Do you guys remember when I told you about my creative cycle? For me inspiration is like the tide. It ebbs and flows, it’s a little frothy and sometimes there are gross things in it…. Well I’m in one of those dry ruts. Work has been exceptionally busy lately so I haven’t had the time to sit down and brainstorm***, plus it’s taken up a lot of my brain space. As a result, I’m getting dangerously close to being out of ideas! This is a daunting thought but I’m a trooper. I just pick myself up by my bootstraps and remind myself that having nothing to say has never stopped me from talking! Yeah yeah…it’s one of *those* posts.

So I’m going to inspire myself by telling you where I get my inspiration!!!

I wanted Mii-kun with a knife on my blog, somewhere…

First, a time honoured classic, we’ve all cited this one… For real though, I am extremely lucky and forever grateful that I have readers who actively interact with me and my blog. I can say with confidence that my comments section has been my most frequent and consistent source of post ideas. Little bits of fascinating conversations bring up larger points for me to discuss in posts. Frequently asked questions prompt me to seek out answers I can share here. Sometimes you even just freely give me post ideas because I can only assume you are the very best! I know interacting with others through your blog can seem time consuming to some but man is it ever worth it.

You’ve all heard this one before, though. I get it. *I mean it’s still true but whatever..* Here are some other places you can turn to. Now obviously, these won’t all necessarily work for you, but you may find something of use!

Scientific articles. I know it sounds weird but articles that popularize science (think Nature, Scientific American or NEJM) often tap into current social preoccupation in  order to frame and contextualize the research and solutions the articles propose. They will make research papers more palatable by identifying a problem and offering up a potential solution. I will often see similar issues being addressed in anime (or through anime) and it gives me a jumping off point to speculate. For instance, a thesis in Psychology today on altering synaptic patterns through environmental stimuli, without the use of chemical that is, gave me the idea of writing about anime (and fiction in general) as a form of therapy.

Manga therapy
short version: me; anime

Writing or literature textbooks. The art of constructing a story is complex and very involved. However, there are some basic tricks and “rules” (flexible ones) that make it at least possible to see the foundations. School books explaining how to write or analyze novels and plays help me figure out the basic elements under all the colours and artifice. This becomes very useful to me when trying to figure out why I like a certain character and am indifferent to another or what the underlying themes of a show are. Systematically breaking down anime isn’t for me but being able to take apart narratives just a little so I can get a closer look at the moving parts is an interesting exercise that I enjoy sharing with you! I try to put it to good use in my reviews.

The basics of writing also come in handy an a practical standpoint when it comes to writing the posts themselves. As someone who has never studied English in school or literature of any language, I have pretty much everything to learn. So I come to the blogging experience from a particular point of view. Sharing or just discussing the technical aspect of writing posts is one of my favorite things.

TV tropes and Know Your Memes. Two paragons of time wasting websites, I have lost many an afternoon wandering around the bottomless rabbit hole that is TV tropes. I don’t regret it one bit. It may not be readily obvious but tropes and memes fascinate me. As a social construct, they hold so much information. How any particular stereotype came to be and how it’s still used. The narrative implications and assumptions about the audience to which they are directed. All of this gives us a glimpse into how we see ourselves and each other. And I can’t get enough. I latch onto these whenever one happens to catch my eye and usually can’t stop myself from sharing it with all of you. Not that many of you share this peculiar interest but you try to humour me, and that means a lot.

I said try…

YouTube or more specifically media analysis videos. Channels like the Game/Movie theorist or Folding Ideas. These go into details, themes and explanations of fictional universes with genuine glee and interest. More than once I’ve listened to these types of videos and answered back to my laptop that it’s like in this anime or that concept reminds me of this show. Anime fans should also consider this… Because the format is already an analysis of modern media, seeing how it can apply to my particular niche is easy.



Duh!!! Ok so obviously watching anime is a good idea when you want to talk about anime. However you don’t have to stick to the usual reviews or pseudo academic essays. Certainly you’ve seen me stray far and wide in my own post form meanderings on the subject. I’m not sure how many of you have had the pleasure to know D’s blog. They use to have a great anime themed FMK recurring feature. You can still read the archived ones here. I had so much fun with these. Point is, with a bit of creativity, just about anything that goes through your mind as your watching a show can become a post. And sure, the Big Important subjects are great but we love a good bit of silly fun once in a while too.

Finally, and this one is at your own risk: Twitter. As I’ve mentioned before, it can be a double edged sword. But Twitter is a bit like eavesdropping on a billion conversations at once. Conversations that are totally public and often between strangers but still. If you have the patience for it, it can give you a good idea of what anime fans are interested in at the moment. (As I write this it’s apparently Bowsette … I will not do a post on it). I can’t say I have found many ideas there but once in a while, it did bring up some interesting points.

Of course these are just my sources. I’m sure you all have your own muses that are suited to your style. I bet those essayists out there attend lectures and sit in on doctoral defences. If you feel like it, share your own tricks with us. You can never have too many inspired anime posts out there!

***I’m out of my rut now! the post worked!

anime cheer
you guys are too nice!

73 thoughts

  1. First time reader (and blogger) here; I read a couple of your posts and I really like your style! For the record, I’ll say that having a background in literature can be a blessing or a curse when you’re looking for blogging inspiration: obviously blog posts aren’t meant to look like academic essays, so sometimes it feels like you have to force yourself to go against the grain of what you’ve been taught.

  2. It is so hard to come up with post sometimes and my posting is erratic as always. I admire that you are able to put out content everyday and that is awesome.
    If you are ever lacking ideas you know that colab post about abs is always out there! 😉

  3. The pull of TV Tropes is…too powerful…I wouldn’t say it inspires my blogging, but it does allow me to take in alternative viewpoints on media I’m familiar with.

    The blog schedule serves me well – sometimes I can be backlogged up to about a month in advance, so I can just chill for a while.

    Broadly speaking, my inspirations are other bloggers, paid/”professional” anime reviewers (which has some overlap with the previous category, since some have a home on WordPress), non-fiction stuff about anime/manga/its related topics (mostly for anime studio posts) and what I’ve learnt about the Japanese language/other subjects (which may or may not have some overlap with the previous category), although I do also have some posts which talk about my days with anime clubs I’ve been in and related experiences.

    I don’t watch video analyses of anime/manga much, don’t pay much attention to anime podcasts and don’t watch fandom activity on Twitter much. I’ve noticed those are some of the biggest chasms between me and other bloggers.

    1. You think? I’m even more out of touch. But it’s good to have people coming at it with different reference points.

  4. That final picture inspired me to ask the question why so many anime characters express happiness with (a) an open mouth, and (b) with closed eyes. I’d look pretty stupid, if I were to try that.

  5. TV Tropes – a bottomless pit with a black hole at the bottom from which you can never escape. It is what Nietzsche was talking about when he was fretting about staring into the abyss. It’s a trap that seduces you into clicking link after link until you are worse off than Theseus in the Labyrinth.

    I never have a shortage of blogging inspiration but I always have a shortage of time to do it. I like to read every post that I hit like on. That’s time consuming. Then there is the conflict between watching anime and blogging about it. Never managed to do that simultaneously. (I have a very tiny brain. I have to watch twice to blog once.) There’s the new job as a sub, occasionally talk to my wife, occasionally try to go on a hike, doing the household chores and caring for the pets, watching weather channel disaster shows. Voting every couple of years. 10 hours of sleep a night.

    These all conflict with blogging time. But they surely give me things to blog about.

    1. You have such a wide variety of posts. That must be something to juggle. In a way it gives you options but I would be overwhelmed I think

      1. Sometimes I’ll cheat. I’ll do a review of something I saw years ago. Only need to rewatch it once to grab screen shots. Other times I’ll do some dissertation (spiders, snakes, politics, all very similar topics except I have no love for the politicians ) on a different site or for a different purpose and then all I have to do is copy, paste and find a few pictures.

        I have a nasty habit of posts more than 2K words long, especially my “editorial” and “biographical” posts. Probably detracts from my readership. TLDR? Too bad, don’t care.

        Slice of life is easiest. I just write what happened and how I felt. A few hundred words, a couple illustrations and in 15 minutes I am done.

        My favorite posts are hikes. Get to relive the feelings. A decent hike takes all day and then the post takes almost as long to craft. Some require a huge amount of time in Corel to edit and optimize pix.

        And of course I waste huge amounts of time reading dozens of people I follow and responding. Glad I am retired. (Would still trade it for a few decades less in age.)

  6. One of the reasons I like writing articles and blogging is that due to the feeling of accomplishment I get when I hit “publish”! This, and also because writing is sort of like a stress reliever for me. Putting down everything in my mind on paper (more like the internet :P), really helps to lighten up and relax.

    Another thing, I just love seeing from which countries I am getting views (ありがとう WordPress stats).

  7. Lol…well…I think my biggest problem is that I just have way too many hobbies 😂😂 As such I already have way too much inspiration 😊😊 But that said, I could always use more, so these were some good tips/advice. I did just see Wooderon’s comment, and that is definitely something that I think we have all struggled with (myself included). It’s one of the main reasons why I have a limit on the number of blogs that I follow and as much as I love commenting (duhhhh) I just can’t comment on everything/follow everyone 😊
    (even though one can try lol 😂).
    Speaking of twitter: did you miss my Steins ;Gate tweets from yesterday/today?😊
    Oh…where are my manners by the way: great post 😊😊

  8. Hahahaha yes comments can be inspirationals! memes too as you are given a topic and you ramble about. Sometimes you can derive other posts or delve further.

        1. No you don’t. You are still young and vital and have a long life to look forward too.

          Take pleasure in every moment of existence now. Fifty years from now you will not wish you’d made more money, spent more times in meetings, attended more therapy, had a bigger house or blogged more. You’ll wish you’d done more things before you kicked the bucket list.

          Tough to get people to treasure that which they hardly notice and take for granted. Stuff like joints, vision, smooth skin, having hair that isn’t grey. (Hell, having any hair where you want it and not all of it where you don’t.) Body fat that isn’t all redistributed to your belly and wrinkled thin skin that doesn’t bruise just by looking at it. Being able to look at a beautiful young person and wanting to crush them in your passionate embrace without feeling guilty for being a dirty “old” parson. (Or looked at like a bad joke if you tried.)

          Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

            1. … Irina… Just because you HAPPENED to see me out at the same bar as you in the middle of the afternoon DOES NOT mean that I was “day drinking”… Whatever THAT is… 🤔😅🍻

  9. Since I have a schedule for what I post on my blog, I know I will never run out of idea for Monday and Tuesday post, Wednesday either since this day is reserved for anime characters. It’s only really the Friday that cause me some trouble since I mainly post about kpop on that day.
    Unless I pretend that I can review album I know I will eventually have to look to find some idea.

    1. My format of throwing up on a page whatever stray thought I have usually serves me well but soemtimes I have no thoughts….

  10. I’m in the same boat. Although I’m not short of ideas, just motivation. I really got into a good rhythm for the first 10 months of this year, then I just hit a wall and can hardly find the drive to get something up once a week let alone the three goal I had set for myself.

    I have a lot on my plate in real life, new job, buying my first home etc. But the main thing that’s just made it difficult for me to find motivation is I feel like I’m just shouting into a void.

    I am getting more hits, but hardly anyone is commenting or liking anything I write. The more people I do follow on here as I try and get more involved in the community, the more I’m seeing them having 10-30 likes on every post and a handful of comments. I don’t think I’ve had that many in the almost year I’ve been trying to blog seriously.

    I always tell myself I’m not doing it for attention or fame, but a lack of any real feedback, acknowledgement or communication of a community of any kind is making it difficult for me to find the drive to go on.

    I put so much of myself and my time into a lot of my posts and am never even sure anybody is reading them. It’s frustrating.

    Anyway, Sorry for filling your comment section with a personal rant like this, I started writing and it ended up getting deeper than I had anticipated. I do appreciate that you’re one of the people who does like my posts Irina.

    If you don’t want this block of text on your page, feel free to delete it. No hard feelings.

    1. Of course not. Honestly it’s a frustration a lot of bloggers feel. Occasionally myself. I prefectly understand.
      And I know it’s pressure on the other side as well. I’ve seen many extremely engaged bloggers end up following so many blogs and commenting on so many posts that they get overwhelmed and just disappear all together. Finding a balance is tricky and belive me, a lot of people are where you’re at.

    2. LOL! If I were in it for views I’d never do anything but nudie posts. My top ten all time posts are all about being a nudie. The most popular one is over a year old and still tops my current view counts. Second place for current view counts is from May 2017. (I think the search engines like those for some reason.)

      OTOH the ones that get the most likes are slice of life kinds of posts and a few of my better anime posts. As for comments, I consider one or two genuine comments to be a smashing success. I don’t let spam stick around.

      If I weren’t writing primarily for myself, I’d have quit years ago.

      1. It’s the same with me. Things I wrote years ago are still getting more hits on a daily basis than things that are currently relevant.

        It’s not about views though. It’s just about getting any kind of feed back, knowing that the thing I am putting so much of myself into is landing with someone somewhere, it’d feel like the positive lift.
        Writing 18 posts in about a month without a single sign that anyone had actually read what you’ve written. It can be a little demoralising.

        Again though, I have a lot going on at the moment and basically nothing to give me the kick up the arse I desperately need to get me back on my old schedule.

        1. I understand where you’re coming from even though I have been extremely lucky to get active readers which really go a long way to motivate me.
          I probably would not have hung in there without it.

  11. TV Tropes is too powerful. I’ve spent too much time on that page as well and there is so much knowledge in all of that. I also watch a lot of YouTubers and I won’t lie when I say that a lot of my posts are “what if I can make a blog like that in my own way”. All good stuff, Irina 😁.

  12. This is a nice blog idea. Sharing where you got your style and inspiration from is a great idea. I got my inspiration from a Youtuber caller Brandon Tenold and his cult film reviews.

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