When it's not fun anymore
Twitch and streaming, to me, are a learning opportunity. I got (more) into this because I wanted to play with OBS, recording, encoding, and audio setups, and looking back, it’s awesome how much I’ve learnt about A/V in the last few months. I also wrote a bunch of guides and built a website to help me remember it all and share it with others to help them.
I don’t know what the goal is to streaming, so I just find joy in the process of doing it (if and whenever I want to), and that way I will always have something to show for my time spent on it.
If you don’t enjoy streaming nor find any joy in doing it, it’s also possible it isn’t for you. Or, you could focus more on the process of developing, both as a person learning the ropes, but also as a streamer who continuously improves the quality of their stream and skills.
This sounds very Oprah-like, but try writing a list of all the things you’ve learnt in the process of doing this. Not the fuzzy, vague stuff, but the things that you genuinely would not have understood in September. You’ll be surprised by how much you’ve probably learnt from something as silly as streaming yourself playing videogames.
On top of this, keep a mental or physical diary of the things you continue to learn and improve on. I don’t have huge numbers to show for it, but I’ve helped a few people get into streaming or improve their experience, audience retention, and setting up their Discord with streamlined moderation. And I have a lot of new skills to show for it, as well as a huge swath of guides and how-tos for all sorts of A/V stuff that goes way beyond Twitch. And maybe that’s the real purpose and accomplishment here?
If you edit VODs and upload them to YouTube, don’t do it because you feel like you have to, but because you can find enjoyment in the process of learning and improving on your video editing skills. And because having something tangible to show for it: say, a portfolio of cool videos and the skills that were required to make them. Not for the sake of anyone else, but for your own.
Hopefully, looking at and approaching streaming this way will make the experience less Sisyphean to you, and remind you of the rewards of doing it beyond some dumb numbers and vague ideas of “engagement”. Think less about where you are than how far you’ve come. <3