So, as I was laying in bed and often do, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed while contemplating the reasons for my inability to sleep. Then, it came to my mind and, as happens more than it probably should, my mind puked onto Twitter:
You see, this thought has constantly gone through my head over the past year that I have been streaming on Twitch. The amount of prep that goes into every cast, the amount of networking that is required, and the overall work that goes on behind the scenes is much more than most people understand. Sometimes, just sometimes, I ask myself is it worth it.
I am a part time streamer. I stream when I have “free” time that I don’t have to dedicate to my full time job. It took me around 9 months of streaming to gain my first 1,000 followers. Now, several months later, I am over 3,500 followers and growing slowly everyday. I don’t do anything else. If I am not streaming or working, I am working on something related to my channel. Working on my channel graphics, searching for new music, talking to other streamers, talking to my moderators, thinking of ways to further grow the channel; all things that consume my time outside of the stream (and the list goes on and on). You see, as I stated in that post, there is a lot more to streaming that just “turning it on” and it can get frustrating.
No matter how frustrating it is however, the rewards that are reaped from the hard work show in channel growth. That is what makes this particular time on Twitch ever more frustrating. As we have all heard from our favorite streamers, right now is a slow time on Twitch. The primary viewer base is in school and going through testing. This means that many of the people that normally watch streams are not watching…and rightfully so. However, as a streamer trying to grow a channel, it is hard because viewer counts are down, follower counts are down. It makes me start thinking that I am doing something wrong. I have to constantly remind myself that this is a slow time and not to be so hard on myself…stop worrying about it. But that is a hard thing for me to accept.
Over the past several months, I have seen a real growth in my channel. I have gone from an average of 5 to 15 viewers during the broadcast to between 40 and 60, sometimes as high as 100. This has been a trend that, frankly, I have gotten used to. I have gone from maybe 1 or 2 follows per stream to between 30 and 40. This growth has really made me happy and, frankly, been something that I have taken for granted. Over the past couple of weeks, viewership has dropped to between 20 and 30 viewers and I tend to see more unfollows than follows. To me, this is very frustrating…even though it is a part of the natural cycle.
I can’t tell you how many times the thought of quitting streaming has run through my head. Then, I think of my community. How much I love them and how much they support me…I can’t stop. People like ecooper0760 who is a huge part of my channel and will do anything and everything to help me out. uMadbro1911 who is supportive to the point of being ridiculous sometimes. SCGRogue, MCGlenn, MrxGiblets, bebop…the list goes on and on. People that are in the stream, supporting me day after day after day and have been for quite some time. Then I think about new people to our community that express their enjoyment…it makes me smile and makes things better.
Then there are the streamers that have helped me along the way. People like SiylissTV, FamousCobain, DethridgeCraft, Miss_Undastood (or whatever your name is this week :P)…people that I don’t want to disappoint by quitting. The help and support that I have received from them has been amazing! There are others that have helped along the way but these are the streamers that have really done a lot for me and my stream. So, in my mind, quitting would be failing them…
Over a year ago, I started out with the goal of having fun streaming and making it a full time endeavor. Quitting would throw all of the hard work that I have put in right in the toilet. I am not willing to do that. Not yet. Not until I have done everything that I can do…not until it is no longer fun…and streaming is still fun!
Alright, that is my brain puke that I needed to write. The things that I needed to get off my chest. It may not make sense, it may be completely stupid…but they are my thoughts…take it or leave it. I am NOT going anywhere…
I love each and every one of you and can’t wait to see you during the next broadcast!