As both my personal and professional lives became not just busier, but also more complex, my writing output — and my readership and reach — has declined.
However, I do feel like almost everything I do publish these days is worthy of being clicked on and read. I couldn’t always honestly say that. Still, some things are better than others so I’ve collected the best things I wrote this year — a tradition that dates all the way back to 2015. It’s like my own personal literary version of Spotify Wrapped.
So please take a look below and, if something strikes you as interesting, please give it a click.
- We had been so careful but our time came when our daughter caught COVID-19 at school and brought it home a week before Christmas. It didn’t go the way we planned, but we made the best of it, especially after we all tested positive and could be together again.
- One of the most annoying things with sharing your opinion online is that someone will inevitably tell you that you’re wrong. Even if you say, “I like this for myself,” a person will jump into the comments to explain to you why your personal opinion and connection to something is wrong. It bothered me so much that I decided to outline the difference between “favorite” and “best.”
- Perspective is something with which I’ve long struggled. I realize and appreciate what I have, but I’m constantly having to stop myself from comparing to others or focusing on what I don’t have. This is not the first — or last — time I’ll write something publicly that is really a note to myself.
- Much like perspective, I often struggle with imposter syndrome. In the piece, I reference a Tina Fey quote about it, where it makes you vacillate between incredibly egomania and feeling like an absolute fraud. From speaking to people, it feels like many of us experience this at least occasionally.
- I’ve been contemplating cutting back on social media for years now. It was always going to be Facebook, but I kept that more for family and photos — I never post there anymore anyway. But, for a time, Twitter was my go-to. It was my favorite social media site and I would say I was addicted to it about ten years ago. Since then, it’s been a slow, steady decline. It’s not fun anymore; in fact, it’s toxic. Also, it used to be the place where my writing was found and shared and that stopped happening in recent years. Add to it the new ownership and I thought it was the perfect time to finally jump off the blue bird ride.
- It is my contention that Chuck Klosterman influenced every music and pop culture site on the internet. The things you read online — they way they are structured, presented, and dissected — can be traced back to him, particularly his breakout hit, Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs. As a longtime Klosterman fan, I ranked all of his books and he not only read the ranking, but had thoughts on whether or not I was right.
- I hate fireworks. I know this makes me un-American and an evil person, but even as a child I never understood the appeal, particularly considering how much work it takes to see them. They’re extremely overrated, so I finally wrote about it and the reaction was mixed, but both sides were adamant in their views.
- I am an Adam Pally superfan. I’ll admit that I was late — my love began in late January, 2015, when he hosted the greatest hour of TV in human history, but I’ve done my homework since then. Happy Endings was a treasure and his appearance in Iron Man 3 was a wonderful surprise. I wrote a tribute to him and he was nice enough to respond.
- Kurupt is one of my favorite artists ever. If I had to name my top ten favorite rappers, he would certainly be on the list. I also think that while other artists realize his greatness, there are segments of the larger public that do not, so I wanted to shine a bit of a spotlight on him, his skill, and his career.
- 2Pac. The Notorious B.I.G. Beastie Boys. A Tribe Called Quest. There are so many musicians that I love that I never saw perform live and, sadly, will never be able to. A few years ago, I vowed to myself that I would see my favorites if given the chance because who knows if I’ll get the opportunity again? So, when I snagged front row seats to see my second favorite group, The LOX, along with State Property, I knew I had to write about it…even if the show started three hours late.
- I’ll be honest: this did not take off the way I thought it would. I love Griselda and I’ve been wanting to write about the artists and the label in a unique way that hadn’t been done before, so I put together a list of lessons learned. I wasn’t expecting it to get a million views, but I thought it may get some traction, particularly considering how rabid their fans are. I was wrong. So be it. I still think it’s an interesting piece.
- If you know anything about me, chances are that you know that I’m a Wu-Tang Clan superfan. With that said, I also try to be objective, so when the group’s founder and de facto leader, RZA, released a new album this year, I dove into why his solo career did not pan out the way so many of us expected (and hoped). I got some hate for this, but I think I was pretty fair with my analysis on this one.
- My first writing gig was for a Maryland-based site that was named I Hate JJ Redick. It was a fun, tongue-in-cheek name, but if you know anything about the Duke-Maryland rivalry of the early 2000s, you know it was also full of hatred. The past fifteen years have proven that while Redick was despised in college, he’s actually very cool and, more importantly, is a great podcast host and TV analyst.
- Another of the few sports-related piece I wrote this year was a very long, heavily researched essay on the top two choices in the NBA Draft, and how they very rarely turn out to be the two best players. I went back to 1960 and found five instances where the top two picks would have remained the top two if you could redraft everyone after their careers ended. It’s a cautionary tale for teams this year with such a clear consensus on the two best prospects.
There it is. Another year in the books. Thank you, as always, for reading, commenting, and sharing.
See you in 2023!
Christopher Pierznik is the worst-selling author of nine books. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Fatherly, Hip Hop Golden Age, and many more. Connect on Facebook or get in touch at CPierznik99@gmail.com.