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Why I stopped streaming

Hi! I'm not an eloquent person but I wanted to get my thoughts down for myself and for others to see.

I haven't streamed in over a month now, and to be quite honest, it's been.. oddly nice. I've been quite active on social media outside of streaming, so perhaps you didn't even notice or, you found me in the last couple months and didn't even know I streamed, haha. There was a heat wave in the bay area mid June, and for that week, I was unable to stream because of how hot my room would get while streaming (like high 80s, ew). After that week of not streaming, I realized how much freedom and relief I felt in not having to set apart 4-5 hours per day for 3-4 days a week to stream. And it was then that I realized how much streaming had started to have a negative effect on me and my mental health, and made a decision to take a step back from it.

It's not anything new; my relationship with streaming has always been a love/hate thing. There are a lot of things I love about streaming: interacting with people, sharing my hobby (well, hobby turned job) and my art process, doing silly things like rapping about keyboards, playing games with my community, building friendships, having people to talk to while I worked, and other good things! It's allowed me to express myself in a way I don't think I would have otherwise.

But I do think there are things that streaming brings out in me that I find to be negative and unwanted: jealousy, comparing myself to others, basing my worth/success on numbers, chasing after fame, wanting so hard to be liked and accepted by people, neglecting my own health (both physical and mental), making me feel anxious about something I enjoy doing, having to be 'on' and available for people, and how easy it is to burnout from. I became more and more anxious about streaming. I was worried about taking breaks, fearing the loss of subscribers and momentum would affect me too much. And streaming just wasn't as enjoyable for me anymore.

I think maybe I'm a bit lucky in that I don't have to rely on streaming for my main source of income (I’m able to rely on selling my physical art), so it's not something that I really have to ever do. So taking a break was not as detrimental to my income as it would have been if full time. But I honestly don't think I'd ever be able to do it full time, and I respect and admire those that have made a full time career out of it. Don't be misguided; it may seem like an a dream job - 'you just play video games all day and get paid for it! what a life!' - but there's so much more that goes into streaming than just.. playing video games or doing art, or whatever else it is that you stream. It’s not just the time that you have to actually stream, but also time it takes to setup your stream: designing your stream graphics/assets, figuring out what emotes/badges you want to have, planning what games you want to play, being active in your discord, setting up your stream hardware like lights, cameras, etc. - basically brand management, community management, marketing, and networking - the whole shebang of running a business. Streaming is not easy, and even doing it part time had taken a toll on me.

I'm a people pleaser and at the core of me, I just want to be liked and appreciated. And when I can put numbers to these wants and "measure" it (and see a lack of growth over time), it becomes dangerous and easy to turn into an obsession. What am I doing wrong? Why am I not growing? How come they're doing so well? How can I do better? Note: These aren't bad things to think about, just not healthy to think only about them and all the time. Taking a break from streaming has broken some of these bad patterns and thoughts, but it's something I still struggle with (esp. since I still am on platforms that are dependent on numbers) and have to continually work on. My value doesn’t come from how many followers I have, or how many people are watching my stream. It’s hard to remember and internalize, but admitting I have a problem was a necessary step to help address it. I get caught up in numbers on Twitter/IG as well, so I am still learning how to deal with it on a whole, and not just for streaming.

I'm still taking care of some things: physical space matters a lot (mine is a mess) and I hear therapy is quite helpful (am looking into it!). so this break is not quite over, but I just wanted to give an update to those who were curious. Let me make this clear though. I’m not quitting; there's a lot I still want to do with streaming/video content! I think I need to ease myself back into it, and take things slow. I want to get to a point where I feel no longer stressed and obligated to stream, but doing it out of enjoyment and because I want to.

And I don't really think that I'm alone in this. I've seen plenty of other streamers share about their experiences about the negative effects of streaming (particularly when it's too late, and they've already burnt out). I think it's all too common an issue that we don't address maybe as often as we should. For those of you that stream (this is a message to myself as well), please take care of yourselves first, ask for help when you need it, and don't let the numbers define you. There is more to life than streaming, and fame is fleeting and temporary. At the end of your life, are you going to be thinking about how many people were watching you, how many subs and followers you had, or how many hours you streamed? Probably not. But learn to cherish the experience of it and the friends you make along the way, and that will be worth so much more.

TL;DR - I stopped streaming because it was negatively impacting me, and am taking a break. Am still working on myself in the meantime but am hoping to return to streaming.. soon.

2018, here I come!

As I head into 2018, it's only natural to look back on the goals I had set for 2017 and see where I measured up. 

HEALTH:

  • Drink more water - Mmmm yeah no, this didn't really happen.
  • Improve posture - I bought this thing that should help me sit straighter but haven't been using it so also.. not really.
  • Have a better sleeping schedule - Yeah.. for a little while I was good about ending stream early enough to sleep but it didn't last.

PERSONAL:

  • Keep my room and workspace tidy - I'm still messy but something I really still have to work on! I was able to clean up my streaming space but it's still a work in progress.
  • Travel when possible - Yes! Actually, I traveled to Seattle (MK Meetup), Japan (vacation with family), Philly (Keycon 2017), Long Beach (TwitchCon). It has been a lot of fun traveling and more importantly, being able to meet lots of people!
  • Keep track of finances/learn2budget correctly - Haha... yeah I still have trouble keeping track of my spendings.

ART/STREAMING:

  • Website - I guess this was done but there is still more work that could be done on my site!
  • Growth in my stream - Yes! We hit over 150 unique subs and 250 sub points at the end of 2017. 
  • Run a resin casted sale :) - Managed to squeeze in a Yeti sale!

I would have to be a superwoman to be able to say I did all the things I said I would. For this year, it looks like I'll have to focus a bit more on taking care of myself and just really focusing on being more organized. It's easy to look back and feel bad for not achieving certain things but also there are plenty of achievements that weren't in my resolutions! We raised a bunch of money for charity (over 10K), I was featured (for a short while) on the front page of Twitch and I finally met many of my Twitch friends and also artisan friends! I'm incredibly blessed for the continued support of my Twitch fam and also the mechanical keyboard community.

Going forward, here are my goals for 2018 (going to recycle a bit):

HEALTH (TAKE CARE OF YOSELF!)

  • Drink more water - Maybe I can try and get one of those smart water bottles that remind me to drink water?? 
  • Improve posture - Use my posture.. helper thing 15 mins/day (this is the suggested time)
  • Get enough sleep - I realized that changing my schedule is a little hard (due to work and streaming) so I've revised this to just be getting more hours of sleep, so like 7 hrs?

PERSONAL

  • Be more organized
    • Clean up streaming space to not scramble as much
    • Track expenses and budget properly
    • Don't leave messes in common areas in my house
  • Go to an international mechanical keyboard meetup - In general, I'd like to travel as much as I can, so that is more of a given resolution already. But I really want to go to a meetup outside of the US!

ART/STREAMING

  • Be on time - This is going to be a hard one. I'm known to run late (I run on tnyTime, which means I am never late of course), and I just want to be more punctual and stick to my schedule.
  • Get sponsored - Growth in stream is something that I'm always looking to do, but I think the next step that would take my channel to the next level is to get sponsored! 
  • Run more regular resin sales - Still need to refine my process and probably invest in some better equipment, but really looking forward to doing more resin sales in 2018! 

And that's it! Thanks for sticking with me in 2017, and 2018, here I come!

Tiny T
To my first year, and to many more!

It's weird to think that it's already been 1 year since I started streaming. Here's a couple of fun facts of the milestones we hit this year:

  • 1000+ hours streamed on air (that's approx. 1/6 of my waking hours!)
  • 250,000+ views on my channel
  • 100+ custom keycaps made
  • Partnership!
  • Over $15,000 raised for charity (Extra Life, Child's Play, St. Jude Play Live, #Q4TC - 10 diff charities!)

I'm not really sure I can capture my feelings completely in word format, like I said, I'm not quite an eloquent person. I could honestly go on about all the accomplishments of my stream, but I think none of this would have been possible without a lot of people. So let me start my saying, thank you.

To my ever loyal, friendly, and uber positive Twitch communiteee: 

Whether you lurk in the background, or whether you're a frequent chatter, I really appreciate you for being part of the bestest tea parteee on Twitch. To all my subs, thank you for keeping the gears running, your monetary support helps me upgrade and make the stream better. Thank you all for being part of and for creating a safe place for anyone and everyone to hangout. My hope is that as we grow, we can still continue to be one of the most friendliest communities on Twitch. This is my second home and I'm grateful for everyone one of you goobers. tnyLove

To my fellow streamers, artists, and artisans:

Thank you for your encouragement and support. A big thanks for sharing your community with me If you've ever hosted/raided my channel. I'm surrounded by many talented and generous humans beans on Twitch and I hope that I can continue to carry on the tradition and spread love and support similarly as it as been shown to me. For the artisans of the mech keyboard community, I'm forever blown away by the talent and creativity that you bring, and I hope that we can collaborate together in the near future.

To the mechanical keyboard community:

This hobby is the reason why I started doing what I do in the first place. Even though the community has changed a lot in the past years, there is no doubt in my mind that this will continue to be a hobby of mine for many years to come. I know some of you will never accept nor appreciate the keycap art that I do (and for that, I do not blame nor judge you!) but for those that have encouraged and supported my not-so-accepted approach to artisan keycaps, you are the reason I keep creating keycaps. To those who have commissioned me, thank you for allowing me to sculpt something for you. In some cases, thank you for sharing part of your life and experience with me so that I can have a better understanding of how to craft your idea into a keycap design. 

Last, but not least...

To my very good friend, biggest supporter, and forever cheerleader, beefcunningham:

Thank you for encouraging me and giving me the push to start streaming, to do my art, and ultimately, to pursue my dreams & passions. And thanks for being part of the journey at every step. Thank you for helping me foster the community (& also for being the bad cop when necessary :P). Thank you for believing in me, even during the times where I don't believe in myself.

It's all a bit overwhelming (we had a 12 hour celebration stream as well as a charity stream where we raised over 5K!) and I'm still trying to get organized from the mess that was the past few weeks, so if you are waiting on an order/giveaway/charitycap, just be a little patient with me.

My journey is far from over, and I'm glad to have celebrated this 1 year (check out this video recap that Beef made + my reaction!). I'm working on creating new content (TKilla rap album incoming) continually and I hope that you will stay with me for the many years to come <3

Cheers, tiny

Tiny TComment
Keyboard Meetup Jan 2017

I won't write too much about this because I think pictures are worth 1000 words and videos are worth 47109473057035.

I attended a Nor Cal keyboard meetup (these happen once every couple of months or half a year around here) at the WASD keyboards office in Fremont! I love going to meetups because it's a lot of fun! I get to geek out about keyboards with other enthusiasts (most of which are more knowledgable than I am, so I learn a lot!). I get to try out keyboards + switches I wouldn't normally have been able to try out. And I get to meet members of the community in real life :O

Really encourage everyone to go to one if you haven't already! Even if you don't really consider yourself an enthusiast! You may become one after though :P

Some pics!

Clueboards!

Clueboards!

n3rdly's awesome artisan collection (from left to right): Cozcaps No Esc, Booper's Colonel, HWS Keyng, Zorberema's Sparkey, HWS Otterophile, HWS Hungrkey

n3rdly's awesome artisan collection (from left to right): Cozcaps No Esc, Booper's Colonel, HWS Keyng, Zorberema's Sparkey, HWS Otterophile, HWS Hungrkey

Spotted! My work out in the wild :O

Spotted! My work out in the wild :O

Input Club's soon(TM) to be released keyboard. LIGHTS!

Input Club's soon(TM) to be released keyboard. LIGHTS!

My friend CommandLineDesign's mechanical switch tattoo... in the flesh!

My friend CommandLineDesign's mechanical switch tattoo... in the flesh!

Pacific Rim themed keyset!

Pacific Rim themed keyset!

MiniVan with a MiniPerson (me!)

MiniVan with a MiniPerson (me!)

Group shot with some familiar faces (left to right, back to front):&nbsp;Josh (dotdash32), Joseph (jchan94), Brian (Quakemz), Matt (n3rdly), Huey (manofinterests), me, Rachel (Ambelie)

Group shot with some familiar faces (left to right, back to front): Josh (dotdash32), Joseph (jchan94), Brian (Quakemz), Matt (n3rdly), Huey (manofinterests), me, Rachel (Ambelie)

I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to because I got caught up in talking to people but I had enough video footage to make a short video! Check it out below :)

Tiny Tmeetup, keyboard
Hello 2017. Nice to meet you.

I'm not a writer. By any means. I mean, sure I was in some honors English class in high school, but I'm pretty sure I still write at the level of a 5th grader. That being said, I still like being able to capture my thoughts down into words and I thought having a little blog on my site would be a great way to share my experience and also document my experience for future me to look back on.

My website will still be under construction as I set things up. But that's one of my goals of 2017!

When people think about the new year, we inevitably think about the things we want to accomplish in 2017. For me, I'm a pretty lazy person, so most of my reso's go uncompleted by the end of the year (in fact, some are completely abandoned by February). I think in part, I forget to re-evaluate where I am with the goals I set at the beginning of the year. And as time goes by, I just completely forget about them. I have taken the time to set some goals for myself for the new year, but I will definitely be back to check on my progress (and pivot/rewrite them, if necessary). 

Here's them in a short list:

Health related :

  • Drink more water - I know this sounds silly but I definitely do not drink enough water that a healthy person should (8 cups a day!). 
  • Improve posture - Not exactly sure how to make progress towards this one, but sitting at work all day + sitting in chair when streaming probably isn't the best for my body, especially since I have bad posture to begin with.
  • Have a better sleeping schedule - Due to streaming, I usually sleep around 2-3, which is not that healthy...

Personal :

  • Keep my room and workspace tidy (or just more organized in general) - Ooh boy, this one is a hard one. I've even ready Marie Kondo's book about tidying but have yet to fully apply it myself :(
  • Travel when possible - I'm young and have nothing heavily tying me down (i.e. like a family other than my work/art/streaming stuff) so I'd like to take chances to travel, whether within the US or International!
  • Keep track of finances/learn2budget correctly - This is a big one for me. I often just ignore how much money I'm spending on my hobbies and I think it'd be a good thing for me to get into the habit of taking note of my expenses, and learning how to save money instead of spending it!

Art/Streaming :

  • Website - Set up a website with a blog + store (either embedded from an outside shop or built into this website itself), and be able to show some of my previous works.
  • Growth in my stream - Hit 100 subs? Hit 2K followers? I don't know, numbers are pretty ambiguous in terms of stats because there's a lot of different factors that affect it. All I am aiming for is growth and it's hard to measure that without using numbers.
  • Run a resin casted sale :) 
Tiny Tgoals, personalComment