These are really insightful questions, thanks. I’m probably going to write a stream of consciousness in response, hope that’s ok!
Sometimes I really struggle socially (I’m surprisingly introverted) and let my community know I’ll only be streaming for an hour tops. I normally aim for at least an hour, and most streams are 2–2.5 hours in length. They’re really understanding about it when I have off days or if I have a busy Sunday.
I have definitely started out a stream before feeling that I’m doing something straightforward, and run into bug after bug after bug (like when you catch every traffic light on a straight road!). This can get really exhausting, as explaining what you’re doing while hunting through stack traces and google searches is really intensive.
Sometimes I ask my viewers to help me divide and conquer, by looking up info together and it really helps get over speed bumps fast. It’s ok to ‘power down’ and be a little more flat during a stream, as long as folks know what’s going on. “Sorry everyone, this bug is really bumming me out but I’m sure we can solve it!” can be a good thing to say. That said, I think I have actually just logged off early before because I needed quiet time to really think about next steps on a project.
If a stream didn’t ‘go very well’ from my perspective, it can make me feel embarrassed and all I want to do is go back to bed and pull the covers over my face. 99% of the time, your viewers are not thinking your stream was ‘bad’ at all.
Being human is inevitable, and that vulnerability can help rather than hinder most of the time when connecting with others.
Thanks again for such thoughtful questions, your concerns are totally valid.