Baelnorn’s Year in Review 2021

2021 is nearly over. Time for a Year in Review post. When I migrated to Facebook nearly three years ago I did my first Year in Review post. Now as the year ends I find that I regret not continuing that tradition, so here we are, doing a Year in Review post.

I’ve thought about how to organize this blog Things have changed so much that I can’t really use the format that I used in 2019. I’ll start with talking a little bit about 2020 to help put 2021 into context, then I’ll talk about 2021 and talk about the future. Following that there will be a list of things information about the year.

Little Bit of 2020

Going into 2020 I was in a very positive place. I had moved from Facebook to my own web page in fall 2019 and I was doing weekly blogs. I was also putting out articles on a fairly regular basis. Then COVID hit.

I adapted and started doing online content. For the first month or two I went hard but then slowed down and pace myself. I stopped doing regular blogs and started streaming. Beers with Baelnorn came along, then Baelnorn and Friends and Ducal Drinks. Near the end of the year I became a Twitch Affiliate. I was on a roll.

As well as adapting to the online life, I was regularly writing and posting the rough draft of my novel Philip Clowes. I also started doing writing streams and made good progress on the short story Dark Choices.

It was a year of transition, both for my content and for Amtgard, hell, even the world. It was rough but I felt well situated going into 2021

Hard Reality of 2021

I started 2021 strong, doing my first 12 hour stream and finishing Dark Choices. I started a Shattered Kingdoms Twitch D&D Game and created a companion website Things were looking up, at least professionally.

In my personal life things were taking a turn for the worse. My mother’s health was failing and we were talking about her life in years rather than decades. It was hard. My depression is often present, but the events in February and March triggered it something fierce and I spiraled. I had some of the worst days of my life. Content slowed to a crawl.

Then in April my mother died. Content stopped.

Eventually Amtgard opened back up again, but I didn’t start doing weekly blogs again, however I did start recording video. In September I started making an effort to post YouTube Videos.

As time went on I got better, both at recording and editing video. I bought a gimbal and I started to enjoy creating again. I even started shooting an interview series which will be coming in January, LARP Chats.

Starting in fall I began dabbling in my writing streams again and rebooted Baelnorn and friends. Streaming is still a secondary though though. D&D has still not started back up, but I look forward to it. The content is there but scheduling has become dificult and I don’t have the extra energy to properly edit the video from the streams.

I recently started to publish the first novel I wrote on Kindle Vella, Baelath Chronicles. The rough draft of the novel was finished four or five years ago. I never thought I would actually publish this novel There were just to many little things that didn’t settle right with me. However, the format provided by Kindle Vella seemed perfect for the content I had. I’m excited for people to read it.

The big project of the 2021 though is the podcast, High Trek. I started a Star Trek The Next Generation podcast with my friend Riley. While not in the Balenorn sphere, it’s worth mentioning due to it being project that takes a good amount of my time. Plus it’s been a blast.

We started recording High Track back in the summer, and as of this post we have recorded 20 episodes. We have published six, the the seventh scheduled for tomorrow. It is my main priority right now, our initial analytics (20-25 lists a week) is very promising and I can’t wait to see our audience grow.

2022 And Beyond

As the year comes to a close I find that I am optimistic about content for 2022. I’d like to continue my upward trend and slowly introduce and refine the content I have. Streaming is something I’m interested in tackling again.

By the end of next year I’d like to be doing weekly writing streams and monthly Baelnorn and Friends. I’d like to retool and relaunch Beers with Baelnorn, and add in some beer tasting streams.

As to YouTube, I’d like to continue producing and improving the quality of fight videos, but my big push will be to start creating more narrative content.

I have one project in the works, but it requires a team and building that team has been difficult. I will probably try to take on smaller projects, ones that require less people, and try and excersize the narrative muscle in less ambitious ways.

I’m looking forward to continuing High Trek. We’ll finish our first season in 2022 and we have some fun special episodes planned for our in between season content.

Something I tried to do over the last two years and failed miserably at, is creating a community on my Discord. It’s another thing I would like to tackle in 2022. I would like to see it be a place for Amtgard learning, as well as for discussing LARP, Writing, and table top role playing games.

Cautiously Optimistic

While the last two years has seen a trend downward in webpage numbers, I still feel good about where I’m situated. Between the podcast and YouTube audience I think there has been a net positive in my overall growth over the past two years.

While things are looking positive, I’m being careful not to add to much to the mix to quickly. I’m still dealing with my mother’s estate and that is not an easy thing to manage. Not to mention my never ending financial struggle. There have been moments over the last year where homelessness was a serious concern.

Then there is my mental health. I also still battle with depression and anxiety. It’s currently managed but unforeseen situations can always trigger more intense episodes.

I am cautiously optimistic and look forward to producing more content for everyone to enjoy!

Achievements of 2021

The following is a list of things I’ve achieved over 2021

Twitch in 2021

  • First 12 Hour Stream
  • Rebooted Baelnorn and Friends

YouTube in 2021

  • Doubled Views to 5k.
  • Watch Hours Stayed the same as 2021, approx. 145 hours.
  • Added 45 Subscribers about the same as 2021 year.
  • Produced more videos and improved quality
  • Recorded LARP Chats

Writing

  • Finished and Published Dark Choices
  • 30-40 pages extra on Philip Novel
  • Started producing content on Kindle Vella

Revenue Generation Attempts

  • Patreon 2021, hit $50 for a month, meeting first goal, ads from website were removed
  • Patreon ended the year at $35
  • Overall downward trend.
  • Added Ko-Fi.

You can see my Tier 2 (Rock Gnomes) and 3 (Tinker Gnomes) supporters on my Patreon Supporters page as well as find out how to become a Patron yourself.