I had come upon this idea, as you can probably observe just by looking at the dates of these posts, sometime in August. Having just gotten out of a summer job and twiddling my thumbs for the next academic quarter, I started downloading as much anime as possible before the rigor of school inhibited my opportunities. During this time, too, amidst the anime watching and the aniblog stalking, the need to write also cropped up. I figured, since writing seemed like a way to blow off steam and the anisphere seemed to be a nice enough crowd to mingle with, starting up a blog would not be much of a problem at all. I find it kind of funny how covertly yet severely I lied to myself that day.
The first problem was that I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with an aniblog. Am I interested in doing episodics or editorials? What’s going to be my unique take on anime? What’s my online persona going to end up being like, and will I not end up hating myself for it? In order to shape my opinion and expand my horizons, I browsed through as many blogs as possible, running into some fellow up-and-coming blogs along the way. I ate up as much material as possible, commenting at times, privately bookmarking them at others. Within the span of a day or two, I had amassed a good-enough pool of resources to refer to if I ever need some sort of inspiration to write. When I think about it now, that was probably a trap. Perusing for high-quality material only served to feed my indecision, to the point where I think I secretly prescribed to Fukitol in large doses behind my own back. It was intimidating, seeing all these people who could write often, and, more frequently than not, write consistently well at great volume. I have no idea how you people can go on for more than one thousand words. Eventually, after a week of this, after tinkering with some themes and images, I had made my first post.
Yet, I chose to keep the site private, visible to me only. There’s some reasoning behind this that I’m expounding upon now. The more I looked at other blogs, the more I wondered exactly where they found the time to write so much. I worried. You might witness this in real-time with me, but one of my most shameful talents is to put off things for weeks, months, half-years, years before I finally start doing something about them. A lot of personal issues have suffered because of it, and I won’t really go into the details because that’s kind of personal, but suffice to say my style of doing work is waiting to the very last minute. An A-prus procrastinator, to put it that way. Knowing this little detail about myself, the first ideal for this blog sprouted a couple days after the first post.
I thought, if I treated this as a chore, that it could help me fall into a workable schedule. That was the key thing when I first started this blog: scheduling. If I forced myself to write about what I liked, then I could eventually become comfortable with it. To pull this off, I decided to do an episodic series on an anime that was already completed, one which I already had some stray thoughts and ambitions: that would be Xam’d: Lost Memories if you haven’t bothered to read the rest of this blog yet. I figured that an anime I was familiar with would come easier to the mind and make the writing experience more enjoyable on my part. Two mistakes on my part made this a slight failure. One, there was no one to motivate me but myself, and going off of past experience I’m kind of terrible at motivating myself. Two, my expectations were too high for the quality I wanted from my posts. Of course, the actual quality of said posts is debatable, but I put my fair share of effort into making them. Writing, as I’ve said earlier, doesn’t come easy for me.
What exactly do I mean by this project being a bit of a failure? Well, the expectation was that I have a new post each week, and that I could possibly finish the entire anime episodic series by the end of the year. If I could pull that off, maybe I was aniblogger material after all and I wouldn’t feel inadequate about making something that could have gathered dust in my neglect. I even resolved to delete this blog if I couldn’t meed this standard. Sometime in October was when I lowered my expectations to just having the series done up to episode 14, and have the blog opened in time to participate in 12 Days of Anime openly with the rest of the anisphere. As you can see, I’ll probably find myself in late 2013 when I am finally finished with this foolish wager of mine. I worried more. I fretted incessantly.
Fast-forward to sometime a few days ago, maybe today as well. For you people suffering like I am right now, it’s close to finals week. Right in the midst of studying furiously for them and trying to maintain adequate sleep hours, I came to the conclusion that I was not going to finish the first half of the episodics by the 14th of December, minimum, and by that note not even the 1st of January. It became quite clear that I went into this whole blogging business with some misguidance on my own part.
Maybe I’ve been doing this all wrong.
What was I writing for to justify holing myself in my private password-protected blog, where no eyes other than my own can judge? Was it to voice my opinions in my own fashion? Of whose approval did I seek solace in other than my own? The primary purpose I manufactured for this blog was to look primarily at completed series and completely ignore the current season. It felt unique at the time, but I slowly understood why people didn’t really go down that route. One was obviously the timeliness factor of having popular posts and massive reader followings, but I also figured that writing about the past required that I step up my writing game proportionately. The effort took up a lot more time than I expected, something I should have known going into this, honestly. And now, with everything closing in, perhaps it was time to think differently.
So I thought about my life, my privileged, sheltered, anime-obsessed college life. Thinking about it, anime dominates a majority of my life nowadays, and I’ve quickly and regrettably become out of touch with society. Perhaps my own take on the American social outcast. Its relevance to my life is strangely existent yet laughable, a phenomenon where the very nature of my interests is so unsharable in popular culture that it’s taken a toll on my social expertise.Why did it have to be so hard to find people who were interested in the same anime you were, much less people interested in anime at all?
Yes, that’s what I want. My opinions on anime are something I’m trying to share, not showcase. I’ll become good enough at the pretentious writing to effectively showcase anime someday, but that time is not now. The danger of setting expectations too high is the creeping anxiety that there’s always something better out in the anisphere more eloquently written and more relevant than what I tried to do. My pursuit at quality and uniqueness got caught up in such meaninglessness and, quite unsurprisingly, got stuck in a rut.
The ultimate thing to come out of this realization, an epiphany that happened, no kidding, during a bus ride back home earlier today, is that I have new ideas for this blog besides just the episodics and the older series. This blog is going to end up a bit more personal, perhaps with more feelings attached. With exactly what, I can’t tell just yet. I’ll have posts and ramblings that come just as strongly from the heart as it does the head. Hopefully, anyway.
Anyway, beside the point, I’m opening this blog now. Releasing the hounds. And it is going to be absolutely terrifying.