I’ve been wanting to write something like this for a long-ish time now. However, like most other things, I have been unable to find the words to express it in a way that both makes sense to me, and to those of you reading. Well… saying that, I don’t know if it will make sense, even now. Making sense isn’t something I’m all that well known for. Though, I will do my best.
I don’t know what to call this… a monologue on enjoyment, on motivation, and writing; all loosely linked to anime in some way or the other, and my often strange experiences with it.
I think the concept of motivation is a good place to start and will act as a good base for everything I want to say thereafter.
I struggle with motivation.
I always have, at least during the parts of my life where I have needed it the most. Most days I ask myself, “How do I get more? Where is it hiding!?” As if it is something I can go and grab off the shelf at my local supermarket… of course, it isn’t. But then, what is it? And why does it feel like I have it in such fewer amounts than those around me?
If I were to relate motivation to anime..: Maybe I struggle to finish shows that I genuinely enjoy. Maybe I don’t pay enough attention to the shows I’m currently watching. Maybe I just don’t watch anything because of the effort that takes. Motivation – or the lack thereof – has too much of an influence in my life. It permeates through everything I do, and everything I try to do. It’s a problem, though, I don’t know how big of a problem. I don’t know how different this makes me to the majority of the population, if at all. That’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s impossible to say if you are unique or common because there is no ‘standard’ level of experience in life.
The only perspective is a personalised, individual one.
I won’t say modern technology is the cause of this contention, and conflict within ourselves (these things have always existed in one form or another). Neither do I believe social media and the quick turnover/consumption of content/media plays a large part in what a person does and becomes. Of course, it influences many things, both positive and negative – I’m no exception to that. Still, humans have a knack for adapting, that’s why we’re all here now. Why you’re able to read this on a screen thousands of miles away. Social Media has helped me get to grips with the wider community, and therefore with some of the issues within the industry. Also, not discounting the enjoyment I get from interacting with all of you, (Follow me on Twitter, so you can do exactly that!) something which makes me feel just that bit warmer on the colder days.
Do I Enjoy Anime…?
The short answer… yes.
The long answer… a little more complicated.
I can confidently say I haven’t been watching anime for as long as a lot of you have. Seasonally, I’ve only been watching for about a year and a half. Of course, in the years previously, I watched a fair number of both films and shows, but not a great deal in any sense. As a result, I don’t know anywhere near as much as I’d like to when it comes to anime. Specifically the business side of things: the studios, the staff, and the visionaries. I don’t regularly comment on these things, because I can’t…
That bothers me.
I’d like to be more involved; to play a larger part in this side of the community. To understand more deeply the people involved in anime; then watch more from the people I enjoy, respect, and am inspired by. This is something I’m slowly walking towards. Although, at first it may seem like something trivial, my inability to focus on any one thing for too long, or with enough attention turns it into something of a chore – the very last thing I want it to be. I don’t exactly know why this is. There are many reasons I can guess, all of which put together form a primordial soup of hell. All of which makes me angry. It’s a strange feeling: Not enjoying the things you want to enjoy, the things you know you’re able to enjoy.
I want to sit down, go through the dozens of shows and films on my to-watch-list, and simply enjoy them, watch them without being distracted by a million other things… Looking back on the anime I have watched, I can count those I’ve fully enjoyed, on one hand, the others all being forgettable to varying degrees, and in varying manners. This goes well beyond anime. It stands for everything in my life. It is as though I’m swimming in an ocean of mediocrity – a world with so few islands it’s hard to place my feet on solid ground, and hard to move off that ground when I do eventually find it. Usually, it comes down to three pieces in each respective medium. The firsts of which I understand with 90% certainty will remain in their positions until the day I die.
If that sounds arrogant and pessimistic, it’s because it is.
|Welcome to the N.H.K||(500) Days of Summer||Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice|
|Evangelion||Lost in Translation||The Talos Principle|
|Haruhi Suzumiya||Full Metal Jacket||Metro: (Franchise)|
Things don’t impress me. Not because I demand too much, nor because of the quality of what I’m consuming. But because of something more elusive, something which resides in the shadows of my mind where I can only see the silhouettes positioned against every other brilliant thing I’ve watched. Then, I realise it… The vast majority of these things I experienced over five years ago, in my mid-teen years. In a time when my life had no purpose, where everything just… was, situations and people existing because they just… were. I tried even less with things than I do now, something which in retrospect I cannot bend my mind around. And yet, there I was: Doing nothing, not trying to do anything, sitting in a puddle of my own self-contempt and fear in literally everything and everyone. It felt as though all I had was the media I consumed – constantly searching for the next thing, the next ‘experience’ I can parse pieces of my within. A percentage of this outlook carries over to today. I’m trying to shake it. I promise.
Until then, I search through the vast, vast libraries of anime, looking for something that can make me feel… something.
Writing… and Trying to Write
Currently, I’m studying English Literature and Creative writing at university, something which will be my life for the next three years (I had to do an extra year because of terrible exam results previously, but that’s fine). I am doing it because it is the only thing I want to do. Quite possibly the only thing I can do. It’s impossible to conceive of anything else at the moment.
Maybe those who have been with me from the start know I used to write another blog, so this is not a new thing to me. Though, Peach’s Almanac has become much more than I ever thought it would, and we’re only a year in! I thank you you for that! It has become a very important aspect of my life – something I don’t want to change, ever.
I’ve been writing for a while. Before the blog, (and of course after) I’ve written with varying degrees of seriousness since I was around sixteen (I’m almost twenty-two now): Short stories, novel attempts, and poetry. None of which were brilliant by any stretch of the imagination, most of which weren’t even acceptable. However, it’s not the result that matters, it is trying, and the not giving up on trying which is so imperative. Eventually, the results will fall in place.
The only way to get better at writing is by writing.
A notion that applies to everything else in life. I look back even two years at my writing, and the embarrassment I feel reading it is beyond belief, the same goes for my content on this blog – the quality of posts now contrasted with when I started. Change like this happens without notice. It’s only when you look back you understand how much further down the road you’ve travelled. Though, don’t think you’re closer to the destination, for the road has no destination, no end. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Let me know your sweet, sweet thoughts!?
Thanks for reading, as always!
-Chris (Follow me on Twitter, and consider supporting Peach’s Almanac on Patreon!)