Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Plan for Writing a Family History

The time has come to begin the process of writing my family history. The Polish government archives' online project hasn't gotten but a few of my family's vital records posted online (which is what I've been waiting on) but I'm feeling the urge to move forward with my writing anyway. I can always hold up after the first drafts are written (before editing) and wait for more records to come online at that point. No reason to keep procrastinating before even starting, eh?

To begin a project of this size I need a plan and here's what I've come up with.

I'm thinking I'll devote 2 afternoons a week, for six months (Aug.1, 2016 - Jan. 31, 2017) to organizing my my genealogy information for one of my family lines (which line is yet to be determined) and getting familiar with Scrivener software. Then, for the month of February 2017, I'll join the Family History Writing Challenge and see if I can't get the first draft of one family line written in 28 days. I participated in NaNoWriMo a couple times several years ago and really enjoyed the camaraderie and motivating tips I received. I'm hoping the Family History Writing Challenge will do the same for me.

If this plan works, I could have the first draft of the history of one line of my family written early next year. Yeah! I don't know if this is a good plan, a realistic plan, or even a lousy plan, but it's a plan. And that's what I'm starting with.

My big decision at this point is which of my 4 grandparents' lines to write about first. I can make a case for any of the 4 but no case is stronger than any other. Should I tackle the family line I have the most info on first and get that out of the way? Or perhaps I should write about the family line I have the least info on because it would be the easiest to do and good practice for the other lines... Maybe I should write the histories in the order I researched/discovered the family lines. Or maybe I should just go with my gut. Checking gut... Nope. That won't work. My gut has absolutely nothing to say on the matter. ;-)

What do you think? Have you written your family histories? How did you decide which line to write about first? Are you glad you did it that way? What advice do you have for me?