I’ve participated in ‘national’ activities a number of times, but I can’t say I’ve been as fond of the experience as I am of this modest get together of local anime bloggers over overpriced coffee.
We weren’t anyone important. We make no grand contribution to culture. We don’t even influence the production of the subject we write about. Nonetheless, I felt so cool to be there!
A decade ago I nurtured dreams of a literary life. I cultivated the company of others who I felt had similar aspirations, and even maintained correspondence (letters LOL) with some of them. When I sold out and became a salaryman I thought I’d lost my shot at a literary life. But a decade later I’ve found blogging about anime. I found a subject to write about, an engaged readership, and a vibrant community with members from all over the world. You see back in 1996
(in my 3rd year at uni), it wasn’t conceivable that I’d have an international readership. The internet had just arrived and was a luxury for most students.
Even more gratifying is that I have a local community I can interact with face-to-face. And last Sunday’s little soiree was revelatory: I am now living my literary life.
Everyone there is a writer. As self-serving as it may seem, I make no value judgment-laden distinction between blogging and literary writing. Writing is writing, and I found myself among people who were carrying notebooks! They had notebooks where they jotted down post ideas and such. I was floored.
Perhaps it’s easy to dismiss this as the ecstatic rambling of a lit major who let his dreams pass him by. But doing so would be a mistake, I believe. I’m dead serious about what I do. I write for anime blogs. I deliberately gave up anonymity very early on, because this activity, this writing, needs to be acknowledged. Not as something great in itself, but only as a legitimate vehicle of contemporary thought and creative production over this particular culture niche.
Besides, even as I’ve dreamt of winning writing fellowships, I didn’t for a moment it would give me moments like this:
That group isn’t really meant to politically represent aniblogging in the Philippines, it just so happens that we’re all on twitter. So as I approach turning 32 (sooner than I’d like), and my 4th month in blogging anime I can say I’m very thankful. Writing is awesome, for whatever reason. I’ve stated before that anime for me is an expressive pursuit and a social activity. I do want more get togethers like this, and maybe next time something creative can be done collectively.