Hurray! Dear Reader welcome to my 500th post! While I missed the mark of 500 posts on Paradise , I was in time to do something about me reaching 500 posts. So today we will do the obligatory Reflections as well as discussing content for the future, you know the road to 1000. So what was it like making 500 posts?! Take a look with me! During these 500 posts! I laughed, I cried, I learned and I adapted and this is a little journal on how!
What Have I Learned
Let’s first take a look at the growth I made! As a writer, I do not personally feel I have grown all that much! I still make silly mistakes, I still am long winded but I am also still me! Throughout almost two years of blogging now I do think I for the most part always kept track of me.. all posts feel like me! I can recognise myself in my earliest writing , the middle and the end. Even though I changed content a lot in these 500 posts, there is a certain level of me in all of them that makes me feel at least a little accomplished. I also learned that maybe that very almost indescribable thing that is the “me” that is in that post is what keeps people around. I can change up my content a lot but people will still be there. Except for gaming posts around older games, those really usually bomb! I might need to delve deeper into Gaming WordPress to grow further.
I tried many approaches to things , but I also learned that blogging in a way can be a bit addicting. I wanted to put a post out every day, I wanted to do two every day even.. but I realised with how long my average post is.. that is not something I can maintain. I spend so much effort to get posts done.. just to break even at the end of a day. One post goes in, one post goes out! I need to be blogging every day, need to be edditing every day and need to be able to consume content every day as well! I discovered I struggle with episodic reviews, they are easy enough to produce but they hardly give me any gratification. An episode summary feels redundant because people who read these things often seen the same anime, yet you can also not got without the summary so half my post already feels redundant. It will also kinda force you to find negatives about an episode and it made me feel whiney and unhappy! So after a massive burnout.. I decided to end them. I needed to be happy!
My current schedule of blogging every other day already works a lot better for me! I am creating a post every day still, sometimes more, but this time around I actually plus on blogs. I write two.. one goes out, one is still in cue. This is much more managable with my health. If I have a bad day.. I can now accept I have a bad day and just don’t produce. I can go spend a day with my friends or family without feeling obligated to blog, I feel a lot more free. I could also write shorter posts and write several a day… but that’s not me! I need to think more and correct myself more!
That’s not my style.. while I may repeat myself a lot now and talk about random stuff in the middle.. what I write comes from the heart.. it feels to me more as if I am talking to you.. and I rather have that than styling out a post! I read a lot of how to blog guides, and a lot of tips to be regular and consistent to be neutral and all of that, but to me that may work to get you an audience.. but that might not work for you as a blogger. I love you all, but I learned that audience is secondary to yourself having fun. You can’t write if you hate doing it! Sometimes that means letting your audience down…or not growing as fast as you could. So be it! I am sorry, but as a hobby blogger your first responsibility is to you and your hobby!
Now I love all my posts and never will favourite any of them, as the others may cry so I won’t be going over my favourite posts! Yet while creating this blog and while doing things I have come to experience a few highlights. The first one is minor but I just had so much fun! It was while I was creating my post for OWLS-Minicon , my post about all the convention plushie dealers around the world. While that post tanked hard and not many people cared about my passion for plushies it was a great experience to get to learn some new people. To get that feeling that I can do at least a very little something back for those people who provide us with these amazing dealers rooms!
Even if we don’t buy their plushies,their games or whatever, think how your dealer room would look without them. Empty.. not fun, even if you don’t buy their goods you still like browsing the stall! Some of the interactions I had with those people were fun and super grateful! Not a people may have read the post or they disliked it just.. but to me I felt closer to the geek community then I had in a long while! I may have not been able to bestow people that convention feel.. but I sure got it!
Another Highlight was my decision to look for Blog STAFF! It has offered me a nice platform of great people to interact with, with the coming of Periwinkle the STAFF chat has really livened up! I love geeking out over things, and even some of the random discussions we have! I am so happy to have these people in my life! As well as the awesome blogger crowd visiting me of course.. but with the STAFF it is just something special you know! A long time ago I worked on a blog with friends and I loved that feeling, and that feeling is beginning to return a bit now! Paradise is growing and I really love it.
Yet another highlight I had , and this may sound silly is being included in K’s ,Which Blogger are You test. It wasn’t exactly that I was included that made me happy, it was the fat that I answered my questions very genuinely and it spit me out! I have a lot of fun making my images, dong the whole paradise thing and trying to have this “brand” as it were. I wasn’t sure if it worked. I hide a lot of fun details in a lot of my images, or go to some weird effort to make an egg reflect in the water.. just because I want to give it a try… I never really get reactions to this.. but the test showed, it got noticed. I try provide content that is off the beaten path.. and oftenly those post perform badly in terms of likes,,but this test showed me it was noticed
As the scatterbained loon that I am I often interacting less with people than I would like, I read your blog on my phone, then go to grab a cupcake, I like your post as I enjoy my cupcake.. but then I see on my pc on twitter that another person also made a new post! I go read it and forget the like button! I oftenly type comments to people and as I search for a strong joke to end on I end up petting my Pikachu in Pokémon Camp and it shows me an apple and I forget to enter my comment or sometimes I get to anxious to reply. I feel like a horrible person a lot of the itme because of it.. increasing that anxiety… yet by being included in the test.. I got a feeling, okay so perhaps I am not as much as an outsider as my mind makes me out to be.. perhaps i do belong here! I may be weird and distant..but I am approachable.. and that really made me smile! Irina’s attempt to explain me trough anime characters was another one of those things.. and it even gave me an idea for my next restyle. When she called me the sports team mom, with a hint of ojou-sama
Today we will celebrate so we will not stand still with my lows a lot, but I made a few discoveries about blogging and content creation in general that made me feel a bit…disappointed. A big thing was a realisation I made. While I really do love anime I don’t enjoy it in the frequencies that most others here do. I watch anime once or twice a week and I am content with that. Not always that long either. I am not sure if that is enough, I don’t feel alien to the world of anime but I can not really shake that “fifth” wheel feeling. I am not being subjected to active gatekeeping, but when I walk into a discussion I do feel I am in over my head. I do not feel I have much to contribute. I always end up freezing up and just letting others have their fun discussion without bothering them with more basic shows!
It is a feeling I have come to learn to accept , the eternal Kohai but it is a feeling I did not expect when I began. Anime is great and the anime community is fantastic but I never expected it to be this “overwhelming”. It’s all about the anime. In a way I’d say the community is a bit more nerdy than geeky. With which I mean: At a convention you talk to strangers and they ask you , how is your bubble tea, where did you get that figurine or if you vaguely know them, how are you. I will always have an answer.
The Online-Anime-Community is more “ Have you seen Astra yet?” “Someone did a Gatekeeper Tweet” , “Miss Kobayashi 2 trailer looks shit”. These discussions can be fun, but I always wonder.. does my voice in this really matter?! Meanwhile, compare that to the question “How is your Bubbletea?” I know my answer is going to be relevant. This is not a flaw about the anime community, just a misconception I had. I have had a rough time coming to terms with that. I have since made friends I talk personal with like Summer and Mallow, but also many others, but with that voice that tells me I am not good enough, or watch to basic anime it has been a bit of a struggle. The demon on my shoulder never fully goes away and keeps telling me, people will abandon me because I don’t watch anime daily!
Another lowpoint I have had with blogging is WordPress itself, it has given me more trouble recently! Just when I get into a rhythm they change it up and put something that was never an effort before, behind an extra set of clicks or scrolls. I had my favourite types of blocks with one click away and now I constantly have to search the block I am looking for. Recolouring things can be a hassle because with a new update I can’t drag and drop because now you just have to click! I learned so many hex codes just to avoid this problem! WordPress still is a great tool, but at times it feels so clunky! As if I am dragging through mud! It’s worth it.. but I don’t have that much energy to give. So if I need to give extra energy things grow skewed quite fast. It’s a shame that I have to design my blog keeping things in mind such as “It’s not worth it to recolour that thing, cause that glitches out half the time” or “better not add in that type of images as I will have to rescale it twice to make it fit”. The fact that I have to click a random button before I can activate my WordPress Bell is another thing. I often find myself thinking.. I’ll do it later than, I can’t be bothered with the hassle right now!
WordPress Reader is another thing I have come to dislike! It is an easy way to check out other blogs fast, but it has also become an issue. To my knowledge it doesn’t show YouTube feeds. I recently tried to do YouTube but paused it because my health got in the way! I will now come back to it with an easier to handle model and a bit more flavour. Regardless, Reader doesn’t show my posts as pretty as I want them to be, my videos don’t show up, my images can look a bit more yankee, and the themes I work so hard on are not displayed. It’s as if people see you trough a broken mirror. Sure it’s you but a lot of effort you made to put on make-up is kinda lost. They just “recognise” you. It also results in a lot of ghost liking, which once again feeds that stupid demon.
Despite the whole Reader thing, I am planning to do a new Restyle really soon! This current style has been here for almost a year now! Minus a month or so, some minor changes took place, but this will be a big one! New theme new icons, new Pinkie! Manager Pinkie will soon be upgraded by a ruler of Paradise with a new flavour. The VTuber theme will still be going but the moth will be replaced by something new! Something a bit quirkier and something that is a HECK of a lot easier to build a VTuber model around.
Something more unique as well. MothTubers are almost all lewdTubers , there is a group of them.. but all of them are pretty non seiso! Which made me feel alien AGAIN! Besides that it was such a hassle to deal with those wings! It always looked fabricated to me as well. So when I went to have her commissioned instead.. I had change of heart and went for a theme that is much more in line with me rather than be a metaphor! I can flavour it a bit more as well. The restyle will arrive later this week.
I stopped doing episodic content because with my health that has been the hardest to keep up! That requires a schedule and I do not want that anymore. It gives me stress and on a mental level forces me to do content and currently I can not work under those circumstances. So no more episodic reviews, and less reviews in general. Rather than reviews, I’ll do rants or raves! Me being super positive, absolutely loving something, or me just having fun burning things down to the ground! (Think AVGN style) It won’t be subtle.. but it will be a lot more fun to do. I am also trying to the same with something that utterly confuses or baffles me.
Now I know something isn’t 100% good or 100% bad or 100% weird and that’s also not what I am trying to achieve with these newer formats. I really hope there is someone that loves what I hate, and I am pretty sure there is someone who hates what I love and that to a certain extent they will have a point. However I feel we have become a bit too afraid to give our unbridled opinions. It’s time to either praise something, or burn it to the ground! The latter usually in a so bad that it’s good spirit though.. or at least so bad that it’s interesting. It will be a bit wacky.. but it will be fun!
Speaking of wacky , that will be much more a theme going forward. While as a Moth Pinkie , before my second major burnout in a while I tried a more journalling type of approach to things, that doesn’t work for me. I do a journal with my Blogging Bestie, Summer now! Gaming in step by step content didn’t work for me though! I felt I either had to slow down my gaming, rush it or struggled with screenshots. It also made me serialise everything and I can’t do that.. my health is to fickle!
So instead you’ll see me tackle wacky games, anime or movies while also doing wackier things myself with my content in the form of stranger lists, more odd tags and of course more random content. I already did another Never Have I ever, with random prompts, post (for the near future) I also made a weird new tag, which probably not a lot of people will be interested in joining..but that’s not what it is about.. it is about me doing quirky things in familiar settings. A lot of it will be “fan stuff. Things like “If I made a Super Mario Movie” or how will this Anime couple look 20 years later. Stuff like if Kamina and LeLouche played a game of YuGiOh.. which one would win. I will also just watch weird stuff and tell you how I feel.. Movies like Swiss Army Man, or me Playing a Cho Aniki game!
The STAFF will of course continue to do their down thing, but by growing bolder and bolder in my content I hope to inspire them step out of the box as well! The box is an illusion.. inside the box you can be both dead or alive.. and while we don’t know if you are alive or dead inside your box.. you are both.. therefore you are dead in the box per definition!.. I guess not if it’s a translucent box or an oxygenated box but either way… don’t be shrödingers cat! Step outside your box! There you can be alive for sure! And that will be a theme clear on Paradise. Also I plan to use a bit more pink after the restyle! Just so you know! Yay! Onto 500 more pink posts! Then I will treat everyone to Pink cake!
<spoiler alert> the cake is a lie <end of spoiler>
Happy 500th to me! And thank you guys for coming along in the journey!