On My Writing Habits, Motivation and Maintaining Interest

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I’ve been writing about anime on and off for about five months now, and have only recently decided to make it an active part of my daily schedule. Writing about anime is, in a sense, a way for me to relieve my frustrations over my works of fiction. Being the romantic perfectionist that I am, the prospect of writing a 50,000-100,000 word novel has always been a daunting one. That being said, my current fictional project is the closest I’ve ever been to seeing a story to its completion. Last November I challenged myself to Nanowrimo and nearly completed the first draft. When looking back on it in retrospect I discovered several aspects of it that I wanted to change and a few bits I wanted to add. Understanding how those bits fit into the narrative has been my present struggle as I slowly progress in my second draft. It’s a big project that requires a lot of time and introspection, especially since the story itself is extremely personal and “close to home”, so to speak.

In the meantime, writing about anime has been almost relaxing. It gives me the ability to write about the things that I’m presently interested in and allows me to learn from them in the process. However, the more I do it, the more I’m finding that it comes with its own set of struggles and complications. For example, you may have noticed that my blog hasn’t been very active for the last week or two. Well, that’s because I’m presently putting the finishing touches on my Flip Flappers analysis, most of which I’ve rewritten about three times now. Unfortunately, I’m finding that I’ve been working on this essay for so long that I’m no longer interested in the topic of the analysis, leading to my delay in finishing it. In the last three days I’ve written four essays to alleviate my boredom and frustration with it, one on a different aspect of Flip Flappers, two on 3-gatsu no lion, and one on writing as an art in general, and now that I’m finally getting caught up on currently airing shows, I’m already formulating new ideas that I want to talk about.

You can tell from my anime watching habits that I have an extremely short attention span. 12 and 24 episode series are usually able to hold my interest, but anything longer has to be extremely special to maintain my interest, and this is reflected in my writing habits as well. When I started writing my Flip Flappers analysis I was captivated by its strong themes and concepts, and to some extent I still am. However, the excitement over that aspect of the show has waned in the last week. Now I find myself captivated by Flip Flappers’ presentation of its core themes, more so than the themes themselves. Soon, my excitement over Flip Flappers might wane even more as more presently concerning shows such as 3-gatsu, ACCA, Little Witch Academia and Maid Dragon fight for my attention.

In a sense, writing about anime has become a race for me; I must immediately write down my thoughts, rewrite the result, spellcheck it multiple times and then publish it before my attention moves onto the next interesting topic that comes along. However, because I’m such a perfectionist, this too is frustrating, because I want my writing to be as refined as I can get it before publishing. Originally I began my Flip Flappers analysis by analyzing the comparison between it and FLCL. However, the more I considered the two shows, I found that they’re so different in their intentions and presentation that the comparison was all but irrelevant, causing me to feel dissatisfied with the state of the essay, prompting me to begin rewriting it. But by choosing to do a rewrite I take the risk that along the way I could lose the interest and motivation required to finish it, which is my present condition. I then decide to take a break from it, telling myself convince myself that I’ll get back to it after I jot down a few notes on something else, but it never stops there. I start by taking a few notes on the show’s presentation, and then its a few notes on 3-gatsu, and then its a few notes on ACCA, and before I know it, even though it’s extremely close to completion, my original Flip Flappers analysis begins collecting dust and my blog remains inactive.

Maybe it’s my ADHD, or maybe this is something all analysts struggle with. I don’t know. What I do know is that if I’m going to continue this hobby of mine, I have to find a compromise. I still intend on finishing and publishing my original Flip Flappers essay within the next week or so, but after that I’ll have to experiment with some new methods of maintaining interest. Instead of creating space between my draft and my edit like I’m used to doing, maybe I’ll jump straight into the editing process. I’ll just have to do some trial and error and see what works for me. In the meantime, I apologize for my inexperience in blogging/analysis, bad writing habits and limited attention span, and I hope to get back to regular posting very soon. The current season is drawing to an end, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to talk about in the coming weeks.

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