I have the honor of acting as best man.

June: My writing career expands somewhat as I contribute to Playlist’s Gear Guide.

July: Ten months after moving out of my apartment in Cambridge to share quarters with my parents, I manage to scrape together enough to move to a new apartment with Somerville. Thanks, blogging.

August: As I finish my move, I attend the SIGGRAPH conference in Boston and cover it for Macworld. Tony, Jason, Andria and I visit Kai in Seattle and go to PAX, where I learn that I should probably get a media badge if I go again, because it’s so much more convenient. Six months after starting to blog at MacUser, I acquire the title of Co-Editor upon the departure of my colleague Cyrus.

September: I expand my horizons by hosting my first podcast. Eight podcasts later, I’ve produced a podcast in which Derik was almost totally inaudible, accidentally sucked a Penny Arcade podcast into the MacUser feed, and released an episode in which I’d mistakenly deleted the first twenty five minutes of my own voice track. It’s a learning process.

October: My first print piece for Macworld appears in the October issue. Explaining the point of the article to my parents ends up taking longer than writing it.

November: I travel to New York City to cover a preview event for the Consumer Electronics Show and not long after am asked to cover the full 1.7 million square foot, 2700 exhibitor conference for Macworld and Playlist. By myself. I complete NaNoWriMo for the second year running by passing 50,000 words in my third novel (the final in the trilogy).

December: A fairly uneventful month, despite the fact that I’ve spent more than sixteen hours in the car in the last ten days. Christmas, New Year’s, and prepping for CES/Macworld seems to take up a fair amount of time. In an unfortunate event I punch the door to my room and splinter the wood, hopefully learning a lesson in the process.

As I said, it’s been quite a year getting my feet in the world of journalism, but I’m incredibly thankful that I’ve found a job that not only lets me write every single day, but also pays me for it—that’s somehow unbelievable, and if I could tell the me from 2005 that this would be the case, I think he’d probably just slap me in the face—man, he could sure be a dick.

Looking forward to 2007, I’ll be flying to Vegas and San Francisco in the next week, where I’ll spend a no doubt exhausting week covering a pair of large tech conventions, as well as making my debut on stage at Macworld with a live episode of the MacUser Podcast.

I don’t necessarily like making resolutions, per se: if there’s something that needs doing, do it—don’t wait for the arbitrary dividing line. That said, there is something of a clean slate feel to the old January 1st. While I was tempted to make a resolution that I will get some of my fiction published this year, I’ve realized that it’s probably a mistake to resolve to do something so heavily dependent on others (editors, publishers, etc.), so instead I will resolve to get back to at least submitting material to magazines, publishers, and agents, as well as making sure that I continue to write fiction, starting with finishing my third novel. If 2006 was about turning the life-changing events of 2005 into something constructive, than 2007 is about taking the progress made in 2006 and using that as a springboard for the things I want to accomplish with my life.

In general though, my overarching resolution for 2007 is the same one I’ve held for years—the only resolution, in many ways, that I think is worth having: I plan to start being more like the person that I want to be.

I plan to start being more like the person that I want to be.
You can do it Dan!