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.

My Last Two Weeks

I was unable to go to Amtgard this weekend. A storm on Saturday knocked down powerlines at Silvermoon’s park, closing it. Then on Sunday there was Blackspires’s Weapon Master Tournament which I was unable to attend due to previous obligations. It was all very disappointing.

By all I’ve heard Sunday was a great day. Some people came down from Northern Lights and I was disappointed I missed them. Two of which placed in in the tournament. If my sources are correct Shayden won with Devry taking second. Third place was Critias.

It sounded like there was a good breadth of competition in the tournament and it was an overall fun experience. I would have liked to have seen Shayden and Devry, Given they live up in Washington I’m not able to see either of them that often.

I did do an Amtgard adjacent activity though. On Saturday (December 11th) I did Baelnorn and Friends for December. A chat show where I gather some of my LARP friends and we talk about LARP and other nerdy things. If you missed it I’ve started putting up the unedited video on my YouTUbe. You can find it HERE.

The first 4 minutes of the video is before we really get started. It’s making me think I’ll need to at least do a little bit of editing if I want to post them and not cringe a little when I do so. I have a lot going on so I’m not sure if I can add editing another things to the mix (the last third of the blog talks about my projects)

Las Vegas Update

I survived Leas Vegas, barely. I was there for 5 days and 4 nights. It was one long party full of full of several good memories. I even managed to record some of it.

There is enough video that I can coble together something for my first vblog, but I’m not sure how long it will be or how good. I learned a lot and will apply it to my next vblog project (whenever that might be).

One big thing I kind of already knew was that you should know what story you’d like to tell before you shoot. However I didn’t give the question the proper respect it deserved. I didn’t know how important it was. It helps guide your whole project.

If you don’t decide on and develop the story beforehand, you risk having to much or to little video. Plus it requires more work in post. Also f you want your video to be at least decent you’re still going to have to come up with some sort of narrative with the video you took.

With what I caught I think I figured out what I will focus on, the Tournament of Champions, which was excellent. It’s the thing I have the most video of, plus it was pretty awesome. It was also the day I managed to maintain a buzz for at least 15 hours.

My friend Dale organized most of the trip and had bought the tickets. We ended up in the front row and if I may barrow a sports term, we were near the 50 yard line. It was a great view. We were also in the Dragon section so we got to cheer for the bad guys. I finally got to put my huzzahing practice to good use outside of Amtgard. The show was decently interactive.

I can’t wait to be able to share the final product, but it will probably be a while before I finish it. I’m only at the point where I sort through video and organize it into something usable. It’s a very early stage. Sadly I have other projects I need to prioritize before I can really start to work on the vblog.

Content Creation Workload

I’m now now working on several projects which need to be released weekly or monthly. To help you understand how much work I put into my content creation here is a list of all my current projects.

1st Priority (Front Burner)

These are projects that I’m actively working on and take top priority. They are weekly and monthly content that has a deadline

  • A Weekly Podcast (www.hightrekpodcast.com). Recording, editing and promotion.
  • YouTube videos, at least weekly.
  • A weekly produced story on Kindle Vella (Baelath Chronicles).
  • Writing my novel and releasing sections monthly on my Patreon.
  • Doing Baelnorn and Friends monthly on my Twitch Channel.
  • Releasing LARP Chats (Releasing in January on an every other week schedule).

2nd Priority (Back Burner)

These are projects I’m working on but not at the expense of the 1st Priority projects. Some of them have seen more recent public releases than others, but they are all actively in the mix, even if not released on a schedule

  • Shattered Kingdoms D&D Twitch show and Website
  • Las Vegas Vblog
  • Story Driven Fighting Video Project (still looking for more fighters if you’d like to apply)
  • Building and maintaining a community on the Baelnorn Discord Server (Which is hard to get engagement),
  • Website Blogs!
  • Ducal Drinks reboot (yes, you heard it here first, I’m working up the energy to restart it)
  • Weekly Writing Streams on Twitch.

3rd Priority (Refrigerator)

These are projects that are currently on hold but are always at the back of my mind and will eventually be cycled into the 2nd or 1st priority lists. I will occasionally work on them but not at the expense of the 1st or 2nd priority projects

  • Beers with Baelnorn (I want to bring it back but it will be different than it’s previous form, not sure how yet)
  • 2nd Shattered Kingdoms D&D Twitch Show
  • Beer Tasting Twitch show and YouTube series

I’ve probably forgotten one or two projects for the 3rd Priority list, but I hope what I’ve listed gives you some idea of all the work I’m currently doing behind the scenes. If you’d like to help, financially, or otherwise, it’s always appreciated.

You can financially support me you can become a Patron on my Patreon. If monthly isn’t your thing you can buy me a coffee on Ko-Fi. I will literally use all money from the Ko-Fi site to buy coffee so I can work at our local coffee shop.

Just as important as financial support I’d apricate any social capital assistance you can give. Engaging in my content, or even just sharing it is pretty huge. Word of mouth is my own form of promotion I can afford.

For things like the website, YouTube and Twitch, just watching, spending time on the website, or liking and commenting on videos helps the algorithms. Plus I love hearing about you enjoying my content. It helps keep me motivated.

Thanks for reading!

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.

Work, Work

Oh boy, have I been on that content creation grind! I’ve put in a lot of work the last few days and I have some fun announcements to make. I’ve been working on both LARP content as well as a separate endeavor, a podcast, called High Trek. If you’d like to help keep up my motivation, you can buy me a coffee if you’d like.

Well, lets get to it!

New Project: LARP Chats

YouTube player

I’m introducing a new show to my line up, LARP Chats. It’s a series of short interviews of LARP players. Each season has a theme that connects all the interviews. This first season’s theme is Memories. The theme directs the basic questions I ask each for each interview throughout the season.

I’m excited for people to see them. Over the last few days I worked on a teaser trailer for the series. The one imbedded above. I tingle a little bit watching it. It’s my first effort of a YouTube show, something beyond fighting videos.

I’ve done Twitch Streams and I’ve posted the VODs on my YouTube, but this feels different. I made an effort to only do in person interviews. It has been a bit limiting, but I think the work is better for it.

I’ve had a blast doing the series, one interview in particular really hit me in the feels and that’s the interview of my squire Vincent. He was with me for the majority of all of the feasts I’ve done in Amtgard. and has been my right hand man. Sadly few people know who he was or the impact he had on me or the game of Amtgard.

He was visiting from Reno and I jumped at the chance to interview him. I can’t wait to introduce him to all of you. He affected the biggest impact on my Amtgard career. Come January, you’ll be able to see him and several more guests.

High Trek

High Trek 1 "Encounter at Farpoint" High Trek

The start of our series! We begin at the start of Star Trek the Next Generation, Encounter at Farpoint. We watch the episode and talk about it from our unique perspectives…all while high.

High Trek is a podcast I’ve been working on with my friend Riley. We’ve put out five full episodes and two mini episodes over the last month and a half but we’ve been recording for months now.

The basic premise is that we get high, watch Star Trek The Next Generation and talk about the episode. I’ve seen the show numerous times but Riley, they haven’t seen it at all. This is a podcast where two extremes meet in the middle, eat some edibles and analyze the show.

Normally I edit a podcast over several days, but things got out of hand and I needed to edit a full episode in one day, which was two days ago. That’s not all the work I’ve done on High Trek though.

In the last two days I also created a Facebook Page, a Twitch account. I created an email and set up an email newsletter program and the most time consuming project of the lot, a web page, www.hightrekpodcast.com.

The Next Week

As I’m writing this I’m preparing to leave for Las Vegas. I leave the house at 5:30am and wont’ get home till Tuesday night. It’s going to be one of a time.

I won’t just be having fun though. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m also going to be working. I’m going to attempt to do a VBlog, but if anyone brings it up I’ll deny it till the project is done.

This is a much needed vacation. Over the last month I’ve been very productive and I’ve enjoyed it, but I need to break up the routine and have a little fun.

I will be bringing Gnomee with me. If you want to follow his adventures you can like his Facebook Page HERE.


If you like my content consider becoming a Patron on Patreon. 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.