Oct 21, 2011

Posted | 2 Comments

Writing Family History Again

Back on 24 August 2011 I wrote a Writing Family History blog and since then I have met and talked with two interesting authors and have read and reviewed their books.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I have been a fan of Hazel Edwards for many years and recently I had the pleasure of chatting with her over afternoon tea. It was really good to talk to another author about publishing and e-books and the use of social media. I also took along my first edition copy of Hazel’s How to Write a Non-Boring Family History so that she could sign it for me. When I purchased the second edition in August Hazel also signed that copy.

The other surprise I had for Hazel was a copy of the original article she wrote for the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies journal, The Genealogist in March 1993. It is titled A Non-Boring Family History by Hazel Edwards and morphed into her book four years later. The article sets out the ten commandments of crafting a non-boring family history and I used it to start writing my own (still draft) family histories.

Although it has been 18 years since I started writing, and 34 years since I started researching my family history, I have to say in my own defence that my life has been fairly full and busy over that time. However, I equally appreciate that I can’t take another 18 years to finish them! The only trouble is that I have become a master of procrastination in this area. But no more!

The other inspiring author I met recently was Goldie Alexander, who like Hazel, is more well known for her children’s books. Goldie is currently ┬áconducting classes based on her book Mentoring Your Memoir which is more about writing your own story, although many aspects are also relevant to writing family history. I’m hoping to attend one of Goldie’s sessions next year, as I had conflicting appointments for her last classes this year.

Both these books are worth reading if you are considering writing family history and as both authors are Melbourne based, if you are in Victoria keep an eye out, or check their websites, for details of any talks or workshops they may be doing in 2012. Here is my review of How to Write a Non-Boring Family History and my review of Mentoring Your Memoir.

Now I’m going to go back and read their chapters on overcoming procrastination!

  1. I used the “what if the bus comes round the corner” concept to make me realise (1) that I really wanted to write my family history and (2) motivate me to stick with it even though I was also working full time. I’m sure you’ve read Lynn Palermo’s blog, The Armchair Genealogist which is excellent as are Noelene Kyle’s books on writing your FH. Good luck with it all.

  2. Shauna Hicks says:

    Thanks Pauleen – yes I know Noelene Kyle and her books too – and I often wonder, with all my travelling, what would happen if I never made it home. Agree The Armchair Genealogist is excellent and I even follow someone with a blog called Motivate me. The bottom line I think is prioritising and when other things come up, I let this slide down the list. But putting it on the record here in my blog makes it much more visible to my friends and colleagues and I’m planning an easier year in 2012 with more ‘me’ time. Stay tuned!

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