To my surprise this is the 5th yearly review I’ve done here. How did this happen? Where did the years ago? Eugh.
Anyway, let’s jump into it. On the writing side, 2019 was rough. My original plan was to write a dozen short stories, but that lasted all of four months before I pivoted to other projects. I also did a lot of submissions, but unfortunately got a lot of rejections back. All those months without any positive news took its toll, and by October I was questioning where I was going with it all. But then I got two acceptances in as many weeks, and out of nowhere I came up with an idea for a new book which I’ve now started plotting.
Amusingly, looking back at my 2018 review I was still going on about OKRs and how long I’d been using that tool for. Well, guess what? Yeah, goodbye OKRs. In fact, 2019 saw a rejection of productivity in general. No more tracking exercise and diet, how time was spent, etc. I’m still using Microsoft To-Do for the essentials but that’s about it.
I always like to summarise my Spotify listening stats, but this year is special because it also included a summary of the last decade. My most listened to artist this year was Idles, followed by Fontaines DC, The LaFontaines, FEVER 333 and Biffy Clyro. Rock, pop, alternative metal and hip hop where my favoured genres. I listened to 11,061 minutes of music, which continues a downwards trend. My artists of the decade were Twin Atlantic, The One Hundred, The LaFontaines, Lonely The Brave and Sunset Sons, which sounds about right.
Now onto books I’ve read and enjoyed. Continuing my interest in anything Jay Kristoff, I read LIFEL1K3 this year. I finally checked out Wool by Hugh Howey as well and am looking forward to finishing the trilogy in 2020. Another highlight of the year was a non-scifi book, Horns by Joe Hill.
When it came to TV there was the end of Game Of Thrones (damn), The Affair (emotional) and Mr. Robot (wow). I finally finished watching The Wire too. I stuck with Walking Dead and have been rewarded with a big improvement in quality. The second season of American Gods was a slog though. Chernobyl was intense. It’s incredible how something so simple as Geiger counter crackle can be used to create such intense moments. I was always a big fan of the His Dark Materials books, so I’m pleased to have a show that does it justice. I’ve also started watching The Boys and I’m thinking it could be a big highlight going into 2020.
As for games, the first half of the year was dominated by Red Dead Redemption 2. As great as the singleplayer was, the multiplayer disappointed. That was 6 months ago though, and if the development of GTA Online is anything to go by, Read Dead Online may be worth revisiting next year. During the rest of 2019 I embraced the free games I got with PS+, specifically Detroit: Become Human, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, God Of War 3 and the first season of Hitman. The best thing about PS+ is that I probably wouldn’t have considered these games normally, but because they’re free I lost nothing by giving them a go (just like Bloodborne last year). A special mention must also go to the highly addictive Cities: Skylines, the first PC game I’ve bought in years.