What I’ve Learned from Starting a Twitch Channel

What I’ve Learned from Starting a Twitch Channel

When I started my Twitch channel in February, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I became quite familiar with the video game streaming platform through journalism, and finally worked up the courage to start. In the four months since then, I’ve learned about starting a small business, branding, design, talking coherently in front of a camera, teamwork, and perseverance.

Shortly after starting this endeavor, I subscribed to a streaming support service called Pipeline, which helps new streamers get their bearings and learn about the craft. Pipeline’s online classes taught me how to start a sole proprietorship, make sure I kept track of my finances, and pay the right amount in taxes. This platform helped connect me to a freelance designer. I communicated my vision and he turned it into my logo.

My Twitch channel logo. (Graphic by Hawken Miller)

I’ve spoken in front of large crowds before for the nonprofit organization CureDuchenne, but bringing engaging commentary to my followers during a two-hour stream is a challenge. I come up with topics to touch on during the stream to help keep me on track. I talk to my viewers instead of talking to myself. That requires filtering on my part whenever I get upset about the result of a game.

Streaming may seem like a lonely job, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I found two other streamers to play with and we entered a Pipeline-only Call of Duty: Warzone tournament together. For the past three weeks, we’ve discussed strategy, relied on each other to watch our backs, and communicated enemy locations.

Success in team-based games requires patience, empathy and trust. I have to be willing to point out when I’m wrong and understand the thought processes of my teammates.

As I mentioned earlier, starting and maintaining a livestreaming channel isn’t easy. Millions of other people are out there doing the same thing, which means I’m often broadcasting to no one. Even when I don’t feel like I’m making an impact, I still need to persevere. I remind myself that even a well-known streamer like Ninja started from the bottom.

Getting famous or having hundreds of viewers isn’t my main goal, though. I’m showing my love and passion for video games to others and enjoying myself while I’m at it.

Beyond learning valuable skills and life lessons, this channel is an opportunity to build awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and to show that a disability does not define anyone. I know there are many boys with DMD out there who enjoy video games. My stream could be a place for them to engage and even make a new friend. I believe streaming services offer the best combination of video games and the broader online community.


Note: Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Muscular Dystrophy News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.

Hawken Miller is a recent graduate from the University of Southern California and an aspiring young journalist. He has previously worked for the Sacramento Bee, KTLA 5 News and at USC Annenberg Media.
Hawken Miller is a recent graduate from the University of Southern California and an aspiring young journalist. He has previously worked for the Sacramento Bee, KTLA 5 News and at USC Annenberg Media.
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