“What Keeps You Going?” You Said…

Call me the Hataraki MAN, I guess that’s what I am.

This is a reconstituted version of the vanished reply that I wrote a few days ago and lost. I asked everyone what motivated your continued presence in the blogosphere and what might have changed about your anime viewing habits. First off, thanks for the overwhelming number of insightful replies; it’s gratifying to know that there are so many of you who are dedicated and that we’re a part of this community. As tj han said, blogging really is like having a loud hailer (megaphone) in a festival crowd–sometimes you feel drowned out and like a lone voice, and sometimes you catch everyone’s attention. The feeling of having being listened to is definitely gratifying.

I saw a couple of trends that weren’t mentioned in my original post.

  • Ego. I really should have mentioned this! Those of us who are writers in particular should know this, that it takes a certain amount of gumption to believe that what you say is worthwhile enough to share with others. There’s also the fact that more than any other kind of artist, writers long to be published and get readers. Blogging is certainly one way to feed some of that urge. Plus, it just feels good to have written something you know is good. Especially when it’s validated by others.
  • Boredom/free time. Enjoy it while it lasts. 🙂 Free time and boredom can be luxuries. But this site also started more or less on a whim, in a bout of free time. Once you have to start putting serious time into upkeep and management, though, the prioritizing has to begin.

Some replies to individual commenters:

  • Demian, I have a bad habit of starting shows and not going on with them, at least in terms of writing about them. You can see the “First Impressions” category of our site to see the graveyard of shows I thought I might go on with, but didn’t. I think that’s why I end up watching less rather than more anime; in the long run I tend to only stick to certain kinds of things.
  • tj han, thank you for reminding me that it’s only a phase. 🙂 The numbers have been low lately due the outages, and that was kind of depressing despite the fact that it had a perfectly rational explanation. Writing this is something of a salve, though! And the long term trend is nothing but good…and I need to remind myself of that from time to time.
  • Shadro, don’t worry too much then about your motivations as long as you enjoy it. That’s how this site started too, on a whim because it looked fun. Eventually you’ll get around to categorizing things but in a way the most fun time is when you’re just getting off the ground and it’s just one big sheer unexplainable rush. And keep up those charts. I just might link to them again!
  • omo, as a podcaster, I think what makes that medium work is the banter combined with discussion. Solo podcasts, in my opinion, don’t work so well for this kind of topic unless it’s just a straight review podcast (like Weekly Anime Review) or something more individualized and prepared (like our audio columns). Group podcasts at their best are great not so much for getting info across, but rather to joke and dialogue about a few subjects. The written word, which is where I feel most at home too, is more ideal for getting in depth on one subject.

Once again, thanks to everyone who replied to a post I didn’t think would get quite the level of feedback we got. Let’s hope this post doesn’t get blown away again by the cybergods!

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.

3 thoughts on ““What Keeps You Going?” You Said…

  1. Hah, my first impressions category is similar, though in the end I think it’s best I didn’t follow the majority of shows whose first episodes I watched.

  2. That’s a good point about writers wanting their work to be read. I’m a photographer, and while I do occasionally sell some of my better nature shots, I’m content to have most of them just sit on my wall or hard drive. Of course I like to show them to people, but I’m also just content to view them in my own privacy.

    Writing, on the other hand, seems far more reader oriented – a great story that never gets read is a tragedy indeed. I doubt most writers pen something epic…and then just sit around and read their own work all day.

    Photography, drawing, painting, and the other visual arts are partly capturing something from the world around you, and partly expressing something of yourself through the work. Writing, on the other hand, is for the most part purely drawn out of one’s soul (I’m taking the high road view here). It’s uniquely a creation that comes from you.

    Thus I can be content to view my photographs alone, and fondly remember the amazing places I’ve been and the people I met, whereas the writer I think really yearns for someone else to read his/her thoughts. It perhaps could be considered a kind of validation, as you mentioned.

    Interesting food for thought…

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