I Have Not Already Forgotten About This Place…

Between streaming, work and E3, I have to admit, I haven’t had an awful lot to talk about. Which is odd, considering E3 is in that list. I wasn’t hugely hyped for much, aside from Kingdom Hearts 3 and Forza Horizon 4. That said, I have EGX coming in September where I will get some hands on time with a lot of new games, so perhaps that is what I am waiting for.

Wasn’t E3 an odd one this year though? It started so strong. Microsoft really knocked it out of the park this year and while I can’t say (again) as I was hyped for much, there was a lot going on there that I know a lot of people are excited for. Nintendo had an alright showing, if you like Smash Bros, which I kinda don’t. Sony, well… Fortnite kind of over shadowed your whole thing huh… Well done.

Still, I figured I’d post a wee update. I am still trying to figure out how to add updating this place to my list of things to do and it always takes me a while to add new things to my routine. Though I have managed to add some more exercise to that routine. I am losing weight nicely and playing Pokemon Go again…

What? I want to find some hype into those fandangled Pokemon Let’s Go games… What! Stop looking at me like that!!!

Again, new post soon, when I have something to rant about (probably). I mean, it might not be a rant, it might be nice and fun. Like me.

Why the Word “Grind” Needs to Disappear

For context’s sake, I made a comment on someone’s tweet last night regarding this topic and the use of the word grind which apparently escalated into something unintended. I blame myself for this. In a tweet especially, but for me just in general, I sometimes articulate myself poorly and people misunderstand the things I say and for that I am sorry. I have massive respect for content creators that work really damned hard to get where they are and they deserve all the respect in the world for building what they have. But the word “Grind” needs to disappear.

Grinding is what my Mother had to do bringing me up on her own, whilst caring for her Mother with next to no money. It wasn’t fun, it was disheartening and some days felt like there was no way forward. Now before anyone asks, no, I am not looking for sympathy. Both me and my Mother are in pretty good places these days compared to back then. We got through it. I am just making a point.

The Cambridge Dictionary definition of “Grind” in this context is “a difficult or boring activity that needs a lot of effort”, which to me doesn’t sound like what content creation should be, or indeed is. Grind is such a poor choice of words, especially when trying to encourage up and coming creators who want to see growth. It certainly shouldn’t be boring, I mean hell, if you’re a content creator and you’re bored, with all due respect, your talents and passion probably belong elsewhere. I’d wager for the idea that anyone who finds it boring probably isn’t doing it.

Now a lot of this follows on from some of the things I said in my previous post regarding attitudes, but bear with me. I feel like the word “Grind” has replaced the term “Hard Work”, and in its simplest terms, this is my issue with it. Hard work, sure, is hard, it’s in the term. But work can be and should be rewarding. People work hard because they want to, they are passionate and not bored. People grind because they have to. That’s why a lot of us work jobs we don’t like. It’s a responsibility that we could otherwise do without. Some people work a job they love. It’s still a responsibility, but it’s not a grind if you have passion.

I’d really like to see a change in the world of content creation that abandons the word grind. Content creators get a lot of hate from others who claim that they got there because the platform allowed it to happen or because they got promotion others did not. But the truth is, anyone who is successful, got where they are got there due to hard work and dedication. Positive things that helped them move forward. When we try to encourage fledgling creators, let’s encourage them to work hard. Let’s encourage them to have passion and to stay positive. Let’s encourage them to learn the other things that revolve around content creation like networking and suchlike. Let’s encourage them to not be disheartened by slow growth. Let’s encourage them that every bit of growth was because they worked hard for it. Let’s encourage them to feel rewarded for the hard work they put in.

Let’s not encourage grind. It’s an unhealthy word that doesn’t replace hard work and passion.

Two Types of Streamers and Attitudes to and from Them (In My Experience)

At the time of writing this, I just got finished chatting to Shell (my partner) about streaming and the idea of full-time streaming, and as I was talking about it I explained a very simplistic idea, which I would say 90% of the time applies.

There are two types of streamer that I tend to see. Community Streamers and Branded Streamers.

There are some examples of crossovers here but these are two very distinct things I have found. Community streamers (which I identify as) tend to be smaller streamers. They tend to be variety streamers and they tend to have a very tight group of regulars and slow growth. Some, like me, tend to have shaky schedules week on week due to other commitments in life and tend to be part-time.

Branded streamers tend to stick to a strict schedule and tend to stick to one or two games. They have a community based around the game they play that grows quickly, because the community that builds knows exactly what they are getting. The streamer conforms to a brand standard that people can always come back to. A lot of these streamers tend to be more full-time.

Now, something that has, for a while, bothered me is that there are some streamers from both sides of this fence that like to throw negativity over the other side of the fence, and as someone who identifies as a community streamer, I see a lot more of this from the smaller, community based streamers than the other way. It’s a minority, to be sure. Most streamers I know are damned fine people. There are a few that are very self-centred and bitter.

I have always been someone who has conformed to the idea of “Let people do”. I like the idea of letting people do what they want to do. Anything is fine as long as you’re not recklessly harming yourself or others around you, which is why I get saddened a lot by people getting frustrated by others. One of the main complaints I see from community minded streamers towards more branded streamers is their reliance on playing “trending” or popular games to get ahead. I’ve seen small streamers getting angry on Twitter because they can’t grow unless they play trending games (which is entirely untrue in my opinion, I’ve done just fine). I have seen streamers ridicule larger, more popular full-time streamers for their way of doing things.

Smaller streamers. You always have the choice of how you stream. So do they. They did their thing. You do yours. Stop worrying about what others are doing and focus on your content.

The other thing I have seen though, which I also have to question, is bigger streamers saying things such as “I grind 60 hours a week to get where I am. What are you doing?” I can only speak for myself but I only manage about 20ish hours a week on average because I can’t afford to stream full-time. I mean I am not personally targeted by this, I’m using myself as an example. I am happy with what I am doing but it makes me wonder, if streaming is a “grind” to do it full-time for a living, is it any better than any other job?

It’s made me think extensively about myself and my stream and I find myself asking the question “Do I want to stream full-time?”. The answer used to be yes, but these days I am not so sure.

Streaming for me is a getaway. Somewhere I can be a bit silly and hang out with and make lots of new friends. I am a partnered streamer and money I make doing it goes into buying new games and equipment to stream with and it works for me. I don’t want that to become a super stressful thing. I have had main games on my channel come and go because I got frustrated playing the same thing. Branded streaming is not my thing.

Again, going back to my two types of streamer. The lines are blurred in some cases for sure. But if you are a community based streamer playing lots of things part-time, I feel like you have to accept that you won’t grow magically overnight. I accepted it a while ago and I am so much happier with what I do as a result. I believe I put out quality content, but it won’t be to everyone’s taste. I find people coming in and saying hi just to leave when I immediately respond. Perhaps they get nervous or shocked I replied so quickly. I really don’t know. But others come and stay and laugh and have a good time and I will say, I have a wonderfully close-knit community, which I worry may seem inaccessible to some people discovering me and that’s another challenge altogether. I am always trying to welcome new people to my channel and sometimes I hook them, sometimes I don’t. I accept I may never go full-time doing things the way I do and that’s okay by me.

So, when you want advice on how to become a big streamer from a big streamer and they say grind, try it. But big streamers, know this. Not everyone can. You are blessed with the patience and drive to stream 60 hours a week, sometimes around a job and you deserve praise for that. I don’t, however, think encouraging everyone to grind is healthy. It creates a lot of smaller streamers who get frustrated because they didn’t blow up in a week, a month, even a year.

And smaller streamers, if you’re one of these people frustrated and throwing negativity at larger streamers then look at yourself. Are you happy? If the answer is no, don’t take it out on others. Don’t berate people for not coming into your streams (I know a guy who complains constantly about people not showing up to his streams, that attitude will drive them, away more, not bring them back. People have lives y’know). Just enjoy the ride.

My advice for new streamers? Just stream. See if you like it. If you do, keep it up. If not, nobody is forcing you to continue. Everything above, I have learned on my journey. I have had the frustrations and come out the other side a better streamer, and a better person overall. It’s all about choice. Will you choose positivity or negativity?

I Finally Did The Thing!

Well, it finally happened. I have been threatening (promising?) to put together a website for some time and now, well as I said, it finally happened!

So, it is with great joy I can say WELCOME to Slinkonage.co.uk! Having recently been accepted by EGX as a press member thanks to being a partnered streamer I thought I would try and develop my writing and typing skills again. It’s been a while since I last had any sort of blog or website put together and it is definitely the first time since becoming a Mixer streamer so I hope this will be quite an exciting time in my life.

That said, like most things, I have very little planned to go on here. It’s going to be more of a ramblethon than anything else. Somewhere I can be a bit opinionated and discuss things I want to discuss. I’m going to be making sure that I bring everyone’s attention to this little project of mine so apologies in advance for Twitter/Discord/anywhere else you might find links to this place.

And so for now, again, welcome. I hope this winds up being a beautiful ride!