Throughout this resource, I’ve advised that you should never wait to start streaming, whether that involves beginning your channel altogether, or revising your streams in some way. If you want to make a change, it’s better to do it in small increments, and iterate on that idea over time than to make one big overhaul. In the entry Grow Your Channel in Public, I even talked about how it's actually a disadvantage to create something perfect from the beginning. Being able to notice a tangible growth trajectory over time is one of the great joys of a longtime Twitch channel viewer, and you shouldn't rob your fans of that opportunity. But how can you make sure your ideas are good ones, and prevent yourself from looking like a fool in front of your people? The answer to this lies in your mindset: What environment are you creating for yourself when you flesh out stream ideas?
➢ PRESERVING CREATIVITY
|Pictured: Starkiller from The Force Unleashed, |
surrounded by my early Twitch Playbook drafts.
This is how I try to write The Twitch Playbook every week. When I start writing, I merely jot down a few vaguely related sentences. Then I typically go into a state of mild panic, because it looks like that week’s entry will be completely terrible, and I spend a little stretch of time having no idea how those disparate thoughts will fit together. But throughout it all, I force myself to write freely about each of these three or four points, without judgment of any kind, until I have a few paragraphs on each subject. Then, before I know it, I have roughly a dozen terribly written paragraphs which make some kind of sense, but don’t really feel cohesive. But it’s this free writing stage which has laid the path for everything. From that point, once all that garbage has been dumped onto the page, all I have to do is sift through it- a.k.a. rewrite what I already have into a shorter, more concise version of itself- and I’ll have a finished entry. I always think the entry is going to be terrible, right up until the end, because the polish doesn’t come in until the absolute final stage.
➢ IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE
|Ricky could tell you all about "Yes, and..."|
And as you might imagine, this “Yes, and...” idea comes in very handy while you’re Twitch streaming live on the air. It makes you more open to unexpected situations, letting you take technical problems, chat messages, and other surprises in stride. Thinking this way allows you to create entertainment and value out of things that might have caused another streamer to lock up or cancel their show. In the entry Up Your Showmanship on Stream, I mentioned that I like to use chat messages as springboards to make more interesting responses. So instead of simply giving a one word answer to a yes-or-no question, I say, “Here’s my answer, and here’s a story about that.” So even when engaging with comments that aren’t problematic or surprising, you can utilize the “Yes, and...” philosophy to make your responses even more compelling.