How did you do this month on writing your family history? I (Jennifer Holik) personally did not hit my daily goal of 500 words for my family history. I did get some client family history written and other things written though. What did I learn through this process of trying to write daily?
- I’m busy. This means I must schedule at least 30-60 minutes a day to focus on writing.
- The more I write the more I realize I am missing information OR it was input into my family tree years ago before I knew to cite my sources. But this is a good thing! That realization pushes me to get back to the records to locate the source to input into the fact in the family tree. Citing my sources produces a better family history.
- There are some days I am just not inspired to write. Some will say to push through it and others say just walk away. Personally, I’ve found that when I am inspired, the words flow and it isn’t a struggle, therefore it is enjoyable. On days when the words don’t come, it is ok for me to walk away from it until another time.
What did you learn through this process? Did you hit your goals? Do you have any tips to share with those of us writing our histories? Please share in the comments.
© 2013 Lorel Kapke, Sort Your Story
In keeping with the February theme of writing your family history, here are several blogs posts worth reading to help inspire you to begin or continue writing.
Stories to Tell Writing a Book: Plan Your Writing Time
Julie Cahill Tarr’s Family History Writing Challenge Week 2
And this is a fun one – Julie Cahill Tarr’s Family History Through the Alphabet – Find A Grave
Have you read other interesting blog posts or articles about writing your family history? Has something recently inspired you to start writing yours? Please share with us in the comments.
© 2013, Lorel Kapke, Sort Your Story
As a follow-up to last week’s post about Lorel’s photograph and sketch of her grandfather, I was thinking of other ways photos and sketches could be used by kids to illustrate their family histories.
In most schools kids around 4th or 5th grade have to do some sort of family history project. Often these are oral reports that must be turned in as a written report, PowerPoint presentations, or tri-fold board presentations. Regardless of which medium is used, students have the opportunity to illustrate their presentation. We all know a picture is worth a thousand words.
Photographs can be added to a Word document that must be submitted to the teacher. Photographs, clip art or scanned sketches can be added to a PowerPoint presentation to add life to the words on the screen and the presentation given. Tri-fold boards can also include blocks of text and photos or scanned sketches or the student may draw directly on the board.
If a student uses Sort Your Story and has not included these photos or sketches into their ancestors’ profiles, they can do so when the project is in progress or complete. Adding text used in the project to an ancestors file allows students the opportunity to continue growing that individuals story over time.
Kids love to draw and use photographs, so why not encourage them to do so in conjunction with their family history writing?
How do your kids use photos or sketches in their research?
© 2013, Lorel Kapke, Sort Your Story
Not everyone is a writer. Are you shocked to hear this? Well, it’s true. Not everyone is a writer. Some people communicate better through visual means such as photographs, creating collages, building folders of materials, painting, and drawing. So if you are not a writer does this mean you cannot create a family history? No!
This message is to those of us who know they will not write a story but WILL compile research records, notes, photo images, sketches, and various tidbits and data to create a book! Sort Your Story founder Lorel Kapke picked up her drawing pencil after 30 years and sketched a portrait of her grandfather.
He appears to be a “bit aged and not an exact replica”, yet it was her way to reach her grandfather through the ages… to ”talk to Walter” or get to know him on another level. Lorel found a way to achieve some intimacy by drawing Walter from a photo.
What can Lorel do with this sketch? She can show it to family members when they get together. Looking at a photograph or sketch may begin a conversation within the family. Lorel may find information on things that are “sort of” accurate and things that are not. It is a good idea to compare notes with family members! You never know what piece of the puzzle you are missing until you do.
Lorel can also write brief tidbits of information about her grandfather and compile them with her sketch to create a larger photo or collage of sorts. She is lucky to have been able to have many conversations with her father who mentioned tidbits about his father via their phone conversations 3000 miles away.
Whether you are a writer or more visual person, everyone has something to contribute to a family history. Talk to family members. Perhaps you will be the illustrator of a family history and someone else will be the writer. Collaborating you may produce an even more incredible history than either of you could have done alone.
© 2013, Sort Your Story, Sonoma, CA