Way back in the before time, when I blogged before, there were no tag posts. In fact, there was this strange divide between what we called editorial blogs (like mine) and episode review blogs. There were a few outliers, but mostly they could be put into one of those two categories.
I wish tag posts existed back then. We were all so very serious back then, and no one was more serious than me. Anime was Serious Business.
Tag posts are a nice way to break up all of the Serious Business with some light-hearted goofing around.
They are really special though. In my real life, I see a lot of the stuff that separates us as people, and I’ve started thinking that we all should focus more on how we are similar then being concerned about how we’re different.
Each time I get a tag, I think about it as a small handshake across the vastness of the Internet. It’s like someone reaching out to me and saying, “Yes. I like you,” or at the very least, “You’re OK, and I want to hear what you have to say.”
It’s a way of reaffirming that we are joined by our enjoyment of writing and anime, and that’s OK by me.
All of this is a long and probably saccharine way of saying I was tagged by Irina of I Drink and Watch Anime and MagicConan of The Animanga Spellbook in The Blogger Recognition Award.
Getting noticed by Irina was really my “Senpai noticed me.” moment. Irina is one of the few bloggers who I will read when I wake up at 6 a.m. and read the entire post. She has an effortless and effervescent writing style that I wish I could emulate. (But let’s face it, I just used effervescent and emulate in a sentence. If you haven’t quit reading by now, I don’t know what is going on.)
MagicConan is a blogger after my own heart. I can see all of the thought that goes into her posts, and I’m impressed. We’ve both been participating in #AniTwitWatches, and frequently she notices things that slipped right past me. And she knows Japanese, which is pretty useful.
Anyways now that I’ve spent 400 words gabbing, let’s get on with the tag.
As with any tag post, there are rules, and here they are:
1. Say thanks to who nominated you and leave a link back to that person’s blog.
2. Give the story or history of your blog.
3. Give two or more pieces of advice for new bloggers.
4. Nominate 10 other bloggers and link their blogs.
The short (or long) history of In Search of Number Nine
So there are a lot of points where I can start with this history. But let’s start with, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I’m not very good at storytelling, or writing, to be honest.
School didn’t really work out well for me, and for a good six-year period, I was pretty much adrift. Once I failed at being an author again, I needed something to occupy my time. By this time, I had learned how to write in my own voice, and I understood the elements of fiction, so I decided to would start a blog.
At the time, I spent most of my free money on anime. This was back in the days when the only way you could get anime was by buying it on disk. I had a system. Every payday I would order two DVDs on Amazon. It would come out to about $40, and after a couple of months, I would have an entire show.
I was invested. I would post on the Anime News Network forums, but I would often get ignored. I wanted a way to talk to people where I could command the stage for at least a brief moment in time. So I started a blog.
The name was mostly just because I hadn’t found my ninth favorite anime of all time. I have plenty of reasons why that could be, but that’s for another post and another time.
So, I made a blog. First on Blogger, and then on WordPress. As soon as I got listed on AnimeNano, it was off to the races. In between October 2007 and August 2008, I had more than 18,000 views on my blog, which seems ridiculous nowadays, but the world was different back then.
In 2008, I got a job in the field I wanted to work in. It was a good time to stop. I was running shy on ideas, and I was never smart enough to really stand toe-to-toe with the real luminaries.
Since then, I’ve continued to work in the same field, though I’ve moved a couple of times. I always kept the blog around. Sometimes I would come visit it, and read through the old stuff, but I didn’t think about restarting it until about a year or so ago.
I’ve shared this part of the story before, but sometime last year, I really wanted to return to blogging. I had this idea that I would watch all of RahXephon and I would write this series about it, and I would post it on my blog.
But I forgot one of the first rules of procrastinators. Once the shine wears off an idea, if you don’t have a reason to keep doing it, you won’t. The idea never really left me though.
Well, I was listening to Anime World Order, and they had a rant about the definition of anime. Being a reactionary sort, I jumped on it and dashed out a post. It was the first time in 11 years that I touched the blog.
But man it was fun. No one really read it, but there is something freeing about writing in this form.
So I’m coming back to talking about anime knowing a little more about storytelling and a lot more about camera angles, placement and filming techniques. I’m not trying to change the world. I’m just trying to prattle on a little bit about anime.
I still have the same foibles I’ve always had. I think I’m smarter than I really am. I judge quicker than I should, and I often speak when I really should listen.
But at least I’m honest about it. That should count for something.
Love What You Do: One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a writer friend who asked me, “What if you never make it? Would you still do this?”
Your answer should be, “Yes.”
Look, let’s be honest, if you’re expecting to get rich digging this ditch, you’re probably not. Most professional authors that I know work another job. Most reporters I know make just enough to get by. Even if you’re one of the lucky few to ascend to the higher ranks, you’re probably going to take a quick look around and ask, “Is this it?”
If you’re doing this for money or fame, you’re better off chasing the video game bucks on YouTube or buying lottery tickets.
You need to love doing this, even if it never pays the bills.
Never Give Up on Your Dream: After that downer, I have to give you this piece of advice. If you want your blog to be the next Sakuga Blog or ANN or whatever, you need to bust your butt.
Or as the Great Prophet Shia LaBeouf once said, “You need to get to the point where anyone else would quit. You’re going to wake up and work hard at it.”
I’ve never met a successful entrepreneur who said, “Eh, I’ll just do it tomorrow.”
That said, make sure you have realistic goals for yourself. You’re not going to move Olympus in a day. Just have a clear vision of what you’re going to do, and do it.
Decide on what you want from your blog: As I was writing the other two, this one came to me as well. If this is something you do to relieve stress, then let it be that.
If you do this because you like talking about anime, then that’s fine too.
The thing about having a hobby or a job is to understand what you want out of it and work to accomplish that.
Think about the name of your blog: Last piece of advice, I promise. So I like the name of my blog, but it’s kind of a trap. If I ever find my ninth favorite anime of all time, do I change the name of my blog?
The thing is I kept the name after I restarted it because I like it, but I’m not sure if those are even still my top eight favorite anime of all time. I mean they probably are, but I’m not sure. There are shows like PsychoPass or Kill la Kill or Dororo that I would probably put on that list now.
Well, I will just cross that bridge when I get to it.
Now for my handshakes across the ether. If you’ve already been tagged then link the post in the comments. That way we can collect all of this wisdom.
Here we go:
Al’s Manga Blog. Because it’s encouraging when someone reads my stuff and leaves a like. Also, Keiko, Karandi and, I assume, Scott were already tagged in this.
KawaiiPaperPandas – Because I like the idea of Paper Pandas, and because they’re really energetic and fun.
Tiger – Because he’s also really upbeat and positive. And he’s also a man after my own heart. I mean who else is going to write an entire post about Rock Lee. Let’s GO!
K At the Movies – Because he is a much better writer than I am. He probably could use effervescent much better than I did. And even if he never does this, this is pingback on his blog and leave a comment. Putting me that much closer to Ospreyshire. And for that matter…
Ospreyshire – Because there is something comforting about having someone who comes around as regularly as Ospreyshire. He always has good points, and I like the sounds he finds for his spoken word stuff.
Anime Rants – Because I haven’t seen anything from that direction in a while, and it would be nice to see something new. I always appreciate people who can write intelligently and well enough that I care about stuff that I don’t even know anything about.
Voyager – Because he’s active on Jon Spencer Review’s Discord and I’m interested in knowing more about him.
AshleyCapes – Because he’s a cool guy. And he’s from Australia. That sounds like a billion zillion miles away from me. Also, he has some really insightful posts.
And I know I’m two short, but this is my blog and I want to be done. So if you think I should have tagged you, then go for it. And if you’ve already done this, and want to add a link in the comments of this post, please do. It would be interesting to read everyone’s advice.
And as always, thanks for reading.