Just flow

So for today’s post I am going to explain myself. Sometimes when I am streaming I do not always respond to comments or people talking to me. This may at times make me appear as uncaring, being a jerk, or selfish; but in reality it is just me doing my show.

When I am on a certain train of thought I do not stop it until I finish it. This is because I am in the moment and if I stop myself even to answer a short question, it can totally derail my thoughts and this is bad. People tune in to watch me talk and it is in my best interest to make sure I talk as best I can. Now I love the chat and a big part of my talking comes from the chat so this is not to say that chat interaction is not important (after all it’s one of the biggest factors in my stream), but rather that as a streamer I need to balance being myself amidst chat interaction. TLDR: When I am on a flow I go with it and I do not let myself get interrupted. After I have covered my subject, then I will read chat and answer others.

When I first started streaming, and even for a long time after, I did not realize how much the show was about me. It sounds selfish to say it that way, probably because of the current time we live in, but it is true. People tune in to streams to watch the streamer. As a streamer you have to remember that people are there to watch you. This doesn’t mean that people in your chat, discord, or your team aren’t important or anything, but you as the streamer are number one. There is nothing wrong with admitting that and owning that; especially since it is your stream and no one else’s. If others want to be number one, they can. All they have to do is make their own stream.

When you break your flow, it can really hurt your stream content. Because as a streamer, especially if a lot of your content is based on what you say (as in my case), people really want to hear what you have to say. Breaking your flow to respond to someone may make that one person happy, but actually it does a disservice to all the other people in your stream that are listening to what you have to say. This is because you can get in the zone when you are entertaining and anything else can take you out of it. The best thing to do is finish your train of thought and then respond to people after.

Note, if you get really big this is going to be harder and harder to do and eventually you just will have to accept that you cannot respond to everyone. I am seeing this already when I have twenty-five plus viewers in chat, I cannot imagine what it’s like when you have hundreds or thousands watching. As a fan of chat interaction this has to be a sort of bitter-sweet moment.

The way I learned this lesson about flowing was when I was with Joe in New York. We were at a small comedy club in Greenwich Village. It was a really cool experience, there was only maybe thirty of us max in the place so it was really intimate. Anyways there was one comedian who was really great. He had us all dying of laughter. At one point I thought of something really funny to say that worked well with his jokes and I yelled it. The comedian heard me and all of a sudden was like a deer in the headlights. He asked me what I meant and I repeated what I thought was a free slam dunk joke I was setting him up for but he didn’t get it. After five long seconds of thinking about it he just beamed with a smile, started laughing, finished up the joke, the crowd laughed, and then said to us “You guys are so great here even the hecklers are awesome!”

But that was weird to me. I didn’t think I was being a heckler, I thought I was being nice and a good fan. But that is when I got it. Comedians often get into a rhythm and they just recite their show. Hecklers aren’t so bad that they say something mean, they are worse because they interrupt the flow of the entertainer. Just ruining a flow can be so damaging to a comedian at times they cannot recover from it. Note, good comedians know how to deal with hecklers, but still the lesson is that flow is important.

Overtime I thought about this and I realized how much it applies to my show. Nowadays I always finish my points. It’s not that I do not hear other people in my stream or that I am ignoring them, it’s just that it is important that I finish my points. It’s what a lot of people tune in to watch, so not doing this is very unhealthy to the growth and success of my stream.

I wanted to make this post for a while because I wanted to explain to my stream why I do not always answer comments right away, and I hope I made enough sense that you understand. I appreciate it, it’s not that I hate you all, it’s the opposite I love you all. The Cult has really been turning up lately. It’s been awesome.

Additionally, I think this is a great lesson for anyone else that finds themselves entertaining in any field. If you are the entertainer you are the most important person. Again, this does not mean that other people are not important, it simply means that you need to make sure that you are doing what you do best and you do not get derailed. People want to watch you, so make sure that you be you. Don’t let anything else take away from you, and just flow.

 

Drowning right now,

fb_lurker

Tidy up

Today’s post is pretty basic. TLDR for everyone right now who doesn’t want to read anything. Tidy up your shit. Clean your room, wash your car, organize your office, pick your clothes up off the floor, sweep the kitchen, whatever it is, just clean it up.

I have found that at times when I am unmotivated/lazy I often have my personal life in a mess. It has been a strange observance but I do believe that there is truth in that having the things in your life organized helps you be more organized yourself. Many days when I am lazy, e.g. don’t get out of bed my room is a total mess. Recently I cleaned up my room, washed my car, re-organized my office, and honestly I feel so much better. I feel like I have more energy and that I am ready to do more work. Particularly I enjoy spending more time in my office now that is much nicer and this has translated into more streaming. Before I barely ever did late night vibes, but now I try to get it in whenever I can, and it has been fun. I have way more energy than before which was a big reason as to why I didn’t do late night vibes as often. But now that I am more organized I feel more motivated.

This post is not very logical, but I believe that there is more logic to what I am talking about than meets the eye. I’m sure that a psychologist could talk in depth about this and explain it much better to everyone, but I can at least vouch with my personal experience that it is worth it.

I feel better about myself when my things are clean. I think this probably is just the basic desire in most people to want to look good. I find that this basic desire has two audiences. First, you want other people to think you look good. Second, you want yourself to think that you look good. Having a clean environment is great especially for myself because I am always trying to make myself think I look good. Most of the time I care more about how I think I look than what other people think about me. It’s funny because almost every time I go shopping with a friend they tell me I look good in clothes that I think I look terrible in. I must be dumb. This is news to everyone I suppose.

Today’s post is very much a rambling stream of consciousness as opposed to some of my previous posts, but I don’t care. Not all of my posts are going to be super awesome and poignant, some are going to be more flippant and just things that were in my head at that moment. Sort of like my twitch stream lol.

But that is what blogging, streaming, and working is all about. Not every day is going to be amazing, many days are going to be really basic and it is important to not get bogged down in that they are so normal but just to keep grinding and throw up a post on the blog. Hell, if I didn’t do this then my blog dies and I don’t post for over a month. These types of posts keep me in my mental blogging zone so that I don’t forget that it exists. And honestly organizing my stuff recently has made me think much more about my blog. I have found that organizing my personal spaces has made me organize my life more. I have started blogging again, I just started taking guitar lessons again last week, and I have been taking streaming much more seriously. Being more in control of yourself and your life is a great feeling to have, and I would argue that it starts with getting your shit together.

If there is a problem, just talk about it. And talk about it sooner than later.

Sometimes I am known to give really good advice. Sometimes I am known to give really bad advice. Sometimes I am known to give really good advice but not actually live up to it personally. Today’s post is about the latter.

Essentially the lesson of this post is simple. If there is a problem in your life, whether it be with a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, best friend, co-worker, etc. you need to deal with it quickly. Avoiding discussion of the problem often will lead to it getting worse such that it will eventually boil over and explode and then may unfortunately be irreparable.

Many times in my life I have avoided conflict or awkward talks/situations even when I knew something needed to be said in the hopes that the problems would magically fix themselves. This never happened and in most cases the problems became worse. Many times they became worse because of my own doing. I am going to go through some examples.

During my time in high school, there were many situations where this happened to me, but I feel the most important one was my high school sweetheart. I had been into her for a very long time and when we started dating I was crazy about her. Now, mind you she was awesome, but she was a human too, and thus not perfect. Whenever she did things that were not okay I just let them slip and I did not confront her about them. I did not do this because I thought that maybe it would cause a fight and then our relationship would end.

This was very stupid because eventually I got so sick of her crap that I ended up being a total asshole to her and then she broke up with me. In a way I got what I deserved for my childishness and in hindsight I cannot blame her for her mistakes because I never even gave her a chance.

Often times when people are being rude/jerks/whatever they do not know it. If you never tell anyone how you feel, how are they supposed to know you feel that way? People are not psychic. The worst part about Sweetheart and I was that instead of talking about the issues I just started being a dick. The absolute worst way to respond. Who knows what could have been had I just talked about it. Now, I do not reminisce and pine for her, that was a long time ago and it was a high school relationship. Instead I wish her the best and I remember our moments so that I can be a better man now.

The next time this lesson struck was in college. This time I was not the principal one at fault, though I should have noticed that this was happening. Here we go AiJwei. I hope you are reading this.

My freshman year of college I dated this girl from Canada, we shall call her Canada for the rest of the story. Canada was cute but in the end her and I did not get along and neither did either of us really like each other. But this did not mean we did not end things quickly. We used each other for as long as the relationship could run its course and I can conclude that it was a very crappy relationship. Without a doubt the worst one of my life and I am not proud of it. Note, it was not as intense as most of you reading this may think, but I do not share relationship details so you guys are stuck imagining it in your heads. #drowning

Finally Canada broke up with me, and while I did not want it to end, I kind of did. You might think that it was all over, but no it was just beginning. My friend Arizona had the hots for Canada, and she also had the hots for him. And being honest, these two had way more in common than ever could have been possible between me and her. At first I was feeling upset because while they had not started dating yet, I could see it coming a mile away. But I then called this Priest whose advice I really respected, and I talked to him about the situation. He told me that he understood how I felt but that if these two really liked each other and that if her and I had a crappy relationship it would be selfish for me to not just let them date. He was right and it made sense to me. I concluded that I did not care if they dated.

Fast forward to the next day and me and my buddy Florida are hanging out. We are trying to call Arizona to see if he wants to go skateboarding with us since that was what we did back then. Arizona is not picking up the phone and we just assume that is because he forgot it in his room or there is no service, or for any other reason. We then remember that Arizona was spraying a graffiti mural underneath this bridge near our school and that he told us he was going to do it over the weekend. Florida and I roll over and who do we see under the bridge?

Arizona and Canada. On a date.

Here we go AiJwei. Now, remember I do not care that they are dating, but this does not mean that it still is not awkward. Arizona, Canada, Florida, and I all chill for a little bit but then Florida and I go off around for a bit to give them time alone. After some time hiking we come back to the bridge say goodbye Arizona and Canada, and then hang out for the rest of the day with our other buddy Massachusetts.

You might think that everything ended well here, but no it did not. Arizona and Canada thought that Florida and I had come down to the bridge to spy on them because I was angry that they might start dating. They believed that I was going to sabotage their relationship. These ideas were completely bullshit and untrue. Note Arizona also happened to forget that he told Florida, myself, and everyone earlier this week that he would be under the bridge doing his mural. It was not a secret, but he seemed to think it was.

Now I never knew that Arizona thought these things until almost 1 year and a half later. The only thing I knew was that after that day, Arizona was a complete asshole to me, totally hated me, and caused our friend group to entirely collapse. I ended up not talking with him and not liking him either obviously.

Now about a year and a half passes, many nights filled with drama are scattered through this period as everyone knows Arizona and I do not get along and things are awkward for many people involved at parties, gatherings, etc. Eventually, and I forget exactly how this happened but, Arizona comes to my room asking to borrow something. I help him out with it no problem. We have never said it but we both are unhappy with how everything turned out between us because we really were good friends. Something happens and somehow we get to talking about what went down and then everything comes to light that all this drama was started from false assumptions that I hated their relationship and was spying on them, etc. There was a very sobering moment for my friend Arizona who realized how silly everything was and how we lost a year and a half of friendship. when we were in college I might add, over something we just talked out in under 5 minutes. I too realized how that while in this case it was not my fault making the assumptions, I could have tried talking to my friend and maybe we could have ended the drama earlier by asking what the hell was going on. After that moment we had summer break, and when we got back to school for our Junior year Arizona and I were great friends again and still are to this day and hopefully will be for the rest of our lives.

Silly things can cause terrible problems, but it does not mean that they are unfixable. Arizona and I fixed that. He also broke up with Canada. Very nice Arizona.

Now you would think that I would have learned the lesson at this point due to my many experiences arising from my failure to synthesize it, but still I often fall short. I even did so yesterday by being way too much of an asshole to a friend of mine. Note there is a fine line between telling a joke and turning the knife. Shout out to Kacey Musgraves.

I have already written much so I am going to TLDR this one. Basically my friend had been annoying me and instead of talking to him about it and giving him a chance, I reverted to my old self with Sweetheart. Instead of talking about the problem, I just let it boil over and then I was an asshole to him. Luckily for me, he came to me and talked about it. And I really applaud him for that. Who knows what would have happened if he did not come talk to me. Could that have been the beginning of us not being friends? Could it have been an Arizona situation all over again? Thankfully it will not be because he gave me a chance and came and spoke to me. I apologized and all that needed to be said was said.

The lesson of the story is really simple, yet many people, myself included, can fail to learn simple lessons. This one is important though so we will end the post with the lesson.

If there is a problem, just talk about it. And talk about it sooner than later. Give people a chance before you demonize them and make the problem much larger than it needs to be/actually is. People are imperfect and everyone will make mistakes. This does not mean that you just let mistakes happen and not care about them. To the contrary, when mistakes happen, confront them, but in a way such that they can be made fixed. Again, give people a chance. They will respect you and thank you for it.

-Nolan

Streams have been Lit

Yo it has been a while since my last blog post; I know I have proven to be very terrible at routinely updating these. Shout out to AlexR for reminding me to do so.

These past few weeks of streaming have been sublime. To break 30 active views 3 times in one week, each time while breaking the high viewer record has been amazing. It is just crazy to think how close I was to actually quitting streaming a couple months back, and now the stream is starting to get rolling. I am very happy I did not quit and thank you to all that gave me encouraging words.

Chat interaction has reached an all time high and I really aim to continue doing this. Sending out the letters and stickers to everyone has been one of the most fun things I have ever done and I just cannot wait to start sending the t-shirts out. Hopefully we have another proto-type tomorrow and that we can have some sent out by the end of the week. Make sure to send me snaps of where you all slap your stickers and of course of yourselves wearing the t-shirts in the future.

Another part of the stream that has been great has been the diversity of the games played. Mixing Rainbow Six, CS:GO Surf, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, along with Thursday now set as designated Dark Souls day, the stream has really grown. For a long time I was very reluctant to stream a variety of games as in the past I saw my total viewer count drop as I was so heavily dependent on counter strike.

However with the new approach to the stream (making chat interaction #1 – especially over high level gameplay) it has made me a better streamer. I say this because forcing myself to play multiple games has made me internalize that the game is truly not the main focus of my stream. The main focus of my stream is myself and my interaction with the Cult. The show is successful when I do this, and shout outs to everyone who loves to tune in for it. It does not really matter what game I play, so long as I keep my approach maintained. This is also why I do not play Counter Strike Competitive any longer. The Competitive mode forces me to tunnel in on the game while at the cost of interacting with The Cult. Sad!

Now you all know why I love Surf so much.

To wrap up this post, again streaming has been sublime. I cannot wait to stream again every day it has been so much fun lately. Late Night Vibes has been a great hit as well, and shout out to all my new mods. I appreciate the sustained support and I cannot wait to see what we can all do with the stream. The Cult has really been turning up.

#wholesome