“I want you to ask your secret question.”

You certainly have one. Your secret question is the one that you can ask without anyone laughing at you, and that I know the answer to but that I’ve never told you before, even though I’ve had plenty of chances to tell you … and that if I then told you the secret answer, you’d be fine.

Take a minute to think about it now. What’s your secret question? What would you ask if no one else was listening? What’s the one answer that you think would change everything?

Most of us have a secret question

Actually, we probably have a whole pile of them.

♦How do I get more people to actually read my blog or watch my videos?
♦How can I make my Patreon audience larger?
♦How do I make myself do difficult things when I have so much on my plate?
♦How do I keep my courage up when I don’t have much validation that I’m on the right track?
♦How do I know my stuff is any good?

These are the 3:00 a.m. questions. The ones that crawl around in the deep parts of our brains.

The real secret question

I have a theory.

I think our real secret question — the one that we sometimes keep secret even from ourselves, is this:

Why should I keep going?

I’ve noticed some people are entirely unaffected by this question. Interestingly, it’s often the people who don’t necessarily have a lot to offer that is original, groundbreaking, or even useful.

I can spot someone a mile away whose DNA doesn’t include this question. This post isn’t for them. They’re going to be fine, and with a little luck they can find something valuable to contribute along the way.

But for those who do wrestle with this, I have a secret answer.

Are you helping someone?

Is there some person, somewhere, who is wrestling with a problem that you’re pretty good at solving?

It might be a big important problem, or a small, “trivial” one. But it matters to that person.

The information might be available somewhere else. In our internet-infused world, the information is almost always available somewhere else.

But is it where your person can find it?

Is it in the voice your person can hear?

Is it presented in a format that your person will consume?

Now take a look at your site. Look through the most recent 10-20 posts and give them a grade on the above questions.

If you’re an Ani-Tuber check out your last handful of videos.

Is it useful? To whom? How could you make it more useful?

Is someone already saying what you’re saying but better?

When you understand this at the deepest level, your decisions get much clearer. You have a better understanding of what to write, and for whom.

And when you learn new techniques and strategies, you see how you can put them into place, instead of just getting more confused.

A quick exercise

Make time today to sit down for 10 focused minutes. Write out the answers to the questions below. (I happen to do better with this kind of thing when I use physical pen and ink, but we’re all different.)

If you don’t want to write it, just ask yourself:

♦Who do you help?
♦How do you help them?
♦What could you do to make yourself more useful?

Now: What actions will you take this week to put those insights into practice? This exercise isn’t just for newbies, so give it a try.

8 thoughts to “The Secret Question That Every Anime Content Creator Should Ask

  • remyfool

    I get more convinced I should stop doing individual episode reviews every time I read your content. Maybe doing write-ups that focus on a range of episodes offers more value to my readers.
    I just need to last 6 more weeks before I can commit to the transition, I think.

    Thanks for the lovely editorial as usual, Team Seasonal Prattle!

    • Prattle

      As one of your readers, I actually enjoy the episode reviews a whole bunch.

      But if you’re really considering the change, perhaps hold a poll?

      • remyfool

        Ah, that’s very reassuring to hear.

        Mmm I might do so next season. I’ll tough it out for now. Thanks, Prattle.

        • Prattle

          You’re welcome 😀

  • Karandi

    Thank you for plunging me into a state of existential dread about whether anything I’m doing serves any purpose (kind of joking). As much as I love what I’m doing, I often wonder why I am doing it and whether or not it is helpful to anyone and the answer I usually come to is I love writing it but it probably isn’t helpful. Still, if I can get a reasonably sensible conversation going about anime with people who love it, I think I’ll take the win and keep going.

    • Prattle

      I was kind of hoping you would get around to this one before bed so it may not have ruined the rest of your night or day thinking about it – but I’m happy you got around to it in any capacity because I think we all wonder this at some point but just don’t say it.

      Personally I feel that you’re helpful – your blogs are enjoyable and the perspectives are useful to someone like me who wants to hear alternative opinions.

  • Anonymous

    Ah prattle, I seriously love your posts! Great questions to be asking, and great food for thought! 🙂 I haven’t put out content for awhile. But I hope to get back to more of my architectural based ones at some point…

    • Prattle

      Thank you! I hope you’re able to put out more content soon 🙂


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