One thing I learned the hard way a while back is that you should never talk about whatever creative thingy it is that you’re doing on the internet: either do it, or don’t. Post the episode, post the art, post the episode recap, post the comic page, whatever, and if you have nothing, let it be nothing. What you absolutely should not do is write a long, detailed post about “Why I am taking a hiatus from [insert thing]” or “Why it’s is taking me longer than expected to create [insert thing],” and so on and so forth. It’s just boring, and no one cares, and they’re right not to.
Yet, here I am breaking my own rule, because I’m talking about what I am doing with my blog as opposed to just blogging, and I swear I learned this lesson something like 15 years ago back when I first tried to do webcomics (and on that note, OH GOD has it been a long time). But, hey, my life is very different now than when I first started doing any of these little internet projects, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to stop for a moment to take note of that. If it comes off as a massively self-indulgent rant, well, there’s plenty more internet for you to read out there, I guess.
I realized a few months ago while struggling to keep up with editing of the Otakusphere podcast that I just don’t love anime the way I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I still like it; I’ll probably be watching it, to some extent, for the forseeable future. I just don’t feel the huge need that I used to to know as much as possible about it and be included in “the conversation” about it, whatever that means. Maybe I’ve just realized that there really is no Greater Conversation, there’s just tons of little private ones, and do I really feel the need to make my private conversation public? (which, come to think of it, is literally what a podcast is.) Podcasts are another thing that, while I still like them and I’m glad they’re around, I don’t feel this compulsion to try to be a part of them.
I’ve been trying to figure out for the last few months what I should do with this little blog named Otakusphere. Shut it down and start something new that doesn’t have anime associations? No, that’s dumb. I’ll probably have the urge to start something new a few years from now anyway, and then I’ll just be on a treadmill of constantly starting new blogs that never get anywhere. Besides, this blog has been around long enough that there are nifty links to it from all sorts of weird corners of the internet, and it seems like it would be a waste to just discard that; I like the fact that people come here all the time because they followed a link about Tomb Raider, or wanted to read commentary on the 2011 Madhouse X-Men anime.
But I’m not sure how much blogging I’m going to be doing. As I get older, and free time to myself becomes more precious (parenting will do that), I’d rather spend time doing my own creative stuff rather than commenting about other people’s creative stuff. I thought I was done with drawing comics, only to realize I could probably enjoy making comics and make some good ones if I didn’t approach it 100% completely wrong, in the wrong format, with the wrong goals, which is what I did the first time. So I’m currently working on a comic book, albeit very slowly. I also have my fantasy books, which I’d like to do more of; they’ve been pretty well-received, but they need more professional presentation and they need some form of marketing that’s more aggressive than “you can find them on Amazon.”
And yet, there’s going to be a time when I want to write 10,000 words here about some old game, or cartoon, or something, and on one level it’s a total waste of time, and on another, well…that’s just what I do. So I guess what I’m saying is, I still want to do my semi-random enthusiast blogging about sundry topics, but I don’t want to be responsible for a regular podcast, or anything too time-sensitive, really. I do apologize to those who were enjoying the anime podcast especially, because I think that was filling a niche that still needs filling, but at this point in my life, I have to find what works for me. I’m not some college kid who can stay up all night writing recaps of five of the latest anime episodes and then sleep through my biology class; sometimes I wish I were ten years younger, but I’m not, and engaging in any kind of fandom is a smaller part of my life now.
Really, with the exception of discontinuing the podcast, nothing has changed much; this will remain a sporadically updating blog that will feature whatever nerdy stuff I’m psyched about on that particular day, and probably occasional sociological rants with no pictures that will become an immediate embarrassment five minutes after they’re published. I’m just saying that I’m no longer going to make periodic attempts to make this more of “an anime site,” or a whatever site; it’s just my lil’ blog, and maybe for the first time, that’s okay.
Or, you know, I could start blogging One Piece and Attack on Titan from the beginning tomorrow, because sometimes I’m just random and stuff. But probably (hopefully?) not.