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One of the wonderful things about writing a blog is discovering a wonderful community of people with similar interests and challenges. In the case of a family history blog, there is a large and delightful community of fascinating, well-read, and articulate writers who share a common desire to keep their family stories alive for future generations.
Like other writers, we family history writers face similar challenges - writer's block, demanding personal schedules, sensitive themes, complex stories requiring further research or holes to be patched before they can be told, and so on. I can claim any and all of these reasons (read "excuses") and have delayed many a post because of them.
Enter Lynn Palermo of the Family History Writing Challenge. Lynn is a fellow writer and family historian whose passion is helping others share the stories of their family's history - the people, their setbacks and triumphs, and how we can relate to them. In 2012, Lynn started the Family History Writing Challenge to encourage people to stop procrastinating and just write about these things - whether in a book, a blog, a memoir, or a journal. She invited writers to pledge to write a minimum of words - anywhere from 250 and up - per day for each of the 28 days of February.
The Family History Writing Challenge was so successful that Lynn is continuing the challenge this February. I dipped my toes in the Challenge with some trepidation at first, not sure I could commit to this kind of a challenge. It has been so much fun that I have taken the plunge, am deep in the water, and find it exhilarating.
At this point, I have pledged to write the minimum of 250 words per day. The number of words has not been a problem for me so far, but posting a new blog entry every day has. My schedule is my greatest reason (excuse) for this.
As much as I would like to post something every day, I have also resolved to be kind to myself and to my loved ones! Yes, I will write every day, but may not necessarily post something daily if I do not have the time or am not ready. My own family life takes priority here. After all, how can you write about family if you don't spend time with them?
Oh, and beyond that, there is another reality: a budding winter virus is vying for attention at the moment, too.
I love Lynn's daily newsletters. They are packed with inspiring quotes, articles on the writing experience; suggestions on story development; and forums where fellow writers can share tips, critique each other's writing, and offer encouragement.
If you're thinking of doing something like this, I hope you'll take the plunge. I'd daresay that no matter when you decide, it's never too late to get started.
Copyright © 2013 Linda Huesca Tully