The following post is one of my greatest shames of the past few months. Rok of Solitary Observation was gracious enough to approach me to perpetrate some kind of collaboration interview. Unfortunately, he approached me in early December when I was neck-deep in my Best of Year series. A series that apparently burned me out so much that I haven’t exactly been prolific thus far in 2021.
So, I want to start this post by apologising to Rok for taking so long to get my shit together and get this post up.
Despite my history in Journalism, I haven’t done that many interviews, so this will be something of a new experience for me. Both me and Rok scrambled a collection of questions together and threw them at one another. The following are the results:
Rok: A very nice question to kick things off Rich, Secluded Observation is 2 years old. I’ve been around the blogging sphere for 11 years. I started around 2009, but didn’t really take blogging seriously till around late 2013. I moved off of inthecubbyhole, which I ran from May 2015 till Sep 2018. Before that I had another anime blog, by the name of roccosanimejournal – that’s lost to the history of the net (I deleted it) that also coincides with the creation of inthecubbyhole. XDD I bounce around a lot. How about yourself Rich??
Wooderon: I actually wrote a long-ass document detailing the 10+ years I’d spend writing and blogging. This WordPress site has been up and running since August of 2015. But before that I also had a Tumblr I used for a blog, which had posts that go as far back as 2009.
Rok: The god beast alpaca!!! Bow to the alpaca visage and the god beast alpaca shall bestow the fluffiness upon you!!, xDD.
My older sister inspired me to start writing when I was in primary school. Yeah, I used my old school exercise books to write fantasy stories. Did the god beast alpaca influence you Rich?
Wooderon: If any God Beasts inspired me, it was probably some Lovecraftian monstrosity…
Wooderon: Right now, I don’t really have any goals. I was on a real mission to grow and improve my blog last year. Right at this moment, I’m kind of on a mini-break. And by break I mean I’m just writing less often… So I suppose that’s not much of a break at all actually. I used to want to write professionally, now I’m more content to do it as a hobby. If I can manage to gather a modest following along the way, then that’s a bonus.
Wooderon: 3: What was your goal when you first started blogging? Has that goal changed since then?
Rok: Err…I had a goal???. I don’t think I ever had a goal when I first started xDD. Everything I did was just done spur of the moment with little – okay a bit thought attached to it xDD. Still clueless to this day, xDD. Hope this ain’t the same for you.
Wooderon: Keeping my head above water buddy…
Wooderon: I don’t know honestly. I don’t feel like I have the self-confidence of the charisma to get away with anything like Twitch Streaming or Youtubing. I’ve made attempts at doing video reviews in the past. And I hated them haha. I was also a co-host on a video games podcast years and years ago. It was also terrible. Although that one had more to do with one of the two other guys I did it with than anything.
Rok: Would you solo the said medium or do it with friends?
Wooderon: I do like the idea of doing let’s plays or Podcasts now. Although I absolutely wouldn’t want to do them alone. I’d want to do it as a part of a group, which really just indicative of my tastes in the kinds of Let’s players I tend to watch myself.
Wooderon: 4: Why did you chose to write about what you chose to write about, what are the perks and downfalls of writing about those topics?
Rok: Oh, an interesting q. Why did I choose it, again it goes back to the previous question, I did episode reviews because it interested me. I always wanted to give my thoughts about an episode I watched. The perks of writing about shows that have come out, it’s hot off the press. Once an episode is out, people will be looking for others thoughts on that show. The downside is, you have to get out your post whilst that particular episode is still fresh.
Wooderon: I understand that, I think I’m only going to do episode reviews now very sparingly just to keep the time pressure off myself and just enjoy what I’m doing rather than it just feeling like a chore.
Wooderon: It is too normie to say Pokemon? Because that’s the clear answer. I also love the Star Wars universe, but living them might not be as fun. Even if I was a cool-ass Jedi. What about you?
Rok: The freeloading god beast el llama demands Freddos before I write anything. For el llama is always hungry!!. Bloody freeloader, thinks I’m loaded with wads of cash. Anyway, my approach is more casual and short. Throughout the years of blogging, I always change up my format or writing. The short casual approach is the approach I like the most. As I realised my strength seems to be in short bursts of writing. Not sharing any Freddos Rich!! Mine!!!.
Wooderon: For a long time, I used to say my favourite video game was Sonic 3 & and Knuckles. I certainly was the biggest one for me growing up. After we got into the 3D era, my favourite games were the three Metal Gear Solid games that came out. As well as Pokémon obviously, and Monster Hunter, I’ve been a huge fan of that franchise since the first game on PS2.
Right now, as I’m writing this, the games I’m spending the most time playing are Apex Legends and Hades. Both of which are no small part of the reason I’ve been struggling to write as much as I’d like this year.
Rok: My blog theme xDD. I know it’s sad, I think that represents me in some weird fashion, that even I don’t know. Yeah I’m a weird one xDD
Wooderon: I understand that, I’ve gone to change my theme on multiple occasions, but I’ve grown too attached to it now.
Wooderon: One of my big regrets in life is that I didn’t do video production at university. Thanks to that blasted hindsight, I only realise now that I would have loved to work in production in some capacity, through editing or camera operation or something for either television or cinema. Considering I live in the U.K. working on television seems far more likely than getting involved in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.
Rok: I wouldn’t mind bigger stats, even once would be nice
Wooderon: I’ve mentioned this before on my blog: I don’t like Isekai. There’s something about power fantasy without any real sense of stakes bores me. But to live in that world, I mean that’s the whole point isn’t it. It’s wish fulfilment. In terms of being isekaied into a world with the goal of being overpowered then I’m going to give the boring answers and say either as a Kryptonian in the DC universe or as a Saiyan in Dragon Ball.
Rok: I’ve actually got two, bending the question here a bit, One was meant to be a series, the other is on hiatus. I really enjoyed writing up The Secluded Observation. It made me felt like a journo writing them posts up. Another one only has one post, it’s called Did You Know!. I wrote up a small post on the history of Castlevania when the show was airing on Netflix.
Wooderon: I was literally fantasising about having a sticky toffee pudding late last night… It makes me want one now… I do struggle to say no to a cheesecake whenever there is one available though.
Rok: This one: A societal commentary on erased (Best of anime review). When I first wrote this over at inthecubbyhole, I spent ages writing this up. Understanding how society can be horrible at times. Sadly it didn’t garner as much as I hoped.
Wooderon: Erm, I’ve never actually watched the A-Team… I only ever saw that Liam Neeson movie. And I legit don’t have an answer for this question haha.
But Raphael is my favourite Ninja Turtle and Starscream is my favourite Transformer.
Rok: Keep writing and having fun I suppose, till I stop. I have no idea to be honest xDD, hope you blog just as long Rich.
I want to thank Rok/Mallow of Secluded Observation for being exceptionally patient with me while I get my shit together and actually get around to getting this written and ready to post. I’m very slowly easing my way back into a regular schedule. I say that, but I’m still missing days constantly.
You can find Rock here: