I don’t really have much to say on anime currently, which is probably the result of my anime consumption taking a rather dramatic dip as of late, but I do have something to say on anime blogs, specifically my anime blog, and that is that I fear I have been pigeonholed. For those of you out there who need to rather urgently expand your vocabulary, that means to be assigned a particular role, a role that is much too restrictive for your liking. It’s the reason so many actors jack in such fantastic roles (I’m thinking David Tennant as Dr. Who here), they don’t want to be seen as being exclusively that character throughout their acting careers. I too view it in a negative light after having suffered from it: I believe that due to my writing very little but episodic posts for just a couple of months, I have now been assigned the role of episodic blogger, which was never my intention. And also, as I’ve predominantly written about anime, I feel as though it would be almost wrong to write about anything else. But is being pigeonholed really so bad? Let me enlighten you…
One of the negative consequences of being undeservedly pigeonholed is that you’re bound to attract far less readers, which is bad for obvious reasons. Take the role I’ve had bestowed upon me for example: Watashi wa bucho is an episodic blog that covers roughly two shows per season. Its writer, Ty, has developed the preference of avoiding shows that already have a lot of coverage both because she enjoys to discover and promote hidden gems and because she’s slightly intimidated by other, more established, episodic bloggers and, therefore, is hesitant to stress her inferiority by covering the same shows as them. Now, if you were to tell that to a potential reader, you will, quite likely, deter them away from my blog- there are plenty of more casual anime fans out there who do not watch shows as they air every season and the people that do might not necessarily bother watching the more obscure shows I prefer to cover. However, if you were to say something along the lines of: Ty writes a lot of episodic posts, but also some corking editorials and informative reviews, not to mention some great lists, all of which cover a range of anime, new and old, mainstream and little-known (which I don’t believe would be unfair to say, fyi), they’re 10 times more likely to give reading my blog a shot as these are the types of posts that are far more inclusive of the average anime viewer.
Another reason I’m not particularly desirous of being pigeonholed is that you begin to feel as though you’ve got to play up to readers’ expectations of you, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. In other words, I do not feel able to write about my other nerdy interests, e.g. manga, video-games and Western cartoons as freely as I’d like as I am an anime blog that will have only garnered the interest of anime fans, fans who will quite happily pass over anything not of the anime medium. This, very much self-inflicted, curbing of my freedom of expression sickens me as the whole reason I set up Watashi wa bucho was to give myself an outlet in which to express myself on anything I wanted (I am boss), sure, I’d mostly write about anime, but I’d still allow for others things that caught my eye- this summer I was dying to write a post on my favourite survival horror games, but regrettably bailed at the last second! Now I acknowledge I have no one else to blame for being pigeonholed but myself, so is there anything I can do about it? Let’s see…
Well I think it’s important to continue to write a variety of different types of post so I’m not seen as being simply an episodic blogger, obviously, something which will be much easier to do now that I’m only covering one show this season rather than two, as I did during spring. And I guess I’m also going to have to try to care a little bit less about what people think about my blog to enable myself to write about whatever I want, fearless of the possibility it may go ignored by the large majority of my readers. The only other solutions I can come up with are relying on you guys to choose your words selectively when describing my blog to others- here, I’ll copy/paste my earlier introduction for ease of reference:
Ty writes a lot of episodic posts, but also some corking editorials and informative reviews, not to mention some great lists, all of which cover a range of anime, new and old, mainstream and little-known.
– or promoting myself a bit differently. Perhaps under the title ‘Watashi wa bucho!’ I should add the sub-heading: a blog not just about anime, but whatever the hell I want! Catchy, no?
So I’ve done a lot of complaining about pigeonholing during this post, but can it ever actually be a good thing? What do you guys think?