We are one week into the Family History Writing Challenge. Except for one day I have managed to meet or exceed my daily writing goal. Like others in the challenge, I am finding it hard not to get distracted by research once I am writing. I have a tendency to think, oh let me check that fact...and before I know it I am looking up something online or in my files. My solution to that is to keep a pad of paper and a pen by my mouse so I can jot down notes to myself. I also make some notes in red within my writing so that I can refer back to those later. The main idea is to not be distracted from the actual writing. Once you stop it is really hard to get back to it.
Through the writing process I can definitely see the holes in my research. I am making a list of questions that I want to discuss with my aunts as well as places and periods of history that I want to research a bit more. At my uncle's funeral I met an older woman in our family who actually lived with my great-grandparents. Oh, how I want to sit down and talk with her! I will be in Cincinnati in May for a conference, so I definitely will make time to go and see her.
I actually think the biggest challenge in writing a family history is to make it interesting. No one wants to just read a bunch of facts and figures. And since none of my ancestors were kind enough to keep diaries, I really don't know what their lives were like. I can see that there will be a lot of historical reading in my future.
Stay the course.
The itch to move from writing to research and back again is my biggest distraction. I also add notes in my writing and highlight to check later, like 'check this source' or 'ask Jane about this'.
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