The End of the Road

Hatsune Miku Blog Goodbye WordPress Anime SadKonnichiwa, Mikuites. It’s 6:30 a.m., and here I am, again, writing another blog post. Though, what makes this post so unique from the rest is that it could be my last.

Being a blogger, I’ve spent my fair share of time reading many other blogs. Two of them talked about the lifespan of blogs and how most blogs tend to last only 2 years. Well, even though I planned to be a blogger for the rest of my life, things did not quite turn out that way. In fact, I’ve fallen short of that projected lifespan. But, it’s been a great 1 & 3/4 years. I’ve met people like Hinochi and Dreadwing93 who knew me long before I moved to WordPress. I thank Yi for being one of the first bloggers to ever reach out to me. It was from Yi that I learned about the importance of Blogrolls and networking. In fact, I modeled Mind of Miku after Listless Ink. Then, there are many other blogs (in no particular order) like Atvrcr’s Oniony Otaku Blog, Ambivalence , or is it ambiguity?, BLOG: Where stupid ideas run wild!, EmptyBlue, and Sekijitsu who followed suit shortly after. And don’t think I’ve forgotten about you, Nopy: I think I first met you during your amazing History With Anime project, and I’m glad I did.

I thank everyone who has ever commented on and subscribed to my blog, but especially Hinochi and Dreadwing93, since they have stuck with me since long before WordPress and even before I had a Twitter. XD Special thanks goes to Justin for being my first and only guest blogger. I know atvrcr was thinking about it too, but I understand that we’re all busy.

————————————

I know this sounds like a death letter, but understand that this is not the end of my life –– it may very well be just the start. I believe we go through life in a series of stages. I spent my high school years as president of my town’s anime club, and I’ve spent the last couple years being the administrator of this blog; even though I’m 3 months shy of my 2 year anniversary, I feel like now’s the right time to move on to the next pillar of my life. I can’t loiter any longer.

I wrote once that the greatest misconception people have about blogging is that it’s easy, when in fact it’s like having a 2nd job…literally. Allocating time to sit down and write is only a small, small percentage: you don’t see all the background work –– designing the site, finding images, reading and replying to comments, browsing other blogs, watching anime, writing rough drafts, organizing a schedule, etc.

Ironically, the reason I’m so behind in watching anime is because I’ve been so busy blogging about it. I had to essentially give up on video games to make time for blogging; now I’m going to have to give up blogging to make time for more important issues in my life.

Let me tell you from experience that it is not easy to write a book and be a consistent blogger at the same time. Writing a blog and writing a novel are two different monsters: one is casual and in 1st-person; the other is formal and in 3rd-person –– not to mention the former is meant to be read in bite-size pieces (unlike this post you’re reading right now! ^_^;), while the latter is a single affair that takes place over hundreds of pages.

Needless to say, it’s a lot of mental stress switching gears from one form of writing to another.

————————————

Speaking of stress, I have OCD. I remember when I first started blogging in September 2009, I was checking almost every hour –– I spazzed out any day I got over 100 visits. After moving to WordPress, I started acquiring things I never had a taste of on Blogger: comments and subscribers. While I was absolutely flabbergasted the first time I received over 20 comments on a single post, I also felt a sense of pressure and duty building up. Duty to do what? I don’t know. As I stated in another, much earlier post, blogging is like a service. Now that I had an audience, I had to live up to their expectations. Being the perfectionist that I am, I obsessed day and night about what those expectations may be. I already gave up on episodic blogging long ago, and thank God I did, because I couldn’t have any fun watching anime while thinking in the back of my mind what I was going to write about immediately afterwards.

I have a self-proverb that says a hobby is no longer a hobby when it feels like work. That goes for anything: video games, anime, blogs –– if you’re not having fun and it’s starting to feel like work, then it’s time to quit or move on to another hobby for a while. That’s when I know how to drop an anime –– when I’m no longer enjoying it.

I fell into a trap, and I have no qualms about admitting it, because I’m sure every blogger has done it at least once. I started writing posts no longer for fun, but for the acclaim. That’s not to say ALL my posts were just to get views and feed my ego, but sometimes I forced myself to write when I didn’t want to: either it was a topic I didn’t have much interest in or it was out of mere necessity.

Another trap that I fell into was the “daily view count” trap. Blog views are very volatile. You like to imagine they will progressively increase from week to week –– forever, until the end of time –– but over the last 7 weeks they have made a parabolic curve. Mind you, 2 weeks ago I received more views than any other week in the history of my blog, but the point I’m trying to make is that blogging is not systematically rewarding. Some days you’ll have many views and comments, other days you’ll be left empty-handed. It’s not your fault; that’s just life. So many factors come into play –– the day you post, the length of your post, who’s online at the time, what people are chatting about, what topics people are willing to read… Sometimes, the post you spent the most time on and you think will be extremely popular ends of getting hardly read at all, and the post you thought you f*cked up on and decided to use as a filler ends up getting discussed for days and spread all over the Internet! =D Of course, I don’t obsess over that stuff, or else I would’ve driven myself mad ages ago. The definition of success varies from person to person –– I surpassed my goal of Twitter followers by over 100 (so far), and that was very satisfying; I appreciate every single one of you –– but once you receive over a dozen comments or reach that climatic day of view counts, it’s hard to go back to your blog without craving more. That’s when my OCD kicked in. I was checking my blog many times a day, like when I had first started. “Am I going to set a new record today?” “Why didn’t I get as many views as yesterday?” “What should I blog about so I get more hits?”

They say, “The sky is the limit,” and I’m sure every blogger is curious just how far their blog can go, but just as you touch the clouds, that’s usually when you run out of fuel and burnout rears its ugly head. It’s like chasing after a perpetually moving target.

I believe I already mentioned that 2011 has been a hard year for me. I have many outer conflicts, aside from writing and blogging, which have added unnecessary stress to my life that I wish I didn’t have to deal with. But alas, sometimes things happen in life that are completely out of your hands. With so many difficult decisions in my life to contemplate over, I started having stomach pains, and while I initially thought it was because I was drinking too much soda, I stopped for a week and noticed it only started when my anxiety kicked in (my doctor prescribed me medicine for it).

To be honest, I only check my blog a couple times a week now; I don’t even bother worrying about the stats anymore because any added anxiety to my already chaotic life obviously isn’t good for me, and that’s kinda when I realized it was the beginning of the end.

————————————

As I already described, I got caught up in the numbers and started blogging just for the sake of blogging. I started putting out more posts a week because I noticed my views dropped whenever I didn’t blog –– but concurrently, my quality suffered for it. I had to sacrifice time out of my day, sometimes even sleep, for quality –– and frankly, this year I just don’t have the same amount of time as I did last year. Therefore, my next course of action was to find a balance between quantity and quality –– where I could set enough time in my day/week to write a quality post, but post frequently enough so that my view count wouldn’t suffer for it –– who knew blogging involved economics? Although, I never got around to it.

Almost two years later, I feel like it’s just becoming too ridiculous. I spend just about as much time (if not more) blogging about anime as I do watching it, and I spend even more time thinking about the philosophies of a successful blog, then I do actually writing on it. I could go on blabbering about all the trial and error that goes into making a blog –– the first year alone is genuinely experimentation –– but I’m sure you’ve acknowledged at least a part of this vast, infinite picture by now. The Internet will continue evolving, and –– as both a blessing and a curse –– as long as there is anime, there will always be something to blog about. Time –– or in this case, the Internet –– waits for no one. If you can afford the time to keep up with the latest anime AND manage your blog, then more power to you. But chances are if you’re a blogger, you’re probably sacrificing something right now.

The problem I am facing is that I’m currently at both the hardest and most important crossroad of my life, and I can’t keep toiling away at this blog, while years pass before me.

It’s time for me to decide the next step in my life.

That’s not to say Mind of Miku is going to become comatose. I think –– no, I will –– continue blogging, but I can’t won’t guarantee you anything. I’m sorry that a year later I never finished my Top Anime of the Decade countdown, and I didn’t even get around to posting my Top Anime of 2010 (that kinda fell into the back burner while I dealt with other, more pressing issues –– as I mentioned, I haven’t had much time to spare for anime). I had so many things planned to write about (like my first anime figure, Black Rock Shooter Nendoroid), which I never did: That’s the story of my life; I start so many projects, but never finish; I guess this blog was just another one of those obstructions. Although, if you want to take on a cynical point of view, I suppose you can never “finish” a blog. So, Mission Accomplished?

My only regret is that I didn’t join WordPress sooner, because even though I’ve been tirelessly blogging for close to 2 years, I’ve only enjoyed the fruits of WordPress –– the streamlined interface and the fame/publicity that has come with it –– for a short 6 months.

I don’t know when I’ll write another blog post or how frequently. It definitely won’t be on a timely schedule because I just can’t deal with those kinds of preconceptions. Presumably speaking, I’ll use this blog as my sketchbook in the future –– a place for my ideas to run wild, the way I intended it to be from the beginning. Therefore, I will only write whenever I feel like I have something to say. Of course, I’ll still be on Twitter, because that’s a lot less time consuming; so feel free to follow me there.

So I guess this is the end of the road. It’s time for Miku to switch lanes and start a new era in my life. Where will this new road take me? God only knows.

<3 MiKu

P.S. Maybe I’m just being pessimistic and pretentious –– I really do have respect for anime blogs and the anime community in general –– but I feel like my blog doesn’t have the edge it used to. Something in my life is missing. I don’t want to believe that I’ve reached the summit. I feel like there is a bigger calling out there for me. I want to remain optimistic and believe that the best of my years are still to come. :)

About MkMiku

Just a neko expressing what's on my mind. Nya~
This entry was posted in 2011, Anime, Editorial, Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to The End of the Road

  1. Justin says:

    Not exactly the news I was expecting to hear–say it ain’t so!

    No seriously, I can understand why you’re leaving (at least temporarily) but this is unexpected. Being selfish, I’d say reconsider–prioritize what comes first in your life. The blogging comes later. You don’t have to write a whole lot of posts (I don’t), so try and maximize your time. You’re only one person!

    • MkMiku says:

      Luckily, I have some drafts saved up, so my blogging schedule will continue as per usual through May. After that, not even I know what to expect.

      P.S. I’m glad you understand that I’m a one-Miku team, and that it’s typical for me to get bogged down occasionally. ^^;

  2. baka~ says:

    You are right when you mentioned that a hobby is no longer a hobby when it feels like work but the very ideal that separates these two semantically similar words would be ‘passion’. The passion to write. I am not giving this advice because I am a skilled writer or because I have and look after page views. Truth be told, I am content even if my daily views reach 50 or less because my intended audience has never been my visitors. The purpose of my blog is to entertain myself. I am the author of my posts as well as the audience. Because I speak what’s in my mind with little corrections or structure, it is evident in my posts how most of them not make any sense, befitting of my site’s name BLOG: Where stupid ideas run wild.

    If you are unsatisfied with blogging, it’s alright to take a break and recall that feeling that you had when you started. For whom are you doing all this? For what topic did you have in mind? There’s nothing wrong if you’re blogging to be famous. Just remember to motivate yourself with that feeling that you would expect when people would storm in you blog site and spam it with comments.

    So take it easy. Take a breather and reorganize your thoughts. After all, there was a reason why you decided on Mind of Miku to be this site’s title. You just have to remember it.

    • MkMiku says:

      From now on I’m going to be writing for myself and on my own terms; in other words, whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like it.

      Thanks for the encouraging words. Sometimes we get so caught up in the little details that we forgot about our main goal. I’ll try to keep that in mind.

    • feal87 says:

      Oh, I was preparing to write a good comment, arrives Baka and steal my words…:P

      Anyway yes, that’s what I think too. A blog should be made to entertain yourself, not for the pageview count or it will become just another job.

  3. Miss_Nellie says:

    I agree that some things, even with the ones that a person would love to do for the rest of his life can still come to a point that it’s becoming stale, unreal, lacking of new idea to share, or just any event in our daily life “must come on an end”. Everybody says that the only thing permanent in the world is “change” and it is inevitable for everybody.

    Like the earlier post commented, take a breather and re-organize. Its helpful if your mind is cluttered and needs re-arrangement. Take your time and rest. Ideas will come and you will see that it will take you again on another session of writing again.

    – Miss Nellie -

    • MkMiku says:

      I think refocus is the key word here. After almost 2 years of straight blogging, I think I could use a break. I’m not tired of writing, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of that, but blogging is a different “type” of writing that’s surprisingly taxing, if that makes sense. x.x

  4. Ebola says:

    baka baka baka just remember to keep us updated on the events of your life for …your stalkers

  5. Yumeka says:

    I know all about blogging being like a second job, except you don’t get paid XP (that would be nice!) I also totally hear you about blogging being hit or miss – some days you feel like your blog is getting more and more popular while the next day you may feel otherwise, and some posts you spend a ton of time on get practically no comments. Sometimes keeping up my strict blogging schedule feels like a chore, but there’s always at least some enjoyment involved with every post, so I gotta take the good with the bad. But I’ll never post about something purely for the sake of getting views (though it could be a factor). Like Thoreau once said, “It’s better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”

    I’m lucky that my life right now is free enough that I’m able to work part-time and can use my free time for blogging and anime. I’m sure that one day my life will become too busy for me to keep up my current blogging schedule, if at all, so I’m trying to make the most of it while it lasts.

    I’ve only recently discovered your blog but you’ve left a few nice comments on mine, and I thank you for that ^_^ I wish you the best of luck with whatever endeavors you’re pursuing~

    • MkMiku says:

      I’m glad you’re still enjoying blogging right now. You always do good work. As bloggers, we must learn to stay optimistic while blogging; inevitably, some days will be better/worse than others.

      I liked the quote. I need to start writing for myself, like I used to, instead of worrying so much about what people are going to think about my posts. :)

  6. Amy says:

    Wow, I never assumed that you were really busy in reality. I didn’t know that blogging stresses you out. Well, same here. That’s why I stop blogging constantly and just randomly these days.

    Blogging takes so much time and you don’t get paid for it. But… I enjoy blogging nevertheless. I guess it’s fun to me to see the comment of others.

    I hope that you still continue updating your status. I really enjoy reading your blog.

    • MkMiku says:

      Well, as you know, I switched over from a personal blog to a pure anime blog this year, since people probably find it more entertaining to read. I just made this post so you guys would know why I may not be posting as frequently in the future.

      Thanks. ^_^ As I mentioned to Miss Nellie, I enjoy writing, I just want to do it at my own pace.

  7. Ruby says:

    I know how you feel T_T this is exactly how I felt back then. Blogging is definitely very time consuming and you have no time for other fun stuff… I mean, cutting out your video game time? that’s horrible!
    Just post whenever you feel like it~~ good luck with your life ^_^

    • MkMiku says:

      I had to cut back on anime, too, periodically. Some nights that I planned on marathoning, I ended up writing instead. It was overwhelming trying to schedule everything, and a textbook case of burnout. I think once I have some time to clear my mind, I’ll be able to come back to blogging with fresh ideas and renewed energy.

  8. Bass says:

    Oh man this sucks DX I do understand your feelings though, I felt the same way last year, a whooping half a year after I started.

    Hopefully you won’t forget about us in the blogoshpere and make sure to keep up with twitter. I hate it whenever a fellow blogger closes shop, makes me feel really sad but sometimes when the fire isn’t there, it’s just time to move on.

    Hopefully you’ll still pop up with a post here and there, who knows you may find the motivation again in the future. Just don’t forget to keep in touch on twitter and all the best for the future ^_~

    • MkMiku says:

      I’ll still be on Twitter since it is quick and spontaneous and doesn’t involve any planning.

      I’ll also continue posting on my blog, but hopefully with more quality over quantity in the future.

      • Bass says:

        Hey then you’re not dying at all XD

        Make this strictly an editorial blog and you won’t have to be bogged down with deadlines etc >:3

  9. I’m sorry to hear that blogging started to take over and lose it’s fun. Nobobdy ever wants that to happen with any hobby/interest. I only recently stumbled upon your blog, but I do enjoy your writing. If it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on. Writing a novel (speaking as a former aspiring novelist) is really hard. Good luck with that. :)

    When frustrated, just pretend that Miku is standing there, reaching out with a leek, offering to help you pick yourself up. Something like that. I like it. ^_^

    • MkMiku says:

      Thanks, I’ll need it. I’m glad you like my writing. Part of the reason I started this blog was to see how I would fare in the writing world. Now I’m going to shift my focus back onto my novel(s).

      I already ordered Support Miku. I’ll need all the support I can get. xD

  10. Nopy says:

    I’m saddened to hear that blogging has had a negative impact on you, it should be a way to express yourself and share your thoughts with others, not a job. I see there’s another post after this one, so I’m glad that you haven’t stopped blogging. Just go at your own pace and everything will be fine :)

    • MkMiku says:

      Actually, I’d say my current lifestyle has had more of a negative impact on my blogging. Hopefully that will change once I take some time to step back and rejuvenate. Like I said, quality over quantity. :) This isn’t really the end of the road, more like the start of a new one.

  11. bobbierob says:

    Just a couple of days ago, my own blog has just turned 6 months old. I am aware that I am still relatively new on the scene, but over these past 6 months, I have fallen into many of the traps and pitfalls you have mentioned. For about 2 weeks, I saw a noticeable drop in quality of my posts, maybe because other things in my life has shortened my alloted blogging time. However, I try to break out of that viscous cycle as best I can.

    My first choice of blogging platform was WordPress, and after seeing your praise for it, I believe I made a good choice there.

    I will admit that I get a feeling of satisfaction when my daily pageviews show a steady climb, or sometimes break a record and reach an all-time high. However, if I only paid attention to such things as page views and comments, I too would have been driven mad along ago. All of us have our own way of coping with things, and I like to think that I write for myself as much as I write for my readers.

    For me, blogging is fun. If it was not, I would already have quit. Sometimes, though, I do feel like writing a post starts to feel like a chore, and I get this feeling of anxiety when I realize that a post is behind schedule.

    Anyway, thank you for writing this post. It’s extremely reassuring to see that I am not the only one who has problems such as these. I hope you all the best in your life moving forward.

    • MkMiku says:

      I don’t think it’s writing that’s a a problem, but the schedule. Actually, the reason I want to be a writer is so that I won’t have a schedule. I know I will still have deadlines to meet, but blogging is different because you’re expected to post at a certain frequency. When you start falling behind schedule, it’s easy to get frantic over it. That’s why in the future I’ll post at my own pace. I think if I’m more relaxed I’ll be able to do a better job, as well.

      I’m glad I was able to be of help to you, and best of luck with your blog. ^^

  12. Kuro says:

    I’ve just discovered your blog today and to read this post is really saddening. Sad to see a fellow aniblogger closing shop. Your blogposts are very entertaining to read! Hope you come back soon!

  13. atvrcr says:

    I know how hard it can be, that was the main reason I never wanted to blog alone that way I could have no schedule and post whenever I felt like it. My blog pumps out a decent amount of posts each month and I only account for 2-4 of those each month. Even though I found this place not that long ago (I believe it was after you subscribed to us), I’ll be sad to see less of you around. Your posts were always awesome and I always enjoy reading them (even if I don’t always comment). It’s funny that I read this now, since I was just finishing up some of the posts I was going to put up here for you.

    I bet future posts will be amazing since you wont have to stress.
    Anyways I wish you the best in whatever you may do from here on out. Go take your vacation and who knows maybe stepping away for a bit will be just the thing you need to rekindle your passion.

    • MkMiku says:

      You’re still welcome to submit your post. I’m also open to anyone else who wishes to contribute, as long as they notify me so I can add them.

      I’m still on the fence about whether to have a team or not. I don’t mind sharing, it’s just that Mind of Miku was meant to be a personal blog and sometimes I share personal thoughts. So it wouldn’t really fit in the scheme of things if there were multiple authors.

      Thanks for the encouragement. I already feel better knowing that I’m under no pressure and that I have a slew of Mikuites to support me. ^_^

  14. atvrcr says:

    Well I’m in the middle of writing 3 posts. I’ll send them to you soon and feel free to use whichever ones you want to. Whichever ones you don’t want to use I’ll just post on my blog.

  15. Random Guy says:

    I think I know how you feel, I used to have a blog but closed it due to time restraints/constraints…
    Mind of miku is bookmarked here, hopefully we’ll see more of your posts in the future.
    As people said earlier, take a break for a while. Maybe your blogging spirit will come back again! xP
    Good luck on whatever you do. xD

    • MkMiku says:

      I already got two posts in mind, so that’s a good start. I’m glad my blogging vigor has not completely diminished. Maybe all I needed was just a little break, after all. >_<

  16. Q says:

    Some of your points got me thinking here too, as I’ve (re)started blogging in mid-2007. Seeing one blogger going after another is not exactly a good feeling I gotta say. Worse if they simply disappeared one day without anyone knowing why.

    To me, blogging takes up quite a lot of my time, be it simply writing a post up or replying to comments or catching up with people’s blogs. My hobbies and backlogs also varied quite a lot, from anime to Gunpla to games and even military. I often have to prioritise stuff and leave some on a low key until I shift things around again (in addition to real life stuff of course). I guess sometimes I do have to give breaks to something and do something else for a change.

    Lots of people would say that one should blog only for himself and just enjoy the process of sharing the thoughts out. However it’s kinda easy to go blogging for the acclaim and success of it, as the result is visible, and to some it’s easy to lose sight of what’s ahead. But it’s good to know that you’re taking a break and start changing course as you’re blogging again.

    Keep it up, and pace yourself well. I’m sure you’re doing very well already with a lot of people here supporting you. Just give yourself a break when you need to!

    • MkMiku says:

      Believe me, unless something major happened, I would always say if I’m leaving. That’s why I wrote this post: because I respect my readers enough that they deserve to know. Not that I’m leaving, but I thought you guys should know what’s going on in my mind/life right now.

      I kinda see my life as a shifting cog. I wish I could fit everything in one day, but that’s just not temporally possible. So, I tend to rotate. Some months I’ll focus on anime, others on games, others on writing, etc. While I can’t really go on a 4 month blogging hiatus without drawing conspiracy theories, I have cut back on my blogging time to — ironically — make more time to catch up on my backlog of anime. XD

      Anyway, yes, I am thankful for all the support I have. Encouragement is a writer’s best friend. And I believe things will get better from here, now since I will be writing in accordance with my own vision and that I know what hurdles to expect when it comes to blogging and how to cope with them. ^^

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  19. Anonymous says:

    This reminds me of Elfen Lied final(a mixture of deep feelings)

    -Schulz

  20. Pingback: Mardi Gras in August–Blog Carnival: Reflections on Animanga Blogs « The Kotatsu

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