I attended my first conference through the Central New York Genealogical Society Saturday. Featuring Lisa Alzo, the conference focused on how to write your family history.
I loved that a day long conference on writing began with organization in "Packrat or Genealogist? Effective Methods for Organizing Your Family History Research." It's hard to write your family history when your research looks like this:
Now that we're all organized (hahaha), it's time to plan our writing. In the presentation “Writing Your Family History Step-by-Step,” Lisa began by saying (loose quote) "You need a writing plan just like a research plan. If you're just sitting around waiting for inspiration it isn't going to happen." Brilliant, true, and similar what to what Liz Gilbert said in Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, which I recently read and highly recommend. Use your charts and timelines as a framework, think about your audience, and start writing.
“The Write Stuff: Using Nonfiction Writing Techniques to Write a Better Family History.” As genealogists we often focus on facts and uncover so much information that our research produces nothing but boring lists. But do you really know what happened between the dashes of your ancestors’ lives? How can you share that information in a compelling and interesting way? This session will discuss how to using nonfiction writing techniques to produce a “can’t put down” family history that will keep the pages turning for generations.
“Family History Writing Made Easier: Cloud-Based Tools Every Genealogist Can Use" discussed Lisa's must have tools for writing which included programs such as Any.Do, Evernote, and Scrivener (get it half off right now at Cult of Mac).
Overall it was a great conference and I am feeling very motivated to write up parts of my family history.
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