Baelnorn’s Year In Review 2022

2022 is nearly over and I figured it was time to do a year end review. I did one my first year I started blogging but didn’t do it for the second year. I regretted that and did one last year and now I’m going to continue that tradition.

In this blog I’ll be talking looking at my predictions of 2022 from last years Review, look at my failures and success and then I will talk about all the things I hope to see in the coming year. One thing I’ve learned in content creation is that if you want to succeed you need to always be working and trying to learn and evolve

2022 Predictions From 2021

I ended last year fairly optimistic for 2022 and rightly so. I was finally coming to grips with the grief of losing a parent I had working on my High Trek Podcast and I had recorded the first season of LARP Chats. I was poised to start posting more YouTube content and I was looking forward to streaming again.

My goals were to increase my content both in quantity and quality. I wanted to get better at recording fighting videos. I also wanted to introduce more narrative content. I also had plansto do a secret narrative driven YouTube Series.

I also hoped to get back to streaming weekly by the end of 2022. I wanted to be doing monthly Baelnorn and Friends streams and retool and relaunch Beers with Baelnorn. I also wanted to add in a few beer tasting streams.

The other large hope for 2022 was an increase in discord community growth. i had hope to create something of an Amtgard learning community.

How Did 2022 Turn Out?

I’m glad I started this tradition. I almost forgot about it, but rereading it has been making me think about all the work I’ve done over the last year and helping me put it in to perspective.

It’s wild to look back at what I was expecting out of 2022 and comparing it to how 2022 turned out. I’ll ruin the surprise by saying I’m pretty happy with how the year went, despite some failures. I’m in a much better place than I was last year

So how did I do with my predictions? Terribly, but not as bad as you might think. In regards to YouTube, I did pretty well. So I will talk about that first. I was putting out more content in the first half the year than the previous year, but I didn’t catch my stride till April and I’ve never looked back.

I never expected to actually get to the point of posting weekly content, yet here we are. Not only that, but I did it for most of the year, starting in April. I had bought a gimbal, and the quality of my work improved.

I successfully released LARP Chats, although the initial release schedule was a little rocky. I also started releasing non-fighting content as well. I had a goal of making at least 4 travel/narrative style YouTubes and I did! I also added knighting ceremonies. I ended the year by starting a new series called Let’s LARP, which focuses on me talkin about various LARP topics.

Finally I experimented with Shorts. I made a point of releasing one a month for two months. I didn’t get much engagement, so I stopped. Then Locke went over my channel with me and he pointed out that my old shorts had been getting a lot more engagement. I gave it another try.

Second time went better, but I didn’t feel it was worth the effort. I had to do special recordings specifically for the format and editing was very cumbersome. So I gave up a second time. But that all Changed at the start of December.

I realized that I could make shorts out of videos I’d previously uploaded very easily with the YouTube App on my phone. I made a Short; I didn’t think the edit was that good and it was only 7 seconds (You can see it HERE). I uploaded it and went to bed. In the morning it had over a two thousand views.

I thought it was a fluke. I tried it again in a few days and got over a thousand views. Since then I’ve released four over two weeks. Each one had over a thousand views.

I’ve also gained access to the YouTube Community feature and I’ve started making weekly polls and I’ve found some engagement there. I gave up on trying to create a Discord community and joined Locke’s Discord as my main discord for my content.

The change was for the better. I tried to put forth the effort to create a Discord community but I couldn’t dedicated the energy to do so. In the end I felt I was to small to build one. Joining the Locke Box allows me to engage with an already activate community and gives me exposure to my none usual crowd.

I also managed to go to Sword Knight Boot Camp and recorded a few classes. Once I was able to edit and upload the videos my channel saw a huge bump in viewership and watch time.

As to streaming, I mostly failed. I never got back to weekly streams nor did I relaunch Beers with Baelnorn. Still, I did get back to doing monthly Baelnorn and Friends and I have gained a following for that show. I usually get between 10-20 visitors and there is always chat engagment.

The other large prediction that didn’t come true was my big YouTube project. It just couldn’t come together. It fell apart due to lack of people. It’s still something I want to do but It’s on hold till I can find enough people.

High Trek has also gone well. It was hard to get a release schedule going, but when we did we have put out pretty consistent work. We’ve released over 30 episodes and only have 7 more episodes till our season one finale episode.

So, overall pretty good. I managed to do more work on YouTube while some other content went to the way side. It wasn’t till I read last year’s Year in Review, that I realized just how well things have gone.

Looking Towards 2023

I think I’m well situated going into 2023. At the end of 2021 I decided to focus on putting out content during 2022. I think I managed to do that and I’m happy with the results. I’ll talk about growth stats in the next section, but lets just say my hard work has paid off.

YouTube Predictions

I think 2023 will be the year I start focusing on diversifying my content and improving the quality. I’ve started recording season two of LARP Chats, and hope to have that out in the spring.

I also started a new series based on my website articles called, Lets LARP. I hope to continue putting this out, at least once a month over the next year.

I’m going to make a point to put out at least four narrative videos as well, although I hope I manage to make more.

I’m also working on putting out at least Two Shorts a week. I think they will be important to helping me grow going forward.

Streaming Predictions

I do want to stream, but with YouTube going as well as it has I think next year’s focus will be more on YouTube, still, I will continue to stream. Baelnorn and Friends has become a staple and I don’t see that changing. However, keeping with diversifying YouTube. I do want to work on making clips of our shows available on YouTube.

Secondary goals are just to up my streaming time in general. I recently streamed making D&D content and that was fun. I may try to do that again. I still want to stream writing storeis.

I also need to decide if I want to make the jump to YouTube Streaming. It would fit with trying to grow my YouTube and it would help to get the YouTube channel monetarized faster. I think people would follow me there.

However if I stick with Twitch I get money sooner and I know I still have room to see growth from Locke’s community. I’m not sure if they would watch on YouTube.

I may just need to try a few streams on YouTube and see how they go.

Writing and Patreon Predictions

Writing took a back burner in 2023. I had at least one big writing spurt when I finished the big fight scene. Other than that I’ve kept up with editing and posting on Pateon.

I hope to finish the rough draft of my novel by the end of next year. I’m so close. I think I have a third or maybe even only a quarter left.

I hope to finish at least one more short story as well. I’m so close to finishing the last one I started and I’m ready to work on the next one. It’s just been hard to find the creative energy to do more.

What I am hyped to do though is create D&D content. I released my first supplement this December, which you can find HERE. My hope is to write and release at least one supplement each month on my Patreon. This also applies to streaming, I think I’ll be streaming some of this writing content.

A Bit of Analytics

I’m really excited to show off some YouTube Analytics. I’ve seen so much growth over this last year. It is nearly 400 percent growth in views and watch time between 2021 and 2022

2021 YouTube Analytics

2022 YouTube Analytics

As you can see, Views and Watch Time have increased around 370 percent and my increase in subscribers tripled. I’ve had more and bigger spurts in views this year than last year. I think this is mostly due to consistency.

It’s still a far cry from what I need to get monetized on YouTube. I need 4,000 watch hours and 1,000 subscribers (I have 296) but it’s a good start.

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.

Let’s LARP Series

Time for an update post. This time it’s not streaming, it’s not blogging, it’s YouTubing.

I’ve started a new series that I’m calling “Let’s LARP”, a name I have to thank my friend Riley for. This is an on going series of informational based LARP videos, although many of them will be geared towards Amtgard.

For the first several videos I will be re-writing my articles into scripts for this new series. If you don’t want to wait for them to be turned in to videos you can read through them HERE.

I’ve already posted the first video and have recorded two others. The rest of the blog is talking about the videos and my future plans for the series. I welcome input and any topic suggestions you might have. At the end of the post you’ll find an auto updating link to the Let’s LARP videos.

1st Video

The first video, which is already released, is called ” How To Do Amtgard Service Households Right”.

In the video you’ll learn about some what I think is the best methods to take to creating a service households. I talk about creating goals, a mission statement, how you might structure your household and a bit about how to grow a household.

I’ll be honest and maybe a little nick picky, the audio isn’t the best. For future videos I have fixed it, but I didn’t realize how I to fix it till the whole video was done so I decided to publish it and just fix it for future videos. It’s a learning experience.

Amtgard Role Play

The next two videos I having coming out in this series focus around Role Play in Amtgard. The next one is entitled “Is Amtgard a LARP?” In that one I talk about what kind of LARP Amtgard is and if we can really call it a LARP or not.

The one following that talks about how you can cultivate role play in Amtgard. It outlines how you can change your perspective when playing in battle games on an individual basis, to help immerse yourself. Then I talk about ways you can impact games on a larger scale to help others be immersed as well. We of course talk about Quests.

I I really enjoy the content of those two videos, it’s probably why I picked them as my second and third video to be released. I don’t have specific dates for when they will be released. They are done, uploaded and ready to go, but I have to space them so I have something to release every week.

The easiest ways to keep informed about when I release them is to subscribe to my YouTube Channel. I also post on my Facebook Page each time I publish a page, so if you’re on Facebook, you could follow me there as well.

Future Let’s LARP Videos

I have a lot of content for the Let’s LARP videos, mostly because I have a decent amount of Articles to pull from. If you have any specific article you’d like me to turn into a video I’d love to hear which ones you’d like to see.

I’ve already had a request for a feast video so I will be turning my feast article into a video, perhaps even my fourth video. If anyone has any topic requests that I haven’t written as an article, I’d be happy to receive them. You can comment below or message me on Facebook

YouTube Community

I wanted to take a few moments to mention that I now have access to the YouTube Community feature and I am using it on a weekly basis. Mostly I’ll be posting polls, for the fun of it. I’ll also be making a few quick posts here and there about what I’ve been up to and future content.

If you’re interested in being involved you can look at my community page HERE. I’d love to see your votes and any comments you’d like to post. I’ve already got some good engagement, I wasn’t sure I was going to have any, but people have been voting and I’m excited!

Let’s LARP Playlist

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.