We’ve made it to the finish line. I am at last able to say that this is my final entry for the #12DaysofAnime community project. For readers old & new, here is the complete list of submissions
- Shōjo – A Brief Insight
- Final Fantasy XV – A Tale of Two Anime
- Slaying the Ego of Aniblogging
- I Watched Porphy no Tabi This Year
- A Historical Perspective on Japanese Women through Hentai
- Confessions of an Aniholic
- Nothing Lasts Forever
- I Was Nominated For A Blog Award – A Story of Six Acts
- Growing Up Is A Lot Like Getting Lost In The Forest
- Happy Holidays!
- The All Hail Haruhi Awards
- Is this link meta enough
Time for a retrospective don’t you think?
Here is a quick tally. Since this post is the twelfth post and the numbers don’t stop counting, the details here will be quickly outdated, however these are my current stats:
Followers gained: 14
Word Count: 16, 464
What this says
In terms of views I certainly didn’t smash any records. It’s an interesting one to look at because strictly speaking, I’ve had a higher average view count on all my #12Days posts than I ever had on previous posts. On the other hand, my article on Fanservice in anime not only has double the total views here but got a mere 160 of those in the first two weeks of publication. Whether this means that article was exceptional or that nothing I did for #12Days was up to the standard is unclear. What is odd is that (not counted above) my home page got 186 hits, more than ever before, and traffic to older articles increased, in some cases beating out my newer ones. I don’t know what motivated this but I’m happy regardless.
In all other categories the bar was raised. I’ve simply never had this volume of followers, likes, comments and general social interaction around my blog before. When I decided to do this series I made a vow to keep up with fellow writers posts, because the whole point (at least to me) was about the community more so than the content released. Through holding myself to that I’ve been exposed to many wonderful people who’ve shown me full support where none was owed. That makes me incredibly grateful.
Finally, the word count. My average before #12Days was around 1750 words per piece, whereas during the series it averaged out around 1300, and largely due to that one big award show. I’m not disappointed though. In the older cases I had weeks to write and refine, while these newer posts were on a daily rota. Not everyone could’ve managed that, so I can only take it in stride.
I think the greatest momento I can take away here is the perhaps the low numbers. It will be a fantastic feeling when I get to the point that I can replicate those results in fewer posts or in a shorter amount of time. It’s something I can realistically work towards.
My Favourite Piece
I think given the tight turnaround and high expectations I manged to maintain a fairly consistent standard of quality across the board. That said I still have my favourites. “Slaying the Ego of Aniblogging” was a particularly resonant article for a lot of readers. In hindsight I don’t think I was saying anything new but since everyone feels it to a greater or lesser extent I can see why it clicked. “Confessions of an Aniholic” was a lengthy piece and one of the most time consuming. I don’t think it’s an easy read but the amount of technical detail I put into it makes me proud of it. As for the article that I think was written the best, I really can’t decide. The ones that I worked the hardest on were paradoxically the least serious ones, which leaves the others at a loss. In a way I am content with not having made a clear ‘best’ piece, since the center frame is always going to the series as a whole.
What I should’ve done differently
I’m a naturally critical person. I’ve spent so much time learning the basic, intermediate and advanced material in a bunch of literary fields that it’s too late to just ‘forget’ it all. So instead I carry it around with me and hope that I can use my perspective for something vaguely useful. So, to be introspective of what I’ve done here, I have to get critical.
- I think my Shojo piece was extremely eclectic and could have benefited from a clearer structure. Since paragraphs were so disconnected it makes the whole article a chore to read. I essentially stretched what amount to bullet point factoids into a full easy without enough respect and care.
- The Final Fantasy article was ultimately descriptive and uninteresting. I think to cross the boundaries between mediums I needed to focus it down to just one point and then go really in-depth. As it stands I don’t say much about the anime or the game, which was never the intention.
- For the stats breakdown I tried to use visual cues to split everything up. For example in the ratings vs episode count section I tried to have the text get steadily larger to match the increasing episode count. One mistake I made was in colour coding the text as red, orange, green instead of the numbers, which I think would’ve made more sense.
- I may have messed up the order in the blog award post. The idea was for each ‘act’ to correspond to a point in the rules in descending order. The problem is the rules are right near the bottom, so I end up talking about each rule before people even know what they are.
- I actually wanted to be more thorough with the award show but settled for the comedy factor instead. In general I find it difficult to write short enough to fairly represent the anime without going into full analysis mode. Obviously I can’t go on a 1000 word tangent in the middle of the award show just for the sake of nominating something. Perhaps next year I’ll only do awards for shows I have publicly talked about, therefore I can simply ping back to an older post for reference.
So with the twelve days of anime behind me, I now have the wonderful opportunity to look forward to the future. Inspired by the ever amazing Lita Kino, I want to set myself a series of goals to work towards. That way when the next year rolls around I’ll have something to reflect on.
Collaborate with another blogger – I really want to realize this goal. It’s one thing to share opinion on twitter and write in the comment section of wordpress, then an entirely different matter to actually co-ordinate and release one or more articles alongside someone. I want to know what the experience is like, how the creative process plays out and what the impact is.
Release the Belladonna of Sadness paper or reach 30,000 words on it – I mention this almost every other day but I want to finish what I started about 9 months ago. I don’t think I’m letting my ego take over when I say I want to have the definitive write-up on Belladonna in the community. It’s a film that means so much to me that I can’t let myself down by not working on. In case I don’t manage to release it in 2017, I at least want to say I brought it up to 30,000 words. Progress is better than nothing at all.
Write at least one article every month – It sounds like an easy goal and perhaps I should aim higher. That said, I suffer from burnout over my hobbies very easily. I love movies, I’ve played games, I’ve watched more anime than I can count by hand and yes, I read books. Despite all that I’ve never stuck with any one thing for more than a year. I get tired out and cycle through them. This year I want to say that no matter how much anime I watch, I at least kept writing each and every month.
Finish Naruto & Gintama – Collectively I only have about 100 episodes left to watch between these two shows. They are long running shounen and I think it will be a major accomplishment to say that I’ve finished them. This year I want to see that happen.
Stay up to date with fellow bloggers – I really don’t want to lose what I have gained over this series. I might not know people intimately enough to call them friends per say, but it would be remiss of me to forget about their work after this month. I want to keep reading and keep supporting whatever they put their minds to.
Hit 500 views on a new article – The number itself doesn’t matter too much, it is more about a milestone for the blogs growth. I specifically say “new” because I don’t want to credit an older article for this. It has to be something I write in 2017.
Make someone happy – Doesn’t matter how I do it, just that my actions as All Hail Haruhi positively impact another persons life. That doesn’t mean I have to pull someone out a burning building or hand out free money, only that for one day, someone is happy because of something I did. I still want to be a person that will be defined by sincerity and kindness as opposed to vindictive and spiteful.
So that is 7 goals for 2017. Sounds like a fair number to me. I might add more, if I think they are reasonable and not overburdening myself. If anyone reading has changes or suggestions as well then please let me know.
Last but certainly not least, I want to thank you, anonymous reader. Whether you followed my journey from Day 1 or you’re just joining me now, your support is what keeps this little website running. As I detail in “Slaying the ego of aniblogging”, I am writing for my own attainment, but the fact that people like you are willing to take your time to read what I write is an immeasurable kindness. For every page view, every like, every comment, you add value on top of what I do. It might not cost you more than a small amount of your time, yet in the process of doing so, you’re contributing that extra bit of positivity to the world.
So please keep being you, so that I can keep being me. In exchange I promise I will work my hardest to reach the goals I’ve set for myself here and hopeful do the same for others in the undertaking. These words are for you to have, so make sure to hold me to them!
This is Day 12 of #12DaysofAnime. It has gone from a possibility to an actuality. That is the lesson I will remember going into 2017.
Thanks for reading!