Thursday, April 14, 2016

On Deserving Success

A while ago Wil Wheaton made a blog post talking about some things he's been doing to try to be happier with his life. There's one quote that I felt particularly drawn to: "I’m not that great and I don’t deserve to feel good about myself." I can't say I've ever really thought things through in those terms, but I definitely feel like I've never really put in the effort to deserve happiness. Which is a little weird, since I'm a pretty vocal advocate of things like a minimum income provided by the government because everyone deserves a base level of happiness without being forced into slavery to the rich. But it does exist. The logic goes that I don't deserve to be successful, so I don't do what it would take to be successful, so I'm not successful, so I feel more like I don't deserve to be successful. It's a bad spiral.

I've been putting in a lot of time recently being more consistent with streaming. I've gone weeks where I averaged more than 12 hours a day streaming. I think I've only gone one 'day' without streaming at all in months, where I use 'day' loosely as a period of time where I'm awake. I've had multiple ask about donating to the stream, and plenty of people offer suggestions on how to make things higher quality.

And yet, I haven't even updated my profile on Twitch since last April. There are tons of little things I could be doing to make progress on being successful. But I haven't done them. I sometimes think about doing them, but then I just stream something instead, or play an idle clicker game.

I do actually think just streaming things has helped a lot. I used to break into a sweat just having a single viewer show up and chat, but now I can hold multiple broken conversations at once without freaking out. I've settled into a comfortable pattern, which is fine enough, but if progress is going to be made I need to actually make an effort to do so.

Even though I don't think I deserve it.

What I need to do is pretend I do deserve to be successful, and then take steps towards making it happen. So I'm going to make a list of things that I need to do. Small things, sure, but slowly chunking through a list of small things will eventually get to a good spot, without being too overwhelming at any given time. And hopefully without breaking the facade of pretending to deserve it.

{As an aside, Wil just made a 6 month progress report on the things he's working on. I created this post right after he initially made his post, which means I've wasted 6 months without putting in very much work. No surprise then that my stream really hasn't grown very much since then, huh?}

  • Set up a green screen.
  • Write a more detailed 'About Me' profile.
  • Buy a scissors boom for my mic.
  • Sell my old Magic cards.
  • File taxes.
  • Get a chat bot for my stream.
  • Write a better chat bot, or modify one.
  • Set up a stream schedule.
  • Stick to said schedule.
  • Set up a streaming related email address.
  • Set up a Paypal account.
  • Set up donations.
  • Work on developing and implementing more board gaming streams.
  • Buy a better video card.
  • Buy a solid state drive.
  • A better 'break' screen.
  • Generic layout for 4x3 games.
  • Generic layout for 16x9 games.
  • An offline screen.
  • A better stream profile header.
  • Verify Youtube account.
  • Set up a time each week to make highlights/export to Youtube.
  • Join a streaming team?
  • Restart SNES Saturday.
  • Come up with a cute/cool/catchy name for viewers/supporters.
  • Configure a Discord server.
  • Investigate small business loans/subsidies.
  • Define rules for chat.
  • Figure out what to do about chat mods.
  • Decide on a hair style.
  • Get hair cut/shave.
  • Exercise more than not at all.
  • Investigate lighting/lenses to reduce glare on my glasses on camera.
  • Figure out how to mix sounds so I'm not streaming everything I hear.
  • Curate a playlist of 'go fast' songs.
  • And one of 'not blocked' songs.
  • And one of 'non-lyrical background' songs.
  • And one of just plain awesome songs.
  • Make a better 'games I play' profile section.
  • Hook up my SNES to my capture card.
  • Possibly get a powered splitter for the SNES.
  • Figure out how to make my new headphones not cause pain when they press into my glasses.
  • Find something I'm willing to drink while streaming that isn't pop.
More to be added later, I'm sure, but that's a start. Some of those I've somehow managed to get done in the last 6 months, but actually not very many of them. My birthday is on Sunday and I'd like to do something special (24 hour stream or something maybe) but I need to get some more of this stuff done first. Especially setting up the ability to accept donations since if I'm going to be a busker I really do need to get a guitar case open on the sidewalk.