I wanted to tell you the genesis story of #writestuff. I didn’t start this thing. I just grabbed the reins and kept it going, because I believe that writers need to support each other. That’s what it’s become: a place where we get talk about writing, learn some things, set goals, and give each other support. Make someone else’s day with a silly song and shameless share our work. The #writestuff tweetchat is every Tuesday at 9 p.m. Eastern (whether it’s EST or EDT, always Eastern).
It all started with Andi Cumbo-Floyd, who also believes in supporting writers in their endeavors. She started #writestuff in Spring 2012 when she was just getting active on social media. She was going through a very hard period in her personal life, which I’m not going to go into, because that’s not my story to tell. She wanted a way to connect with writers and she saw that Twitter was a great tool to foster those connections. A group on Facebook called Writers United kind of took over once Andi realized that the time frame wouldn’t work for her. Andi’s an early bird, so 9 p.m. was difficult. A couple different people from Writers United would take turns hosting the tweetchat, but then it dwindled off a bit. And I stepped in.
I hosted my first #writestuff chat in November 2013. I make the occasional story on Storify, if you’re interested in seeing some of the old chats. It was a bit of an adjustment period, especially for people who used to participate in the chat before me. I gave it a structure, because that makes more sense for me to guide conversation.
Usually the setup is five questions for you to answer with a reading supplement link to go along with it. Then at :55 we have Shameless Self Promotion. A time where it’s fine to share our blog posts, videos, book links, interviews, etc. We try to share them and help to promote each other. Generally once a month there’s a “freechat” where there’s no topic and no Q&A, which are definitely fun as well.
The chat topics have ranged from keeping motivated to how to use social media as a writer. We’ve tackled more serious discussions like gender in our writing and how we handle it. And then there’s more light-hearted chats where like this one where all the questions were Mario Brothers themed. (It was a fun chat and I’m also a big nerd…so….yeah.)
We’ve hosted live chats on YouTube where we’ve had writing sprints for NaNoWriMo, have had conversations about writing in general, and so much more.
We have a Google+ group, because at the time everyone was about that Google+ life. Since we all know that site isn’t nearly as active as it once was, we may do a Facebook change. If so, I’ll give you the updated information here.
Each month we have a different writing prompt and we share our short stories. It’s a good way to write about something new and to keep the old writing juices flowing. The prompts are always flash fiction with 1500 words max limit.
Who knows what will happen in the future? Only time will tell. I encourage you to join us on Tuesday for the chats. It’s nice to take a break and connect with other writers about matters that are important to us.