Hello everyone, my name is Clay, and for the last two years of my life (as of 8/25) I have been Terminally Nerdy.
And what a ride it has been. I have been considering how to approach this so it’s taken me a few days to decide what to do.
I think, on a day like today, what I want to do really is reflect. Reflect on how I got here, where the idea for this entire mess came from, where I am right now, and where I hope to be in the future. Kind of lay out how things got started, and where things are going and have gone if you will.
I have in the past told this story, I think it’s on my Youtube account somewhere. But I suppose for this purpose, its best to start at the beginning of everything.
3 years ago, I joined a small reddit community known as NewTubers (which is still going!), with the intention of learning how to do Youtube better. I had no aspirations to be a “Youtube Star” or anything, I just wanted to try a new hobby. Prior to this, I had dabbled in a lot of different things. I had done blogging about Warmachine and Hordes and was kinda known in that sphere as Iron Kingdom Adventures. I did personal blogging for a while. I did game reviews off and on, under a variety of names. Hell, at one point I did Restaurant Reviews with a friend under the name “Furious Foodies” where we became the 2nd or 3rd ranked Food Review site for Orlando FL while we did it.
But I never stuck with anything. I knew I loved gaming, so I figured maybe I could learn how to be like say Total Biscuit and do game reviews like he did. So for a year, until 6/2016 I did “This Is! Gaming with Clay” a youtube review show where I just did rambling talking reviews over game footage.
And, in my opinion, they were TERRIBLE! I had no idea what I was doing, everything was unscripted, and because I was trying to play the game WHILE talking about it, I frequently got distracted. After a year of little to no growth, I did a Vlog. I don’t even remember what the Vlog was about. It was shot with a shitty cell phone camera, and was rambling yet again, but for some reason people loved it. Yet I was still angry. To be honest, that was a bad time in my life. My life has, up until these past 3 years, never been really what you could call good. The only bright spot has been my marriage to my loving wife (11 years strong as of 2018!) but beyond that I have never really been happy or successful.
So all that frustration, that lack of growth, or improvement, got to me. And at the start of August 2016 I deleted the This Is Gaming with Clay youtube channel. And I mean it’s GONE. You cannot find it, if you searched for it, nothing will come up. Every video I did, gone, vanished, nuked from orbit. I was serious about stopping youtube, about stopping content creation. I was going to become just a cheerleader to all the people I had met in the New Tubers community, to help them get bigger and let the “better creators” shine without me mucking things up.
What I got instead, was people REALLY ANGRY AT ME! Turns out a lot of the people I had met in New Tubers liked what I had been doing, even if they couldn’t watch most of the stuff. My Vlog had been increadibly popular (for my size) and people were very upset and disappointed that I was just going to up and quit. A few folks, like Moriarty of CryMor Gaming, Dr Shattered, and Walking Virus actually got really angry with me for doing this. My friend Big K of LittleBigGaming (Now KravenGaming) was accepting but disappointed in me. They wouldn’t leave me alone about trying again.
I ended up deciding that IF I was going to try again, if I was going to make another go at this, I would have to get better. I decided I would focus less on pure gameplay reviews / lets plays, and do Vlogs about nerdy things. I love nerdy Music, gaming, tabletop rpgs, reading, and more, and decided I would create some sort of channel devoted to me talking about all these things. I decided, I would be Terminally Nerdy.
And on 8/25/16, the very first Terminally Nerdy video was uploaded, shot using a Samsung S3 cell phone camera. And it was terrible.
Yet, for some reason, people seemed to like it. At least in some fashion. My first few videos on my Youtube were shot with my cellphone, at least until I got my Logitech C920 Webcam. I still had almost no idea about editing videos, or balance, or anything. I was learning as I went, trying to balance my job and free time with doing these weekly Vlogs. Vlogs, it turned out, were just as hard as the other videos I had tried. Then inspiration struck.
One night, on my way home from work I had an idea to do a “101” intro series on how to get into Tabletop RPGs. My wife worked nights at the time, so I did most of my work between getting home and picking her up. So I got home, sat down, and in a single night recorded all 5 parts to my now infamous Tabletop RPG 101 series. And I seemed to hit something with these. One of my friends Adman started calling me “RPGhandi” saying I should maybe focus on Tabletop RPGs. So I did. I did my first ever Roll20 game, even teaching Shelbutt, Mikkomar, and Big K (three of my NewTuber friends) how to play Tabletop RPGs by running them and Walking Virus through the Pathfinder beginner box adventure. I called that Part 6 of Tabletop RPG 101, a real live game with new players using available online tech. I also dabbled in streaming random video games on Youtube during this time, which is how I met Saevrick and a few others. They found me when I streamed WWE games no less.
Comically it was this event, where I somehow got the attention of Matthew Mercer, that got some folks to find me (like Saevrick).
From there, I started making contacts. I had been using twitter, and it started to grow. But still I found pure Youtube not to be my liking. I felt the growth was slow, especially compared to people who came after me and shot up quickly in subscriber numbers and popularity. Basically, while others kept getting bigger, kept getting noticed, I stagnated. So after a little over a year of doing Youtube, I decided to go back to writing. I felt this medium was more my speed, and would take a little less work then creating videos (and it does for the record) and give me back some of my free time. I decided I would split my creative works up, using Youtube to house physical product reviews, the occasional vlog or stream archive, and game reviews, while the blog would be where the meet of my work went. At this point, November 2017, I had a decent patreon following and so I felt comfortable enough, with the help of Whipstache, to purchase a domain and hosting and thus Terminally Nerdy the website was born. And well, now we are here.
Over the past two years, I have achieved so much. I have made numerous friends big and small, people who support me now and encourage me. I have rubbed digital shoulders with giants. I have written blog posts almost weekly up until recently, reviewed games, made Affiliate on Twitch recently, and so much more.
Let’s in fact put some numbers in this bad boy. That’s always fun. In the past two years here is how things have ended up:
- Twitter Followers: 6000+
- Twitch Followers: 98
- Youtube Subs: 705
- Daily Blog Views: Average 200
- Total Blog Views for All Time (Nov 2017 till now): 64,684 (WUT!?!)
And my most popular video has been my Elex Review bar none.
That’s unreal. And its honestly all thanks to you folks. Anyone reading this, seeing this, commenting on my posts, reading my blog, watching my videos or streams, talking to me on twitter. Its thanks to YOU. Its thanks to my Patrons, big and small, who support me and encourage me to continue. Its thanks to the friends I have made like Saevrick, Matt Mercer, Walking Virus, Shelbutt, Big K, and Adman, who I consider family in a way. Yes even Mercer. He is like that distant cousin who ya never get to see but ya know is cheering ya on lol
It’s because of YOU.
You all keep me going. I am just a lone guy, doing all this by himself, and at times it’s been draining. It’s not easy to do this, while also maintaining my job, family life, adult responsibilities. It’s not an easy thing to sit down and write and talk and be entertaining sometimes. The world is a dark place, and its hard on many of us. But you all somehow, for reasons I still have issues accepting, want me around. You make this possible.
It’s been 2 years since I started this madness. 2 years since I took on the mantle, the name, of Terminally Nerdy. I have stayed Nerdy these past two years, through good and bad, through the easy and the hard times. Because of all of you.
Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I don’t know exactly where I am going with this. I know I said I would talk about future plans, but frankly, I don’t plan. I don’t plan when running games really, and I sure as hell don’t plan in my life most of the time. All I can say is I intend to keep creating, writing, streaming, playing games, and promoting the good people out there who work as hard if not harder then me.
What the hell man.
Thanks for reading, and remember: Get those Crits, Take those Hits, keep Pushing Through and always remember to Stay Nerdy.