Not a whole lot to be pretty blunt about it.
Usually, when it comes to these kinds of update posts, there are a bunch of reasons about how real life got in the way. Something or other had come along and forcibly ripped the writer away from their previous work. In my case though, I really haven’t been doing anything.
After December, I was starting to feel a little burned out. I’d written so much towards the end of that year that I felt like I needed a little break at the beginning of this year. The problem with me and breaks is that I know how my brain works. A short break becomes a longer break and before I know it I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing anything. Sitting down and getting words out becomes a struggle.
Which is made all the harder by how much of a creative slump I feel like I’ve been going through for the past few months. I really do love writing, it’s something that fools my brain into thinking it’s being creatively fulfilled, but for the past few months, I’ve felt like the quality of what I have been writing declining. My ability to construct intelligent and coherent opinions on things feels like it eludes me.
It’s come as a result of me spending more and more time reviewing individual episodes of anime and television, to the point that I am almost writing on autopilot most of the time. It’s almost as if I’m simply regurgitating the plots of these episodes in text form, not really coming at them in any unique or creative way. Before I knew it, I was almost exclusively writing these episode reviews and it wasn’t making me feel creatively fulfilled at all.
It felt lazy.
While I know a lot of people make their bones on here writing episode reviews of things, and I’m not intending to insult them when I say this. But for me, it felt like I wasn’t doing enough to put my own unique spin on the work. Mostly because a lot of the time I was writing them out of a sense of obligation to get the content on my blog rather than actually wanting to write them. It was a feeling that I felt increasingly throughout the final months of 2020.
None of this was helped by the fact that off of the crappiness of my personal 2020 came to a head in the beginning of 2021. Which just drained all of my enthusiasm and motivation to write anything. I’ll happily admit that I’m an introverted person, usually content in my own space. But the forced isolation that comes from this months long lockdown the U.K. has been going through was finally starting to get to me.
To make things worse, my sense of isolation only worsened when I found out both of my parents had tested positive for Covid, which meant I simultaneously had to worry about them while also losing my only point of human contact outside of work while they self-isolated. (Don’t worry, they’re both fine now). To top all of this off, my internet, which had been getting progressively worse over the course of the last couple of months all but crapped out on me.
So even if I did have the drive to write anything for my blog, posting it had become a nightmare of a process thanks to my sub-1mbps download speed. It just made everything too difficult, piled on top of how unenthused I was already feeling about my own writing, needless to say, my week’s break ended up becoming a month and a half break.
I spent all my time eating fast food and playing video games. Not the healthiest way to coast through life, but with options being so limited these days, you just need to do what you need to do to keep yourself sane.
A silver lining is that I got to spend a lot of time playing some fantastic video games in Yakuza 7 and Hades. Games I enjoyed so much that I tried to force myself to sit down and write something about them, but the motivation wouldn’t come to me. I’d sit there and stare at a blank screen for a few minutes before just wanting to go back and play video games.
I shouldn’t really feel that bad about it really. Times continue to be tough and I’m being constantly bombarded by the mental health impact of this pandemic on people at work through training. So I really should have been more aware of what I was going through. Now, with my parents well again, my internet issues solved and the minor health issues I was going through (most likely brought about by the collective stress of it all) under control I feel mentally strong enough to try and retake some semblance of control over my life again.
As I said before though, I know myself and now I am out of the habit of writing most days, it’s going to be a little bit of a trial getting myself back into that headspace. Although for now, I feel like I want to use this break as a bit of a reset. To look at what I’ve been writing and change the things I’ve not liked. I want to take a step away from episode reviews for a little while, at least until I can reprogram myself into not just writing the plots and actually reacting to them, thinking about the content and commenting on it.
I’m unsure about how I want to approach my Clone Wars reviews because I have done so many of them at this point that I want to finish them off in a similar format. Those posts are the perfect example of how I felt my blog had become a place of quantity over quality. I want to spend a little more time planning and researching my posts rather than just writing by stream of consciousness all the time. So things might start off slow while I get used to writing how I used to write back when I started this blog.
I’d apologise and stuff, but I doubt anyone really cares about my blog enough to be offended by the fact that I was hardly uploading. There was just a bunch of stuff I felt like I needed to get off my chest, and this blog is the only outlet I have where I feel totally comfortable being open about myself. Which is a whole other problem I have to deal with eventually, but that’s just background noise I’ve had to deal with all my life. So that’s fine…
I know I’m a month late in saying this, but I spent a lot of the backend of 2020 thinking about how this year was going to be something of a soft reboot for me, how I wanted to refocus and change the way I approached my blog and how I wrote for it. It feels like 2021 was a very slow start in that regard, but as I refind my footing I want to try and figure out what kind of things I get more fulfilment out of writing about and focus my energies on that.