Thursday, March 7, 2013

What I learned from the Family History Writing Challenge

I joined the challenge with a lofty goal to write 1000 words a day for 28 day. It was ambitious and maybe a little out of reach but everyday I attempted to meet the goal. What did I learn?

1. Set the goal high.

I can write a 400 word article with ease. I have been writing them for a long time. I am lazy so to make the challenge work for me, I had to up the anty.

2. Meeting the goal

I only made the word limit on 2 of the 28 days. It was much more difficult than I thought. The material is there but stretching it to meet the word count is not the best way to write. Instead, I gave myself permission to write only what was needed.

3. Life gets in the way

If life got in the way, I wrote about it.  The blog is about family history and trips to the doctor would qualify as a family history for future generations. I don't promote the blog so the only people who read it regularly are family. When writing a family history, life doesn't get in the way, it is current events that will be history tomorrow.

4. There are holes in the story - Creative non-fiction

Martha Jane Rhea did not leave a diary or a blog. Heck, they didn't have electricity. I have learned to accept the holes and realize that if I write her story, some of it will have to be creative. That's not the original plan, it just worked out that way as I tried to imagine the scenes.

5. Read the other blogs

There is a lot of talent out there in blog land. There is also a whole lot to learn from others. I didn't always leave comments but I made it a point to read the blogs of the other Family History Challenge members. Their stories touched and inspired me each day.

6. Challenges are fun, tiring, and well worth the time

The Armchair Genealogist never fails to deliver. I don't know how Lynn does it but there is always something new to learn or enjoy. When I first considered the challenge, it was something new. The thought was since I was only competing with myself, how hard could it be? It's hard but I ended up with is a disjointed 28 days of writing that could possibly be turned into a story. The bones are there. That's so much more than I had before. Can't wait for next year's challenge. 


1 comment:

  1. What a fun summary of your journey, Ann. I enjoyed reading bits and pieces of your family history. You've done a lot with this challenge. Can't wait to see what you do for A - Z:)