Becoming unstuck

A couple of years ago, a friend and I started a family history writing group for members in our genealogy society. The first meeting was a big draw. We all wanted to know how to turn our dry family records into a compelling story that would encourage our family to read about their ancestry.

Every month, we met to discuss the 500-word biography we had each written about one of our ancestors. At times, it felt like a support group for procastinators. Nevertheless, we all continued to write, and our writing improved. While working on my monthly assignment, I learned there are three things that make family history writing difficult: getting started, writing, and sharing what I have written with others. I am not alone.

To keep me motivated, I follow Mary Carroll Moore’s blog, How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book, written for people who want to write fiction, non-fiction, or memoirs and sell their books. Although I have no plans to sell a book, a week rarely goes by that I don’t find a helpful technique.

One of the latest blog posts was about what to do when we get stuck. And, boy, do I get stuck. In her blog post, Getting Started Again: Writers’ Tips for When You’re Stuck, Ms. Moore offers five tips to help us get back in the saddle, from brainstorming to stopping in the middle of a sentence.

Giddy up!


About Gail Dever

Gail Dever is a Montreal-based genealogist and blogger and a webmaster for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.
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