2016 Challenge COMPLETE

A lot of people are doing some retrospective posts for the year around this time, and considering that I just completed my goal, this post will be sort of similar. I half expected to not be able to write this post, and it may have come down to the wire, but I can proudly proclaim that the challenge I set for myself this year has been successfully completed!

When I started this blog back in July, I knew I wanted to talk about anime. It had been a longtime interest of mine and was quickly growing into a passionate hobby. But how could I think of myself as an otaku given how limited my anime experience was?

Those of you who read the post where I started my challenge will know all this, but I’ll summarize for newcomers here: I decided this year to beat my lifetime record for anime series by watching 30 titles to completion. This blog was initially a way to keep a record of my thoughts on each show by reviewing them, but soon review writing became just as much (if not more) a part of my challenge as watching.

This challenge was retroactively meant to take place over the course of a year, considering I had finished the first series, Your lie in April, back in February. I didn’t get the idea to start a challenge until early July, and posted my first review at the end of that month. The majority of my challenge thus took place over a 5 month period and pushed me harder than I thought it would. I suppose I could have extended into February 2017, but how lame would it be for me to make”2016 challenge” posts with a 2017 timestamp?

Now that the challenge is complete, here is a look back on what all this has meant for me.


Series completed: 30

Episodes watched: 611

Time spent watching: 9 days, 18 hours, 54 minutes

Reviews written: 30

Words written: 123,143

Considering I finished watching the shows on my list on Dec 15, I did have some time to add a couple more to my list that. The other two series I finished have been added to my progress bar below:

A picture showing the anime I completed, with Yuri on Ice and Izetta added

Adding those two brings the series count to 32, episode count to 635, and the time spent to 10 days, 4 hours, and 30 minutes.

The time I spent writing, though, was far more than that. I have no good measure of how much time I spent, but especially in these last few weeks I put all my free time into these reviews. I think I spent more time writing this year than I spent model painting. And I love model painting!

You know what I don’t love? Writing. I was never confident about my ability to write well. Adding to that, there seems to be a disconnect between my brain and fingers, as though the thoughts and feelings I want to express simply don’t come out. I started this blog primarily as a way to improve that. Now that I’m done with my challenge, I don’t know how much I really improved, but I did at least write much more than I ever have before. 123,000 words is legitimate novel length. I wouldn’t have believed anyone who told me at the start of all this that I would write a novel by the time I was done.

This challenge did more than give me some writing practice though. I pushed myself, hard, to complete a goal that I didn’t think I could do. I broke a long trend of giving up on projects that required a lot of time and energy. There were so many times I thought I wouldn’t make it, and even resigned myself to failing. I told myself that just finishing the viewing challenge was the original goal, but in the back of my mind that always felt like a cop out. If this was going to be a way to push myself, the writing had to be part of it. Now that it’s all over, no matter how trivial this might have been, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

A girl's hands typing while she asks why she is crying
sniff

If you missed a review or are a newer follower that hasn’t seen some of my earlier work, all my reviews are available on my Reviews Page, linked here. I don’t have one for Izetta or Yuri yet. Those shows were not part of my original challenge, and I have to draw the line somewhere!

I said in an earlier post that no one was going to care if I didn’t complete all this before 2017, except me. By being so stubborn about this challenge I made things harder for myself and the Super Otaku Busters. I apologize to KimmieKawaii for that. She deserved more time than I gave her during all this. Still, she patiently edited each and every review. Without her help,  I’m sure they would be utter garbage. In the end though, being the angel that she is, she became just as invested in this as I was.

Mozart gets no apology because he was never any help, as always. Plus he would just step over and lay in my lap whenever he wanted to anyway, so it’s not like he lost any attention from me.

A picture of my cat on my lap
Thanks, Mozart

The most unexpected outcome, which really made this more worthwhile than anything else, was how much I would grow to enjoy and appreciate this community. In stark contrast to my wife, who named her blog Inner Thoughts of an Extrovert, I have a horrible time reaching out to people. Probably second to writing, that is my biggest weakness as a person. But in writing on this blog, from the very first trickle of readers to the great group I share my thoughts with on a regular basis today, it’s been an absolute pleasure interacting with you all. You all made writing fun for me, because it meant sharing our love of anime together. I would never have completed this if I didn’t have your support and encouragement. For that, you have my sincere gratitude.

Now that this is over, I’m going to be taking it easier in the coming weeks. I have a lot of stuff planned for the blog next year. I’ll be doing another post soon detailing some of the upcoming features and changes, but for now I need a little break to enjoy other things, like reading all your blogs!

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24 thoughts on “2016 Challenge COMPLETE

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  1. Yay! There’s nothing better than fulfilling a self imposed goal, congrats! You’ve made me want to do a sort of anime challenge for next year, so we’ll see if I actually go through with it haha. Have a great new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on your achievements! Wow, you accomplished so much! That’s a lot of anime and words written for sure. I’m glad that blogging has helped your writing improve. ^^ Cheers to 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers! And thank you for the kind words. I don’t know if I have improved. I hope so! Blogging has made me a happier person in any case, and a big part of that is being able to talk to so many positive people here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing…..bowing down to you in awe. This really was an amazing achievement to have reached and completed it. Well, I would not worry too much about your writing skills. As I have already mentioned a number of times, your reviews are seriously good. Not only do they provide a very entertaining read, they are very informative, comprehensive and give a great insight to what a series is about. I have already gotten a few very good series out of it, for which I am very grateful.
    As for reaching out to other people, well you could have fooled me. I have always enjoyed the discussions we had about all kinds of Animeseries, and I already look forward to the coming year to continue doing that. As I am a person that myself has sometimes trouble reaching out, I most certainly would not worry about this either 😀
    To close: congratulations on this fantastic achievement, and good luck the coming year with any new challenges that lie ahead 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I’m always humbled by the things you have to say about my reviews, and I feel very satisfied to know that all the work I put into them makes a difference for someone. I hope I can improve on the quality even further going forward.

      Reaching out to people online has always been easier for me than face to face, but even then I often fail to express myself properly. It’s something I’m always trying to work on, but it certainly helps to have people who approach you with friendliness like everyone here does.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations! That was an impressive goal you set and it’s even more impressive that you finished it.Happy New Year!

    Mozart is adorable. Kinda makes me want a cat even though I have my hands full with two dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and happy new year to you! I feel so relieved now that I don’t have that looming in front of me anymore, but I guess that means I need to replace it with something else to stress me out!

      Oof, two dogs are plenty of work. Mozart pretty much looks after himself.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on reaching your goal!

    I wouldn’t have guessed that you struggled with writing given how your reviews are always a great read. The challenge (and your wonderful wife) might have polished your skill. So chin up and write with confidence as you welcome in the new year! Looking forward to seeing what you have planned for 2017 (my April is currently completely vacant!)

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! At least I don’t dread writing anymore. My wife certainly deserves the credit (and flattery). I can’t tell you how many times she harped on me for run on sentences and aimless paragraphs.

      I’ll post upcoming blog feature plans soon, so it’s good that your April is free. We will enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

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