I won’t lie – for at least the first two years of the three that this blog has lived through, my writing sucked. Most of the posts said very little in far too many words, and any post with salvageable ideas either has or should be redone. For the most part, I’m happy with what I’ve been producing since September of last year, but since then I have still been learning to tighten up my ideas and write more fully realized posts. In this past month, I’ve been proud of every post I’ve put out, having felt that I’ve been doing a much better job of fully expressing my ideas. However, I’ve begun to take issue with my writing style from a more technical standpoint.
As you may have noticed, I’ve been trying to build a reputation as an “Otaku Gonzo Journalist,” and this is still my goal. To accomplish this, I try to pour myself into every post and allow the reader to grasp my perspective on the topic. Sometimes, doing this to the most extreme extent possible works for me, as it did in my Evangelion 2.22 post and my Kara no Kyoukai post, which were very special and rare cases that I was writing solely for myself. However, in most of my work, my misguided attempts at gonzo have lead to overly lengthy and complex posts that should have stayed in the editing stage for a while longer.
This hadn’t really become apparent to me until my English teacher brought it to my attention in my draft of our first assignment (detailed in these posts on my tumblr.) Upon realizing just how excessive I was with unnecessary details, I went and reread my most recent post and was floored by how much crap was not important to the central idea of the post. It had come to 1300 words, and I realized that it could have easily been 500+ words shorter without losing anything.
I admit that I suffer from an addiction to being contrary. I am the type to brag that I am ‘breaking convention’ or ‘being myself’ when I am really just being hard-headed, and will usually come to realize this way down the line. I’ve bragged about the fact that I write my posts all at once, revise quickly, and then push them out, but this is actually a problem. I realize now that I should hold my posts back until they have been really finished and tightened for maximum readability.
I’ve also defended my garish red-on-white color scheme, which I chose because red, black, and white were my thematic colors (“Scarlet Monochrome” as I call it) even though the scheme simply did not work for a blog, where ease of reading and clarity of images are important. As you can see, I have dramatically changed my blog layout and colors. The idea was to find colors that would work well with the dark red that permeates every page of this blog, so a rustic style seemed most appropriate. You might think of the color scheme as a parallel to my change in writing style – I’m still the raging red ball of passion that I’ve always been, but now more subdued, readable, and, I hope, accessible all-around.
The reason I shut down the blog while I changed the theme and made this post is that I want to view this as a fresh start of sorts. In anime terms, this will be like moving into the third season with a much higher budget and better animation studio. Or better yet, it’s like the Rebuild of Evangelion – the same old story that I love to tell, but in a more focused and complete style.
Feedback on the new layout and colors would be very appreciated! Nothing is final yet. If you think the type is too big, or should be a different font (if you think that, please recommend one), or just completely hate the colors, let me know. Depending on who you are, I might take the ideas to heart ;D