In December of last year, I decided to begin a blog on WordPress titled ‘Take Me to the Perfect World’. It was a project that I pursued as a means of relaying my thoughts and opinions of primarily animated media; as well as just about any work of fiction, to an audience who might be interested in reading them. Inspired by the works of multiple online reviewers and writers whose work I had been following for years beforehand. I have always admired analysis, and so when I decided to finally make my own blog for such content I was initially excited.
The first set of articles that I wrote on this blog was a retrospective of ‘Steven Universe’ in which I would write my own opinions on each individual episode of the series. Now, I do think that those articles did do a serviceable job in what they set out to do, so it is no wonder why they are probably what I am most proud of on this site so far. However, even when I began writing them, some of the issues that I have had in trying to maintain this blog began to arise. While I wrote them, I would often take long breaks in between after really getting into the process as I became a tad bit too energetic and began to lose my train of thought while writing. I imagine I’m certainly not the only person who feels the need to stand up and start pacing around the room right after writing a detailed paragraph or even a mere sentence.
Compared to what I would write however later, many of these “breaks” I would take in between writing which at most would only last a day were nothing compared to what would happen when I tried to diversify the content of the blog. When I had written up to four entries of this retrospective as well as reviews of the latest episodes that had aired, and they were the sole content of my blog, I decided that I needed to make something different so that I didn’t display limited range. The first attempt at this was a written playthrough of ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ which similarly remains unfinished at the time of this writing. It wasn’t exactly a difficult thing to write, as I just made notes of my playthrough and wrote about them in more detail. However, I planned to make an especially elaborate article that I had hoped would push my work over the edge was an analysis exploring the social politics of two anime which aired during the Winter season with comparatively similar themes of discrimination. Here’s a link to that article. As that article mentions, I had decided to write that the moment that I first noticed these particular similarities between the two shows, but it was with this article that I also began to experience troubles.
As you may notice from the dates of my articles, they have a nasty tendency of being weeks or sometimes even months apart. This is partly due to the fact that I was saddled with college work over the time that I wrote them, but it was mainly because, and in the case of this article in particular, I found myself increasingly losing my passion for the article. This was due to a combination of factors, once again college work and other stuff that I was watching distracted me from, but one of the main issues I had was that I didn’t really plan it out well. It was something that I had an idea of how I wanted it to go, to talk about how both Anime handled their similar themes and comparing the two, but as I wrote it, and failed to form a truly cohesive picture of how the two series handled the topic of discrimination.
It also didn’t help that I decided to try and write that article while the two series were still airing. I originally intended to try and publish it before the half-way point of the season to try and recommend them to people before they were finished, but that didn’t work out so well, not least because I was still new to the tools of wordpress and was not very adventurous when it came to the simple task of putting links or proper screenshots in my articles (something which I am actually using this article to try and rectify right now). Around the time that the finishing dates for both series were announced I ultimately decided that I needed to complete the article anyway, and so I rushed to complete it with very little passion for the project left in me. Of course by that point, the article was already fairly dated, as most people were already watching ‘Kobayashi’ by that point that it had expanded on it’s themes. ‘Demi-chan’ meanwhile, unfortunately ended up declining in the second half due to an undermining of its core themes, as described in this excellent piece here. The fact that the comparison between the two series became more divided, and perhaps a topic for a more interesting article exploring how ‘Kobayashi’ succeeded where ‘Demi-Chan’ failed, only served to further make the article appear instantly dated.
The article in the end turned out to be something I wasn’t really proud of, and the stink of desperation for me only permeated when I decided to also publish two not-very-good articles I wrote as a homework assignment for college on my blog, pretty much entirely just because I felt that I needed something to expand my content. It wasn’t there that I really began to feel underwhelmed by my own work, though both of those articles are hardly stuff that I am particularly proud of, even if they did gain me a brief bit more attention on this site than I usually get. The moment that I really knew for sure how weak my analysis was, was when I watched The Art of Anime’s video ‘The Politics of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid’, which illustrated the themes which I attempted to tackle in my analysis with much more proficiency and depth (and the benefit of releasing that video after the series finished, allowing for the themes within the series to develop before making a judgement on them). I had already felt embarrassed about the article beforehand, but comparing it to this video especially illustrated it’s weakness. And it was with this that I decided to write this personal piece to say, I am not a good writer.
Specifically, I am an amateur writer. One who tried to turn what should have simply been a fun hobby into some sort of business whenever I tried to force myself to write. At the time of writing this I haven’t released a new page for the blog for three months, and that was because I ultimately felt like there was nothing new for me to say; nothing interesting enough to compare to the works of other reviewers who write more frequently. A good writer would be able to know exactly what they are going to say before writing, and edit their work so that it can make for an enjoyable experience. My experience as a writer for this blog however has been marred largely through extreme procrastination and an ultimate feeling of forcefulness towards my work. It may not have produced the worst content imaginable, but it was still unsatisfying to me that I couldn’t reap much enjoyment from the activity.
I highly doubt I’m the first person to notice that the act of trying to maintain a blog is extremely difficult. Trying to keep up with self-set deadlines, trying to think of something new to write on a consistent and frequent basis while avoiding the distraction of our daily routines. At least I would like to say that was the reason for my lack of writing over the past few months but the real reason was more out of hesitance; since I did of course have plenty of opportunities to work on something easy and simple, like continuing either my ‘Steven Universe’ or ‘Arkham Asylum’ retrospectives. But I had lost the ambition.
Now, this isn’t some sort of farewell to the blog. I am going to continue writing for the blog, and I will likely continue both of those series at some point, rather I wished to express the difficulties of maintaining a blog when putting oneself under the pressure of commitment. It can often produce results that you didn’t quite desire, and when you wanted to write as an outlet but find the experience frustrating, it eats away at your creative energy.
I didn’t write this to make any sort of statement, or to reach an ultimate conclusion. Rather I wished to explain how my experience with this blog has been marred by my efforts to commit to it.
As for the future of this blog, well I am about to get to work on a particularly ambitious project which simultaneously should be easy enough for me to get through. It’s a list, which might not be the most intellectually stimulating form of presentation but to look to the future we’ve got to get back, back to the past. And with that shoehorned teaser for my next article at the end, I sign off!