Am I Jinxing Myself?

So, I’m probably going to jinx it but I am on the verge of being ready to start up my writing streams again. When I do, I will only be tipping my toes back in the water, I doubt I’ll do it on a regular schedule to start, but at least it will be a start.

Today I walked down to the local coffee shop, got my usual white chocolate and mint breve and an everything bagel, with cream cheese of course. I wasn’t sure what I was going to work on today when I started my walk, but when I sat down I realized I wanted to work on one of my short stories.

Of course, the only short stories I’ve been working on are the ones that I want to do while I’m streaming. That meant I couldn’t actually write more of the short story but I was able to outline it. I worked on the outline for Presage, a short story I started several months ago on stream. You can find the first VOD of that story HERE on my writing YouTube. I should upload the rest of the VODs, which I just realized I haven’t. There are four more VODs to upload, but it will take some time to upload them all.

Anyways, I finished the outline. It was a bit hard to get started, but once I did I was able to push through the muck and finish it. It’s not a perfect outline, but it’s enough to make me feel like I have enough down that I can start my streams again.

Writing Stream?

Oh ya, I used to do writing streams on Twitch. It’s just like any other art stream, except, it’s writing! Writing streams are not a huge thing on Twitch, but there are people who do it. I do it a little different than I’ve seen other people do it. Often I see people do writing sprints, I do not do those.

What I do is write my story, engage in chat, explain why I do what I do. Typically I will write a paragraph, read the paragraph, talk about what I wrote about, if it makes sense to do so. I also explain most of my reasons for changes I make. On occasion I’ll even ask for suggestions for the story.

I have set aside a series of stories for my Illusions of Mist setting, to write only while streaming. In this way you can watch the whole process I go through for writing, minus the outlines. Although I do show my outlines and go over them during the stream, so in that way the whole process is caught on stream.

Dark Choices

Presage isn’t the first short story I’ve worked on while on stream. I actually wrote, edited and eventually published the short story Dark Choices before I started working on Presage. I’ve even gone so far as to read half of the story on YouTube, which you can find HERE. I really should finish recording the back half of the story. I think It’s something that I will do sooner rather than later. However, if I know people are waiting for the second half it will probably expediate the process.

Based off adding up the VODs of Dark Choices it took me about 18 hours to write and edit Dark Choices. I streamed it on a fairly regular basis. I impressed myself, I wish I hadn’t lost my momentum, but life got in the way, my mother passed and I had to take a mental break when writing the Presage short story.

Dark Choices is really what I would call my first complete short story. Sure, I’ve written character backgrounds, little vignettes for characters, or histories for worlds, or other setting stuff, but nothing I’d really consider a complete short story. I was rather pleased with myself and continue to be inspired by the knowledge that it is something I have done. It helps me believe I can do it again.

When Will You Stream?

Good question, thanks for asking. When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure, but I might as well set a day and time and hope I stick to it. I’m thinking Tuesday, October 18th at 11am PST. I’ll be streaming on my Twitch Channel for now. I’m thinking I might switch to YouTube Streaming, but that’s a future me decision.

I won’t promise I will stick to a schedule at this point, but I will keep everyone updated. With my High Trek Podcast release day being Tuesday, I might end up moving my streaming day to Wednesday, but we’ll see how next week goes. I hope everyone will be able to join me.

The Restlessness Is Real

I’ve been feeling restless but also tired, depressed and aimless. It’s a horrible mix, I get very little done. I’ve managed to keep my YouTube channel updated and generally speaking my podcasts High Trek and High Tea Time have been released on a regular schedule (you can find them HERE as well as other Star Trek stuff). Still, I feel like I haven’t been doing as much as I could.

My day to day activity is low, a lot of that has to do with depression. I take medication and it works, I don’t feel like I’m in a void of despair every day, so I consider that a win, but I am certainly not at 100%. I have trouble staying out of bed every day. I can’t recall a day in the recent past where I didn’t go to bed at least once, if not twice, during the day.

The time I am out of bed I do get some work done, as I said I’ve maintained my podcasts and YouTube release schedule, but I want to do more, but it’s struggle. There are times where I want to create but I feel like there is an invisible wall between me and creating and I just keep hitting my head against that wall.

This has led to a sense of restlessness that I feel in my heart. I want to satisfy it , but I find I’m unable to bring myself to satiate the restlessness inside me. The problem is multifaceted; a larger than I like part of the problem is the chemicals in my head not working right.

Novel Update

With my novel, I struggle to be able to focus enough to put word to paper. Part of the problem is that I finished a big story arch a few months ago and it’s been hard to pick up the pieces and create a coherent narrative from there. I know that part of overcoming the problem is forcing myself to sit down and write, no matter the kind of crap that comes out of my mind. I can fix it in edit. But It’s hard when I don’t know how I’d like the story to progress.

I do know the ending but getting from where I’m at to the end is difficult a this point. This mostly affects my novel writing, although I have written enough that I’m able to keep up my monthly posting. If you haven’t read my novel rough draft or haven’t kept up with it, you can read it HERE.

YouTube Update

I have been keeping up on my YouTube, but just so. Part of my restlessness is the lack of creativity with my content. It’s the same old same old, fighting videos. Viewership has been on the rise, but I feel like I’d like to do something more narrative. My vlogs were nice but I haven’t been able to travel much the last few months, so I have no new content on that front.

There is a Halloween movie contest I really wanted to enter. It’s not so much a movie as a video that is at a max 5 minutes long, but I’ve had problems coming up with ideas. Today I finally came up with a framework I think would work for a video, but it requires other people and I’m not sure I can get people together quickly enough to film something. I may still try, but It’s due on the 24th and I’m not sure I can get people together to film in time.

I have started to record my LARP Chats season two. So far I’ve recorded one interview, my goal for this next season is ten interviews. I had hoped to have three recorded at this point but anxiety got in the way of recording one and scheduling stopped the other.

The one I recorded was Oromis’ interview. I recently went on a trip to Inland Ocean (Redmond, WA). I say trip, but it was just visiting with friends and going to Amtgard. I didn’t do anything else. I had a really good time though. Hell, that Saturday night Oromis, Talius, Guin and I stayed up till 4am chatting and nocking back some drinks.

I really need to find some sort of LARP content that is creative, engaging and doesn’t require me to rely on other people. I have no idea what that would be, but that’s part of my restlessness, is wanting to create something but not knowing what or having the means to do things I think would be fun.

Streaming Update

I would love to increase my streaming, I have been continuing Baelnorn and Friends, my monthly LARP Chat show, which I’m happy with, but I would like to do more. I did spend a few hours streaming Just Chatting during Locke’s recent subathon, which surprised me. I didn’t think I would be able to do that for two hours. It helped there was an active chat to bounce topics off of. It really got me wanting to up my streaming game.

I’ve been trying to work up the nerve to start my writing streams again. I never did finish my last story, but the problem I’ve been having with writing my novel also extends to writing my short stories. That combined with my natural anxiety has made it difficult to just push the live button. I hope I will be able to overcome this and get back to streaming.

I’m also considering starting my Dungeons and Dragons streams again. I had a very specific idea of what my D&D streams were going to look like. It combined an edited podcast and had a companion site, with summaries of each session. I couldn’t fit in the podcast element and I still don’t think I can.

I’ve finally managed to change my mental expectations of the project to remove the podcast element which makes it feel like there is a lot less I have to do. That’s led me to believe I might be able to start streaming D&D again. I just have to update the website with the last two sessions I did and I can start working on streaming it again.

What It All Means

I started this blog because I wanted to work through my own thoughts and to give an update to all my readers. So what does this all mean? It means I want to do more than I am currently doing. I want to break out of this terrible pattern of mediocrity I’ve been stuck in, I want to get back to creating more content. I hope this blog is the first step to doing that.

I don’t know when there will be any evidence of this increase in content, As I come to the end of this blog I think I will start with tackling the D&D session summaries starting today so I can clear the way to adding D&D back to my monthly content.

I also think I will add back streaming to my retinue soon. I just need to hit that live button and not concern myself with a schedule or any specific length of time. I just need to get back to it, if I do it enough I might be able to get back to a weekly schedule.

If you’ve read this afar I’d like to thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to engage in my content. You can leave comments here on this blog or you can join me on Discord. I am now on a joint server with Locke.

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.

My YouTube Anniversary

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged on, well, my blogsite, but after Facebook and YouTube pointed out that it was my three year anniversary I was inspired. I thought it would be fun to explore the journey , take a look at some of the analytics and talk about the future of the channel .

The Journey

It’s been a journey, I started on August 29, 2019. I was inspired to put out some simple LARP fighting videos, nothing special, not really even edited. I made a post on Facebook mentioning this and the response was so positive I created the channel the very same day.

It started well. I had a lot to learn but people were watching. and there was an upward trend for the first six months, but then the dark times began, COVID hit and there was no more in person LARP. It’s hard to do a LARP channel where you are focusing on fighting videos when there are no fights going on.

That is also around the time I started to really stream on Twitch and I was able to supplement my LARP content on YouTube with VODs. The engagement wasn’t as great, but there was still viewers. Then personal life got in the way and my content updates nearly stopped.

My mother had a series of hospital visits and my depression struck hard and I was finding it hard just to live every day. Then my mother passed and all content just stopped.

It took some time but eventually I was able to pull myself together and slowly get back on that content grind in the summer of 2021. The last year for my content and growth has been amazing!

My Last Year

My watched hours from 8/29/2021 to 8/29/2022

The growth in this last year has been great. I’ve increased views by 186% and my watch time by 244%. Those are huge increases and I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to do this last year. It’s been a slow growth but steady growth. It really blew up starting in Spring of 2022.

I was putting out consistent content, at least one video a week, something I never thought I would mange to do considering the previous two years. It’s a huge accomplishment for me and being able to look back over the last three years has really allowed me to put this last year into context.

I also varied my content more this last year, taking it from a place to put casual unedited fighting videos to a place where I have narrative and informative content, as well as improved, edited fighting videos. I even managed to get a gambol.

I started LARP Chats this year, a short form interview show where I chat with some of my LARPer friends. I also started putting out blog style content. The biggest videos in terms of watch hours was in the last few months, my Sword Knight Boot Camp Instructional Videos.

Those instructional videos are a huge thing for the channel and I was lucky to be able to record them. SKBC is a big yearly instructional foam fighting event, with some of the best foam fighters from around the country travel to to teach. It travels around the country and I was lucky enough to live near where they held it this year.

I went with the intention of getting the best videos I could. There was a a real lack of well recorded classes and I wanted to change that. I borrowed some money to buy a nice microphone just to make sure. It was a fun event and I was able to get at least three good recordings of classes.

I learned a lot about how to record classes and what I need to do to get the best audio I can. I’m sure I’ll be able to put what I learned into future videos and I look forward to do so.

Then just this last week one of my fighting videos was finally picked up by the google algorithm. It went from around 100 views in the first two days to 660 views over the third day. Most of the views came from homepage recommendations. It was a huge motivational boost. It was almost like my hard work was finally paying off. I hope this trend continues.

The Future

The future looks bright. I’m no where close to monetizing the channel. I need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours within a year to get that status, but I know it’s a long journey and I’ve been taking the right steps.

I’m currently working on LARP Chats Season 2. The theme is “What is Amtgard?” and I’ve already lined up several Amtgarders to help me answer that question. I hope to have at least 10 episodes for this season. Editing a video like that, even though it’s short, used to feel daunting, but it no longer feels so. Look out for Season 2 in early 2023

I also will continue to put out fighting videos, in fact, as I am writing this I have four weeks worth of fighting videos edited, uploaded and ready to go. It’s almost enough to make me think I can increase my release schedule, but I think that might be get a head of my self just a little.

I would also like to add more SKBC videos, but unless I am sponsored to go to SKBC 2023 I doubt I’ll be able to go. It somewhere across the country, on the East Coast and I don’t have the money to make the trip. I may try to organize a few classes locally I can record, we shall see!

I will also be doing more video blog content. It’s still new to me, so there is a lot of anxiety in filming it, but I love putting it together. I made a promise to myself to do at least three or four of them this year and I have! I hope to overcome my anxieties around recording such content and making more over the next year.

If you read this far, thank you for joining me on this reflective journey!

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.