I have always approached life with the idea that I know next to nothing. You see, for me that makes things way more fun. I get to occasionally screw up and not beat myself up about it too bad and when I succeed then it’s a real achievement and I get to celebrate, no matter how small that success may be. Not to mention that assuming you know very little about any given subject is the best way to learn a lot about that subject! People that go into every situation thinking they know everything, usually don’t get much out of it.
At least, that’s my opinion.
All of this being said, I know next to nothing about blogging about anime! So let me tell you all about it!
I still have a lot to learn on the fine art of blogging, or writing in general and my anime knowledge is spotty. I often learn about productions or anime standards from readers and I have given up on being as talented as some of my fellow bloggers as far as the pure art of writing goes. There are some exceptionally skilled writers in our midst. Don’t even get me started about SEO. Because I don’t know the first thing about it, so I can’t start.
But even with all that said, I was way worse when I started. I hardly knew half the weird anime words fans use and I was convinced I would be laughed off the platform as the uneducated noob I was. To this day, I haven’t watched some of the most popular an ubiquitous titles although that list is getting a little shorter. As for blogging, I just goggled wordpress and followed the steps to set up a blog. That was the extent of my research and knowledge on the subject.
I don’t know how much better I have gotten at the actual blogging part of blogging. I mean, I have much less time to devote to my blog now so my writing has suffered a lot from it. I did pick up a lot of general information about anime however so I would now say I’ve gone from noob to novice, even like a senior novice. Not quite an aficionado, but definitely an enthusiast! So that’s a fair trade off I guess.
And posting every day has definitely taught me one thing. It is absolutely possible to write a blog without being an expert of the topic or being that talented an author. I have managed it by following one simple trick. Naming my blog.
I don’t mean my blog name I Drink and Watch Anime, I mean that I give the back end of my blog a name, one that changes all the time. Like Garry or Jen or something. When I sit down to write, I pretend that I’m texting a friend or more precisely that I’m talking to them.
Sometimes, I was just generally thinking about anime and it made me fall down some sort of rabbit hole that I want to share with them. Other times a particular theme or topic hit home and I want to talk about it in specific terms and get all my beliefs and feelings out. Other times I just watched a great series and I want to convince them to watch it. But it’s a tiny low stakes type of post. A friendly conversation.
If I were to set out to write a thesis that would analyze the importance of representation in anime for instance, well I would probably never get that post done. I want to read it and I do have a lot of thoughts on the subject but it’s just too large a scale for me. It would be a long winded project and I would need to really educate myself a lot more on the subject before I could write anything of value. But if I’m just telling my friend Sam about this one show I watched that had a lot of representation and how I liked it and why I think representation is important, well then it’s a completely different story.
That’s just a little bit of banter. It’s not some huge essay or statement. I’m not writing it from a position of authority. And I understand that I could be wrong. It’s really just the barest foundations of what could become a thesis on the subject. The spark of inspiration but not the 99% perspiration that the real thing requires.
I know all of this sounds a little lame and pretty obvious. Write from an authentic voice for a personal audience and don’t get tripped up by overambitious projects. It’s probably the first thing anyone learns when they stat blogging and I bet a lot of people who have never had a blog also know it. But it seems to be something that can be forgotten really easily.
I see bloggers get hung up on trying to craft a perfect posy. On finding the best thing to write about or the most popular so that they can get a million views! I see people get down on themselves because they don’t know how to approach a subject to do it justice or to not offend anyone or just to really give out all the pertinent information. Don’t get me wrong, those are all admirable goals and there are a lot of bloggers that succeed at it. But I wouldn’t.
I don’t have the time, resources or motivation for that sort of thing. I have had some more ambitious post planned out, they’ve been sitting in my drafts folder for years! For me, not knowing everything about anime and not having any professional writing aspiration has been a blessing and probably one of the strongest factors in keeping this blog going for the time that it has.
Do you have any tricks you want to share? I bet it would help a lot of people! Or at lest me…