Anniversaries invite us to reflect, review, and plan for the future. Today is the two-year anniversary of this blog, which combined with the year-end, puts me in a particularly reflective mood. I’ve been thinking about what I’ve accomplished and what goals I want to set for the coming year. The 87th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy invites us to share our resolutions for 2010, and since the COG inspired me to start this blog in the first place, I think it is apropos to turn what began as a blogiversary post into a COG submission.
So, as of today, I’ve been writing about genealogy for two years. Why do I do it? There are really two parts to that question – why do I write and why do I blog?
Why do I write?
I write to remember. The process of writing about my family, my discoveries, and my research synthesizes the raw facts and turns them into stories that stay with me.
I write to learn. Writing about particular ancestors shows me what I know, helps me make connections between people and facts I already have, and points out holes where I need to do more research.
I write to share. There are cousins – distant and not-so-distant – researching these family lines; there are family members who don’t do genealogy themselves, but are interested in the stories; and there are other researchers who are traveling the same path.
Why do I blog?
When I started doing genealogy again, just over two years ago, I considered my long-term goals and what sort of “product” I wanted to come out of all this research. My first thought, of course, was a book. I quickly discarded that idea for two main reasons – 1) I can’t imagine ever being “done” to the point that I would consider publishing something so permanent as a book, and 2) an effective book would require me to focus on specific family lines or geographic areas and that is just not what I want to do. That’s when I decided that online publishing was the right format for me. It’s ephemeral and immediate - as new information emerges, I make changes to the product. Space is virtually unlimited, which means I can publish about ALL my family lines. And, it’s searchable - readers can pick and choose which pages and people matter to them.
As my third year of blogging begins and a new calendar year approaches, I wanted to set some goals. I’ve already written about my research goals for 2010, so I won’t repeat them here.
My goals for blogging are:
- Write more. My goal for the next year is 150 posts. This is ambitious, considering that I’ve written just over 150 total over the life of the blog, but 90 have been in the last year, so I think it is doable.
- Avoid a dark period on the blog. There was a three-month stretch this year without a single post. I’m using the scheduling feature to keep that from happening in 2010 – just in case life gets in the way of my writing.
- Participate in 12 blog carnivals, ideally one per month.
- Write more. Oh, did I say that already?
Other goals not related to specific research plans or writing include:
- Attend a genealogy conference, probably the Family History Expo in Atlanta.
- Take one of the NGS online genealogy courses.
Lastly, anniversaries are a time for thanks. Thanks to all the people who have shared their research (and photos!) with me, either directly or by posting it on the web or writing about it in books or journals. Thanks to my readers and genea-buddies for your encouraging words. And, of course, thanks to all those pesky ancestors whose elusive roots, unknown migration trails, or mysterious tidbits of information keep me coming back to look for the rest of the story.