Hello everyone. Glad you can join me. Today I would like to share with you the results of this little experiment I’ve been running. Well it’s more of an accidental experiment since it didn’t start out that way. I guess it would be more accurate to call it an experience. I would like to share the results of my experience!
At the start of the fall anime season I found myself exhausted. Because of work mostly, nothing bad. But this exhaustion was fairly persistent and so in an effort to make my life otherwise as relaxing as possible, I went about trying to weed out anything I considered for lack of a better word “toxic” from my anime experience.
In practice this meant not picking up any new anime to episode review solo (as this can be great fun but also really wear me down), and only adding to my watch list shows I have a genuine interest in, instead of my cluttered let’s give everything a chance approach. In fact I even steeled myself to drop any show, new or old, that didn’t spark my interest in the first five to ten minutes max. A weird type of five second rule to get around my completion problem. It’s only 5 minutes, it’s like I didn’t watch it at all….
As a result I’ve been really into every anime I’ve watched for that past month or two. Ironically I haven’t dropped any but just knowing I have the option make me consider things differently.
I also cleaned up my habits around anime. I resolved to not take more hurtful comments on my blog personally. I don’t get that many to begin with so that’s good. I skip posts I know will get me peeved and refrain from commenting my disagreements. I stopped following a bunch of people on twitter who may be very nice but tend to make inflammatory statements all the time. I’ve avoided participating in any anime debates or even sharing my opinions on them. It’s been a little drama holiday.
And what did I find?
Like I mentioned, I found that I have really been enjoying all the shows I’ve watched lately. Not only because I’m not forcing myself to stick to shows but also because I’m watching them free of the burden of surrounding drama or expectations. I’m really just considering my personal experience since I don’t even know the larger fanbase context of these shows.
I also find that I have been enjoying my blog a bit more as well. It’s just so much more relaxing lately. I’m not anticipating frustrating conversations or pointed comments and tweets. I’m not fretting over the idea that a reader could take my statements the wrong way. My posts are so light and fluffy there’s nothing there to take badly.
The entire experience has been calming and soothing and completely devastating to my inspiration!
Honestly, I have never had this much trouble coming up with post ideas. It’s a good thing I have episode and series reviews to fall back on or else I would have completely run out of material by now!
Sure I occasionally try to discuss whatever the latest drama is and I realized I wouldn’t have access to that as easily but I still thought some of it would reach me eventually. Not to mention that I also post on a lot of other things that have nothing to do with topical arguments. Yet *everything* has dried up. I never quite realized just how much of my ideas came from observing these conversations. Usually it’s not the actual topics themselves that I latch onto but random comments that have nothing to do with the main point. Or else, it’s thinking about what my own position is on some particular issue that leads me down a rabbit hole I can climb back out of with a handful of unrelated thoughts I want to explore.
Mind you, I know I got a lot of inspiration from anime itself. A lot of times I only discover the conversations around an anime or anime issue only after I’ve posted on it and a kind reader let’s me know in the comments. So I’m thinking this new carefree and relaxed attitude may just be too relaxed for my productivity.
Let me tell you, all of this comes as an absolute shock to me. I would never have thought of myself as someone who feeds on conflict but I guess a little bit may be healthy in my particular case. I’m not sure how I feel about that…
I’m not giving up on my toxicity vacation right away though. There are some things I enjoy a lot about it but I do think it’s time I started challenging myself again. It’s about balance. I also think it’s time for me to revisit some of my classic inspiration sources. Reread old comments and make some time for YouTube. Play some video games. I’ve often found that video games remind me of anime and then I look a overlapping thematic or narrative elements.
I’m not going to start feeding trolls any time soon though. That’s how you end up losing a finger.
Let me ask you guys, am I the weird one again? Have you ever experienced something similar? It’s ok if you think I’m nuts, you can tell me.