Pirates who like root beer floats

This post is a 50-word writing challenge that was requested of me from my stream as a Channel Point Reward redemption, courtesy of Twitch user darthzelduh.

The captain had heard the rumors of the ship flying a skull and crossed spoons.

Hands shaking, he lowered his spyglass and spoke, “Prepare for a parley.”

The first mate barked to ready their weapons.

“No weapons!”

Everyone stopped.

“The only ‘weapons’ that may save us are root beer floats…”

“Incentivizing Encouragement”, or “How do I get people to watch me write AND encourage me to write in the first place.”

The previous entry I talked about blending my hobbies together. The core purpose was to create accountability towards completing writing and actually streaming. If I blended them correctly they would feed off of each other and help me keep motivated to continue pursuing my goals.

Today I’m talking about how I implemented some new Channel Points Rewards on my Twitch Stream (found here) and how viewers can participate in getting me to write for THEM. This will also help me be a better content creator as I learn different writing techniques and tools on top of streaming.

The Channel Points Rewards in question that I have implemented so far relate to giving me writing prompts and requesting a couple of different writing challenges for me to fulfill. (See the pictures below.)

According to the Twitch FAQ on Channel Points Rewards, the average viewer gains up to 220 points per hour. Subs get up to double (if they’re a Tier 3 sub, at least.) Some of the rewards are limited on per stream redemption’s and increased costs to help keep them from overwhelming me and make it possible for faster turn around on fulfillment.

On the topic of fulfilling these rewards, anything and everything that gets redeemed will be tracked on a Google Sheet I have set up. Link here for you to look things over if you’re curious what others have redeemed so far, as well as links to completed/fulfilled entries. Ideally I will be posting all of the fulfilled requests here on The Dragon’s Grove so that it helps generate views and traffic for the blog as well as (and in extension to) the stream.

The combination of these two concepts, writing and streaming, ultimately encourages me to stream AND write but also encourages people to stay and view/support my stream so that it can kind of create a sort of feedback loop of motivation. If people watch, I’m incentivized to stream and if they redeem points for writing…well you get the idea.

In the end, I’m hoping this will be a beneficial experiment so that I can try to keep moving forward with my goals.

Blending Hobbies: An Experiment

First off, if you’re somehow here because you thought I would talk about blending random shit with a Ninja Blender or some other such food processor, you’re in the wrong place and I apologize. I’m actually here to talk about how I am going to try to overlap my hobbies together so that they complement each other.

With that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s get into it.

So, what ARE my hobbies? Well, according to what I wrote on my About page I like to play video games, read, and write. For those of you that are familiar with me and the blog you might be saying “Why aren’t you mentioning streaming? It’s listed as a hobby!” Well, you’re right it is listed as a hobby, but in my mind I see it as an extension hobby and I’ll get into this a bit later.

At the top level, video games are the primary hobby because I can pretty much play whenever, where ever and they’re easy for me to pick up/digest. The same can be said of reading and writing, thanks to today’s technology making access so much easier (there’s an app for EVERYTHING these days). But I don’t treat them as the #1 hobby I have because I’ve fallen out of habitually reading and just default to games, while writing takes motivation to want to complete. I do want to point out here, though, that these three things aren’t exclusive of one another in my mind. They have some fun overlap! Classic jRPG’s have lots of reading, and modern Party Games often require clever writing to grab people’s votes. (Although let’s be real here, clever in that case is more than likely catering to the particular audience with in-jokes and low hanging fruit, but whatever.)

On the subject of streaming as a hobby, I’d like to point out that there is a whole host of information and data out there around streaming, as well as differing opinions around it being a hobby for people. For me it’s an extension hobby branching off of playing video games. When I play games I don’t HAVE to stream, and I’ve done just that to enjoy a game that I felt like wouldn’t lend itself well to streaming. However, as I’ve been streaming off and on for a few years now, investing the time and money in my setup and equipment, I have tried different kinds of streams (like painting Pathfinder/D&D miniatures) and it really took on a life all it’s own in my mind, which is why I decided to include Streaming as a hobby when I started The Dragon’s Grove.

All that being said, how can I BLEND these hobbies? Well, that’s the challenge I’ve put on myself, because for the last couple of years my motivation towards these hobbies has dwindled (2020 events having a strong impact) and so I decided I needed to change things up. I’d been quietly tossing around the idea of doing writing streams for probably a year, soliciting interest from friends and acquaintances to validate the concept. Some of them even helped me brainstorm ideas on how I can make these streams interesting and engaging, but I didn’t act on any of it. Then, at some point in the last month, something clicked for me and I realized how I could make the interactions viable and easy for my viewers through Channel Points Rewards. This has given me the first sparks I needed to put things in motion. So with a little help from a friend to brainstorm through some options, I set things up.

Now let the experiment begin! I can play games on stream, people can hang out and watch and earn points. They can redeem points to give me prompts and to ask me to write something for them. It’s all very much a work in progress, but I’m just going to run with it. I’ll go into the specifics in the next post, but I will say this: You’re going to hopefully see a lot more activity here, which is a good thing! This way, I’m encouraged to stream and to write because I won’t likely be able to do one without the other unless the whole idea falls flat on it’s face. Which I’m going to fight to prevent (especially since I’m the sole person responsible for maintaining it all!)

See you in the next post!

An August update of 2020

Wow. No exclamation point to demonstrate my lack of enthusiasm, because 2020 has been a real shit show of a year. Not just standard ups-and-downs that come with life over the course of a year for most people, but a massive let down with not a lot of ups to balance it all out. Doesn’t mean we’re not trying, though, it just means that when we do finally dig ourselves out of the hole we fell in we might find ourselves in a VERY different part of town, so to speak. Others might even find themselves in a completely different town. I’m still trying to figure out where 2020 is taking me.

At this point if you’ve watched the news (especially in America) you know the state of things and so I don’t have to rehash it all in yet another way for you to understand the impact events have had on life so I’ll spare you all that reading and just sum it up from my perspective.

The pandemic sucks, no brainer there, and its changing things for everyone. For me, it meant going from an office environment to working remotely. It meant reverting into an introverted hermit (I was much more extroverted at work) and being very inactive. I retreated back into my shell of just watching the world burn, quite literally in some cases, and not interacting with anyone. I barely streamed or wrote anything. All I did was consume content. Most of the time it was garbage, like the sensationalized news and clickbait-y articles of shit that I never even finished. I did mix in some “healthier” content to try and balance out my brain, like some things I’ve been meaning to learn about which lent itself to increasing my social interactions through Twitch, making new friends, and having some fun in the process.

Now I’m going to try and bounce back. I’ve had some discussions with personal friends, and picked the brains of friends I made through Twitch. I have some ideas I can try, found some encouraging words to back them up, and I’m ready to just jump in. The next post I’ll talk about some of the future content I’m planning, but for now all I will say is that I’m hoping to blend and crossover the things I’m working on so that they better complement each other for my work habits and lifestyle.

I’m going to step up my game and try to do better, because I want to see my writing and streaming go places. For now, though, fuck you 2020.