National Novel Writing Month

While reading Tumblemoose, one of the writing blogs I follow, I noticed a reference to National Novel Writing Month. The blog entry was called “Time To Get Your NaNo On!”

Apparently every year, in November, aspiring writers decide they are going to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. The idea is to write and not edit your work just get the words down on paper.

I thought this might also work for those of us who are procrastinating about writing our family histories. Now I know a lot of detail needs to be included in the family history, especially sources, but this could be a way for us to get the words on the page without thinking about the size of the project. How many of us have a great family story that would make a good novel?

The main idea is to just stop and take time to write without getting caught up in the details. You can not start writing until November 1st but you can start writing outlines, develop characters and story ideas. From a family history point of view you can decide on the family to focus on, write out source lists, plan outlines of what you want to include in the book. Once November 1st rolls around then you can start writing. This would be roughly 1667 words a day.

Are you up for a challenge?

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

Blogs about the Art of Writing

Genealogy and writing go hand in hand. It is important to write up your research to see where you have been and where you want to go. Besides writing up your research a lot of family historians want to write their family story or a family history book. It looks like such a huge job even if you have broken it up into little sections. Still it will not get done until you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

Writing for me has been a rather daunting process. One thing I have discovered is that the more I write the more I learn about writing and myself.

There are several different blogs that I follow with regards to writing. Some are family story specific and some are general. Here are a few of the ones I like in no particular order.

Tumblemoose is a good blog to help you start writing and to think about your writing style. He provides some excellent tips for overcoming the fear of writing. I think many of us have found the blank page rather daunting.

How Not to Write helps us to think about our writing and why we write. There are articles on publishing and the writing process.

Memoir Mentor is as it says – personal and family related writing. Tips and educational opportunities are provided. Her business is helping others write their memoirs. She reviews books that are memoirs or autobiographical and talks about how the writer approached the memoir format.

The Itch of Writing has the subtitle “Writing, reading writing, teaching writing and sometimes hating writing: a blog by novelist Emma Darwin”. I enjoy the way her blog shows you different ways of writing the same sentence and how the meanings can be different. How a words connotation can change the sentence. The topics of punctuation and grammar are examined. It makes you think about your writing and how you are putting words to the page.

Writing Forward has many creative writing tips and it discusses grammar. There are resources available to help you with your writing. A recent post dealt with The Chicago Manual of Style which described the manual and how it could help you with your writing. A writing exercise post helped you create titles and headlines. The blog encourages you to write and to keep writing.

These blogs are the few that I have found. There are many more out there that can help you with your writing.

What writing blogs do you follow? Leave a comment and let me know.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research