When It Rains, It Pours

Or so the saying goes. Of course, sometimes it’s not rain, so much as a fire hose. And sometimes you’ve helped to turn that hose on yourself.

In today’s installment of “Voyager apologizes for things,” you’ve no doubt noticed how… quiet things have been, of late. Like… more so than usual. There are reasons for this. Some very much outside of my control, some within my control but certainly beyond my level of willpower to deal with effectively, and some that are just straight up just me being an idiot. So let’s review and talk about what, exactly, the plan is going to be, going forward, hm?

What Happened?

All of it. Everything. The long and short of it is that life kinda just hit effectively our entire team at the same time with a continuous cycle of sucker-punches. Most were things that aren’t that bad on their own. Some were even good things. More work hours here, new jobs there, etcetera. But these things have a way of compounding and becoming an issue when you’re also trying to forge a place for yourself as a content creator. I can’t speak for the others, but my own productivity cratered about three weeks ago.

In my case, the short version is that I just got boomed. Hard. A combination of my day job kinda smacking me around for a week and then all the other things I do just getting backed up as a result of that. So things started getting delayed and my personal motivation to work on them just kinda… shot itself. The thing is, I don’t really suffer from burnout in doing a lot of things because I’m generally good at spacing things out and managing them in a way that gives me time to do everything across a reasonable period, if not necessarily always on-schedule. The downside to that is that if ANYTHING goes wrong, my entire system just kind of implodes and you get situations like this where it’s not only incredibly difficult to get everything done, but that effect is exacerbated by my building lack of motivation to do anything upon looking at that enormous (indeed, growing) mountain of work.

It sucks.

And I haven’t even said anything about what’s been going on outside of myself. Rest assured, our little corner of the internet has been… preoccupied. Anyway, with that lack of motivation taking its toll, our typical meetings for the past several weeks have been highly unproductive. Not complete washes, but not up to our usual standard… at all. During that initial week, when I’d decided to take a break just for the sake of my own health, I dove into video games and working on other still-developing pet projects (I have a reeeally cool one in the works now that, funnily enough, was kind of inspired by Skyrim). Also, my day job continued to haunt me and murdered whatever motivation I managed to muster up by the time I got to leave for the day. Such is life.

Regardless, we’re getting back to work, but this whole thing’s made it abundantly clear to us that we’ve got to make some… changes. Not wholesale cuts, just some adaptations. That’s what this post is about.

Reduction, Not A Freeze

Just to be clear, we’re not taking a full-on break or cutting any of our content. We’re just going to be changing our production process, at least for a time, until we don’t have as many lofty projects all stacked on top of one another. For context, here’s everything I’m personally working on.

  • Burning Sky – Editor, Lead Writer
  • Bulletoon – Writer, Editor
  • Blog – Writer, Editor
  • Ghost Light Exorcist – Writer
  • EXTRA/NORMAL – Writer
  • LIVE Game – Writer
  • [Undisclosed Side Project] – Writer

Keep in mind, Burning Sky is actually more like 9 separate projects in one. So that list is truthfully more than twice as long as it looks. Now, the way I’ve tended to get things done is basically to chip away at the entire workload over the course of a week – maybe a week and some change – until it refreshes. I basically write eeeverything as it’s coming up, with the notable exception of Burning Sky (the first drafts of which were largely finished months ago). But I just can’t afford to be doing all that, right now. Especially now that everything’s so backed up.

I’ve managed until now, but between GLE and EXTRA, especially, I just can’t afford to be doing all of that. Having talked with Bob about it today, I essentially laid out what the priority list was.

Burning Sky is right at the top of that list. It’s our BIG thing. We’ve been working on it for years, at this point. So it makes sense. GLE and LIVE Game are both pretty evenly right below that as I write those for entities beyond myself and my team. Ghost Light Exorcist is a Voyce.me Exclusive and LIVE Game (a project I’m just realizing I’ve barely said anything about) is something I’m publishing through Starlight Novels, which is available for purchase on Amazon.

Following that up is Bulletoon, which is just a major thing with us. And as the channel is growing in size (for reasons I still don’t really get), it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to suddenly drop that. Also I don’t want to just cut it and yank the rug out from beneath our wonderful voice talent.

EXTRA/NORMAL is a pet project, but a deeply personal and kind of therapeutic one for me, so it rounds out the next spot. That leaves the Blog in last place, only beating out the undisclosed project that literally began development a week ago and came into existence purely because I thought it’d be fun.

With all that said, it might sound like I’m about to announce the end of the blogs. No. Not quite. What I am doing is announcing a sort of semi-hiatus. We were already basically on it, but now I’m making it official. So here’s that thing. That whole Bulletoon plan? Yeah. We’re still going to do that, BUT… not right now. We’ll relaunch it later, maybe even throw in some new site aesthetics. We’ve been talking for a while about how we wanted to sort of rebrand the site anyway.

This works out for us, though. I’ve mentioned before that we were never going to be an “anime blog” forever. The long term goal was always to transition away from that and into being more of a portal for our other content. Bulletoon will, of course, continue being a show of media (note: not specifically anime) commentary, but the site’s otherwise going to start trending towards content that centers around our original work. Will that be immediate? No. Like I said, we’re still going to do that whole Bulletoon takeover. Hell, I’m currently sitting on a decently sizeable backlog of written Bulletoon posts that haven’t been edited yet. We have the means. I just want to hold onto those for when we can actually start working on blog content again. Then, when the Bulletoon takeover is finished, we’ll slowly slide more towards original-based posts. By that time, Bulletoon will likely be the only holdover of the prior era.

Speaking of Bulletoon, there’s also going to be a change in that. I just can’t do the consistent episode thing, right now. Not while we’re working so hard on getting Burning Sky to a presentable state. What’s that mean? It means that after this season is done, the format is changing. Something I’ve been wanting to try is something where instead of the 5 to 10-minute format, we do more long-form videos every now and then. Take longer, work on a longer, more involved video. Post teases until the episode is ready to air. So there’d probably be one full video per month with maybe one mini-episode and one or two teases of the big one.

In truth, that was an idea I already set in motion with this season. If you watched the Season 6 preview, you should’ve seen there was mention of a special bonus episode. I intended for that to be the sort of pilot episode of this style of video. If it works out, then awesome. If not, then it’s back to the drawing board. For now, though, I’d say that it’d be best not to expect these last few episodes to come out on a schedule. Instead we’re just adopting an “it’s done when it’s done” attitude towards them.

The last real thing is EXTRA/NORMAL. To be honest, I love this project. A lot. And I’m working on a sort of remastered version of the first volume (Chapter 1 – 21), as I write this post. Buuut, it is just a passion project. So there are just going to be weeks where I can’t get a chapter out. To be fair, I’ve said that from the very beginning. I’m not really taking it as seriously as I would something like a Burning Sky. Or, at least, I’m not approaching it with as dire and stringent a work pattern. So just expect that some weeks will be empty. Like last week. I’m working on a chapter right now because I do feel enough motivation to do some work today and that will be out on Sunday evening (it’s a little past 10:30pm on Saturday, at the time of my writing this), along with the new episode of Bulletoon.

GLE and Live Game won’t be seeing any changes at all. Only expect GLE to be delayed if I physically am unable to write a chapter in time or my editor is unable to work on the latest chapter with me before the due date. But I have reestablished a little mini-backlog, so that one’ll be fine for a bit, at least. LIVE Game is unique in that the publication only even comes out quarterly. So unless I seriously procrastinate, I never really have to rush with that one. That said, I believe I will have to be taking a couple days, coming up, to writing a few chapters of that as my deadline on that is approaching. But LIVE Game is literally the easiest of my stories to write. At least, for now it is. The early stages of that story are very standard Sports Shounen. The same way early GLE is intentionally very standard Supernatural Shounen, early on. It’s just how I write. Unless I have something REALLY good, I like to start with fairly basic skeletons and work my way up to more interesting stuff.

Alas, I’m off on a tangent. Either way, that’s basically everything.

That’s It

So thems be the changes. We’ll be making a more proper and less rambly announcement about this on the main site later. For now, this felt more appropriate. More candid. More frank and honest. Suits me. Talking about this in the internet persona would’ve been pretty exhausting, honestly.

In case you want the TL;DR, here you go:

  • Burning Sky = Top Priority
  • G-Team Blog Taking Hiatus w/ Minor Exceptions
    • Bob will still do Summer of Star Wars, this month.
    • The remainder of Bulletoon Season 6 will still be posted.
  • Bulletoon Format Change after Season 6
    • More videos like the Kumagawa Misogi Episode, fewer like the Beelzebub Episode
    • Short Break after Season 6 to build backlog.

Got all that? Cool. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a looot of work to do. Thanks for reading, as always.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Awesome!

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