Blogging Principles: Being specific

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

I haven’t written one of these in a while. If I was being smarter, I’d wait until a Beatless recap episode before publishing this post, but I can’t help myself.

Previously, I talked about the format of a blog post, so I want to talk a bit about my approach to content. When I’m writing any post, there’s one particular thought that I’m always keeping in the back of my mind: Be specific. Admittedly, I’m still working on improving at this, but it’s one of my bigger writing goals.

So, what do I mean when I say this? Put simply, it’s just a matter of asking myself why I think the way I do. I want to avoid becoming someone who always expresses vague feelings or thoughts. I’m the type of person who likes to trace the logic behind anything, so I endeavor to provide as much detail as possible.

One thing that I hear often in discussion is “it’s just my opinion”. It’s something that I hate to hear and I think it’s related to this topic. Of course, people are absolutely entitled to their own opinions. But there has to be a reason that you’ve come to that particular conclusion, and saying “it’s just my opinion” has completely shut down the discussion. I don’t care if you have an interesting opinion. I care if you have a good reason for your interesting opinion.

For example, it’s just my opinion that mecha shows are really interesting. For the most part, I hold this opinion because I like watching robot battles. If I were to go deeper, I would probably say that it has to do with my early exposure to shows like Gundam. The fact that I watched a lot of Power Rangers as a kid is probably also a large contributing factor. I’m not saying that you should be prepared to give this kind of analysis for any random opinion that you have. These are just the kinds of things I want to think about.

The end result is that most of my episode posts are just a list of points. My approach is to come up with a list of things I liked and disliked in an episode, so I can try to go through why I felt that way. It also gives me a convenient list of reasons why I might like or dislike a show overall.

In the interest of full disclosure, I also want to point out that I find this approach frightening. From what I’ve seen, it’s difficult to attack a broad opinion such as “I like this show”. The more specific a claim gets, the more refutable it becomes. If I say that Steins;Gate is the most scientifically accurate time travel series in existence, I don’t think it would be too hard to come up with a contrary argument.

But I’m honestly fine with this. I want my opinions to be founded on good reasons. If you present an argument that I think is reasonable, I will change my mind. I really hope that I’ve done a good job of expressing this mentality in my comment responses. Our opinions are our own, but changing them doesn’t mean that we lose something.

So, that’s my spiel. Let me know what you think. Or you know…change my mind.

11 thoughts on “Blogging Principles: Being specific”

  1. Can’t agree with it more. I try not to leave anything vague unless it’s a really irrelevant opinion or some odd fetish that I manage to have.
    My episode “reviews” are also just a list of points, and I find that it works really well for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i think it’s too easy to fall into the trap of the “unassailable” opinion that im always trying to avoid.

      haha when i was in college, i actually got called on that a lot. id always get comments that said “you just have a lot of good points, but your argument is weak”. but that’s just how i think

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ultimately, reviews and editorials are just sharing our opinions, there’s little point to it if you don’t want to elaborate. I find it generally uninteresting to read posts that simply racap shows or episodes whithout the author contextualizing them through their own perception. I can just watch the series if all I want to know is what happens. I do however use phrases like *in my opinion* often as disclaimers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yeah, totally agree. and i dont have a problem with prefacing something with “in my opinion” because it’s not a statement on its own. ive been in too many conversations where i get the sense that someone states an opinion expecting ppl to just agree. so that person can get real defensive when i disagree and press on the reasons why.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The reasons why are always more interesting than the opinion. Okay, the show was good? Why? That is more important to me as a reader than just the opinion. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I dislike the implication that you have to a *reason* for everything – that there must be some underlying logic and a definitive factual basis. That reductionism leaves no room for emotion, for mystery, for reality. Humans are neither Vulcans nor computers – some things about us just are. We (or at least most of us in my impression) aren’t writing college papers. We’re giving our impressions, our thoughts, our feelings… and it’s a mistake to judge the latter by the standards of the former and use that judgement to dismiss writings that don’t meet them.

    I won’t (can’t even possibly) debate that in the wider world the distinction between faith based and evidence based is a vital one. In many cases the very lives of real people depend on reaching conclusions based on the latter rather than retaining illusions based on the former. But that distinction is far less valuable when it comes to anime and blogging. The distinction blurs and becomes all but meaningless when it comes to an art form that’s *designed* to manipulate and effect us at the emotional level. To each sphere, its own standards.

    Take things for what they are – don’t force them into a standardized mold and then be annoyed when they don’t fit. If you do, that’s on [the generic] you, not me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i dont mean to give off the impression blogs should be collections of professional essays or anything like that. this concept of searching for the reason is how i approach things. my point is simply that we are two people with different opinions. i don’t think either opinion is right or wrong, but im personally interested in the steps that led the opinion that’s not my own. what did you see that i didnt see? could i come to think the same way? i dont think it’s about fitting people into a mold. i think it’s more that i want to learn.

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