Twitch; The Story So Far
I think I misused the ; in the title and it should’ve been a : instead. Fuck it.
So throughout the course of this, I will be explaining my experience with Twitch starting October 3rd 2013, all the way up until today, January 15th 2015. A whopping year and a half later.
In July 2013, I found out about a website called “Twitch” that I’d soon enough fall in love with. I was super foreign to the concept of “live streaming” and it blew my mind I could actually TALK to these people. The first person I remember watching heavily was LobosJR. I watched him every fucking day, and he was my first big inspiration to start streaming. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the internet capabilities to do so. I was pretty devastated with my 10 down and .5 up, because I think streaming could be my thing. I begged my parents almost daily to move to a town 20 minutes away. My village had a population of 200 people, and the town I went to school at, had 5k people, and internet that blew mine out of the water. Unfortuantely, I was in like Grade 10 and was fucking stupid. Eventually my parents told me the news that better internet was coming to town, and I almost jumped through the fucking roof.
October 3rd, 2013
I have very vague memories of my first stream, but I remember loving every minute of it. In fact, even while typing this, a strong warmth grows and engulfs my chest, and I almost wanna cry, because I remember it being one of the best days of my life, regardless of only getting 3 people other than myself and nightbot. I was ecstatic that 3 people took time out of their day to watch me. I wanted to do this forever. My mind turned into a whirlwind of thoughts and possibilities. “What if one day I hit 10 people? Maybe even 25? Holy shit, maybe even 50!”
With my new found love for broadcasting on Twitch, I had a very important decision to make, as I was just beginning my last year of highschool. I was taking University style classes to study marine life, so I could get a doctorates degree and become a Deep Sea Icthyologist. That’s not only a very stable career, but it could make me enough money to keep me happy. I had to choose between a secure and stable life, and my passion. This wasn’t an easy choice. I consider myself an artist by all means. I love to write and produce music, I love the fine arts, etc… And I got thinking about life as a broadcaster. Do I really need to make $100,000 a year? Do I really need to live in a big house? Do I really need to own a sports car to show off to people I’ll never see for more than a second of my life as I drive by them? Do I really need that? The answer was no. In all honesty, if I could live in a small apartment, and be able to be self-sustaining off making other people laugh through video game commentary, I would live the perfect life. To anybody else, my life would be far from enjoyable, but to somebody who considers themself an artist, living offf something that simple is quite honestly the dream. That was the day I chose casting over my education.
My first few months of streaming were rough. Barely any viewers, I cheated to get follows through giveaways, and let the concept of fame and fortune get to my head really quick. I developed an insanely large ego WAY too fast. I made a lot of poor choices, and did whatever I had to do to get as much money as possible. My ego would inflate daily, and it got to the point I purposely didn’t reply to my friends because they weren’t as large as me. This was rockbottom for me. Luckily, one night after working 10 hours at my best friends grocery store, I decided to stream at 10 PM at night. I knew I wouldn’t get any viewers, but I really needed to get my mind off of some shit. I think that was the night I really understood that I was a piece of shit, and that I need to change my perspective. I think I had 5 people come to my stream, which was a quarter of what I normally got for that time, and it was the happiest I had been in months. That was the night I realized that I’m doing it for others, rather than myself.
Summer 2014 was very kind to me. I was recieving more support than ever, and had the best friends I could ever ask for. I was VERY content with how my stream had been going. One night, I had the urge to apply for partnership, which was the original goal for me in the beginning. I knew I wouldn’t get it, but I figured I’d apply anyways. I think almost a week had gone by, and everytime I got an email my heart would sink, fearing I got the same auto-generated message declining me of partnership. One night, an hour or two before my stream, I finally got the email titled “Your Application has been Accepted” and my heart nearly stopped. I immediately started crying, because that was easily the best day of my life. I had given up my health, my friends, my family, my education, and job opportunities so I could achieve this goal. I had never been this happy before.
I’m now writing this post on January 15th at 12:48AM unable to sleep because I’m leaving my full time job to pursue Twitch full time while keeping a part time job on the side. Twitch has changed so much over the past year and a half for me, and I’m happy with every decision I’ve ever made in my entire life. If I had done one thing different, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t know all my amazing friends who support me every single day and literally give meaning to my life (Shout outs to @BryanVeloso/Avalonstar). I wouldn’t be pursuing my dream right now if I had simply done even one minor thing differently. I’ve had some tough times. I’ve cried, bled, suffered, enjoyed, hated and ultimately loved throughout this journey. I still believe I can manage thousands of people per stream. I believe I can have the name “BuffDaddyHD” be known to people in countries around the world, and even save lives. I have huge aspirations, and yes I plan on achieving them. It won’t be easy, but I think I can do it. I love what I do, I love Twitch, and most importantly I love YOU. I’ve conjured the thought of suicide many times in the past through my abusive step dads, my abandonment issues and my lonliness and sorrow. I’ve never had more of a reason to live than I do now. Thank you all for giving my life meaning. Than you all for giving me the inspiration to take over the fucking world and give people the happiness that was almost stripped of me all my life up to this point. Thank you all. Seriously. When I say that I love you guys n gals, I truly, truly mean it. I’m excited to see where we end up in a year from now.
I now leave you with this song because I love it to death: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJmvvZk4C1A
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget that I love you.
- Justin Baldwin