Starting an Anime Blog? 3 Things I've Learned
I've been running Shooting Star Dreamer for over a year now. It hasn't always been easy, but it's definitely been a fun experience. On top of this, I learned a lot from managing something of my own. There's no one checking my writing and telling me what to include or exclude, no one is telling me what to say, and the only ideas I share on here are my own. It's a nice feeling having something that's your own and nurturing it.
That being said, I remember the start of Shooting Star Dreamer being a little rocky. I've always been on this platform, but my blog style was completely different. For one, I didn't use the same colors, and my layout was less interactive and more static. While I had more freedom in what I could add to my blog and customize, it just wasn't for me. I went through of couple of changes, then found this template and stuck with it.
Still, it would've been helpful if I had learned a few lessons from other people. There's many guides out there for blogging in general, but when it comes to a specific genre, it's somewhat hard. I was only able to really find one aniblogging guide that was useful to me, which can be seen here. The single problem is that it left many questions to be answered.
"What Do I Write About?"
What else can you possibly write about when your blog's focus is anime! It's easy to write about anime, but what if you don't want to write reviews? This was one of my hardest experiences with blogging in the beginning. I looked at other blogs for ideas and inspiration, but most were filled with reviews on episodes, thoughts on episodes, thoughts about new series. While this is fine, I never liked the basics. I didn't want to give my opinion on things, and let that be the deciding factor for my audience. I wanted to examine the complexities of anime, the things that people usually don't focus on. Examining the lessons hidden in each episode, the work put into the characters, and the connection between the audience and the fans.
I had to draw most of my inspiration from myself, but I found out that interacting with people who like anime, and even those who don't, was a great source of new ideas. As I started college, I was faced with new challenges when it came to being an otaku. One of them was being around people who don't enjoy the same things, but still being open about my likes and dislikes. Their responses turned the gears in my head and helped improve my writing.
So if you're lacking inspiration on writing I can give a little advice. Read, interact, and get outside! You can learn a lot just from interacting with people, even if they aren't interested in Japan at all. Every experience can be used for learning.
"I've Gotten My Ideas, But I Never Remember Them!"
I have even more trouble with this one; once I get the ideas I end up losing them. The amount of great posts I would've written were endless, but they were lost in the vast realms of my mind. Since middle school, I started relying on my brainpower to keep track of my schedule and tasks. I'm constantly thinking of things to do even now, so it's only natural for a few things to slip out of my memory.
Thus, whenever I get a great idea or a passion to write...I either write it down somewhere, or act on it as soon as possible. Even if it's the middle of the night or in class, I'll quickly jot down my ideas in a notebook of some sort. Not much else to say about this one.
"Should I Take Chances?"
Definitely take chances! If I would've never started this blog I wouldn't be writing here today. Starting my blog was an example of taking a chance. My advice to any blogger that feels like they're stuck in the same daily patterns, is to try doing something new. Don't worry too much about what your readers will think, but remember that their voice matters. If things mess up or go haywire, then oh well. Pick yourself up and start again. In order to separate ourselves from others in the aniblogosphere, we have to let our ideals and personalities run wild.
Hopefully this quick info is helpful to people who want to start blogging, bloggers who are just getting their feet wet, and even experienced bloggers. After all, we tend to forget simple lessons that are very important. This can post can be used as a quick reminder.