Friday, January 6, 2023

Green Phoenix - 2022 in Review


2022 has been a year of massive transformative changes for me, primarily in my personal life. At the beginning of the year, I had officially moved out of my parents house and begun fully living on my own, which has been a fantastic adventure and a great challenge for my daily life and commitments to writing and video work. But I like to think that this year has been one where I have risen to meet that challenge.

Writing for Emerald Rangers has been a wonderful exercise in maintaining my analytical mind and improving my literary credentials. While I might not always be happy with every article I release (in fact, my perfectionist mind is rarely happy with anything I release or make) I do believe that everything I release is a genuinely good reflection of my own state of mind and how the films, shows, books and games discussed reflect on the world and myself at that moment. The art of criticism is often a deeply personal and self-reflective quest and it has been a genuine pleasure in continuing that adventure over the past year, despite some of my more domestic challenges.

Below is a list of the statistics and personal indication as to how my articles are performing and what changes, in any, may be needed as we move into 2023. This article, which I always release at the first of the year, is a chance for me to see the status of my contribution to the website and plot a trajectory for the coming year.


General Statistics

When I first started writing articles for Emerald Rangers back in 2019, I had created a massive commitment and challenge for myself by electing to write one article every week, despite a comparatively new job and unfamiliarity with Blogger's underlying coding and...unique...foibles. The thought of breaks and weeks-off didn't even seem to cross my mind.
Thankfully starting in 2021, I began to take a more serious approach to maintaining my mental health and creating mandatory health weeks, where I would not write any articles. So far, these have done a marvelous job in ensuring that I do not become overworked, especially in weeks where my day job may be less forgiving to my schedule (which was a real problem during the height of the pandemic, let me tell you).
The result of this shift in focus to a healthier work-life balance is that in 2022, I wrote a total of 33 articles over 52 weeks (accounting for the summer and an extended December vacations). This is less than the 36 articles that I wrote in 2021, owed largely to my introduction to my mental health break roughly every six weeks, which has been a tremendous help to my overall well being and is something I will absolutely be continuing into the next year. Though in a change of pace, I do think I should actually increase those mental health breaks to every four weeks, ensuring that I always get at least one week a month, where I don't have to worry about any articles or can use that week for rest and unpressured writing. With my personal life seeming to be stabilizing, it is my hope I can begin in engaging in creative ventures that I had to delay when life began calling.

As of writing this article, my 2022 articles have received 860 views in total, with an average view per article of 26, which is a marked decrease in the both view count and overall views compared to 2021. This sudden shift in view numbers isn't something that I can account for except to say that it does please me to know that largely my viewership seems to have a dedicated, if extremely, small viewership. Perhaps with some better marketing and more audience participation, it may be easier for a wider audience to enjoy my work. 
Last year, I would have included the total number of viewpoints across all my articles over the entirity of my time with Emerald Rangers. However as my list of articles now numbers nearly 140 and Blogger doesn't allow for any kind of easy analysis of individual writers' work, I felt like this was an exercise that would be more stressful than enlightening. Suffice it to say, that my article viewcounts now number quite high across four years of work. What I can discuss are m highest viewed articles, both according to the website in 2022 and across the whole of the websites existence.
As stated in Top 5 Most Viewed Posts of 2022, two of my articles actually ranked as the third and fourth most viewed articles for the year. Let's Talk...Adapting the Jack Ryanverse was an editorial that focused on analyzing the history of film adaptations of Tom Clancy novels and my exploration into why such book adaptations may struggle to exist in the future. A fun thought experiment, the article has 405 views total, with 247 views occurring in the last 12 months alone. In third place, we had my review of the documentary film When Dinosaurs Roamed America, which has 465 views overall, with 275 occurring 
over the last year. It stands as one of my favorite articles to write and I am genuinely shocked that such a relatively unknown dinosaur documentary would garner such an interest in my audience.

While I am a little annoyed that my highest performing articles in 2022 were both originally written in 2020, it does show that my past work continues to maintain a strong reader base and I just need to do better in perhaps connecting my past and present works together in a more seamless format to promote more consistent readership across all my work. Maybe Cendoo can create a random article button.
If we are discussing my most viewed article of all time, over the entire course of writing tenure with Emerald Rangers, that honor must go to my review of The Lion King from all the way back in 2019, which was the sixth article I had ever written for the website, with 632 views over a period of four years and is actually almost 40 views more than this time last year, which is fairly consistent with viewership numbers of newer articles as well.

In terms of types of articles, 2022 was absolutely an exercise in trying stretch my creative muscles. Of the 33 articles I wrote:
  • 12 film reviews (Including both animated and live-action),
  • 6 reviews of television shows or anime,
  • 1 book recommendations,
  • 3 general editorials as I continued my ongoing Building Better Backstories series over the year,
  • 2 countdown articles, 
  • 3 reviews of computer or video games,
  • 2 reviews of new trailers, an article format I introduced late in the year,
  • 2 Let's Talk... editorials.
In analyzing these statistics, I notice that I had fewer film reviews and a far more varied writing style overall, which has been quite refreshing. I do think I have subconsciously responded to my literary recommendations lack of viewership by decreasing the number of such reviews, but I don't plan on dropping the format entirely. What I do want to do more of is the video game reviews or recollections, countdowns, and television shows/anime.
With the past year, I have had a tremendous increase in my personal watching of streaming shows and I feel like this is a great opportunity to expose myself to old classics and upcoming releases, so the next year could have a great deal of more variety and hopefully new releases.



The last year has been mostly about stabilizing if I can think of anything to describe. I have finally approached a point in life where I feel satisfied and, if not fully fulfilled creatively, then at least I am doing far more to improve my overall writing and am now in a place to think about further growth.

I hope 2023 can be a year where my personal projects become more frequent and of higher quality, including Emerald Rangers. I already have some articles planned all the way up to October of next year, though I am leaving my schedule somewhat empty to account for sudden flashes of inspiration. It is only a matter of time to see just how my future articles will reflect on the new year, just as my old articles reflected on the past year.

I hope you will all continue to join me on this ride.

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