The last few weeks have been difficult for many people, myself included, who have been forced to stay home. While I am hardly an extrovert, spending so much time at home has been harder than I expected.


However, I am choosing to look at this as an opportunity to try new things. I have taken this time to explore new hobbies and interests that I never knew that I had.


A few weeks ago, I saw a random meme on Facebook that effectively said that if this is the perfect time to start learning a new skill, take a new hobby or start a new side gig. In a way, I feel there is some truth to that.


I wrote a few weeks ago about how the social distancing and staying at home have led me to return to cooking as a passion. However, this wasn’t the only hobby I’ve taken in recent weeks.


For many years, dating back to my childhood, I’ve been an avid gamer. However, I mostly kept to myself with my hobby. However, a few weeks ago I challenge myself to see if I could develop a following online by streaming my games for others to watch.


I started when I got a copy of a new, but fairly niche game and decided to see if anyone would like to watch through a streaming service focused on gaming. I don’t talk a lot or put as much of my personality into the stream as others do, as I want to focus more on the game content itself.


While this approach has it’s limitations, I have developed a small following over recent weeks. It mainly started with friends, but that soon graduated to friends of friends. Help from a few larger names in the community has helped me get to my channel to the point that I was recently invited to the next tier on the streaming service.


While it isn’t something that I plan to pursue full time, it still feels like an accomplishment in a difficult time.


Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.