I was challenged by someone to, “start writing,” after admitting to years of research for the Man of Family blog . I could not refute the logic or resist the challenge.
The idea of writing a blog seemed easy at first …….. until I attempted to write it …….. well here are a few of the lesson I have learned along the way.
I procrastonated and in retropect it seems as though I was protecting myself because the idea and the actual writing where more challenging than anticipated even though I have invested many years researching in preparation.
Writing a blog is like creating a piece of jewelry; the finished piece needs to be purpousefuly balanced and athestic in final form.
My blog is a family history project so there is the context of time to which I am necessarly bound, (chronological order).
Another equally important constraint is telling the story is a coherant narrative, not just a bunch of facts about people that other people are not related to, to add character and depth to ancestors near and far that I did not know in my lifetime.
The very first entry was important for my project, it may not be for others that have subjects that include subjects that are less restrictive.
The acutal writing seems to fall into place after the first sentance is written. The first sentance sets the tone for the entry.
Researching the facts are important pieces not be overlooked in the interest of time.
And related to the above sentence; understanding the historical context in which my ancestors lived. This includes reading and appreciating history as I have never appreciated it before. (I recently finished my second book on World War I, not much of a war buff but the historical context cannot be overlooked.)
Writing about ancestors first includes gathering as many of the facts of their lives as possible, this includes a photos, writings, personal effects if possible. People leave behind things and pictures that where important to them and this leaves a sense of who they where in “real life.” I also try and acquire vital records when possible.
The idea of the “sister blog” developed to include how the research has been done, some interesting observations, and points of interest and writing exercises to help bend the mind around the beauty and the power of the written word.