ROW80-3 -23/07 -Late bloomers
ROW80 -Goals and Objectives - 2019

ROW80/Twitch in 2019

I used to be a writer. 
Okay, I still am one, but I haven't really worked at it for a year. I tend to be attracted to sparkly things, and I enjoy the challenge of exploring something new.
In 2010 I tried NaNoWriMo - and finished! I wrote a part two of the story the next year and got both published - by a local micro-publisher. Sales have been 'modest' sales, mostly local, but they are available online and in libraries across Canada. I'm pleased with both novels.
Over the years I 'won' several more NaNoWriMo's, but left all the novels in first/second draft stage. I tried editing them but hated it, too many rules and constraints mixed in with the creativity. And no waiting publisher as an incentive.
I also wrote about 100 Flash Fiction stories, just as quick and dirty ways to explore a character or idea, done in only a few hours. I published them online and gathered both praise and constructive feedback. I liked both those things, as well as my sense of accomplishment in creating something.
I was probably putting 3-4 hours a day as I got into a project, often in a block at the start of the day. But - as I got more positive feedback on my novels, and read more about how to write well, my expectations for myself rose, so rather than fail,  even after hours of tweaking, I stopped writing them. I tried getting back into writing several times, with the help of a great support group, ROW80, but lacked the motivation and quit/failed.
Writing is a solitary pursuit, but there are many good online support groups, as well as book clubs and sales where I can share tips with other writers, or just meet readers. I have some fans locally too, who often ask how my writing is going. I think they like knowing a writer.
Now I'm a streamer - meaning I play video games and stream online via Twitch for a few hours each day, sometimes a lot of hours. It's live, while chatting with 3-5 followers at a time in voice or text.
I mostly play a trucking game, using a wheel and pedals and multiple displays, exploring the world - Europe, North America, Russia, Brazil, etc. The maps are simplified, but still realistic and interesting. I enjoy the exploration, plus the challenge of mastering the driving, adding modifications for both maps and trucks, sharing tips and tricks with online friends, or just chatting about our day.
I find it very restful, like being sort of a Bob Ross to my fans, and I've gained enough expertise to be a help to others. Which is nice. It's a niche activity though, not something I can really share with friends up at my local, other than as a somewhat odd hobby they will tolerate. I have several hundred followers from around the world, though, and have made about $100 in donations in a year. I don't follow a schedule though, as this is more for my own entertainment. 
So - which to do?
Writing -challenge, hard work, praise, accomplishment, doubts, some money, solitary, online and local fans. I'd like to write some new things, edit some old things, and publish. But I really doubt I could get back into it, after several false restarts. 
Streaming -less challenge, more entertainment than work, restful, minimal money, praise from followers, only online fans. I'd like to gain even more followers, and be a little more structured but still keep it relaxed and fun. And limit my time.


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Eden Mabee

I can't tell you which to choose, Mike. Maybe you shouldn't "choose" at all? It sounds like you enjoy both activities for different reasons. Are there ways you could do both? Perhaps your "writing" could be done via dictation? Or as scripts for "side-stories" in your games? (Why not try to write some games, or explore game ideas with your Twitch sessions?) I was listening w/ my husband the other day when Joe Rogan discussed how much he loves using Scrivener for working on his standup acts.... writing doesn't have to be books.

I get you about the bright and distracting. It's a good thing though. Options...

Patty Archer

I like Eden’s comment above. The two activities are not an either/or, or they don’t have to be. The stress and pleasure in writing shouldn’t feel like a job. Yes it is work, but it shouldn’t feel like a slog. What about writing reviews on-line of the books you enjoy? Or about some of the more interesting people in your neighborhood, in on-line vignettes?? You tell a good story and entertain, but it doesn’t take as many hours. Or maybe something with your photography? You know a lot about the Ottawa urban art scene and how things changed from tagging to well-loved murals.
Many writers explore different styles and disciplines and that can ease the fear of failure or going stale. And it can definitely be more fun than editing!!
Maybe just be open to new ideas and opportunities as they come in the New Year?

Lila Leigh

I'm with you about the sparkling things. I love the rush of starting a new project. All the planning and discoveries, but when it's time to write and ready to move to the next one.

Starting slow and small may work for you. What about turning yourself into a character? Write about a streamer and their adventures, perhaps?

Whatever you decide, it has to work for you. Coming back after a hiatus is not easy. Enjoy the journey!

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