Fellow Bloggers: What Keeps You Going?

This is me when I start writing sometimes. (No, not the woman part)

Lately I’ve been thinking about how having a growing anime blog and podcast has changed my viewing and even writing habits, and about the motivation for continuing this increasingly time consuming hobby. It’s prompted, in part, by the closure of a few anime blogs, as well as my own recent hiatus, and also by genuine curiosity about how other people keep it up.

Why do I continue to do this? Well, let’s see…

  • I love anime, obviously. Of all kinds, though some kinds more than others. I have not yet become totally jaded in the manner of the movie critic who’s seen too much.
  • I love to write. There’s a rush I get in writing reasonably well, even if it gets few or no comments (though the more, the merrier!). Longer articles, like yesterday’s anime and gender one, put me in a zone where I forget about time and space, a lot like the state I’m in when I’m writing fiction.
  • I love to analyze. Everyone who’s read those long articles can see that. 🙂
  • But I also love to be snarky sarcastic sometimes. People who know me in real life know that in person I’m a lot more subdued, serious, and earnest. This is one of my humor outlets.
  • I feel a responsibility to my readers. This is the most popular and commented-upon blog I’ve ever been a part of (and I’ve been part of several). I love interacting with everyone who comments, not just here but also on your own sites. And I feel like I owe it to you all to write well, do a professional podcast as much as I can, and provide good insights.
  • Most of all, it’s fun. If it wasn’t I’d stop. Simple as that.

How have some of my habits changed since I became a regular anime blogger?

  • I pick up a number of shows and/or episodes primarily for review purposes. I used to just watch things on a whim. Now in the back of my mind I think, “how can I write about this?” for pretty much everything I watch.
  • I have to factor in the time to write a review into whatever time I budget into watching any given anime. In practice this often means I watch fewer anime, but because that also forces me to be picky–better anime.
  • I’ve become totally obsessed with our stats at Google Analytics, probably to the detriment of my mental health. 🙂 I hope I don’t become with those hit counts like I was in high school where my self-esteem was dependent on my report card!

Now I turn the question back to you, dear fellow blogmeisters: since you become bloggers, what keeps you going (or what made you stop, if you have)? Especially for those who keep regular posts and updates–how do you keep doing it without it becoming boring, a job or a routine? And how have your viewing habits changed, and the way you look at anime in general? Would you say similar things to what I said above or emphasize different things?

Note: this is not an insinuating prelude to me dramatically announcing my exit from anime blogging. You can breathe easier now. 🙂 I’m genuinely curious.

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at mike.huang@animediet.net. You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

19 thoughts on “Fellow Bloggers: What Keeps You Going?

  1. Most of my reasons are the same as yours. I love all kinds of anime of course, and I also love to write about my passion and analyze anime. Doing so also gives me some self-satisfaction that anime is much more than most Americans think. I’ve had my anime web site for over 5 years now (but the blog’s only about a year old) and I’ve found that maintaining a web site is not only a good expressive outlet, but since it’s something that’s on the Internet and available to pretty much everyone, it’s a great way to meet people and show them how deep your hobby and interest is; “let them into your world” so to speak. I’m also much better at conveying my thoughts and feelings through writing rather than speaking, so that’s another reason too =)

  2. What keeps me writing? Short answer: caffeine. 😛

    Long answer: I read what other people say and get into discussions with what’s worth watching or, in the case of editorials, I just pick up an idea which snowballs in my head…often from quite unlikely sources. The next editorial I watched for instance came from a comment made on one of my fansub review posts, plus a House MD viewing marathon!

    As for reviews, I have a number of series in my ‘current’ viewing schedule (not that I keep a set timetable…it sort-of graitates that way) so there’s a bit of a range of shows to suit every timeslot, mood or whatever it is that decides for me at the time. That’s why I do DVDs as well as fansubs, to cover ground that’s not necessarily covered by others right now.

    I’m also addicted to writing and over-analysing. The only times I stopped were when I had no access to the ‘net!

  3. Well I simply love sharing what I know with others. And its a great way to get to know friends who have similar interests as well.

  4. What keeps me going…

    Well simply my love for anime and writing. There’s also my love to make people laugh with my way with words.

    In the end though it all adds up along with just wanting to share my thoughts with as many people as possible whether they reply or not.

  5. You much much summed up my reasons to blog, and continue with it. I also tend to be pretty nit picky about shows I blog, as I mainly blog shows I have an interest in, and that I know that I will blog till the show has fhinished. In the end it comes down to mw wanting to share what I can offer to others.

  6. I’m egotistical, so I love the thought of people reading what I write and enjoying it. Discussions with fellow bloggers and commenters is also always great, as we all seem to have such diverse ideas on the same subjects. And I’ve too fallen into the “how can I blog this” mode of thought while watching anime, which has sometimes caused me to delay watching things for way too long. I probably watch more anime now, though, since I hear about more of the good stuff.

  7. It’s just a phase. The stats part. You’ll soon outgrow it and stop checking every single minute.

    Blogging is like having a loudhailer in your hand amidst the crowd at a festival. Why would you not want carry a loud hailer, it’s just a bit heavier.

  8. I never have an answer for this, could be because I fail; but no I have never really thought about it. I mean I started with hey I have time I’m gonna start a blog. So then it kinda just went from there. Though I like to believe that I enjoy shoving my opinion in front of peoples face. That and I guess I can work on my writing for I fail at it. Then if anything changed really I would say after my film and lit class has thrown in a new look to things if anything. I haven’t really changed how I watch expect taking screen shots. I just type…whatever and hope it somehow makes sense. Whatever works; I’ve come to the conclusion that my stats suck and will continue like that; but hey I get to type stuff that makes no sense and people may read it so all is awesome in the end. I don’t really think about the whole how do I write about this because I just write about it. Though then again I’m still new and stupid *shrugs* oh, and the one thing I have learned, graphs and charts will = page views

  9. The belief that I have something useful/informative to say about anime, or that I can vent/rant/rave whenever I want about anime keeps me going strong. It’s only be 6 months for me though. 😛

  10. I have to agree on Tj_han, that the blog is like a loudhailer to voice out your views to the world (well, at least to the small % of people who bother to read anime blogs in the first place).

    I have to admit that my drive to write these days on THAT Anime blog has been diminished with real life and the likes owning my total a**. I mean, with work, research, girlfriend, gaming and other personal issues factored in the time management scheme, it is getting harder now to spend some quality time to write a review.

    I guess the biggest drive for me to go on is perhaps my responsibility to the readers. Many people have a problem with writing a lot, and hopes to hear a slightly intensive view on the episode they have watched. They also want to know the little things and thoughts that they might not have noted as well. That is where a blog can bring in the viewers and bring about a social network of information and discussion of a series.

    That is beautiful in itself. Good enough for me to continue writing.

  11. What keeps me going–I have fewer things better to do with my free time? My blogging activity is actually a good indicator on how busy I am.

    But I think somewhere deep inside me I have this feeling that I can totally kick ass and chew bubblegum while writing about anime and do so by writing about anime. I just have to actually do it. In some ways my blog is a constant struggle between a variety of motivations, forces, feeling, and the practical reality of it all in order to achieve it. On the flip side I fear the moment I achieve this goal, I will simply stop.

    Personally I find blogging a little way too one-sided for actually analyzing anime. The preferred environment for me is a web forum or a mailing list.

    Which is sort of why I don’t listen to podcasts and don’t really get why it’s such the rage today.

  12. What keeps me going is the readers who actually read my blog. Though being hit with the daily grind it’s becoming harder to actually write something up let alone being able to catch up on the regular series. Before getting a job, I watched nearly most of the series that come out for the season, in fact, I still do, but the amount of time to watch versus the time to write soemthing? I’ rather the former.

    One other thing is the figure photography that I do. Photography for me is a hobby, much like anime, so I like to share with others the things that I buy and the photos that I take.

  13. Put simply, because I’m too opinionated to pass up an opportunity to inflict my thoughts on others. I have scaled back blogging lately due to reduced time and the feeling that the parody side of things will become unfunny if I overdo it, but it’ll always be there as an outlet for my love of that loudhailer that tj mentioned.

  14. When I started out blogging, I think I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Now that I’ve done that, I’m more or less driven by a sense of fabricated responsibility to my readers; basically, I start nagging at myself if I go 3 or 4 days without writing because I know people are checking my blog for fresh content. To that end, I guess I derive a lot enjoyment in the immediate aftermath of making a new post; pressing the publish button and receiving that first comment makes the effort seem worthwhile.

  15. Terrific comments, everyone. Rather than respond to everyone, I’ll come up with a follow-up post tonight to respond to general trends I see here, after I finish grading more homeworks. :-p I like the loudhailer (we call them megaphones here) analogy.

  16. I once had a dream and Shana told me that if I blog enough she will give me a cookie!

    Seriously though, I guess I just waste too much time on the PC doing nothing at all, so blogging is a way to make use of that time.

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