“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Ernest Hemingway

As an anime critic, it’s inevitable that you’ll deal with writer’s block at one point or another during your long journey of criticism.

It happens to the best of us and at various stages. Rest assured, there’s no secret muse that sits on the shoulder of the greats. Anime critiquing is hard work that requires discipline and the right tools.

Your writer’s block is one of those tools. It serves as a helpful cue to every anime critic. Listen to it. “I’m stuck. I don’t know what to write next.” Well, why not? Have you completed enough research? Has what you’re writing about lost its interest? Are you hung up over making grammatical mistakes?

Do you lack confidence in what you’re writing about? Writer’s block can communicate a larger problem to the anime critic that needs solving. Don’t worry though, because Seasonal Prattle is here to help you get the answer and move past this hurdle we all deal with.


Get More Personal


Getting a little personal can pay off, especially when you’re really stuck with your thoughts. Being curious about the creator of the content we engage with is just a part of our human nature.

I always enjoy reading personal bits mixed in with a review or write-up, as I feel that they help me get to know the author better and engage with their thoughts that much more.

Anime critics like Emily Rand do this job well. She never overextends on her personal information which would drown the piece out about herself, but on the same hand she’s not afraid to include facets of her life.

At first, it can be a bit tough trying to decide how much of yourself to share on your post.

Moderation is key here and an ample tie in to the subject matter at hand paired with a little about you can really be the breaking point you’re looking for to shatter your writer’s block.


Do More Research


Research is a crucial component of what makes a good anime critic.

The most successful anime critics either write from experience, do a ton of research before (or while) writing their pieces, or a mix of both. If you don’t have enough experience with the subject you’re talking about and are struggling to write further, you only have one option: dig up some solid information.

That means checking out videos and forums. It means possibly watching an episode or two again and organizing the little details into an amazing piece of work. It means leveraging every source you have for the most surprising and counter-intuitive pieces of information that you can find.

Now take your research and drop it into the respective gaps to extend the lifeline of your critique and get back to writing  again.


Trying Too Hard Isn’t Good, Ease Up


Besides not doing enough research, this is the most common issue I see in modern anime criticism that halts progress.

Anime critics who have writer’s block are usually trying way too hard to make their piece sound great. Very few anime critics (and really any writer for that matter) are successful because their language is so amazing that people can’t help but to be drawn to it.

This is nearly every professional critic’s little secret:

Good critics don’t worry about writing well.

Instead, they worry about suspense, research, emotional impact, and most importantly the story they’re trying to tell. They worry about having personality and keeping readers invested while delivering their informed opinion in a digestible manner.

The secret to overcoming writer’s block as an anime critic is this: be transparent and be yourself.

Use short sentences and short paragraphs to alleviate the feeling of having to push on. Don’t force things or talk up your piece to “sound smart”. Talk directly to your reader. Use plain language.

Yeah you should be spicing things up by replacing less interesting verbs with more engaging ones, and yes, an active voice tends to be better than the passive one. But, in general, you should focus primarily on having personality and having fun to let your thoughts flow the best.

Also trying new tones doesn’t hurt. Even seasoned anime critics step out of their comfort zone and give something new a shot with success.


When All Else Fails


When all else fails try reading aloud. Reading your work aloud is a great editing tool, but it can also be beneficial when you’re stuck.

It’s easy to get discouraged as challenges arise in your writing. In these moments it’s important to take a step back and rediscover that initial spark that inspired you to begin and reading over what you already have aloud can be an easy key to achieving that.


Let Seasonal Prattle Know What You Think!


Did I miss anything? How do you overcome writer’s block? Comment below and let me know your thoughts.

 

16 thoughts to “Critiquing Anime When You Currently Can’t Write

  • D

    Interesting read as always. Thanks for sharing, Prattle!

    Reply
    • Prattle

      You’re welcome D, thanks for reading 🙂

      Reply
  • Karandi

    I tend to change formats when I have a block. I’ll either try a plus/minus format or I’ll list things I like or don’t on paper or sometimes I’ll just describe a scene anime in a word document until I realise what it is I’m wanting to say about it. That doesn’t mean I won’t go and delete a post I’ve drafted the next day and try again but sometimes it helps get me writing again when I’m feeling a bit stuck.
    Great post and thanks for sharing some great advice.

    Reply
    • Prattle

      The plus minus format seems pretty useful. I’ve seen it come up in your writing every now and then and it looks like it’s working out.

      Reply
      • Karandi

        Yeah, it’s the last resort when I’m trying to get my ideas to sound coherent. I don’t much like writing in that format but it gets the point across and it is better than looking at a blank screen.

        Reply
  • Incumbent Thinker

    This is all spot-on information. “Get more personal” in particular has helped me out of a few rough spots. With my Serial Experiments Lain piece I had written 1k words that just didn’t come across well before scrapping it and putting a personal spin on the piece. And I think that’s another important element, actually: don’t be afraid to start from the beginning again. Often times the words flow more coherently the second time around.

    Reply
    • Prattle

      That’s definitely a noteworthy point, people shouldn’t be afraid of scrapping their ideas and starting fresh. It can be tough if you’re pretty deep into it so kudos to you for ditching 1,000 words and diving back into Lain.

      Reply
      • Incumbent Thinker

        I can absolutely understand it being hard for some but especially with posts I feel particularly emboldened about it’s either have it meet my standards or it isn’t getting posted. I don’t leave myself with much of an option other than restarting. Lost a lot of sleep that night but it’s worth it to be proud in the end-product. 🙂

        Reply
        • Prattle

          I’m happy that you were content with the finished product. I know I gave it a read before, but I think I’ll be giving it a second look.

          Reply
  • Remy Fool

    Great read as usual, Professor Prattle. I know I’ve done some of these things before subconsciously but it’s probably better to actually know why I’m doing it. And that’s all thanks to you~

    Reply
  • MessiahofHumanity

    Haven’t written something on my blog for weeks now, I usually deal with writer’s block for months on end. I found that when I don’t feel motivated to critiquing anime, I just binge watch multiple shows for a couple of months until 1 shows up that makes me want to talk about it.

    Reply
    • Prattle

      I’m sorry that your writer’s block lasts for so long and I hope it breaks soon.

      Binge watching until you come across a show that you find compelling enough to speak on doesn’t sound like a bad way to go about solving your problems.

      Reply
  • The Fullmetal Narcissist

    Oddly enough, when I get stuck, taking a shower helps me put my next move together.

    Reply
    • Prattle

      Showers are a good place to think out your day

      Reply
  • Takuto

    Yup, I’ve fallen into this rut quite often and I’ve currently been in it for about a month now. Slowly getting my groove back, and, of course, with your advice considered! Mind if I link you in an update post?

    Reply
    • Prattle

      I hope you come out of the rut soon!

      Sure, go for it 🙂

      Reply

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