Thursday, 28 February 2013

Family History Writing Challenge 2013: The End

The month of February was taken up by the Family History Writing Challenge, set by Lynn Palermo, the Armchair Genealogist.  Genealogists - who often concentrate on research to the exclusion of all else - are encouraged to draw their research together and make it into a book.

Last year, when I participated, I learned about honesty when it took nearly the entire month to secure the copyright for the picture I wanted to use as my cover art.

This year, I learned that my chosen subject might be a little daunting for a first-time family history writer.  At least, it felt that way, but it took Lynn to actually spell it out for me to realise why I felt so blocked.  So I changed my focus from a family line which stretched back into the mid-1600s to concentrating on my four grandparents; they might now all be deceased, but all of whom I had known, all of whom I had photos of, and all of whom I had spoken to.

Yet I still found it difficult to sit down and write.  I have managed it beautifully during the months of November for the past few years, when I have taken part in the 50,000 word fiction-writing challenge of NaNoWriMo - but when it came to writing about people who actually existed and events which actually happened, I was stuck from Day One.  I also needed someone else to give me a word-count target rather than me, so that I felt the necessary impetus.

Maybe next year I will actually sit down and write...

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