(re)-Launching the Grove Project

This past December, after considering doing so for months and at the encouragement of others on Twitter, I finally took the initiative to try out the whole aniblogging thing as a part of 2016’s 12 Days of Anime project. I didn’t know whether I’d get many views on my posts, whether I had any good thoughts on anime to share, or if I’d even continue writing much after 12 Days ended (the answer to that question is, uh, no I did not lol). But it was the first major step I took into sharing my passion for anime and for other things online, and my first step into the anitwitter community. In the months that followed, I made new friends (who I honestly count as some of the best I’ve ever had), I fell deeply in love with Aqours and Love Live Sunshine, and I discovered new and exciting ways to express my excitement for the things I loved, such as livetweeting and my (somehow well-received) Love Live-themed parody of the Friends OP.

But I’ve also watched as my desire to press onward has waned from lacking any sort of organization or schedule for releasing any type of content AND from trying to create too strict a framework that felt like a chore to follow on a day-to-day basis. I wanted to commit myself to creating and sharing emblems of my passion regularly, but I also wanted the freedom to do what I wanted within that framework. And I’ve never really had that; beyond IRL stresses (that still haven’t totally gone away), I never really figured out a good rhythm for taking my ideas and making them reality.

Yet if the story of my writing and my videos and my livetweets ended there, I wouldn’t be writing these words right now. If I felt like my failure to bring my plans to fruition prevented me from trying again, I’d just drop this blog and say “hey y’all I think I’m gonna be done trying to put stuff together”. Maybe it would take someone eventually asking “Yameru?” but if that was how I felt then that would be the result.

But that’s not how this goes. That’s not how this will end. 辞めないよ。

It’s time to turn zero into one.

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So where are we going from here? Well, one of the big things I’ve realized is how varied I can be in my desire to create and express myself and my passions. I’ve written posts, I’ve made videos, I’d like to start drawing more, and of course I adore my detailed livetweets. And what’s important is that I don’t ever lose sight of that fact, that there are a lot of different things I like to do and restricting myself to just one of those things or to specific timeframes to complete each item is too much stress on myself when I already have lots on my plate every single day. At the same time, I don’t want things to go by the wayside by me choosing not to set any sort of target to strive for. If I don’t say “I’m gonna do [x] this many times per whatever” then a lot of times I’ll never do it unless it’s the perfect storm (again, see the Aqours video). So I have to be willing to put a goal in place for anything I wanna do to make sure it actually happens.

I’m achieving that by setting (mostly) generous standards for what I want to do and how frequently I want to do it. I’ve listed these below, and while I most certainly won’t meet every single one, it’s a good starting point for me and a list I can share with others so they have something to look forward to and have tangible ways to check in and encourage me to continue moving forward. I don’t entirely know how I’ll be sharing all of these creations, but that’s something I feel comfortable figuring out along the way. So, here are some of my initial goals and ideas for you all to look forward to!

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Livetweets – 2 per week (following the schedule posted here), with future adjustments to better collect and share my finished thoughts

No comment really necessary on this one, BUT I figure it might be nice to give a little preview on how I plan to change up my livetweets in the future. Obviously the Twitter ghosting problem was a major disaster as far as my livetweets go, and it made me question if I could continue to deliver my thoughts in the same way. I love being able to both share my thoughts as I watch a show and create a cohesive emotional thought across the entire length of the livetweet; but I’d also like to share that latter part in a more easily readable manner than I can really achieve through Twitter Moments (as useful as they are).

So, my current idea is to share around 60-70% of the tweets I currently do (all of the major thoughts and reactions that currently make up my livetweets with some of the fluff trimmed), but at the same time be working these thoughts into a blog post alongside the livetweet. Within a few days of the livetweet itself, I can then edit these thoughts into a more cohesive form (think something like a commentary on the episode, between pure notes and a full episode writeup) and then release them as a more complete form of my thoughts on a particular episode. It allows me to cut down on my livetweet time (no more twitter ghosting hopefully..?), while also enabling me to connect my thoughts more succinctly and in an easier-to-read and share format.

This idea isn’t something I’ll enter into blindly – sometime later this month, I’ll be retrofitting one of my Love Live Sunshine livetweets into this format (probably one of episodes 3, 4, or 5), and if I like the way that turns out, I’ll eventually retrofit all of my Sunshine livetweets into that format in addition to sharing all my livetweets in that manner. Honestly, I don’t know if this idea will work out at all! But it’s something I wanna try, cause I think it’ll better help me move forward in further developing the uniquely detailed nature of my livetweets as well as my writing style. And if it works, it’ll allow me to share my livetweet thoughts much better than I was previously able to. It won’t be for another month or so before this starts up, but I’m definitely excited to try it out.

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Videos – 1 per month

I don’t want the Aqours video to be the first and last video I share online.

I wish that wasn’t the main reason I wanted to continue putting video projects together, but thankfully it isn’t the only reason. I’m looking to branch into putting together some basic AMVs (I have a fantastic idea that I’m excited to put together soon), and I’m really confident in my ability as well. My video editing style is entirely based on timing and sequencing – I have no ability to create anything beyond simple pan/zoom effects, and even those I try to stay away from. But my skill in creating a well-timed video is second to none. I’ve had tons of experience with music films and music videos, and I’ve learned a lot with regards to creating a well-paced and well-edited video over the years. I have no doubt in my ability to create fantastic AMVs without needing any special effects or visuals because I know that all it takes to make a great video is simply placing clips well on a project timeline.

But ultimately, I just don’t want my first video project to be my only one.

Drawings – 2 per month

As if to contrast my confidence in my video editing ability, I’m absolutely a novice when it comes to drawing and art. But I wanna do more! I have ideas for pictures in my head and I’d love to try and make them happen. Ultimately, I just need to practice drawing more, and while I’d like to limit myself to just one drawing with visual reference for each month, I don’t wanna be afraid of working at drawing in whatever way is best for me to practice and improve.

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Writing – 1 per month

I don’t know how I pulled off writing 12 blog posts in 2 weeks with only a few under 1000 words, considering I’ve barely been able to write more than 200 over the 6 months since then. But I’d like to get myself back into the habit of writing so I’ll be able to match that feat once again this upcoming December. I’m not requiring myself to write about any one show or topic here, nor am I setting a minimum word count for any post I write. But I do want to share more of my thoughts on anime, and actively looking to share my thoughts in a written post each month is a good way to do so.

Life Update – 1 per month

This isn’t intended to be a “Zubat opens up about everything happening IRL” thing as much as it is a simple overview of the shows I’m watching or the books I’m reading or the games I’m playing or whatever I’ve been doing. I enjoyed doing the biweekly updates back in January, and I’d like to get back into those sorts of things as a way of keeping people in the loop as to what I’m doing, cause it’s honestly pretty fun to share those things! So while this is separate from the above “1 blog post a month thing”, it’ll be something to expect at some point each month (consider this post to be my July update, essentially).

Anime – 1 ep per day, 2 anime per month

Books – 3 per month (manga counts as 2 books)

These two may not be something I actively share about, but they are goals I’ll be following on the side to ensure that I am keeping myself engaged in my passions. That sort of thing is important! A lot of days I’ve literally come home from work and just stared at a wall the whole evening and ensuring that I don’t do that is important to me.

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So, will all of this work out? Honestly, I don’t know. But nothing will start by just sitting and watching. The best thing is always to take that step forward, to fight to make that zero become a one. That’s what I believe. That’s what I want to work towards. And I hope that something comes out of this, but if it all fails and I just end up flat on my face, then I’ll just pick myself up and try something different. That’s something I know I’ll be able to achieve, and so I’ll hope in that and believe that I’ll be able to make something new from these dreams.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll consider joining me on this new journey.

— Zubat

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