Digging Out of the Anime Burnout – One of Many Personal Predicaments

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The possibility is likely that the person reading this right now is not someone who has been a follower of my blog for more than a year or so. Because of this, you are unaware that throughout my time as an anime connoisseur, I have been prone to a few burnouts, particularly when another interest has taken over my circuiting. The usual suspects include the other major interests of my person—whether football (Americano), video games, or film, but may also include a swelling of responsibilities that make anime seem like a wasted time in comparison.

Currently, it is football. Football season is coming down to the wire, with multiple teams vying for playoff spots in order to get their chance at championship glory. The drama, the suspense, the thrilling storylines; every year, football gets me in a state of mental exhilaration, the likes few other subjects can top on such a consistent basis. Thanks to this, my desire to spend time watching anime—which subsequently adds to the motivation to blog about said anime—plummets. Of course, I could always blog about football, except I am the only person I know who adores it within the aniblogger community. May as well revive that second blog.

So what’s to do while within this state? How will I ever hope to revive my fancy for such quirky, animated entertainment? The answer is never quite the same.

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In the past, I’ve taken breaks from anime (and blogging) on a number of occasions. One can easily look through my MALGraph page and see the periods of time in which my anime-viewing production bottoms out without a trace. Occasionally, I would take a break after one of my soon-to-be-patented Summer of Anime blocks, where I watch a zillion anime within two months. It simply gets to be too much, so I walk away for a while and, eventually, the desire to return just… returns. Convenient, just like poorly-written anime.

When my desire to watch anime decreases due to another interest taking over, the answer remains the same, but worded differently: I wait for the other interest to subside. The way my mind works, I tend to want to focus on one interest on a primary basis while completely shutting out all others, or only interacting with them “on the side.” For example, with my work as a video game reviewer, when I have a game I have to play to review it, I spend 90% of the day with that game, whereas I’ll spend the other 10% either goofing off or, say, adding a little content to one of my established wikias. Like with what I said above, these primary interests generally change with time, with football stepping aside for video games, which steps aside for films, which steps aside for anime. Or vice-versa, times a thousand? It’s kind of a mess.

On a more practical measure, I’ve found that when I don’t watch any anime for a while, a good way to measure whether I’m burned out or just lazy is simply to do it. Many times I’ve found that once I actually prop myself up to watch anime, the interest slowly rejuvenates as the episode goes along. This is not always the case, as the burnout may just dull my senses for whatever enjoyment I may take out of the specific episode, but lately, it’s worked more than it hasn’t. Either that, or start something new (or rewatch something old) and see if that helps. I’ve left a rewatch of Ookami to Koushinryou on-hold for who knows how long by this point—at least a few weeks. I may have to push myself.

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Lastly, I may need to learn to reorganize and structure my level of motivation per interest. The work required by real life circumstances are often hard to plan around, and unexpected events are bound to happen occasionally. One has to be able to adapt and compromise. One thing I’ve been bad with is planning for multiple scenarios; I have a one-track mind. I want to take one route to one place every time. I want to dedicate one day to one thing. I want to have everything perfectly set on time and without any delay. When it comes to my interests, if my mind doesn’t perform the way I want it to (a la partaking in something I feel I want to partake in), I normally shut down and am more prone to goofing around. It’s a terrible cycle that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but at least my meme knowledge is normally up to date.

This will likely go down as one of the most unproductive months of my blog since I first started off, with only six posts (including this one) through twenty-eight days, with this one specifically coming nine days after my last one. Some of that may be burnout, though it could also be a form of writer’s block. Whatever the case, trying to escape the dreaded black hole of one’s own expectations is a riveting experience no matter the individual. I’ll try to work through mine as I do what I can to help motivate others by pledging to them. For now, this was something I felt I needed to put down as a reminder that I can still find the motivation to write if all else fails. In relation to others, hopefully this may aid as a more efficient shovel than the negative musings of one’s self-doubt.

How do you normally dig out of a burnout?

4 thoughts on “Digging Out of the Anime Burnout – One of Many Personal Predicaments

  1. Enjoy something else for a while or go back to an old favorite. It’s nice sometimes to stop thinking about reviewing something and just enjoy something without analyzing it.

  2. I don’t know that there’s an easy answer, inasmuch as there can be many different causes. But in general, I think it’s ok to take a step back and not do anything on your blog for awhile. Like anything, it’s important to balance action and rest.

  3. I think I haven’t suffered anime burn out because anime remains my happy calm time that is helping me deal with burn out in other facets of my life. As such, I kind of eagerly pour as much time as I can muster into it and enjoy it even when the anime itself isn’t that great.
    Hopefully you find something fun, even if it is engaging with football or something else for a time, and hopefully you eventually find your way back into anime.

  4. Here, here!

    I’ve stopped paying much mind to my backlog, so burnouts are a rare occurrence for me now. However, I still know the feeling of restlessness when I am watching something and can’t get immersed in it; or want to watch several things I can’t decide, so I end up goofing off out of indecision. But on the days I get the things I most wanted / needed to get done, I feel a lot better and more focused on the rest of the my activities (though I don’t prioritize anime viewing so much anymore; I have been steadily getting back into it).

    Idleness is torture to me.

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