I don’t hide the fact that this blog basically went dormant from the end of 2017 to the start of 2019. When I decided to come back, I started by trying to figure out why I fell out of love with it in the first place. Other than the start of my journey into university, there was one major thing that almost kept me from blogging about (or even watching) anime again. Seasonal anime.
What is Seasonal Anime?
For anyone who doesn’t know, ‘seasonal anime’ is a term given to any series that is airing at that specific time. As of writing this, we are in the season of Spring 2019. Seasons will last around 12-14 weeks with episodes released weekly and, often, concluding at the end of the season. So, right now, One Punch Man Season 2 is the current example of ‘seasonal anime’. That is until around the start of July where the Summer 2019 season will begin and an influx of new shows will air. Websites like MyAnimeList are useful for keeping up with seasonal anime and being able to see just how many shows are being produced.
For the reader, this is a great system as it often results in consistent content from bloggers who cover these shows as they air. For the blogger, this is great also because new content is always available to write about and often yields pretty substantial attention.
The easiest way to show how this exhausted me as a blogger is to show you.
- 2016: Winter Season 6 Reviews (1 Variety Post)
- 2016: Spring Season 5 Reviews (2 Variety Posts)
- 2016: Summer Season 3 Reviews
- 2016: Fall Season 2 Reviews (1 Scrapped)
- 2017: Winter Season 4 Reviews
- 2017: Spring Season 2 Reviews (1 Scrapped)
- 2017: Summer Season 0 Reviews (3 Scrapped)
Initially, this blog consisted only of “Season Reviews” (shown above) which were published once a series had concluded and gave a generic review format to the overall experience. With film this format works fine because film release dates are often trivial with an exception of summer/winter blockbusters.
Why is this relevant?
The way that seasonal anime is setup meant that I would release a bunch of reviews over a one week period then disappear for a further 12. At my peak, I would watch around eight series per season with the intention to review four or five and eventually release about three or four. Although steadily working at these lengthy articles throughout the season offset the work somewhat, I simply could not sustain an audience by posting one week per season.
Therefore, in 2017 I conjured up an idea that would ultimately overload me as a blogger. In pursuit of consistent content, I would review each episode per week and compile them into a “Weekly Roundup” post. Needless to say, this increased my workload more than I anticipated.
“Weekly Roundups” killed my creativity
In concept, this was intended to scatter content throughout the season while still having the major releases at the end. The major issue I had was that I devoted so much attention to these roundups the end-of-season reviews felt redundant. Everything I wrote felt like it was summed up for the last 12 weeks and readers would be underwhelmed.
Not only that, the roundups ended up being ridiculous lengths: the last of which clocking at around 2100 words which was 700 words longer than the most recent season review. It was getting out of hand.
I managed to publish these until week twelve where I had completely burnt myself out. With the end of the season drawing near, I was then working on full length season reviews alongside the episodic format of the weekly roundups. Alongside this, I undertook two editorial projects: “My Anime Journey” and a series of “Top 5” articles.
Daily/Weekly content can work, I just wasn’t dedicated enough
That’s not to say consistent content with the seasonal format isn’t possible. There are many bloggers who flourish in this environment: 100 Word Anime, MirrorPurple and Takuto’s Anime Café being just a few examples I admire for their consistently quality content. I think it’s really important to have bloggers you look up to and there are great blogs in abundance. Combining the fact that all of my blog posts were over 1500 words long and the new responsibilities of being a university student inevitably meant that the workload was too massive to sustain.
What kept me going and why am I back?
When I first got one of my articles recognised – courtesy of LitaKino who featured my blog in a “Blogger Feature Friday” – I’m not embarrassed to say that was probably the highlight of 2016 for me. For real, that was the moment where I knew that people enjoyed my writing and definitely displayed an increase in attention following the shout-out. For those links to pingback I’m assuming Lita will have to approve them and have a skim through so Lita if you’re reading this, that post and your support really meant a lot so thank you!
This post seems pretty down in the dumps so far but I can’t stress enough how important this blog is to me – even more so back in 2016. TrulyTrash is practically all I talked about in college and was initially created as a portfolio for getting into a university to study film theory. You know looking back maybe I shouldn’t have plastered anime girls all over the site if I thought it would’ve been the deciding force in my studies… Oh well, it all worked out in the end.
Basically, I wanted to get back into blogging but with a wider scope as I hadn’t really kept up with anime since I stopped writing about it in 2017. Instead of starting from scratch again, I did some work prettying up the layouts and made some changes I should’ve done years ago. The text on some of those pages were like 8 pixels big like how did I let that slide?
From what I can tell it’s going to be tough to draw in an audience as big as I remember, but the video game/non-anime content is doing better than I could have predicted so I’m here for the foreseeable future. This ended up being more of a vent than anything else but hey, it’s a blog after all. I can post exactly what I want and I need to remember that a bit more I suppose. Thanks for hearing me out; hope you’re enjoying the new stuff I’m bringing out!