As you all probably already know I’m on vacation starting today 25.06 and all the way until 05.07, going back to streaming on Monday 06.07.
First vacation in my more than 2 years of streaming and first since 2016, so it will be nice to get some free time, even though vacation is quite hobo – just going to the summer house with friends for like 5 days and then sitting home for the rest of it doing some stream related stuff and chores, but time with friends is precious, especially that much time in one go with whole bunch of them. Will miss all of you and streaming in general, feels weird to take that much time off and I think it feels weird for all streamers, but it’s necessary and here’s my thoughts about vacations for streamers…
Being a streamer is quite interesting from the perspective of vacations, sick leaves, limited work time and other things majority of people got used to have at their workplaces. First of all of course many people don’t consider streaming a real job, there are always “W OMEGALUL R K” people in every chat whenever you mention something similar, because of course you just press “Start Streaming” button and play videogames like you always do and it’s easy to do so every day for like 12 hours and then getting insane twitchbux and going to conventions renting best hotel with champagne baths, it’s easy and why the fuck would you need rest from playing games bro. Obviously none of this is true and things are more complicated with streaming, but that concept is still running strong among people of Twitch and it echoes in streamers by some of them starting to somewhat believe it and not treating their work properly, thinking it’s some easy mode stuff and they should be thankful they are lucky they have such way to earn money and don’t deserve some things any of those people from chat require from their workplaces by default. Second problem is being self-employed, you basically run your own business being a streamer, no one will pay you vacation money or sick leave money, no one pays you fixed salary for 9-to-5 so as soon as it’s time you grab your jacket and peace out, you always try to work as much as you can and skip less days and hours of streaming. That’s why lots of streamers have only one day off, you rarely see anyone stopping streaming when they are sick unless it’s really bad of course (fucked myself up with that last year personally, having lingering coughing for like 2 months after being sick and not stopping streams) and you rarely see streamers taking vacations, it’s mostly event trips (which I wouldn’t count as vacations and I will explain why some time later in a separate post) or like 3-4 days off in a row and many after that feel guilty and do some omegamarathons with no day offs etc (like Ela last year streaming whole month non-stop just because of missing total of 9-10 days due to TwitchCon and Dreamhack Summer, while he still was somewhat live some times on IRL streams and on Scuffed Show). You are scared to lose momentum and you want to increase the momentum, so you put more and more time into streams and sometimes without thinking about downsides and consequences.
All of this is obviously very bad, but nothing really to do about it, because of the last part – being a businessman requires sacrifices and commitment. But it’s obvious that all this streaming thing is going already for years, people getting older, people change, people get families, burnout starts and that’s when we need to start working on the mentality. All of us really, both streamers and viewers, because we are in it for a long run, industry is growing and developing, it’s time to accept the fact, that playing games can actually be a job and streamers are much more than just people pressing the button and silently playing games like they always do off-stream (even though maybe there are streamers very close to that concept, but it’s still impossible to be exactly that way, streaming always adds extra stressing and tiring layer, even if you have no cam, mic, don’t look at chat). Accept the fact that we as streamers need some proper rest sometimes and take care of ourselves and put right priorities, especially when relationships, families etc come in play. That will create a better and healthier environment for everyone. So if you see someone is talking about taking a day off or vacation from streaming, try to motivate them, tell them that it’s fine and they deserve it (my community is amazing with that) and even if you are really sad about them not streaming try to avoid expressing it too much even as a meme, because it gets to us, we feel sad that we are making you sad by that too. And for us, streamers, we should still put ourselves first – relaxed, energized and healthy body is always easier and better to work with, especially when we can spend that time with our close ones and make them happy too, get out of our cave for a change to do something else, get some new inspiration maybe to do something on stream later.
In my case this time it’s not about burn out or anything, it’s quite more “basic” – this year all conventions are cancelled pretty much, so that means no breaks with streaming, no change of environment, no inspirational moments of meeting with colleagues and viewers and that sucks. So I just decided to take a break in the middle of the year as a substitute just to break the routine a bit and refresh. Coincidentally I managed to get 4 of my friends to join at least for different amount of days, so we are going to the summer house to enjoy fresh air, swimming, bbq and drinking beer while spending time together, which we haven’t done well since 2016 for multiple days with all the people and that is perfect, because when conventions are back it is hard for me to find time for that and without corona and other disruptions it’s hard to gather everyone together when they are free at the same time too. So perfect combination of things this year to make this vacation happen and hopefully it will also “show” my brain that it’s nice to take care of yourself, even though obviously I’ll jump back to insane grind after again, but at least I’ll have the experience for the future.