Thursday, January 27, 2011


Lynn Palermo over at The Armchair Genealogist blog has issued the
Family History Writing Challenge and I've decided to accept. Here's
the details:

The Family History Writing Challenge
Feb 1st-28th
          A 28-Day Commitment to Writing Your Family History

The What, When, Where and How of it All

Why should I sign up?
To actively participate in an opportunity to write your family history, without having to worry about quality. The key to writing is to write.  Stop procrastinating; finally commit pen to paper or fingers to key board. Those family facts, finally assemble them into a format someone will read.

Whom Do I Write About?
A single ancestor, a surname, a branch of your tree, you pick.
You select the ancestor or ancestors, the timeframe, just keep in mind who you feel most prepared to write about in terms of research and interest.

How Much Do I Need to Write?
You pick the amount 250, 500, 1000 words a day whatever you can work into your schedule.
Do the math.
250 words x 28 days = 7000 words, you would be well on your way!
500 words x 28 days = 14,000 words, this would be an incredible start!
1000 words x 28 days = 28,000 words, you would be a hero!

Where Do I Write?
Write on your computer, ipad, typewriter, longhand (tough to do word count). Write in your office, at the kitchen table, the local coffee shop, the lawn chair (if your someplace sunny- lucky you), or beside a roaring fire (that would be me).

What If It’s Not Good Enough?
This exercise is not about quality. Very few of us can sit down and shoot out a masterpiece on the first draft. Newsbreak..... most of us take a half dozen passes at it before it is worthy of anyone else’s eyes.  This is about making a start.  There will be plenty of time to edit your masterpiece later, committing to the word count is a huge step to making it happen.

When Does it Begin?
The Family History Writing Challenge begins Feb 1st to February 28th. I am asking you to commit 28 days of writing your family history, in the hopes that you will get a running start and you will never look back.

Where Do I Sign Up?
Right here, leave your pledge in comments or link to your own blog post, no goal is official until you have written it down and shared it. Once you verbalize, you become more committed.  If you prefer to keep it to yourself that's ok too.  However, keep checking back or sign up through email, throughout the month, I will offer numerous posts to help keep you focused, offer you some tips for your writing and help you stay on track and reach your goals.  At the end of the month, you can share how you did again here, or on your own blog.

What is stopping you from starting your writing? Let me know, and I will try to help you overcome those obstacles. Meanwhile, you have the next 12 days to get yourself organized to start writing. 

Write your family history in 28 days, are you ready to take the challenge?

So, I'm going to commit to the 250 word level, because even though many of my
posts run longer than that, 250 is easy enough to do and doesn't put too much
pressure on me. My only problem is I haven't come up with what I want to  
write about yet, so I need to think on it.

How about you? Take the challenge! It might be the impetus you need to
get some of that family history written that you've wanted to start!

You can read more about it here.


Anglers Rest said...

I'm in! Off to somethinking & planning.

Lynn Palermo said...

Thanks Bill!

DianaR said...

Thanks for posting this Bill ~ I think I skimmed over it when Lynn originally posted her challenge. Still not sure I am brave enough to accept, but now I'm at least thinking about it.

Really, 250 words shouldn't be hard for me...when I was young a friend's father used to say that we "must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle" because we talked so much!!

Kathy Reed said...

I'm in, too. I even know what I want to write about. I recently came into more information about a great uncle who died of diptheria on the U.S.S. Virginia. He has an interesting story.

Dorene from Ohio said...

This challenge has me thinking....thanks for posting it!

Michelle Goodrum said...

Thanks for the heads up on this Bill. I'm seriously considering it thanks to you.