Over the last few weeks I’ve slowly been easing myself in the blogging game, and it’s been a lot harder than I thought it would be. When I was on my hiatus, I always imagined just opening WordPress and the latest blog post would magically flow from my fingers. But it’s been the exact opposite, I’ve been feeling lost. My interests have changed so much over the last few months that I wasn’t sure how I could fit myself back into my own blog. As I tried to think up ideas for blog posts, even just that first one in March, I really struggled. So, I went through my old posts. I scrolled all the way back to August 2015, and re-read all my posts. While I’m happy to say my writing has improved over the years, the actual crux of how I write never has. As my blog is mostly reviews, I thought it’d be a fun exercise to go through how I actually write my reviews, and in doing so hopefully get some of my mojo back!
Waiting for a perfect idea…
It’s kind of hard to pinpoint how I get ideas for blog posts. They tend to come quite spontaneously – I’ll be reading or playing something and suddenly part of me goes ‘hey maybe I should write about this’. But I can say that there has to be something about that media that stirs something in me.In one of my more recent posts I looked at manga that didn’t leave me with any impressions at all, they just faded into obscurity. But this ‘meh’ feeling isn’t just limited to manga. I’d say about 80% of media I consume just leaves me feeling bland, like ‘ok cool I watched that onto the next thing’. So it really takes something special to get me wanting to write about it.
But within that, I do give myself one major restriction, and it’s not one I do particularly on purpose. Before I write about something I tend to do a quick Google search to see how it’s been covered on other blogs or websites. There’s just this feeling of seeing something being written about again and again that sucks the drive of throwing my thoughts out there. For example, as much as I love One Piece, I’ve only featured it on this blog twice – once for a calendar review and another film review. I suppose I just really love bringing something completely unique or not much talked about to the table. Once I discover it’s been done, whatever it is doesn’t seem so exciting and shiny to me and I go onto the next thing.
Putting Pen to Paper…
Once I’ve got what I want to write about, I can’t start until I have a title. Thankfully, these don’t take me too long to come up with and then I jump into the introduction. I suppose that’s pretty standard for most writers. But with the title and introduction done, I deviate a bit. I tend to structure my reviews by grouping points (for example in a manga – Art, Story, Characters) into positive and negatives. My generic articles are structured like:
Positives Paragraph 1
Positives Paragraph 2
Negatives Paragraph 1
Negatives Paragraph 2
But when I actually write it, I write the negative bits first! My brain is so stubborn on this point, when I’m writing I absolutely cannot talk about anything positive until I get all the negatives out first! It’s like I have to purge the critiques from my mind. Once it’s all out like some horrible word vomit rant, I can happily move onto what I actually liked. From there I finish off the conclusion. Then I re-read a few times, edit, miss heaps of spelling mistakes, and schedule it to be published.
My Personal Quirks…
But what about when I’m actually engaging with the media? Whenever I’m reading, watching or playing something I try not to put my review hat on. I find when I do it very quickly sucks the enjoyment out of whatever I’m doing. I don’t even write notes or anything. When I’m done, I just quickly open up WordPress and bash out my thoughts (in the strange order I do above). A lot of the time I’ll need to finish a blog piece all in one go, pretty much from the minute I get the idea to write. Otherwise it has a tendency to stay on my mind. I like to compare it to a ghost haunting me. I keep thinking about what I want to write, and don’t feel satisfied until I see the words are on the screen. It’s especially annoying when I get a blogging idea at 1am.
Of course, while I try to always give a balanced review sometimes there’s something I absolutely love or absolutely hate.For example, the only manga I’ve ever rated 0/10. Funnily enough, and probably linked to why I have to write negative points first, I actually enjoy writing negative reviews more. Not that I love trashing other people’s work. But I find the actual process of writing far more easier, it feels like the words come faster and I’m never stumped on what to say. Whereas when I write a positive review, most of the time I’m lost on what to say besides “that was some good shit.” Interestingly, this bit of me isn’t just limited to writing.
Recently, my boyfriend asked me why I love Danganronpa so much. It’s pretty much one of my all time favourite game series, I’ve watched all the anime (which has been covered on the blog), bought a ridiculous amount of merchandise and pretty much have begged the otaku gods for another game. But when it came to talking about what I liked about it I couldn’t say much but “It’s a good game”. On the other hand when my mum asked me how I found my latest Switch game purchase (The Coma)– ooh boy she was in for a long winded rant about all of its failings. So it could just be ingrained in my personality to revel in the negativity of things.
Wrapping it all up…
Apologies for the self-analysis at the end there (haha!). But I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into the workings of my brain. I’m really glad to be back blogging, and sharing my thoughts with you all. But as much as I love sharing my opinions, it’s also been exciting to read other people’s posts. After all, the best way to expand your mind and skills is to engage with other people’s opinions and thoughts!