So You Want to Run a Twitter Event: Lessons From #Write4Life

It’s coming! Don’t miss #Write4Life this Saturday, all day! (You can also enter early.) We’ll be giving away editing packages ranging from query letter to full manuscript, with something for every genre! Major donors like Maggie Stiefvater and Chuck Sambuchino even donated prizes. And all you have to do to enter any drawing is donate a single dollar to an awesome cause. Yes, I know, we’re asking for money – but it’s to help a fellow writer live past age thirty. And you’ll win stuff. It’ll be cray.

How It Started…

As the person behind @writevent, I’ve seen lots of events come and go, but never really taken on my own project. I’ve even offered services for charity events before. But when one of my Patreon patrons asked me to ReTweet a GoFundMe for her sick friend, I read the story and I knew what would inevitably happen: we’d get a pile of RTs, but not all that many donations. And poor Sarah would be stuck being sick.

So I posed the question: why don’t we do more?

It was like a snowball gaining ground as it rolled down the mountain. Sarah’s awesome writer’s group was on board. We had a team.We had enthusiasm. And I had time. (Okay, I didn’t have the time. But I didn’t know that yet. On that note….)

The First Rule of an Event is…

This. Stuff. Takes. Time.

I knew it would suck up my time, but I didn’t think it would consume my very life. But it does – coordinating and/or running an event will cost you untold hours of work and communication. So be prepared to clear your schedule. I’m lucky in that I could make the room; don’t ever take on this sort of  project if you can’t push back other projects.

The Second Rule of an Event is…

Communication.

If you have an awesome team of people like I do, things will be easier for you, but you will need to plan and coordinate well, and you’ll need to find a way to communicate effectively with every team member. We all need to be on the same page. On Twitter, and even on email, this can be tough – but it will save you so much chaos later. And time.

The Third Rule of an Event is…

Streamline. Be organized.

Another time-saver. Notice how so much of this is about saving time? The thing is, no matter how gung-ho you are about a project, you will peter out if you give yourself too much work. If you plan ahead, and try to reduce the number of individual tasks you (and others) have to do, you will burn out at about exactly the moment it is safe for you to burn out at: once you’re finished with every speck of prep.

The Moral of the Story…

  • Don’t take on an event without time on your hands.
  • Don’t take on a team-run event if you can’t clearly coordinate with others.
  • Don’t take on an event if you suck at being organized.

I’m not sure how #Write4Life is going to play out yet, but I’ve spent a full week of my life working hard on it, and the learning experience has been invaluable. Look out for another post after we see the results! In the meantime, please RT the post below to help us get the word out for Saturday, and for Sarah!

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