A lot of my experience with Twitch has been the unrelenting drive for partnership. I talked on Twitter not too long ago about how I felt too many people see partnership as an end-goal instead of a stepping stone, and part of me has been seeing it this way too. Exaggerating it's significance on the path to success.
I look at what I want from life, and none of it requires I become a Twitch partner. I want to be happy. I want to support myself doing something I love. I want to feel fulfilled creatively. I want to make things. I want to have something to show for the work I put in, some visual signifier of my success. Some pocket of my psyche requires the approval of others before I can recognize my own success. I need someone to tell me I'm doing well before I can see it myself. I am externally motivated.
Too much of the time I spend streaming is me comparing my numbers or amount of success with those required for partnership. "We're at 40 viewers. We need at least 100 for partnership," "We're at 30 subs.. only 70 more." Too much of my time is spent seeing the benefits that come with partnership and wishing I had them. Things that have very little relevance in day to day life. Does it matter if I can get into the Twitch party at a con that only happens four times a year? What is partnership with this or that company going to do for me, really, other than fulfill this strange need to be recognized as successful?
To reduce it to a high school analogy, I'm tired of wishing I sat at the cool kids table. I like the people I am surrounded by. I like the friends I have. I have some friends who get to sit at the cool kids table, and they probably aren't much happier than me. I'm tired of looking at someone's twitter feed and wishing I could have all the fun they are having. I spend way too much time being motivated by where I am NOT and who I am NOT.
So as of today, I'm taking partnership off the table. For my own mental health, I'm going to stop pursuing success on Twitch as though it were the only path to my happiness. I still want it- I haven't come across anything else that I feel suited for as much as I feel suited for this weird business that is Twitch. But I need to stop stressing out about it when I'm not moving forward at the rate I want to. I need new, healthier goals.