If you read my last post then you may already know that my blog has turned one year old. I wanted to do some reflection on the past year and everything I have learnt from the experience. I present to you what I learnt after a year of blogging.

1.My ideas come at the worst possible times

One of the weirdly annoying things I have learnt this year is that the vast majority of my post ideas, inspiration and motivation come to me at the most awkward of times. I’m either trying to get to sleep, relaxing by watching anime or I’m out and about walking the dog or sat in a lecture or something. Then when I can finally get some time to write I struggle to motivate myself and sometimes I just can’t formulate sentences properly due to writers block. If I’m away from the computer I’ll often end up thinking what I might write which is very well written in my head at the time. Then when I actually get to writing everything down it’s nothing like what I first thought up. As awkward as this is for me I’ve basically learnt to roll with it. When inspiration hits I grab my iPad and write whatever is going through my head at the time. It doesn’t matter whether it’s just a post idea which I’ll go back to later or the start of a full on essay I’ll jot whatever comes to mind down in my drafts. I’ve found this process really helps me as I can gather my thoughts over time and then go back and refine whatever it is I want to say at a later date. Plus if it’s written down then I can’t forget it.

2.It’s ok to take breaks

Anime taking a break.gif
Retreating to my anime cave to rest.

I’m the kind of person who is extremely hard on themselves. I never really give myself a break. Once I start something I don’t stop until I exhausted myself and collapse. It’s just how I work and I accept that it’s my work ethic. Having such a drive can be such a positive thing as it has allowed me to succeed in education. However, it’s not always the healthiest way of going about things and I’ve learnt that there is nothing wrong with taking a step back and letting myself breath. It’s often required so I won’t drive myself crazy. I have a habit of overwhelming myself, crying from the stress and then picking myself up and getting on with things. At these overwhelming times such as end of year university work I found that stepping away from hobbies such as blogging helped me not only with time management but also made me feel less pressure. I don’t get pressurised from anyone other than myself so telling myself I’ll go on a break helps to soften the guilt I place on myself. Taking a break also gives me something to look forward to. When I came home from Japan I was so excited to start blogging again after my break. It felt so good and I felt refreshed and ready with plenty of new content and ideas.

3.Having a niche is great but it’s not everything

Before I first started my blog I knew I had to create some kind of theme and find my own little niche to focus in on in order for my blog to run smoothly and coherently. I mean if my blog was all over the place in terms of content then it would make it much more difficult to draw in a audience. I doubt someone who wants to read about anime also wants to read about how finances work. Well, unless you have an interest in both in which case, great go ahead! But you get what I mean. I’m a very fussy person who likes to be organised with what I’m doing especially when it’s something I’m interested in. Having my “nerdy” niche was perfect for me as I’m a naturally nerdy person, that’s where the majority of my interests lie. The niche seemed perfect for me. When I first started I really didn’t want to box myself in which is where the “nerdy” theme comes into play. I didn’t want to just be an anime blog or just be a travel blog. I wanted to combine my main interests together under one umbrella.

I’ve found if I box myself in to one thing in particular I get frustrated and bored after a while. I, again will pressure myself into only doing that one thing and nothing else. I didn’t want that to be the case with my blog. So, whilst I think having a niche is still important and helps attract readers in, it’s not the be all and end all. Its good to branch off and try new things and keeps your content new and fresh for people. I hope to branch off and try new things in the future too.

4.People do care about me and my interests

I’ve struggled for a long time with trying to love myself and be proud of who I am and what I do. I always put down what I’m interested in as either being boring or I’ll be seen as bragging. In real life I tend to keep my interests to myself as I basically don’t want to bore people or piss them off. I’m a listener who puts other people’s interests before my own because in my mind I hold what they do far higher than what I do. I know it’s a bad way of thinking and I’m working on it but this blog has helped me in realising this isn’t exactly true. For a good chunk of this year as I have been blogging I have second guessed myself and nearly deleted content because I was so frightened of saying the wrong thing, being too boring or bragging too much. With my Nerdy Travels series I often thought “should I really post this? Does it give people the wrong impression of me? Will they be pissed at me for sharing this?” “Am I bragging?”. My asexual representation in anime post almost got sent to the trash because I feared what people might say. In simple terms, I’m an over thinker who needs to calm down.

Hanka-kun anime gif
What goes through my mind most of the time.

It’s been a challenge to try to break this mindset but my travel posts in particular have proven me wrong with this way of thinking. Everyone who reads is genuinely interested and it’s made me realise it’s ok to share the cool things I do with people. People want to here my story and enjoy the stories and photos I share. That fact genuinely makes me so happy and has helped me work through part of this issue I have. My blog has shown me that having an opinion is ok too (who would have thought, eh?). There is nothing wrong with me expressing my opinions and ideas on something. It won’t cause world war three like my mind says it will and as long as I’m respectful there is nothing wrong with giving my take on subjects.

So these are a few things I’ve learnt of the past year. It’s been a wild ride with some steep learning curves but I have loved every moment of it so far!

Until next time thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a great day!

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