Writing all Day

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Today I had a sort of half day at work. Got up, took care of work and then I was get started on the projects I wanted to get on to. And man its time to write.

First, I just finished writing all my thank you letters to my fans as well as addressing their envelopes. So sorry to everyone that it took me this long to get to this. I really was slacking, but now I am back on it. I got a little bit disorganized for a bit there.

Jordan Peterson would be ashamed that I didn’t clean my room for a few days.

So sorry, getting that straightened today.

Now that I have the letters all taken care of I’m moving on to todays blog post. Getting this up right now as you read, and once this is done then I will be on to writing raps until the stream tonight.

Hell, with all the rapping I am doing I wonder if I should start writing a weekly article for the paper or something. I honestly think that I could fit it in, I’m already working in overdrive anyways. Besides, I like having no time to nothing but work.

A busy Nolan is a good Nolan.

I also have a hypothesis about my raps, as to why they have started to get much better, especially my free styling. I think all this writing is getting my brain working on another level and that it is remembering more words than I used to. I really don’t have any other explanation. It isn’t like I suddenly got a lot smarter and read a ton of books or something, I think the usage of more words on the daily has been increasing my brain’s mental bank.

I also think that it could be due to the fact that I listen to intensely to lyrics now whereas in the past I did not. That deserves a blog post in itself. When I was in high school I could care less about lyrics, but now it is almost all I care about. If the lyrics are super trash, I cannot listen to it. Now, by trash this does not exclude party rap or turn up music, just things that I find offensive or wrong: which is a wide variety of which many of you would be surprised to find what is and what is out.

Most likely, it’s not what you all would expect.

It was really funny the other day I was chatting with 80purppp and I told him my favorite lines from his songs and replied,

“you listen so well it’s scary.”

I fucking love that hahaha! And I think it is good to listen intensely to lyrics, especially if you are working on your own raps. You can get so much inspiration and technique from the people that you listen through absorption. When I really think about it, my flows summed up would be a mix of Too Short, Tyga, Big Sean, Pouya, G-Eazy, and most definitely Logic. His rapping has had a huge influence on mine. And it totally happened subconsciously. When I was listening to myself freestyle I thought,

“Oh shit I’m going logic mode right now!”

So I recently I started listening to a lot of Logic to study his rhymes so I could work on mine. And dude I fucking love logic’s new album. It’s an absolute masterpiece. But that is its own blog post.

Another rapper whose flows have snuck into my raps is Jay-Z. And dude, I am cool with that. HOV has such a classic sound. I just hope my sound doesn’t sound like a rip-off lol.

And two rappers I wish I could emulate would be Method Man and Mac Miller. Those two are just simply amazing. R.I.P. Mac.

Well, today’s post is a little short as I have even more writing to do, but tomorrow is going to make up for it because it is Sunday. This means it is not the day of rest, but the day of work when Top Shelf and I get in the studio and make a new track. But it’s the most fun work I do, so it’s like rest. I think God will be pleased.

Especially with the messages, the two of us are working very hard to keep our raps real and not full of bullshit.

Time to get at it and like Logic says GET IT DONE.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

Putting in Work

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As this year will soon mark my 4th year as a twitch streamer, I have been telling people in my stream that I now am a “senior streamer” as if it was my 4th year in high school or something. As such, I also have been telling my channel that I am not interested in making the mistakes of the past. Namely, pigeon-holing my channel into viewership based on one game.

To combat this I started playing multiple games on my stream. Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, Rainbow Six Siege, Rust, and others. But what I have realized is that Rainbow Six Siege is by far my best game to stream. I have many people come in to watch and hang out that otherwise do not enter the stream.

So that got me thinking.

I will do a sort of compromise. I will start my streams off with Rainbow Six Siege and play the game for however long I feel until I am getting tired of it (so as to not get sick of the game) and this way I will be able to satisfy my fans by giving them what they want, but also then get my stream rolling so that when I transfer over to another game later in the show I will already have my viewers.

I guess you could say it is a sort of trick.

But hear me out! It really isn’t as sinister as it sounds. Truthfully people watch twitch streamers for who they are, not so much the games the play. However, this is not to say that most people do not click on a show to see a game in the first place. So by playing the game most of my fans are looking for, but then by switching to another game later, lots of them will stay. Now, they might not have decided to come in at the beginning as I was not playing what they wanted, but now that they are watching they are content with my entertainment; which more or less stays static even though I play different games.

Thus, many fans continue to chill in the channel and have a good time watching me play a new game. In fact many fans of mine don’t even really watch. They just listen to me like a radio, so especially in that case the fact that I am switching games does not really matter.

But the point that I realized and that I writing here about is that I need to put some more work into my show. Just like at my day job where there lots of mundane tasks that are not fun but need to be done because they make the job work, so too did I understand that playing Rainbow Six Siege simply is the game that makes my stream work the best.

Thus, I really need to play it a little bit every single night.

Now, I am not going to burn myself out and get too sick of it like I did last year when I was playing 6-8 hours of Rainbow Six Siege every day. That was just way too much. But, I need to meet somewhere in the middle. Not play the game so much I hate it, but play it a little bit so that the majority of my viewers are happy.

So that is it, time to put in some more work and put a new level of dedication to Rainbow Six Siege as my main game for the show. I also think it would be better for the stream if there really is one game that I am extremely good at. Now my stream nows me when I say that my show is not about video games, and that is still something I largely believe to be true, but alas I am on twitch, and there is absolutely no way it would hurt to have one game that I am exceptional at.

I can’t be amazing at all video games, but I think it would be smart to be at least really good at one of them. And when it comes to Rainbow Six Siege I already have demonstrated that I can play at a very high skill level, so now it just takes time for me to play smart, study up, and get that skill back and then some.

Besides, it’s time to make some more highlights anyways.

 

See you in the chat, and keep smiling,

Nolan

Show them nothing but Gratitude

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Most of you are familiar that I started live streaming again about a month and a half ago, but it was not until about two weeks ago that I seriously committed myself to my new schedule. This was honestly a large step for me as I had never done this before. In the past I had always copped out from setting a rigid schedule in some type of way.

I would either have days off, or different times for different days, and if I had a schedule I never stuck to it. But this time around I decided to. I was tired of my show not growing and I knew that the reason was because I was not dedicated to it. It was time to start getting dedicated. So I made the schedule and here we are. And the results have been fantastic.

I have nothing but gratitude for all the viewers that have come to my show over these past two weeks.

Old and new, people have been tuning in day after day to watch me and it honestly melts my heart. I promise I will keep at it everyone.

So this brings me to the title of today’s post. Again, I am filled with gratitude for all the support that I have been getting from my channel; and not just viewership, but also financial.

These past few days in particular have been very good to me. Finn came in and gave me a very large tip, as well as G_Shot, Dmanzime, Pyro, and others. Seeing so many different fans come in and tip me so well made me think about how I wanted to just say more than “thank you.”

I decided that I wanted to write them “thank you.”

So here we were. I had then made the decision to write a letter to everyone that tipped my show 20$. I thought that was a good amount as if I wrote letters in support of 1$ tips I wouldn’t end up making any money after postage. Sort of self-defeating. And then I thought that if I was writing letters for the sums in between then it would just be too much for me to handle. So that was how I chose my parameters.

The next day my mother called. She had concern for my letter idea. She said,

“Your letter is sort of a prize. And if you only write letters back to the people who tip 20$ or more, wouldn’t that make those who tip less feel like they aren’y important enough?”

My mother was right, as always. After all, I we all know from my post earlier this week that everyone is important. So I decided to change my stance.

From now on, whoever tips my show 3$ or more will get a letter.

Everyone is important, and if I have to do more work writing more letters than I am happy to do so. Writing a plethora of letters to fans is a great problem I would like to have.

But anything under 3$ I’m not going to bother with only because after postage (the paper I write on (which is nice paper by the way), the envelope itself, and the stamp) I wouldn’t be making out with much money. And the whole point of tips is to put something in my bank account after all.

So cheers to everyone that has been supporting my show, in every way that you do.

From the viewership, to the subscriptions, to the retweets, to the tips. I absolutely and indebted to you all for it and I appreciate the gratitude. I am very excited for this new year of 2019 and for what it holds.

Today after work I checked out this little cottage that I am going to bid to rent. It would be perfect for me and my show. It has a small separate room that shares no walls with any neighbors and also has a yard around so that sound can be dampened. Renting has been an issue for me as I the last thing I want is to get a place but then have an instant noise complaint. So apartments have been essentially a no-go and looking for free standing structures is tougher to find. But I think the waiting period may be over and this one will work.

Again, my deepest thanks to everyone that has been staying updated with me throughout these past few months. A lot has certainly happened for me in them but it looks that everything is starting to stabilize. But, back to my main point so I can finish this post and then get ready for my stream, gratitude is absolutely essential. If people are supporting you in your life, reach out and thank them. Do not merely accept their kindness without letting them know how much it means.

And further, I encourage you to go the extra mile. This does not have be extreme by the way. Take for example my letters. I really do want to show my followers that I care about them and that their support means much to me. So I will write to them. Is this going to cost me a lot of money? No, not really. It will cost me more time than anything. But it is absolutely worth it because it is my weapon of proof that I do care about my chat. Most streamers won’t go farther than saying a verbal “thank you” on stream, (which is not bad, it is what is appropriate and normal actually) but I want to separate myself from them by doing something more.

So I write.

And this is how I do it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be how you do it, although I would encourage it as it is relatively inexpensive and highly effective. People can hold on to letters for the rest of their life and reread them. Saying “thank you” on stream in the moment happens and then it is gone. It just is not the same.

But whatever it is that you might choose to do, make it unique, and make it something that shows you are going a step above the rest so to demonstrate your gratitude for those in your life that take care of you. It only looks daunting before you start doing it, but once you get in the habit of working at thanking those who help you, you will feel so much better about yourself as well.

So all of you reading that have others in your life that support you, whether they are local or on the internet, show them nothing but gratitude.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

 

Everyone is Important

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Today’s post is a rather tough one for me to write, but I believe it is absolutely necessary. The topic is my recent decision yesterday on my twitch stream to decline to play games with my fans.

I will explain.

While recently I have returned to twitch, I am by no means new to live streaming. It all started for me back in March of 2015, and as 2019 has now arrived I am inching closer and closer to being a senior streamer.

Now that I am at the supposed top of the class, it is time to not make the mistakes that I made in my freshman, sophomore, and junior years. It is time to get serious, and be smart at the same time.

Many times over the years I have brought followers, viewers, fans, etc. into my live streams. We would play games together, have fun, and enjoy each other’s company. This at first seemed to be a big win-win for the channel as it encouraged people to tune into my show to get a chance to play with me (thus increasing viewership for me), while also providing a reward for the fans (getting to be part of the show via playing with me).

But two bad things happened.

First, I noticed a loss in what I call classic viewers: People that come to the stream routinely and tune in almost every day. These viewers are the core of how any stream reaches success. No streamer can reach any height without a dedicated viewer base. And with my twitch tools allowing me to see who is coming in and out of my channel, I notice who is here and who is not. So this was needless to say very alarming seeing my classic viewers disappear from my channel. Why was this happening? For the longest time I could not understand it. But then it hit me.

By playing with fans I had changed our relationship.

Before, fans were excited to watch my stream and just sit back and enjoy it. But after they were offered a taste to be more than a viewer, by playing in the games with me where the audience could see their gameplay and hear their voice communications in real time, the dynamic was changed. These fans had now become part of the show and they loved it. Why wouldn’t they? I have had a few jobs at this point, in many different industries, and I can tell you

Entertaining is magic.

Once you get a taste of it, you want more. Well, what happened next was that there are only so many hours I stream every session. And further there are only so many fans that I can play with in one game at a time. And sometimes I also do not want to play with fans at all. This is because I want to make some new ones! I can truthfully say that I am exceptionally good at meeting people and it is something that I absolutely love doing. If I only play with the people I know everyday I will never get to meet anyone new. A large part of why I love solo queuing (going into competitive matches by myself) is because I am the opposite of most people.

I love meeting random people. This truly is a passion of mine.

So I started solo queuing again. But then the fans were hurt. They no longer were part of the show. They wanted to be up there on the big screen in the games with me like they were before. But here I was playing with some random people that I didn’t even know?

That hurt them.

And I could tell. Because their names disappeared from my chat; many times never to be seen from again, and if I did see them again, it was never with the same frequency with which they tuned in before. I had lost another classic fan. These fans felt that they were unimportant. They likely concluded that I, Nolan, did not care about them, that they were only a number and as such after they had me I was on towards the next number, e.g. the new players in my games which I would try to convert into fans in order to grow my channel.

I know this is how fans felt. I cannot clearly prove this to you as I am not in their heads as only they are, but after years of streaming you notice patterns and if you are an apt entertainer you learn how to deal with emotions and how fans think. I can tell you that my actions were making my fans feel that they were unimportant: and this was never ever my intention. All I wanted to do was give them good entertainment and at the same time grow my show. This is what the fan does not realize. They just see the party, e.g. the show. They don’t get the grind, the hustle, the tireless work day after day that serious streamers, musicians, actors, writers, entertainers, etc. put into their craft with little to no reward in the moment but only with the promise of possible success in the future. (This is why I highly encourage viewers to stream themselves so they understand the perspective of streamers.)

I stream to entertain and spread knowledge to my fans. This is why I do this. But my goal is to make it. I have large ambitions, and I believe that there is nothing shameful in admitting this. I think it is rather courageous actually, to aim for the stars. But to do this I need to set up my show in a way that does not make my viewers leave, even if it is not intentional.

Results are what matter.

If I am doing certain things, and as a consequence I am noticing a patter of classic fans exiting my channel, then I need to quit what I am doing and re-evaluate my stream model. So to fix this, first I had to recognize that playing with my fans was a major problem. But stopping doing this was not so easy for me.

I have a soft spot for people, and especially so for my fans.

I enjoy making them happy, this is why I love entertaining. This is why I do this every day. If I did not I would not be streaming everyday. It’s why I quit my past jobs working in the vacation rental industry, selling BMWs, and my work in politics. I no longer enjoyed the day in and the day out grind. Not so with streaming, there is something magical about it. Even on the rough nights, which I still have and always will have no matter what level of success I achieve, I enjoy what I do. But back to to the main point. So even though I had come to this revelation a long time ago (that playing fans was a source of conflict for my channel) I would cave in and play with fans again because I felt miserable disappointing them. But then same thing always happened. More fans would come in and ask,

“Hey can I get in a game?”

To which I would often respond, “not today I am solo queuing,” or that “I already have a full team.” Then almost without fail that viewer would disappear from my stream. Remember reader, in this post I am talking solely about my classic fans here, fans I know personally in my the scope of my channel. I could even name names, but I do not think that would be necessary for the post, nor appropriate to do so. Back to the post, this fan coming in was not someone that from the outset only wanted to play with me because I was a streamer. These fans exist and the only way to satisfy them is to play with them, but I am not talking about these types of fans. The fans that I am talking about were loyal viewers who would watch my streams in their entirety just for me and my entertainment or edifying value, not merely to play with me. But by my choice of bringing my fans into my show I turned them into these other types of fans.

This happened because of my decision to include them into the show. This changed their relationship to the stream. And once you go up, you never want to go back down.

But the problems did not end there. That was just the first part. The second major problem of playing with fans was how they felt pitted against one another. Some of my fans were clearly much better than other fans at the games which I was streaming so naturally I wanted to pick them over others, especially if I was doing ranked play. So right here I was starting to discriminate amongst them, which was obviously noticeable to my viewers, no matter how well I might have masked it.

Everyone knows when someone is better than they are.

But I didn’t just discriminate based on level of skill, I also did it on the character of the people I played with. Some people I would bring in, often players with high levels of skill, would effectively hijack my show. They would broadcast their skill so loudly by proclaiming every kill they got and would constantly talk and talk and talk into their microphone so that my viewers would hear them. To these people I say,

Go make your own show.

Because you totally can. Open Broadcaster Software is free, twitch accounts are free, and if you are gaming at high levels you likely already have a computer that is good enough to stream. So instead of hijacking my show (or someone else’s) go make your own. Literally no one and nothing is stopping you. And further, often I see that high level players have a higher tendency to exhibit toxic behavior much more so than that with lower level players. And reader, while this post my seem cold, I truly am a nice guy. Toxic behavior has no place in my stream, I am not going to stand for it like I did at times in the past (only because I was too much of a push-over to ban people: nice-guy syndrome at work.) If you are toxic, I don’t care how good at a game you are or how much you money you send to my PayPal. I won’t play with you and I will kick you out of my stream. I have a reputation to uphold and I do that by keeping my channel in line with that. If you want to be toxic, I cannot stop that in general, but I can and will stop it in my channel.

Other fans I would play with would fanboy or fangirl way too much. Every time I would get a kill they would say,

“OMG NICE KILL NOLAN YOU ARE SO GOOD YOU ARE THE BEST”

Naturally, these types of fans I just simply could not deal with. I may be a pretty good player at most games, but I am not exceptionally amazing. And even if I was this is a level of fellatio that I am just not interested in. As arrogant as this sounds, I am far too humble to be around comments like this. It makes me feel more uncomfortable than anything. So I stopped playing with fans like this as well.

This then left me with the fans I wanted to play with. Those that were good players, very respectful that it was my show and not theirs, and often they were funny as well or had some other unique quality about them that made me appreciate their company on my team as well as part of my show. Now I was all good to go right?

Wrong.

Now, all those other fans that I did not want to play with were hurt. I had chosen these select few over them. They felt as if they were unimportant. Now this is not true. I chose to play with other fans over them as their behavior was not fitting with me or my show; it had nothing to do with them being unimportant to me. And I think the majority of people reading this blog post will agree with me here, but this is truth about emotions.

Even if emotions are wrong or unfounded, they are real to the people that hold them.

It does not matter that I explain why I do not want to play them because of toxic behavior, hijacking, fanboying, etc. these people have their feelings hurt. Once that happens they are done with the show, and once again,

I have lost another classic fan.

 

So here we are reader. At the tail end of this long heartfelt post. I really do mean it when I say that I wish I could play with my fans. I do enjoy the games with them that go well. But I do not enjoy the fallout from what inevitably happens time and time again. I have streamed for just under 4 years at this point and I have made this mistake too many times. I am not going to start off my 10th era of my stream career and the new year off with continuing a lethal mistake from the past. If I did I would be an utter fool. It’s time to do it right this time, so I will stand strong with my tough decision which I made yesterday.

For those of you that used to play games with me or wanted to play games with me in the future, I really am sorry to disappoint you, this is something that I never wanted to do to you, but after reading my thoughts and feelings on this issue I really hope you understand and that I do not lose you as a fan.

I have learned that nothing in life comes without a tough decision. In order to make my stream work this time around I have the tough decision to stream every single day from 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM with no exceptions. This has meant for me that I have turned down numerous party and dinner invitations, hang out sessions with friends, and other opportunities. But I am happy to have made that decision. I absolutely love my show and I love you all who watch it. I cannot attain the success I desire without you and my dream is to take it all the way to top, but with my classic fans still very much watching. I don’t want to be another show at the top with only fair-weather fans. I want you all to be here for the full ride and to be able to continue my relationships with you from now till the very end.

So I then made another tough decision, this time in my show itself. At first it will hurt, but in the long run I know that it is best for the show and for keeping the classic fans together. You are all important to me. Sure, I have known some of you longer than others, and some I know on a personal level much more than others, but never for one second think that I am valuing other fans over you. I do this show for every one of you. And anyone who tells you that they are more important to me than you is not a real fan of mine, and I not of them. I despise people that get off on feeling important at the cost of another’s unimportance or emotional suffering. If they spout bullshit such as that, brush it off and know this: they don’t know me. I don’t and will never stand for trash values such as that.

 

I may not be playing games with you anymore but trust me, it’s not because you aren’t unimportant, it’s because you are.

 

-Nolan