Check It Off The List: The Team Made a Live Event Happen Last Night.

“Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is at hand.” ― Henry Miller

On Jan. 12, 2012, I laid out six goals for the then-TBD project. I did not have a location set for the project. I did not have a team.

I only had these six goals:

  1. Put together the team.
  2. Lead them.
  3. Tell amazing stories.
  4. Syndicate our content.
  5. Host a live event.
  6. Package our stories into a final printed/digital product.

So 1 through 4 — check ’em off. No. 6 on that list is coming in August.

Yesterday, we made the fifth thing on that list happen.

We got a panel of five Springfield experts to come to the Library Center here in Springfield and help answer questions from the community. In one hour, we got real answers to eight big questions in town. We streamed the thing live on the City’s website. We had a small audience watching from the Library.

Getting to yesterday wasn’t easy. It took a long time to figure out what the event should be, and a long time to get the letters. It took weeks to lock down our panelists, and then to go through everything with them and make sure that they understood what they’d be doing on the panel. There were lots of concerns and questions.

And then there was this: I was leading a panel of six, for an hour, and I’d never done anything quite like that before.

So many things almost went wrong yesterday. But only one actually did: One of the thumbtacks holding up the sign broke, and our sign titled awkwardly during the talk. (Oops.)

In the end, the event was a fantastic showcase for — and for our partners, and for the role that journalists can serve in our community.

I’m so proud of the team for making the “Letters to Springfield” panel happen. It’s not easy to make things happen in this world. It’s not easy to follow through.

This team made it happen, and I’m just thrilled about it.

Five down, one to go.