Why I Write

Ah, food for thought. I don’t do too much of these posts and I’m sure even less people read them, but sometimes you just have to vent or talk about something, ne?

So I was traversing the Asian entertainment blogosphere when I happened onto a post from someone who had been dormant for a month and a half. They talked about life and realistic goal settings and all that good stuff. One thing that I found rather interesting is that they tried to do several articles…a day? a week?…not because they were passionate about something and wanted to gush or rant, but because they wanted to drive up their site stats.

Reading that got me thinking. Why would you do that? There’s nothing wrong with that technically. You want to drive traffic to your site. Great. In Google, content is king. The more content you have (read good content, I suppose…or rather relative…or…yeah, stupid search engines) is good. Google penalizes static websites. They get lower search rankings. Dynamic websites with fresh content get the higher rankings. I guess to show that they are still relevant and updated. Needless to say, if you’re passionate about your website and what you’re doing, there’s nothing wrong with that…but blogging for ranking’s sake? I don’t know. Not my cup of tea nor my area of expertise.

So this leads me to the existential (not really) question. Why do I write? Or maybe I should just change that to why do I blog? Nah, I’ll leave it as why do I write. Because I have to. Saying that might not make sense, but it’s really how I feel. Whether it’s my poetry or fiction or my recaps and reviews and music recommendations, I have to write them. For me, writing is an outlet. A way to share the things I love, to express my opinion on what I like or don’t like.

Asian Addicts Anonymous didn’t spring up from a love of writing and Asian dramas, honestly. It really didn’t. I work for a literary website. We’ve been agonizing over platforms for years and have been seriously considering moving our website over to the ever popular WordPress. Thus, I created Asian Addicts Anonymous to learn about said blogging platform. I figured if I had to learn about something for work, I might as well learn it while doing something I, myself, was interested in. It just so happened that my boss wanted me to start learning this during my initial Asian drama fervor… That’s actually how my blogging in general started. I minored in Computer Information Systems (sounds fancy, but it really isn’t) and one class had us do a blog (we got a free Typepad account). I started with blogging assignments and that transitioned into blogging about what I wanted.

So I started Asian Addicts Anonymous, started learning WordPress without a plan or goal in site and no idea what I was really going to continue on with and in doing this, I realized that I really wanted to share my love for all things Asian entertainment related with others. I wanted community and people who actually knew and understood what I was talking about (I could not, sadly, turn any of my family members on to Asian dramas and music) and could gush or rant with me. Thus we have my first stumbling posts. My impressions and thoughts on certain dramas as a whole and certain episodes which slowly evolved to me recapping. Still not sure how or why that happened, but once I started, I couldn’t stop. I got to one point where I really earnestly tried blogging at least once a day as I felt guilty if I didn’t. Not sure why or to whom (especially when readership was very low), but I did.

Getting traffic is always nice, but I don’t write for that. This is why I’ll never make it as a commercial writer or freelance writer. That and I suck at nonfiction, i.e. articles. I write about what I want and when I want. I don’t really care 100% if it’s not a drama or group that people aren’t all that interested in. I like it, so I write about it (okay admittedly in the hopes of snagging a few people who might find it interesting, too, but it’s not the be all end all reason). Of course, there are times when just trying to keep up and to continue writing is a chore where it is more labor than love, but there are always times where things you love aren’t as fun as they could be. You know…if I really wanted to drive traffic to my site, I would really concentrate on the highly popular kdramas as they really get people coming in, but the thing is with that…they are sooooo overdone that I don’t see the point in adding more to an already overpopulated blogosphere, thus, it’s another reason I do more jdramas than kdramas or focus on kdramas that a lot of bloggers aren’t necessarily already covering (weekend and daily…which have way too many episodes).

So…why continue when writing can be a chore? Because I have to. Meaning, that I haven’t fallen out of love with it yet. Sure, it can be tiring and there are times I don’t want to and even times, which I’m sure AAA readers have noticed, that I’ve completely half-assed things and didn’t put as much effort in as I could have, but I still have a love and a need to share, rant, and gush for the most part. When that desire is completely gone, then so is the reason to keep the site active and running. But for now I still find myself watching dramas or movies and listening to music and feeling the itch to talk about them with someone. Admittedly, a lot of my series this year kind of turned sour on me and it really became a loathsome chore, but at certain points, I really did love those dramas and just had to rave about them, which eventually turned to slightly bitter rants (I’m looking at you Crazy Love).

I have tons of notebooks. I have tons of writing scattered on loose-leaf notebook paper. You really don’t want to see the entire collection of my writing. I think my blog is just as bad as my own personal writing. There’s already over 1,000 posts and I think I’m actually only 700 away from 2,000. That’s not bad for almost 4 years, is it? That almost averages one post a day. I still have lots of unfinished dramas to go. I have gotten worse at time management and getting things done like I always hope to, but life happens and people aren’t perfect. I’ll get where I want to be eventually for this site.

I shall leave you with a brief two paragraphs I wrote who knows when because I stopped dating most of the crap I write as I feel they still describe my writing habits.

It starts with a word, a phrase, a reverberation. Something echoing, screaming, desperate to get out.

It is a refrain unwritten. A song to be sung. And so I write, a medium for words I do not know, but are desperate to escape me.

I blog because I need to let my thoughts about dramas escape me—even if I’m only recapping and not reviewing. I blog because I want to share the dramas I find interesting with others in hopes they might find homes in other people’s drama lists and hearts.

Not that you’re interested, but you can see my evolution of blogging:

http://cnsspeak.blogspot.com/ [no longer updated at all, has all my posts from when I had to blog as an assignment]

http://nicileighyukari.wordpress.com/ [updated now only sporadically]

10 comments

  • Another thing I noticed. Several sites covering the same dramas. Not cool. I can’t find anyone doing Bel Ami though. But I don’t think even JGS will make me stick around if I don’t find the OTP interesting. I also could not write for the sake of doing it either. I need to be inspired.

    • I’m kind of surprised no one is, but…I watched the first 10 minutes of 2 episodes on YouTube and just wasn’t feeling the drama myself, so didn’t figure I’d even try covering it. I thought with JGS at the helm + IU somebody would have picked it up already.

      Yeah, as much as I would love to cover some dramas, when I see that several other sites have picked it up, I try to find a different drama no one is necessarily talking about yet.

  • I really enjoyed this post and I do think you could do these kind of posts more often.

    I agree with your motivation for blogging, I feel the same way. I started blogging because I had all these thoughts and impressions about Asian dramas going through my mind and I had no-one to share them with. It seemed only logical to start a blog where people who like dramas as much as I do can come and read what I think and then add their own opinions to the discussion. My blog definitely wouldn’t exist if I was only after a good ranking. My blog exists because I have the need to put down my thoughs on Asian dramas and music, if one day I no longer feel passionate about it all then the blogging will come to an end. Right now, however, I am just as motivated as ever.

    • It really depends on my moods 😛 Sometimes I have ideas, but don’t think they’d fit here. Not that they have to fit per se…

      I totally agree with your blogging thoughts. Like I said in the post, I didn’t go into this with a plan and a love and need to share. It was just learning something for work and deciding to make it something I enjoy at least. And then, after awhile, I really wanted to share this enthusiasm with others since I really don’t have anyone I can talk to here (unless it’s about anime or manga). When the passion dies, this kind of blogging will come to an end.

  • Love this post! I am always amazed at your drive to write and write and write- and by the amazing diversity of dramas you cover, most of which I’ve never heard of. But more than once I’ve gotten around to watching an oldie or am curious about some drama and need a recap, and when I go to search, your blog comes up. “Yesss! Someone covered this. And it’s someone I know!”

    I can’t imagine trying to make money off of blogging though – I hear you need to have at least 6 blogs that update once a day to make it halfway worth your while- and while I love writing and I love blogging, sometimes even what I put out feels like a chore. I don’t feel like I HAVE to write some things, and a lot of the times if I feel that way about a drama I don’t bother; and then sometimes I finish something and I want to gush and gush and gush and I spend 10+ hours writing and screencapping until I feel like I won’t burst. And 10+ hours of writing is just not an equal proportion to attaining stats (or hypothetical profit). It’s because I have the need to write, and if 1 or 2 anonymous people read it and go away a little happier, then so be it. That is worthwhile.

    The 2nd reason I blog is because I love this community. My blog is my homebase to reach out and make discussion with others. The first thing I do when I get on my computer is check my blog dashboard to see who’s updated something. It’s my home away from home, and probably half of my social life (sad.. but true). :p

    • I’m glad I can help you out with dramas you haven’t heard of before and I just discovering. Seriously, I sometimes don’t know where the drive comes from, but I find that doing this is a way to escape/relax from real life.

      There are people who do it. It is amazing to think that they get paid for it. There is affiliate links and content, there is actually getting paid money to blog regularly for companies, too. You have to really be a power blogger, though and that does mean either maintaining lots of other blogs or having one blog that receives astronomical hits. I understand it can be a chore, especially when you don’t feel like you’ll burst without sharing so the investment it takes seems a bit much. I’ve gotten to where I won’t go as in depth as I normally would. If you wanted a really detailed episode synopsis, too bad. That happens with drama disappointments and all that jazz.

      Yeah, you have that itch to share. It’s a bit sad if the post you spent all that time on doesn’t get a whole lot of love, but at the same time, you are happy that those random two people found you and hopefully went away happier after reading your labor of love.

      I have no social life. I admit it. I live vicariously through this community. I do enjoy it.

  • I think we all understand what you mean by “I have to write”. I started writing because people didn’t really appreciate my rants on Facebook, lol. I like to talk. Or, I need to talk about the TV shows I watch (because basically all I do is watch TV), and the blog was the easiest way to do that. This is a really nice line – “It is a refrain unwritten. A song to be sung. And so I write, a medium for words I do not know, but are desperate to escape me.” Spot on.

    And also like Rosie above, i love the community. It’s fun to discuss things with others who know what you’re talking about. I can chat for hours about some dramas and it always makes me so happy afterwards. On a saturday night after watching Reply 1994 and then chatting about it, I’ll go to sleep smiling. And just that makes me so grateful for the community we’re in (even if I’m a newbie, lol).

    Nee Nee, you were the reason I started my blog in the first place, because you were doing the Asian Drama Challenge and I wanted to do it too. Thank you for that 🙂

    • I remember the 30-day Challenge and following you as you blew the dust off of your blog to start your own. I really do like our community. Ahh, Reply 1994. I’ve fallen behind now. Such a good drama. Still haven’t watched 1997, but I hear that this version actually has broken the popularity of its predecessor.

      • It’s certainly getting there. I think if the episodes weren’t so long, it would be very much a better show. But it can drag sometimes, and Reply 1997 didn’t as much because they didn’t have the time to. It’s getting higher ratings but only because the landscape has changed since last year and cable dramas are naturally rating higher then they used to. But of course, it deserves all the ratings it gets. If it ends really badly though, I’ll let you know so you can avoid the pain, lol

  • Somehow I totally missed this post. O_O I don’t think I could ever post once a day and I’m amazed you managed to do that for a while! I also think it is funner to write about dramas that not everyone writes about. There are already plenty of people writing about the super popular kdramas and such.

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