2015 has been... an interesting sort of year for me. During this year, I found a passion, found what I wanted to do with myself, what I could even go as far as to say that I feel I need to do with myself, even though it had been staring me in the face basically for my entire life, and, oh yeah, I took to blogging here on Destructoid a lot more. That in itself was a new experience, and it's been something fairly enjoyable, for the most part.
Despite this, as the year comes to a close, in many ways, I actually feel as though I'm worse off. In others, I would almost say some of these things have been detrimental to my growth as a writer and person.
Certainly, outside factors are one element of this puzzle. One big element, in fact. There are days when I can't or don't manage to get a meal in for whatever reason, and likewise, my sleep schedule is a joke right now. Naturally, these things will all contribute to one's state of mind as well as the quality of their writing. The subjects they write about will be affected as well, I suppose.
Last Thanksgiving, I wrote this blog about Compile Heart. It was a little silly, it messed around, but I was proud of it. My mindset when I made it was happy, for the most part. It was my first major blog here, save that one I wrote a few months prior and always forget exists until I look at the Manage Your Posts section of the site.
Let's skip ahead a few months. My first ever front-paged article! Holy guacamole! And, whaddya know, it's about Compile Heart too!
I'll be honest, when I wrote the blog, I didn't really expect people to read it. I don't know if anyone remembers, but the original title wasn't "What's the deal with Compile Heart?" or anything even like that, but something self-defeating and depressed sounding like "This isn't worth reading wah wah wah."
Similar though these two blogs are, there's a distinct difference between them, I feel. One comes from a goofy place just talking about games and a company they like, the other comes from months of hanging around Destructoid, which had been becoming increasingly less accepting of games of that nature. That, or it never had been to begin with, and I'd just been hanging around here more and more and had taken notice of it. Either way, really. The point is, I didn't like what I was seeing, so wah wah wah, basically.
If it's not clear, I'm kinda making fun of myself here.
Anyway, since July? Sure, while Compile Heart and its fellow "lesser" Japanese developers have disappeared off the face of the site for the most part (interestingly, Kotaku of all places recently wrote one of the fairest write ups for Neptunia I have ever seen), the new Dead or Alive Xtreme game has been one of the most talked about games on the site... but ironically, very few of the articles are actually talking about the game.
So it's still a thing, but that's how Dtoid just kind of is. I've gotten used to it, and I did those Gazetta Gazettes at one point, my little effort to keep some games on the site, but they got to be way too much work.
More importantly to me, though, is my output during this time period. Far too many of my recent blogs have been either some iteration of "LET'S GET ALONG!", "THESE GAMES EXIST!", or "BLAH BLAH FANSERVICE ISN'T BAD BLAH BLAH." In essence, my blogs have become at their cores, a response to controversy or lack of respect/focus of something, often on this very site. The amount of "me" is shrinking, and it's becoming "me in response to things," and I don't like that one bit.
Seriously, I don't actually like fanservice games that much (off the top of my head, my past five GOTYs would be inFamous 2, Sonic All Stars Racing Transformed, something for 2013, Soul Sacrifice Delta, and Shovel Knight Vita), I just really seem to disagree with people about them (and often what even constitutes as fanservice in the first place), what the appeal necessarily is (or "just" is), and want to see 'em get their fair shake instead of being treated like they're not games for whatever reason.
It seems like common sense to me, so, thus some of my blogs take the form they do. It's less my enjoyment of them and more that I feel the treatment is unfair, basically.
... Well, okay, my blog is all of that or something Kamen Rider related, despite Kamen Rider not really being on topic for the site, but that's to be expected of me. Kamen Rider is the bone of my sword, kamen is my body and rider is my blood, I have watched nearly a thousand episodes, unknown to ultra nor known to garo, have withstood--
Wait. What was I saying again?
And yeah, it's true, I had some blogs like that in the beginning. One of my first ones was about the controversy surrounding Hatred! At this point, I fear it's becoming the majority.
And sure, part of this does relate to outside circumstances again. I'm not playing games nearly as much as I was in the beginning of the year, so for a video game blogging website, what I can offer is shrinking. I haven't sunken my teeth into many games like I did Fire Emblem Awakening since, well, Fire Emblem Awakening (to count, there have been two or three at most), and that was back in the summer. I've got less free time and overall I might even say I've gotten a little jaded! I'm also extremely drained and tired too.
So basically, I'm saying it all adds up, and it's not like I'm trying to say "IT'S YOUR FAULT!" here either. I'm not saying I don't still stand by what I wrote here, because that's for Destructoid. I do like that Destructoid does what Destructoid wants. What's more? It's totally cool for the writers here to not like what they don't like and to write about what they want and how they want. Don't let my above comments fool you, I still feel that way. I'd hope no one would want me to do differently either.
What other video game site would let a guy write about Kamen Rider and Two and a Half Men of all things? Seriously, c'mon.
With that, however, that doesn't necessarily mean I'll actually like what happens as a result every time. I'm sure the people here would agree, be they writer or commenter. You can like a free spirited person and that they are a free spirit without liking that time they had an orgy in your apartment instead of theirs and they didn't tell or even invite you to it, you know?
It's sort of like that. You can be friends with people even if you don't agree with them about every single thing, yeah? If that wasn't the case, families wouldn't be able to exist, and Dtoid is kind of like that, I think. Our differences are what make us great.
I bring this up because, quite frankly, I think my writing is suffering for it. Whatever "it" is, that is. Both the stuff you guys see on my blog here, and the stuff I'm trying to make on my own that I hope someday can be something I can put out into the world.
I can deal with my mood suffering, even my health, because I'm... sort of bad at caring about myself to that extent, but I draw the line at my writing. As much as I want to blame the blog editor and the handling of the technical changes to the site (and I will say that there is definitely blame there), a good chunk of what I'm not liking about my current state is on me too.
I mean, I'm sitting here writing this blog instead of finishing my draft about those technical issues to the site's support that I've been poking at for days now, and I was able to spend days, and even weeks on those Gazetta Gazettes. Right now, I can only question the point. I can't well blame these things on the site. Those are internal. Those are on Zetta. Is it just year end blues? Or what?
And quite frankly, as sad as it sounds, the fact that Kamen Rider Drive ended and was replaced with Kamen Rider Ghost is probably a factor too. It probably doesn't sound like much, but let's put it another way. I can't count on much to be constant, so that's one of the things I like about Kamen Rider. Every weekend, new episode. Boom! It's also been one of my only sources of entertainment without video games, so there's that.
And with Drive, as it got good, and then it got really good, you got a weekly dose of characters you've grown to really enjoy, a story that compels you, with characters you can relate to a lot more than was probably intended.
... and then it's replaced with a story that is about death. In what way, I can only speculate, but switching from a cop dealing with motivation issues (honestly the perfect protagonist for my then-state of mind, in hindsight) to a kid who gets his life stolen from him way too early is certainly a shift!
That, or I just really can't not shove Kamen Rider into every single blog I write. This is a very strong possibility.
Back in August, when the forum stuff was going on, I wrote a thing. I talked about some stuff that had happened to me, and I talked about an "internet 'best place'," to quote myself. The idea that there was a community you could find and feel like you just belonged in. To tell the truth, I'm not sure if I feel any more comfortable here than I did then. I may just not know what that's like anymore. Maybe I'm holding myself back? Well, whatever it is, despite the fact that the site never works on my phone 90% of the time, it's still the first one I check when I open up my browser these days, so that's something.
Even so? If anything, I'd say over this past month, I've been feeling detached more than anything, but in that case, I can say this is primarily due to outside circumstances more than anything. At least some of it is on the site just being a real pain to work with, but not all of it.
Either way, having somewhere, online or offline, that you feel like you belong is pretty damn swell. If Dtoid is that for any of you guys reading this, keep a hold of that.
For me... I know that by this time next year, I don't want to be where I am right now. I won't accept it. I refuse to accept it. If I'm forced to accept it, I'll probably have to give up on the passions I only finally found this year.
This isn't exactly a resolution, or even a promise... A hope, maybe? A wish? I don't know, really. But since I can come back here in a year and check, I want evidence that I can refer to, or that maybe someone I'll still be in contact with can pester me about.
I guess what I'm saying is that even though it's two days early, I want to be better next year, and hopefully I'll be able to do what it takes to be better. I want to write less "reactionary" blogs, and more of the blogs like the ones I haven't finished, that are about stuff I just plain want to write about. Or, maybe, I just need to stop blogging entirely and focus on my own stuff. Maybe I'll do that, and a time will come when something with my name on it will be on the front page not as a promoted blog, but because it's being reviewed.
I don't know for sure, but whatever it is, I want it. Maybe with any luck, I can pull it off?
Maybe just I'm full of it, but I won't know until I try. I guess I just have to hope I'll be able to try right, huh? So here's to that!