Take a deep breath

The weather is consistently warm, sunny, and gorgeous. I’m lounging around every day basking in it. I’m cleaning, organizing, reading, and enjoying my free time before the eminent job search (and therefore, stress). I’m also spending a lot of mental energy on this blog, energy that is not very visible since most of it is just plotting and deciding.

To be honest, for the last few months, this blog has been suffering through existential crisis. Existential crisis in a blog? I know, how pretentious, right? (What shall we name it? Blogxistential crisis?)

Here’s the thing: I can’t come to terms with what this blog is supposed to be. Or rather, I know what it’s supposed to be, but I don’t think others know. This blog is closing in on three years now (hey, SHINee is this blog’s sunbae!) and I stated last year that I started it in the interest of writing about all the things I fancy, along with keeping a record of what I do and learn. I didn’t want to pigeon-hole myself into a category.

Three years later, my goals for this blog have not changed. But I have noticed its reception in the blogosphere and I’ve been observing how readers view this blog, and my conclusion is that they view it as a Kpop blog.

This is completely understandable and I don’t want to pretend like I don’t know what they’re talking about–I mean, have ya seen my “Korean pop” tag? The cup hath runneth over–but I’m honestly not comfortable with that. My interests are still very evenly divided between pop culture, fashion, social issues, and media, and I am very evenly knowledgeable on all the above four things. So then why do I post so much about Kpop?

I guess posting about social issues is harder for me because there’s so much more at stake for me emotionally. You don’t know how many times I’ve gone over–in my head–an angry post about Wesley Yang’s “Paper Tigers,” but I ultimately put off writing it, and now probably never will, because this subject is too important for me to potentially fumble with my words.

It’s not that I don’t think a blog is good enough for my super deep thoughts, it’s just that making myself write about it exhausts me in a way that fashion and Kpop don’t. There is emotional attachment to Kpop, but the part of my brain and heart that react to it are not the same part of my brain and heart that react to Asian American issues, for example, or racism issues. I can comfortably detach myself from Kpop and write about it with ease, so that’s what I do. There is much more subjectivity to Kpop that makes it the easier subject to write about.

As for fashion…well, I think about fashion and I keep up with fashion all the time, but there’s just not so much deep fashion writing that I care to spare. Fashion is super visual-oriented, and because this blog posits itself as a blog and not a Tumblr, I’m not interested in posting a bunch of one-picture posts and calling them actual posts. I’m a writer before I am a collector, so I have a tendency to write a lot and a tendency to avoid picture-only posts, and there is only so much you can say about a pair of shoes or a handbag. I have a genuine aversion to fashion writing, especially as it exists in its Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar form, so I don’t read it or nor will I produce it on this blog.

So the above is a breakdown of why I see myself listed on Twitter handles under “Kpop,” or “Asian,” and why 95% of the searches used to get to my blog are Korean-related, and why someone called my blog “East Asian-focused.” On others’ blogrolls, I can see how frustrating it can be to “categorize” my blog, and I see the variances in which I am categorized–“Asian,” “reads,” “everyday”–and they all irritate me. Again, I do not deny that superficially, my blog reads and looks like it’s mostly about Kpop, so I am more frustrated at myself for not carrying through with my goal of making this blog more well-rounded in terms of content.

Phew, that was good to get off my chest. Months of internalizing have resulted in this post.

I’m going to use my next few months of down time for trial and error with this blog. The reason why I’m experiencing so much mental anguish over it is because I think I should be proud of what I write and proud of what I put out, and if I’m experiencing so much unease over the appearance of this blog, then I can never really be truly comfortable with myself as a writer. I do need to work harder on diversifying content and I do think that I can and should use this space as something I can show off professionally.

Here’s to being a better blogger.

  • http://symphny.tumblr.com symphony

    your blog is what you make of it.
    i enjoy ALL your posts whether it be kpop related/culture/ or fashion. variety IS good too :) you are pretty well-rounded and being stuck in one “category” can limit your thinking! so onwards & cheers towards another season of AWESOME blogs & simply, writing!

  • Artemist

    I found your blog because at the time you had a very nice post about a drama I had contemplated watching. Yes, I found out about your blog because of my interest in Kdramas. But I went through your blog and it has been favorited ever since because of your topics and the way you write. There are some Kpop oriented things, yes, and I enjoy them. But I also like your fashion pieces, your opinions on various subjects, and should you do pieces on social issues (I fully agree that those are more emotionally taxing and difficult to write), I am fully prepared to read them and enjoy. Honestly, I think the only reason your blog is categorized the way it is is because 1) people need to categorize things-especially blogs, because they can vary on so many things and 2) your blog is well written, opinionated, update on a regular basis, and happens to talk about kpop at times. There are a lot of blogs that aren’t updated, are too single-group focused or simply give “news” updates. It makes your blog unique in the sphere of kpop in that sense. Regardless, I look forward to your future updates and am interested to see what plans you have for it.

  • http://ofstrangersensibilities.blogspot.com Joy

    I was mulling over whether I should comment or not because I don’t feel qualified at all. I am guilty of the fashion writing part of things and can tend to be on the image heavy side but I give myself certain allowance to this rule as I am still a very green blogger. I think all blogs go through this some point or another, others more than once, sooner or later. It’s nice to have things clearly defined for you but perhaps I think you should go easier on yourself and just write and not think too much about it. Soon perhaps things will take shape on their own and fall into place. Moreover (and gosh I apologize for being so overly presumptuous) maybe it is the constant over-thinking of your actions which constricts your thought process so that you find yourself unable to write and speak your mind, i.e. on the “Paper Tigers” from NY Mag response. I actually identify with some of the points it raised so I think it would be incredibly interesting to read what your two cents on it are. Writing on heavier subjects are so more difficult as a whole – it’s the fluffy things that are easy!

  • S

    you go girl!

  • Daniel

    I agree with Artemist, I think what really draws attention to the blog is your writing – I love reading your opinion about everything and anything, just because you write it so neatly and smartly. I also love the pics you take and the look of the blog. So, whatever you change, just keep writing it well. :)