Animeblogging Burnout and Possible Solutions

This is actually an long-overdue and extremely late response to a post that Eri made around half a year ago before he moved over to Daifuuku. (I’m sorry, Eri, that the post I promised to publish in a “day or so” is only published seven months later).

So anyway, to summarize Eri’s post, he was talking about how sometimes bloggers start to suffer from fatigue and uncertainty and wonder if animeblogging is really for them, and then considers the true meaning behind animeblogging  as a hobby and a form of enjoyment.

Hence, what I’ll be discussing today is why burnout occurs to bloggers, and possible remedies for this problem. So without further ado, lets begin.

Burnout and its causes

Burnout amongst animebloggers is actually quite a frequent occurrence, with many animeblogs dying within months, or even perhaps only after posting a handful of posts. Some people may last longer, but even animebloggers who have been around for a very long time can suffer from burnout as well. Of course, not all animebloggers quit due to burnout; there are other possible factors such as college, getting a boy/girlfriend, getting a job, etc. But let’s not consider other factors here and just focus on burnout. So, why would an animeblogger loses interest and feel tired of animeblogging? It is not hard to see why when we consider your typical animeblogger who does episodics:

  • Every single time an episode is released, you’ll have to watch it, and then write a review based on the entire episode, and perhaps include information and link the current episode’s events to events from previous episodes as well.
  • You’ll need to pen down your thoughts, and at times it can be really difficult to word out your impressions and feelings.
  • You’ll need to word your paragraphs such that they flow and sound logical. A perfectionist may mull over a few sentences for a long period of time because it just seems to appear strange, and end up rewriting the same point over and over again till he or she is satisfied.
  • You’ll need to double check your post for spelling and grammatical errors. Furthermore, one may re-read his/her posts many times over to ensure that what he/she is saying is coherent before he/she finally hits ‘publish’.
  • Some bloggers take screencaps as they are watching the anime, but most don’t want their experience to be interrupted and hence take screencaps after finishing the episode once. Hence, they end up re-watching parts of the same episode again and again to decide what parts they really do want to include in the post, looking for that exact “aha!” moment that they want to capture on screenshot.
  • After that, a screencap filtering process may or may not take place depending on whether the blogger feels that he/she has too many screencaps.
  • Some bloggers take this a step further and improve their screencaps in image-editing software. As a result, the more screencaps one takes, the more images one will have to go through.
  • Afterwards, the screenshots have to be uploaded, properly labeled, and captioned if necessary. Bloggers will usually check whether the screenshots are positioned correctly.
  • Some bloggers will also look for quality wallpapers and scans to place within their posts.

You have to rinse and repeat this process for each episode of series you are reviewing, which of course means that you spend a lot of time and effort indeed. Of course, seasoned animebloggers seem to not have any problem with such a process, but to someone new, it would probably turn out to be a tiring process, even without the part on editing images. But this problem, however, is not exclusive to episodic bloggers; other forms of animeblogging also place similar demands on the blogger.

Another factor that contributes to burnout is a lack of views. When anyone starts a blog, one doesn’t really expect views, and it’s really no different for an animeblog. Views and comments do not magically appear on your blog every time you create a post; a pool of regular readers and active contributors is something that has to be built up over time. Hence, becoming a famous blogger in a short period of time just isn’t possible; a person who starts an animeblog only because they hope to make it big quick is likely to be disappointed. And when a person sees that his/her viewership remains low after painstakingly putting in effort writing posts, it’s difficult not to become jaded.

As a result, due to the aforementioned reasons, blogging will soon be regarded as nothing more than a time-consuming hassle and this culminates in a situation that Eri succinctly describes:

(You) feel that posting is just a waste of time and when you’re about to make a new post, your will wavers and you give up, which leads to procrastination. (And this process will repeat itself until you quit)

Are there any solutions, then?

Definitely. First off, as Eri has mentioned in his post, you should not be worrying about views when you first join the animeblogosphere. Animeblogging is supposed to be a hobby, so the most important thing is to enjoy the experience. Views will come naturally to you after time, and you need to develop viewership by posting. Hence, just do what you enjoy. As you write more and more, so will your readership. So the only question you really should ask yourself is: “Am I enjoying what I’m doing?”.

Of course, if you’re following the exact animeblogging procedure I mentioned above, it is perfectly reasonable that you your answer is “No”. Not everyone has the stamina to do things like this consistently. Hence, do not pressure yourself to meet unnecessary expectations. No one expects you to write a super-long review for every single anime episode, and you don’t really need to put up that many screencaps. If you feel that it’s too much effort taking screenshots, reduce the number that you take per episode. If you feel that you’re really draining your brain juices and frying your brain trying to churn out a long review, then just write down the main points of what you have to say (and follow up with a bit of elaboration if you want). Open Your Mind is a perfect example of this; 53RG10 usually just places one screencap per episode and pens down his thoughts with much brevity. If you feel exhausted doing anime reviews, then perhaps it’s time to cut down of the number of series’ you’re blogging. Alternatively, try making one post for every 2-3 (or even more) episodes instead of for every single episode. Still too tired? You can review anime series’ as a whole or do first impressions, halftime and final impressions like what lostty does at Anime Princess. Or perhaps just write down what you’re thinking while you’re watching the anime, stream of consciousness style. Episodics not doing it for you? Try blogging about other stuff. In sum, there are many different methods to blogging, so if you don’t like what you’re doing, change it until you find something comfortable.

Next, only write about things you have a passion for. If you’re passionate about a certain topic or anime, writing posts about it will definitely be much easier since you’ll have much more to talk about, and it will also seem less of a chore. As an added bonus, passionately written articles also have a tendency to draw in views and comments from people who (dis)agree with your view, so you get to kill two birds with one stone.

Another solution that I’d like to offer is to take a break. It may sound obvious, but it seems that sometimes we end up pushing ourselves even though we know that we’re starting to feel tired. At times, life also lands us in certain difficult circumstances, and taking a break from blogging might just help to ease your schedule and give you less stress. If you’re frustrated with animeblogging, you may just end up “extrapolating” your angst to the anime series’ you are watching. In the end, you’ll start to feel distaste for the anime you’ve been following or worse, end up hating anime in general. People need a break sometimes, and it’s perfectly normal. People will understand. You can always come back to animeblogging whenever you feel like it, such as what Seinime has done.

The last option, of course, is to quit. It isn’t necessarily a bad option if you’re really tired of anime, animeblogging, or both. But who knows, maybe one day your love for anime will be re-ignited, and you’ll return to the sphere.

So, to all readers out there, if you managed to survive through reading the lengthy wall of text above, what are your views on burnout? Have you experienced it before and do you have any solutions for it? All comments are welcome!

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  1. 53RG10

    When you make it a job or something you have to do, that’s when the burnout will start to show up. You’re not having fun, so soon you’ll think it’s too much of a hassle and will stop doing it.

    Which is why I have a loose style. I only post whenever I have the feel for it, not every episode gets one, some anime don’t even get a single post through the whole season. lol

    • Iso

      Yep, I totally agree. I only post when I feel like it and on whatever topic I like. It’s just that I feel like posting quite often these days :D

  2. Hiromi

    Should be done at a leisurely pace eh

  3. Eri

    Splendid response! Definitely worth the wait. I agree with all of your points (since most have also been written by me) and maybe I even wanted to mention some of those I missed but, you know, when writing a long post my mind just jumps from one idea to another and inspiration is overwhelming… haha, funny how I just got another idea for a post.

    Thanks for the read and sorry for not noticing earlier~

  4. Rednights

    Definitely felt all of the above. I took numerous breaks because if it. Each time I came back I kept refining the process as suggested, everything besides what I actually write is pretty automated now. Batch processing in Photoshop was a godsend, what a nifty feature you know! I treat my blog more like a diary now and a nifty way to practice SEO. I’d like to remember some of the shows I watch so I scrapped the “viewer count” goal a long time ago. The only hurdle is he grammar boss. Beats me every time.

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