I have a potentially harmful addiction to anime blogging. High as it gets me, it seems to be metaphorically killing my brain cells, stunting my growth, and making me a failure at life, not unlike your garden-variety street drug would do.
Tonight, I watched the excellent cult-classic drug film Trainspotting – a tale that while depicting all of the negatives inherent in heroin abuse, was not about them. As Roger Ebert excellently puts it,
`Trainspotting” knows that truth in its very bones. The movie has been attacked as pro-drug and defended as anti-drug, but actually it is simply pragmatic. It knows that addiction leads to an unmanageable, exhausting, intensely uncomfortable daily routine, and it knows that only two things make it bearable: a supply of the drug of choice, and the understanding of fellow addicts.
I couldn’t help but draw a line from this perspective on drug abuse to my treatment of anime blogging.
In my world, anime blogging has taken precedence over all other pleasures, including the actual consumption of anime. More and more, my ever-presence on the internet has been locked squarely onto the anime blogosphere; always posting, reading, and commenting. Outside the internet, I do shit for fuck, pissing around indoors with friends full of mindless boredom, only occasionally finding ourselves so much energy as to watch a damn movie (And I guess I attend college too, though somewhat in a daze, having yet to really connect the experience with reality.)
This is pretty much a summary of my entire life: school, blog, pissing around, all to no end. I can’t even say that I remember a time before it was like that; only that it has surely gotten worse over time.
A few days ago, I put my blog on ‘a brief hiatus’ in hopes of consuming as many anime and movies as possible before going back. I felt as though the need to blog every little inane thing regardless of the audience’s ability to care was bogging me down, and I needed a break. But while I did watch a good 12+ hours in 5 days, every fucking day I wanted to blog more and more. It doesn’t help either that I’ve lately been hugely inspired to finish writing my first film or even just write something – but never managing to progress. Whenever I see the long, long road to finishing all the shows I want to or writing the story I want to, I regress. Into blogging.
Blogging is a quick fix. I can write a post in a few hours and then post it for the instant gratification of accomplishment. Even if they fail horribly, all of my posts feel like accomplishments when I write them. It’s a euphoric feeling wherein I have, for once, completed something that I truly wanted to create.
It’s nothing but masturbation (probably why I’m great at that, too!) In the end, most of my posts are not real accomplishments, either in that I don’t like them or my audience doesn’t. In the end, my blog doesn’t make me money, it doesn’t sustain me, and it never satisfies me. All I can think is “I want this blog to become bigger and bigger until it reaches the top – Until it can sustain me.”
But maybe that’s a joke, not unlike a stupid junkie who tries to deal, thinking he can get by on the drug that ails him. An anime blog has ways of being marketable, but they are not many, and seemingly far from my reach. I doubt I’ll be able to make any money from blogging; at least for quite a while.
In the end I need to change my attitude towards my blog so that blogging isn’t my heroin, but my cannabis. I will never stop blogging, because I do love it, but it needs to be a pleasure adorning my sustained happiness, and not a false hope. Otherwise I’ll never move forward.
(And yet here I am!)
(Purposefully dodged the issue of ‘how much can you blame on extreme OCD?’)
(Also I’m still on hiatus :p)
2-D Teleidoscope has considered anime a Cure for Loneliness
I once did a very blunt and honest post on my reasons for blogging in How Do You Blog? You Fight for Blog, You Plug Blog In
I was wondering why you hadn’t written in a while.
There’s a fantastic little doodle-comic (from back when Livejournal was the ‘in’ thing) where a man gets up from his desk and says, “Forget writing in my blog. Let’s go out and live life!” So he goes sailing, star-gazing, hiking through the mountains… And in the last panel, he admits, “I keep thinking this would make a great Livejournal entry.”
rofl, xkcd is made of win. as always, a lot of truth there.
It’s hard to quit cold turkey, but that’s apparently what I did. With intention to return someday, of course… just not now. Wait, maybe now would be good.
Blogging is fun, and has become quite the hobby for me. I’m not enjoying myself as much being a passive consumer of media. What I enjoy most is discussion, and the way We Remember Love allows me to organize discussion around a subject of my choice is very fulfilling.
What you said about the sense of accomplishment about completing a post, regardless of how good it really is, is accurate. Productivity I think positively contributes to self-esteem, and this is indeed something you want more of.
In other news, I’d say that if your blogging gets in the way of your creating–dump the blogging, boy. I’d rather watch something from a film you made than read a blog post you wrote (and I read all of them, no thanks to feedreaders). Creating > writing about something created. At least that’s how I see it.
Plus, I’d get a blog post out of writing about your film! :D
This is of course all true, and my number 1 conviction to avoid blogging. In truth, I am the kind of person who never gets anything done, regardless of gratification, but it’s a thing Ive wanted to change for a long time.
Expect my first movie before too long though. It will be called ‘Little Dreamers’ and it will have a lot to do with all of this.
Nice post, you speak the truth of us all. The Trainspotting metaphor makes me laugh, and then get really somber, because it’s so true.
My sci-fi novel has been sitting on my hard drive untouched for over a month since I started my blog, and I cry a little bit inside every day that I neglect it because I was too busy blogging something.
Still, blogging isn’t necessarily a complete waste of your time. Besides connecting you with a cool and thoughtful group of people, it lets you hone your writing skills and voice as you discuss things that you genuinely enjoy (or love to hate). It’s so much better than writing academic sh*t for college. You could put it on a resume someday if you wanted to apply for an internship with Electronic Gaming Monthly (Bitmob) or Cracked.com or something like that. Provided, you don’t put questionably work-safe anime pictures on your blog, like a certain Jason Miao likes to do.
Surely being part of the aniblogosphere is healthier and more productive than playing WoW or, God help us, Farm Town for six hours a day like my friend does. Don’t feel too bad about it.
But get that ****ing movie done! DO WANT. ;)
Yeah, most of my friends are WOW addicts lol. And yeah, blogging is by no means bad, it’s just bad to be addicted to it.
>>Provided, you don’t put questionably work-safe anime pictures on your blog, like a certain Jason Miao likes to do.
*points to the page labelled ’18+’*
There’s the other approach to addiction: trying to make it give more than it takes. Of course, anime blogging specifically is notoriously hard to monetize, barring all-out efforts like SanCom…
Precisely. I have trouble with even small-scale monetization because I am epic fail at being current.
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This whole blogging vs. watching/consumption dilemma, at one point you’d think you’re over it, and then it’s a whole new cycle again TT__TT I’ve almost always had the feeling of wanting to take a break, but the attachment to the blog is just… gah. And now a new season is coming again… oh boy. Wanting to do so many things, wanting to watch MOAR animes, read MOAR mangas, get into translating again, and hopefully write about them EPIC shows. Oh boy do they clash.