Usagijen has just made me see something. Her post is long and beautiful and moved me near to tears as I saw something I almost never get to see: a reflection of myself. I think that when a person wants to change their appearance, they first need to look in the mirror. I have often wondered if my beard was okay, if I was too fat, if my hair was funky… but then I see myself in the mirror and, more often than not, I’m pretty happy with the way I look. Usagijen has provided me a thought mirror, and it’s reflective of my thoughts on the grand sport of anime blogging.
I once said that anime blogging was my (questionably) legal drug, because I tended to use it as a retreat. I hated this fact. I love blogging, but I hate that I continue to do it at the expense of other things in life. But I’m missing an important fact there – the fact that, whatever the reason for it may be, I really do want to blog more than anything else!
Somewhere along the line, my blog has become less and less mine, even as I grow to love it more than ever. It’s a case of mistaking one thing for another – It’s like I mistook my rise in success for being the cause of my rise in technique. My posts have been getting better, and my popularity has been rising, but it’s not because my posts are getting better so much as that I’ve changed my subject matter. After all, a lot of really shitty blogs get plenty of readers because they talk about what people want to hear, and I’ve made a lot of great posts that have gone totally unread because no one cared about the subject matter.
What I tried to do was strike a ‘balance.’ I tried to be able to post on some normal things people would want to read, and some things I want to write. And in all cases, I would strive for utmost quality.
Blogging has changed for me since I got more popular, because I started trying to make all of my posts the same it seems. When I realized that more images meant more hits, I started putting as many images as possible into my posts. When I realized that people would be more susceptible to reading a short post, I started shortening my posts. If I did a post on a series and it got next to no hits or replies, I might have stopped posting on it altogether.
Yes, I’ve become a better blogger all-around, and it’s important that I know what people want, but I shouldn’t be forcing myself to do it all the time. You may have noticed that my blog slowed down a lot in the past 2 weeks or so (or you didn’t because I’m so fast anyway) and it’s not for lack of time or lack of post ideas.
It’s because I’ve spent so much thought on what is or isn’t acceptable. There are posts I haven’t made because of how much work I have to put into them (which isn’t a problem in, say, a ‘don’t F this up’ post, but is in an episodic one!). There are posts I haven’t made because I haven’t figures out what the best way to write it for a broader audience is. There are posts I haven’t written because I don’t think anyone will read them.
But then, well, why in the fuck do I have so much fun posting on Suspended Animation Dreams? I started posting there because I wanted a place to make obscure posts that I never thought would get an audience on Fuzakenna. In other words, posts that aren’t written for anyone but myself! And yet, my Soul Eater manga posts on that blog continue to be some of my favorite posts I’ve ever done. They are long and winding and brilliant because I am not thinking about what a reader will like, but about what I want to say.
When did I get away from that here? Did I really sell out? Have I only been convincing myself for a while now that I didn’t really sell out because I wanted to justify it? Did I get that addicted to the idea of popularity?
Popularity has gotten me something, that is true. It’s gotten me readers, and some of them have become friends – I can’t deny this. However, those readers have told me how they want me to post what I want. They have told me how they love the posts I do with all of my heart.
Maybe I’ve reached as comfortable a position as I need to reach. I’ve sold out as much as I feel myself capable – the episodics, the current talk – fuck all of that. Fuck trying to sell myself. Why? Because I was never a guy to be dishonest. That’s my whole shtick – I’m the Otaku Gonzo Journalist. It just ain’t gonzo if I’m tidying it and selling it up. If I decide that a post that should be truly written in a natural pattern should be reworked for the readers, I am betraying the very purpose of my work. Everything should be True. I need to get back to that.
Do you see that this post has no images? That’s because I don’t always want images in my posts. There are a number of posts I made recently wherein the images were only added because I thought people would avoid the post if they weren’t there. But you know what? FUCK THOSE PEOPLE. FUCK those fucking short-attention-spanned assholes who can’t set aside ten fucking minutes to read some decent fucking shit with MEANING. Should I have to trim 500 words worth of meaning from my post because you won’t read it if I don’t? No. Because that isn’t the purpose of the post – it only means something if I convey the truest emotion from the work.
I don’t think I’ll loose any real amount of traffic from my blog if I stop conforming, and I don’t think I’ll gain any if I continue. My blog spikes in popularity when I post easy stuff and get linked to, but I flat-out don’t always have something easy to post. My blog will never see a real rise in power as long as I can’t consistently bring the popular shit in. And likewise, my real audience who isn’t just looking for the 42nd opinion on episode Z of show Q will stick around and read my articles for what they are and derive a real meaning from them. And when it comes right down to it, I would infinitely rather be blogging the Deep Secrets of Boogiepop and Others than Current Season Dribble Bullshit X.
I’m done making every post the perfect apple of acceptability. From now on, FUZAKENNA is the TRUE OTAKU GONZO BLOG! My thoughts as an otaku, fresh from my experience as an otaku. It’s not pretty, and that’s the fucking POINT.
(incidentally, this post went in a totally different direction than expected.)
(so, the floodgates are open now?!)