1/Backslash Musing


(Picture mostly, 95%, unrelated)


Apparently I’m going to start a small series of posts that has to do with musings I’m having, it’s not something I need to post, but sometimes I feel inclined to write what’s on my mind.

As someone who loves… slanted lines? I’ve decided to title these posts “Backslash musings.”

“B-But Sora- that name is stupid, kind of like anything MoeNovel has done since their inception.”

That’s an excellent point, dear reader. Well, the name is fine, but you’re definitely right about MoeNovel, good on you.

Anyways, every good musing needs to start with an arbitrarily long intro with extra commas.

Tonight I was feeling a bit like writing about commitment and motivation. Ah, yes a topic which has been touched so much in the past it’s probably either like a sweaty stress ball, or perhaps a frightened dog.

But I love beating dead horses and also weighing in on things I have no expert knowledge on, so here’s my take on things.

There’s a lot I want to accomplish, although I wouldn’t say I’m one of those people who has a great drive for life or anything like that. Everyone knows that type who seems to constantly be brimming with energy and purpose – fuck em’.

What I mean is there are specific goals I want to approach out of my own interest, with little underlying reason beyond that. I don’t want to solve world hunger or invent a sentient AI, those are far too external.

And to be honest, what I do want to do evades me, as I lose interest in something quickly after it reaches the point of production. I’ve always been a “thinker,” I like to conceptualize ideas and lay out detailed instructions, but I’m not the type to put those things into action without sufficient motivation.

That being said, when I do feel that “motivation,” I will often work on a singular task for days on end. Now that I’ve informed you, dear reader, of a bit of my personal aptitude, let’s go a bit deeper.

Starting with Motivation, Dedication, Passion, and all other buzzwords who have lost original meaning since they were inappropriately used in whatever case “sounded right.”

I believe that these things are meaningless, to a good degree. In my experience on many of my interests (writing, reviewing, programming, etc.), I have had intense surges of such feelings. Often when I get those feelings now, I wonder if I should act on them at all, as I have the experience that they are fleeting. That being said, acting on those quick rushes has led me to create things I otherwise wouldn’t have. For example, this website.

I created this site, circa 2013, with the intent of reviewing visual novels (which I will explain shortly), this was a burst of “motivation,” an intense desire to review VNs for whatever reason. So, I ended up setting up the site to my specifications, sparing no detail to how I wanted it to look, created FAQ pages full of VN-related terms and hyperlinks, creating a REDICULOUSLY intricate rating and reviewing standard, and finally- everything was ready to go.

So, how many VN reviews can you find on this site? 5? 10? 823,234? Here’s the correct answer- you won’t find any. The reason for this is two-fold:

The first reason is because I felt I needed to complete the games fully, eg. follow every route, which is incredibly time-consuming – and also terribly boring if you don’t like the routes you read.  Buuuut, with “MoTiVaTiOn,” that didn’t dissuade me much as I worked through many routes over multiple games I didn’t care about.

Before we go into the next reason, let’s unpack what I just said a bit. For those who are not versed in visual novels, the idea behind them is quite simple. They are a story, accompanied by pictures. The player takes the perspective of the protagonist (usually), and experiences the story in first-person (sorta). Usually there isn’t too much you can do in terms of determining the protagonist’s personality, you just read what they say and what they think. It’s not like you can actually “talk” to the other characters in the story in any real or meaningful sense. It’s like a book. With pictures. You know what, read this instead: What Are Visual Novels for a more detailed explanation.

What’s important is that you understand they are a time commitment. Similar to a book, but also sometimes much longer. Most VNs incorporate a “choose your story” aspect, where you’re given several “this or that” options which change the “route” you take. It’s like a branching tree. The kicker is that some of these game’s trunk would be about 10-40 hours of reading, and each branch (usually 3-5 total) could be another 5-20 EACH.

The second (and true) reason, is because I, first and foremost, love overusing commas love systems and concepts. I loved making the site, I loved setting up the guidelines by which I would review things. But when it came to the actual content, and keeping a steady pacing, I lost interest.

That’s why this site is so strange, as I originally used it for that, then renovated and deleted most of it, and left it for 2 years.

But our journey through motivation (and also this site) doesn’t end there. Oh no. Witness the REBIRTH (hA Ha haAa, get it?). But not Rebirth, no, we’re not that far yet.

So I came back with another BURST of inspiration and motivation to write reviews. But not just VN’s this time, NO, I WAS READY FOR SOMETHING GREATER! LIGHT NOVELS | ANIME | MANGA | VISUAL NOVELS| I WAS GONNA DO IT ALLLLLLLL.

And in the end, I wrote like, 3 anime reviews or something.

Such is the fiery heat of passion… er motivation.

Quickly I abandoned the site again, only to return once more with my newest and greatest aspiration REEEEBIRRRTHHH AN ORIGINAL WEB NOVELLL!

So I did that for awhile. How long has it been since my last chapter? I dunno, 5 months or something?

Speaking of motivation, I’m already running low on this elusive drug for writing this blog post. Ironic huh?

So my basic conclusion with motivation is that it’s not that great. Sure, I got a site out of it. Am I proud of this website? Uh.

Moving on to Commitment.

Commitment is difficult. Maybe motivation isn’t inherently bad, but it must be tempered by commitment. I’m often told by others in the CompSci industry that you have to “get into the habit” of working on a more long-term project, making sure you clock at least an hour a day.

That might seem not too bad, but in reality it’s similar to people who say they’re going to start working out every new year. Does it happen? Not really.

So I feel like I don’t have too much to say on this, it’s simply something I wanted to bring up in order to forge my ultimate conclusion.

Discipline – The King of the Successful

“B-But Sora, that’s the same thing as commitment.”

No it’s not, but I’ll let you worry about the semantics.

The ultimate point I want to make is that in order for someone like me (perhaps also someone like you), to succeed at goals which require investment- we must learn discipline.

I once went as far as considering to join the military to have those habits imposed upon me, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t end up having the effect I want. It’s tough to be dedicated to something, but if you understand the merits of discipline, I believe that it can be done.

Hopefully someone out there can read this and sympathize with it, and if you do- let us work towards becoming disciplined together. Perhaps one day we can show eachother, and the world, what we have achieved.

~ S o R a

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