Monday, February 11, 2013

Day 11 - Family History Writing Challenge

My family has a saying, "everything depends on everything else."  That couldn't be more true than when it comes to my writing my ancestor's story.

Of course I have to have all my information about this individual before I can start writing.  Opps, I don't have it all in the software, at least not the version I am currently using.  Ok, so I will input the information because I really want that Timeline, right?  And my "old" software doesn't do that.  There is the first "everything depends on everything else" moment.

Ok, now I'm ready to start writing ... oh, wait, what about all that "other stuff" I have found but have not entered into my software ... yet.  Yeah, I really need those details because that is what will provide the "meat on the bones" of my story.  So I go hunting in my digital filing cabinet.  Really?  I have got to get organized.  I can't find what I know I have.  Those newspaper articles have to be here somewhere!  Maybe on my desktop computer, or maybe the laptop, or maybe one of the five or six flash drives, no wait maybe on the sd card.  There is the second "everything depends on everything else" moment.

Ok, so I'll get all these pieces organized.  This would be a great time to utilize Evernote.  I have heard great things about the organizational advantages of Evernote.  I have had Evernote downloaded and on my computer for a couple years but ... well I never really bothered to read any articles about how to use it.  Just jumped in and made another mess.  So this time I read about it, watch a few youtube videos and decide yes, this is something that is EXACTLY what I want and need now.  There is the third "everything depends on everything else" moment.

So, I have located all the pieces of information I have gathered.  I have put them in Evernote with tags so I can find them easily.  I have entered all the facts in my current software of choice with correct source citations.  Yeah!!!  I have printed my timeline.  I am now ready to start writing my great grandfather's story.

There are research holes of course.  I am a researcher at heart.  That is what I love to do and what I always tend to fall back on, but, I want to become a family history writer, so I will take what I have, dates and facts, and I will weave a story of a man's life using the skills I am learning through the February Family History Writing Challenge sponsored by The Armchair Genealogist and I will continue to modify and revise the story until I have it just the way I want it. 

There is the fourth "everything depends on everything else" moment.


Ami Mulligan said...

Jo, that is exactly how I feel! I do that more often than I would like to admit...I know we can get organize if we try :) The hard part is putting the time aside, because research is definitely more fun than the organizing, haha.

Jo said...

Ami, thank you for your comment and for visiting my blog.

Ann Hinds said...

Thanks for your comment on footnotes. Your post on finding information had me laughing. I know I have pictures somewhere, I am just not sure where and I thought I was organized. I enjoyed reading about the wedding too and your attention to detail left a very clear word picture that was easy to follow.

Jo said...

Ann, thank you for the kind words and thanks for stopping by to read.