Just like any other profession, streamers need to take a break from streaming-related activities every now and then.
There’s plenty of reasons why it’s perfectly healthy and acceptable to take a break in streaming, given that such a hectic and pressure-filled career can take a toll on one’s mental health.
While online personalities cannot please everyone, people still expect so highly of these public figures. As a result, they tend to bombard hate messages and hostile comments whenever a certain streamer cannot appease their expectations.
If you’re a streamer dealing with the hatred on a daily basis, you might come to a point where you just want to take a break from it all— just to breathe, collect yourself together, and relax.
Here are some of the things you need to consider before you announce your decision to take a break from streaming:
Before you take your well-deserved hiatus, it’s better that you understand why you’re taking a break. May it be for various personal reasons or you’ve just hit a creative slump, convince yourself that you need the time off to pull it back together.
Beating yourself up in the midst of your streaming break— because you ended up making such a decision— would only defeat the purpose of disconnecting from the online world.
Once you take your break, try not to think about the online trolls waiting to come at you or the hostile comments thrown your way. Remember that you’re doing it for your own sake, not for anyone else.
Don’t leave your community hanging! No one likes to be ghosted, even if it’s done by an online personality. As a public figure, it is your job to inform your audience if you’re taking some time off from your streaming-related endeavors.
If you only have a small following at the moment, some of these people would still be confused if you go MIA without any notice. The last thing you’d want is to make your followers believe you’ve abandoned them.
This would also inform them that you’re safe and away from any harm, especially if you’re thinking about taking a month-long break or so. At least they’re informed and may wait around for your scheduled comeback!
Whether you’re thinking of taking a short break(week-long) or a long one (months worth), it’s important that you weigh out which is the best for you. If you’re an already established streamer with a tight-knit following, you may be able to take longer breaks fully knowing that your fans will still be there as they await your return.
But if you’re still starting out in the industry, it might be ideal to take shorter breaks as you wouldn’t want the support and attention to fade away. You’re still building up your online presence, after all.
Beginner streamers need to make a name for themselves, and to do this efficiently— one must keep the momentum going. You wouldn’t want to lose your followers just like that especially as you’re still figuring things out.
Life > Stream
Content creators aren’t exempted from many personal issues. Complications will arise for just about everyone, and they may get in the way of your work as a streamer.
Consider big life changes such as ending a long-term relationship, starting a new day job, or moving to a new city— these may interrupt your usual streaming schedule and you may need some time to figure things out before you get back into regular programming.
There’s also the possibility of medical emergencies or needing immediate treatment. Even if you’re a public figure, remember to put yourself first.
Taking a break off from streaming doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be off-the-grid. Some streamers even take some time off in order to immerse themselves in various online communities, where they can get their name out there further and reach new audiences.
As a result, they can now improve their stream lay-out once they get back into regular streaming or get their personal website up and running to build a better online presence.
Doing these personal improvement actions can be a positive thing. For one, you’ll get higher chances of garnering more average viewers once you get back. With the numbers doing good, you’ll be affiliated or partnered with your livestreaming platform of choice in no time!
Learn from others
During your down time, you can also check out other streamers’ broadcasts to truly figure out the content you want to create. Learn a thing or two from more established streamers, and then fine tune it to the way that’s fit for you.
Doing so will also allow you to get to know the community better. You’ll meet new personalities you can collaborate or network with, which may be a great stepping stone for your starting journey as a streamer.
Learning from others may also be beneficial if you play your cards right. Aside from doing pure gameplays of titular games, you may start considering branching out to other categories like indie games or Just Chatting streams. Variety will spice up your channel, for sure!
On your break, decide if committing to a full-time streaming schedule is worth doing upon your return or you’re better off with shortened steaming hours.
Remember that streaming isn’t for everyone— but if you can’t commit to it full-time (at least at the moment), it also doesn’t mean that streaming isn’t for you. Maybe you’re better off doing casual streams until you figure out your next steps.
Hitting the pause button on your streaming career will give you the time to reflect on why you want to continue pushing forward. Even on days when it gets rough, remind yourself why you want to be an established streamer in the first place. We all have our personal reasons and every one of them is just as valid as others.
The big stars need it too
Popular Twitch streamer Pokimane recently went on a temporary hiatus from her streaming activities, citing current events and other personal concerns as reasons.
In a rather personal tweet, she explains how she’s been feeling burnt out lately due to the current state of the world and the pandemic still posing a threat to many.
— pokimane (@pokimanelol) August 5, 2020
Because of the pent-up stress and her not taking any time off in a long while, she decided to take some time off this time for the sake of her mental health.
“Since quarantine began, it’s been hard for me to find the same joys and motivation for making content… This has led me to feeling burnt out for quite some time and because of that, I’ve been planning to take a month off.”
Fortunately, the Twitch streamer’s hiatus announcement has been met with fan support and positive reception from the online community.
It’s important to prioritize one’s mental health, especially as a public figure like Pokimane who is sharing her life on the internet for thousands of people to see.
She has also been the target of recent attacks on social media such as Twitter, but Poki didn’t state this as one of the reasons behind her decision to take a break.
But if it were to be true, it’s only understandable for Pokimane to take a hiatus as dealing with hostile comments daily could definitely affect one’s mental health.
Her streaming hiatus is only likely to last a month, so fans can expect to see Pokimane again when September comes.
“I want to be happy and excited to make content for you all, and I’m looking forward to getting back into that headspace.”
She also didn’t fall short of reminding her community to take care of themselves and their mental health. Hopefully, her audience can also use the down time to rest and allow themselves to breathe if they are in a bad place mentally.
Pewdiepie, another big name in the industry, also took a 30-day internet hiatus during the start of 2020. Now, he’s back to his regularly-scheduled programming providing entertaining content for the Bro Army.
What’s impressive to know is that his month-long break was his first one in ten years after creating daily content on YouTube.
He says he felt worn down by the negative side effects of his massive internet fame, but taking some time off renewed the appreciation he has for his supportive audience.
“I’d kind of just taken that for granted, in a way… I’m sorry.”
“I just think I’ve been obsessing too much about YouTube and just like, pushing myself way too hard for too long.”
Consistency is one of the major factors if you want to establish your name in the streaming industry. But, this doesn’t mean you owe all of your time in committing to your online persona.
Taking a step away from your stream may even bring you more good than harm— especially if you really need the break. Use the time to rest and improve on your craft.