The Last Post

Despite my efforts to remain anonymous I’ll let you have a little personal insight into my psyche: apart from mood swings, and some fairly compulsive habits, under the influence of the classics and paranoid introspection I am also quite a melodramatic extremist. This blog was never meant to last in perpetuity; I’ve always had my own motives for writing it. But today I’m laying down the pen, or more accurately pushing away the keyboard on Japanmanship.

There are several reasons for this, none of them extreme or important. It’s certainly not a defeat or a forced decision made under hardship or pressure, quite the contrary. I’ve simply decided I need to refocus my extracurricular activities on more pressing matters and long-postponed ambitions and hopefully cut the umbilical on a high. Up until recently the writing of posts has come fairly easily and required little soul-searching or subject hunting. An idea would hit me, I’d flick off a quick post during lunch breaks and that, as they say, was that. As I have exhausted all avenues of useful information to write about and have started leaning heavily on critical and often unfair views of Japanese life the search for new subjects has become somewhat of a chore. I can’t and won’t break NDAs and won’t compromise my company, so writing about work in too much detail, though possibly interesting for the reader, is simply not a possibility. Nowadays I spend evenings in bed, sleepless, agonizing over future subjects to cock an eye at, or become paranoid about becoming too recognite and being ousted and dooced. And when I look at my other side projects, all of them have been waylaid and neglected.

This blog, reluctantly started but written with much enjoyment, has taught me a few things. Firstly, I like writing, and I certainly hope to do something more with that knowledge. The overwhelmingly positive responses from my ever-growing circle of readers has certainly been very gratifying and has been immensely good for my confidence, though the posts given most praise were also the one written most effortlessly, so I still question your opinions somewhat. Nevertheless, the ego-stroking, though not a purpose of this blog, has been helpful and, let’s not be coy about it, fun.

Secondly, writing a blog can be hard work, especially, if like me, you have forced yourself to write regular updates. I’ve managed to post on average once every other day, which isn’t bad going. Of course it was much easier at the start, and a little of my current burnout may be attributed to this, it clearly isn’t sustainable for a lone writer. This is even more the case when posts become more intricate and require actual research. I have tried to write as little as possible about my personal opinions on games and design issues, as there are plenty of blogs out there already doing that at levels of insight and professionalism I cannot hope to match.
I am also fully and hatefully aware that my recent batch of posts have all covered my solipsist and sweepingly negative views of Japan and the Japanese which, though liberating to write and not entirely without merit and truth, is hardly fair to subject a whole nation to.
Of course there is a case to be made for lowerig the post frequency, but I always thought if something is worth doing it’s worth doing to glorious excess, or not at all.

Thirdly, apart from personal satisfaction there is almost no percentage in keeping up a lone blog. Google Adsense revenue and CafePress income, or lack thereof, at some point can’t justify the amount of time you put into writing. This is not a fault of the readership, bless your hearts, but of the way internet advertising works great wonders for the advertisers, the advert organizers but hardly for those hosting them. Unless your have a daily readership of a several hundred thousand extra revenue like this is simply vaporous, and though this blog has had a surprising number of visitors in a relatively short time, it, naturally, falls far short of such high figures.

This aggressive full stop, which I hope won’t disappoint too many people too grievously, has certainly lifted my spirits in anticipation of spending more time on learning C#, working on those other hobby projects and finally putting more real time into writing something of consequence. It is also a suitably dramatic gesture, something which my compulsive mind always enjoys; a bit of a shock, an extreme action, it’s fun and, hopefully, unexpected. I’m like that. I guess Japan’s wishy-washy attitude towards hard decisions has prompted in me a more extremist, contrary stance. It’s nice to be able to put your foot down on something when in real life you have to run circles around every obstacle. Or maybe it’s just the weather; sudden spring warmth and sunshine can play on a man’s mind. An air of renewal and the casting off of old things certainly seems to be a springtime activity.

I thank everybody for visiting so regularly and writing so many interesting and supportive comments. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the websites that linked here. I’ll keep the blog on-line until traffic drips to a standstill at which point I’ll probably remove it and have it done with. People with an interest in working in Japan in the future should probably save local copies of the more informative posts for future reference. I intend to keep the moniker for my other writing pursuits, so if in a few years time you ever wonder what happened to the game industry’s version of Ed Reardon, Google the nom de plume and who knows what you may find.

I remain, forever, your humble and obedient servant,