Genchat – Writing Your Family History

I didn’t make the #Genchat but it did seem interesting

_genchatJan 31, 1:59pm via Nurph

Tonight we’ll be talking about writing your family history. It’s so important! #genchat

_genchatJan 31, 2:00pm via Nurph

Q1: How much of your family history have you ALREADY written? Be honest!#genchat

_genchatJan 31, 2:00pm via Nurph

@brandyhei I have HootSuite a fair trial. 3 months. Couldn’t do it… #genchat

IrishMasonJan 31, 2:01pm via Nurph

A1: Not nearly enough! Ditto Genealogical Gem! #genchat

SparrowBeth73Jan 31, 2:01pm via

A1: Wondering what she means by written but I’ll say bits and pieces through my blog 20% ish #genchat

AnnepastsJan 31, 2:01pm via Nurph

A1 Just a little bit here and there. Did a short piece for my dad #genchat

packrat74Jan 31, 2:01pm via Nurph

But I’m signed up for Scrivener Boot Camp tomorrow! #genchat

geneapleauJan 31, 2:01pm via

A1. A bit, since I started blogging. I did write an article for my Gen Soc last year#genchat

HeritageDetectJan 31, 2:01pm via Twitter Web Client

Some short blog posts #genchat

leprchaunrabbitJan 31, 2:01pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A1 Written? My Grandparents’ generation, but corrected about six generations’ worth 0.0 #LotsOfRabbits #genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:01pm via Twubs

A1- my father’s maternal and paternal lines. #genchat

ancestryjourneyFeb 01, 2:06pm via Buffer

Write Your First Draft Like No One Will Read It To Beat Writer’s Block

LynnPalJan 31, 2:18pm via Twubs

@jbron1jones Sure, don’t write till your ready, but you can practice the craft of writing before hand with other stories or journal #genchat

AtcherleyONSJan 31, 2:18pm via Twitter Web Client

@ancestryjourney @jbron1jones Also makes me check my sources as I like to cite them at the end of a blog post!#genchat


AnnepastsJan 31, 2:19pm via Nurph

A3 As soon as you can. Don’t wait until your research is “finished” #genchat

mfhy2kJan 31, 2:19pm via TweetCaster for Android

@talkingboxgen #genchat make a timeline of the day. Then make it into a sentence and you have a story

MeetyouinOhioJan 31, 2:19pm via Nurph

A3: Writing often delays my research, and research often delays my writing#genchat


leprchaunrabbitJan 31, 2:19pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

@LynnPal Theme is also helpful. I was surprised how much writing I did for#ThomasMacEntee‘s #Christmas theme a few years back #genchat

nelleFamTreeJan 31, 2:19pm via Nurph

A3: My problem – I feel I need to find everything I can before writing about someone #genchat

MyTrueRootsJan 31, 2:19pm via Twitter for iPhone

A3 Constantly! I had a thought during Movie and had to scribble. Things come to me at odd times. #genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:19pm via Twubs

Q3: NOW, it will never with be a right time. Writing is fluid, evolving you must start to learn the craft #genchat

MeetyouinOhioJan 31, 2:20pm via Nurph

RT @nelleFamTree A3: My problem – I feel I need to find everything I can before writing about someone #genchat

brandyheiJan 31, 2:20pm via Hootsuite

@LynnPal Agree re: plot. Narrative structure (beginning, middle, end) helps prevent droning fact-lists #genchat@leprchaunrabbit

FamilySleutherJan 31, 2:20pm via Twitter for iPad

A3. I like to start writing when 1) I land on a juicy tidbit that drives narrative, or 2) when I’m stumped on next research step.#genchat

mollyscanopyJan 31, 2:20pm via Twitter for iPad

@jbron1jones Or…you might try speculating, memoir style, and leave questions unanswered for now #genchat

lamacki88Jan 31, 2:20pm via Twitter for iPad

Must make effort to do this. “@LynnPal: @lamacki88 must put it on the calendar, schedule it, will not happen otherwise#genchat

SparrowBeth73Jan 31, 2:20pm via

@MeetyouinOhio @nelleFamTree I’ve found you really don’t need to find “everything” 1st. What is everything?#genchat

AnnepastsJan 31, 2:20pm via Nurph

A3 You can start small and start anywhere. The more you write, the better you get #genchat

_genchatJan 31, 2:17pm via Nurph

Q3: When is the right time to start writing?#genchat

packrat74Jan 31, 2:21pm via Nurph

A1: most of my writing is summaries of research, for brick-wall busting. #genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:21pm via Twubs

@leprchaunrabbit absolutely, theme, plot, characterization, all creative nonfiction tools #genchat

AtcherleyONSJan 31, 2:21pm via Twitter Web Client

A3: Right time to start, if you haven’t already, is now! You may not have the whole story, but if writing online you can update it. #genchat

nelleFamTreeJan 31, 2:21pm via Nurph

Or I start writing and then get distracted by some tangent and its another 4 hours before I get back to the writing :) #genchat

SNiblickJan 31, 2:22pm via Hootsuite

A3. Before our memories fail us. The sooner they are written done the better.#genchat

_genchatJan 31, 2:22pm via Nurph

Q4: What are your best tools for writing? How do you push yourself through the process? #genchat

kidmiffJan 31, 2:22pm via TweetDeck

A3: Blogger platform, using Orkanizer.comto focus. #genchat

SparrowBeth73Jan 31, 2:22pm via

A4: My blog and Excel. That’s pretty much it #genchat

GenealogicalGemJan 31, 2:22pm via Nurph

I also try to write ahead – re blog posts – if time or inspiration hits #genchat

IrishMasonJan 31, 2:22pm via Nurph

A4: I write when the muse strikes so it just flows out. I can’t do the planned writing.#genchat

SNiblickJan 31, 2:22pm via Hootsuite

Your research gets finished? RT @packrat74: A3 As soon as you can. Don’t wait until your research is “finished”#genchat

kidmiffJan 31, 2:22pm via TweetDeck

A3: Blogger platform, using Orkanizer.comto focus. #genchat

CarolinaGirlGenJan 31, 2:23pm via Nurph

A:4 My blog for now. #genchat

AnnepastsJan 31, 2:23pm via Nurph

A4 Mindmaps, Scrivener, Paper notebook#genchat

GenealogicalGemJan 31, 2:23pm via Nurph

A4: As past journalist I love writing. My prob is breaking fr research long enough to write #genchat

geneapleauJan 31, 2:23pm via

A4. I like to work in Evernote. I can use it whereever I am! #genchat

IrishMasonJan 31, 2:23pm via Nurph

A4: Someone published a book with part of my 1 Place Study as a chapter & changed the tone & it lost something special for me. #genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:23pm via Twubs

@nelleFamTree Keep writing and researching as separate tasks don’t let them share the same time slot #genchat

mfhy2kJan 31, 2:23pm via TweetCaster for Android

A4 information. I need to have some facts to start. And hot tea made from boiling water #genchat

alhupartuJan 31, 2:23pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A4: I like to hand write everything in my notebooks. I need to start looking into some writing tools. #genchat

JLJMcCarronJan 31, 2:23pm via Twitter for iPhone

@LynnPal @leprchaunrabbit I just started reading the book Voice & Vision, about writing history & nonfiction #genchat

.mollyscanopyJan 31, 2:23pm via Twitter for iPad

A3: When events gel. For me, it was my first Civil War reenactment & deciding to blog my ancestor’s story #genchat

GhyxionJan 31, 2:24pm via

A4 I’ve started trying to journal again – Use that as a platform to capture the random thoughts. #genchat

AnnepastsJan 31, 2:24pm via Nurph

@SNiblick When I started, I thought I would be done in a year. Ha ha #genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:24pm via Twubs

Q4: Scrivener and an egg timer #genchat

mdiane_rogers Jan 31, 2:24pm via Twitter for Android

A2 – can’t find question. Where started? With inherited stuff. Kids won’t keep & for some things, maybe only I remember stories. #genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:24pm via Twubs

Q4: Scrivener and an egg timer #genchat


mdiane_rogers Jan 31, 2:24pm via Twitter for Android

A2 – can’t find question. Where started? With inherited stuff. Kids won’t keep & for some things, maybe only I remember stories. #genchat

cindylittlejohnJan 31, 2:24pm via Hootsuite

@_genchat Best tool for me is my calendar. I make an appointment for myself to write, usually in AM. Retired, so it works for me. #genchat

thesingleleafJan 31, 2:24pm via Twitter for iPhone

@JLJMcCarron Group the photos into themed collections & let them tell the story. Narrative can be kept to a minimum. #genchat

AtcherleyONSJan 31, 2:25pm via Twitter Web Client

A4: I usually write in Word, then paste to WordPress. Then re-read the blog post online and edit! #genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:25pm via Twubs

Q4: oh yeah and my whiteboard and post it notes for mapping stories #genchat

leprchaunrabbitJan 31, 2:26pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A3 Think like a serial soap opera writer. Write so much and leave reader wanting more ;) #genchat


GenealogicalGemJan 31, 2:27pm via Nurph

I write post in Word then copy & paste into Blogger. Photos get put in once in Blogger. Love Photos in posts. #genchat

FamilySleutherJan 31, 2:27pm via Twitter for iPad

A4. My blog (using Blogger), but I like the idea of giving Evernote a spin like others mention. #genchat

mollyscanopyJan 31, 2:27pm via Twitter for iPad

A4: I start a blog post and set a publication date. Gives me a deadline :-)#genchat

MyTrueRootsJan 31, 2:27pm via Twitter for iPhone

A4 everything to my Stories are continued in Word for more Depth. Expansion on Posts I did. #genchat

lamacki88Jan 31, 2:28pm via Twitter for iPad

A4: For now, I just type into MSWord#genchat #oldschool

SNiblickJan 31, 2:28pm via Hootsuite

RT @FamilySleuther: A4. My blog (using Blogger), but I like the idea of giving Evernote a spin like others mention.#genchat

brandyheiJan 31, 2:28pm via Hootsuite

A4: I love Scrivener. Actually taught an intro class on it to my writers’ group just this week. :) #genchat

brandyheiJan 31, 2:28pm via Hootsuite

A4: I love Scrivener. Actually taught an intro class on it to my writers’ group just this week. :) #genchat

jaygee35Jan 31, 2:28pm via Nurph

Tried Evernote but went back to Excel#genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:29pm via Twubs

Q4: I use Evernote to organize my research for the story I’m going to write.#genchat

IrishMasonJan 31, 2:29pm via Nurph

A4: Am I the only one with stacks of fairly empty various “Record Your Family History” type books. You know which ones I mean… #genchat

packrat74Jan 31, 2:30pm via Nurph

Go for it! RT @kmjordan73 @jbron1jonesNot a blogger either – thinking maybe record people telling stories instead!#genchat

_genchatJan 31, 2:30pm via Nurph

Q5: How do you get past those moments when there is no flow? How do you get over “writer’s block”? #genchat

jbron1jonesJan 31, 2:30pm via Twubs

@kmjordan73 I want to write down the stories for my far flung family. They like them. #genchat

talkingboxgenJan 31, 2:30pm via Nurph

Q5: Look at old photos and read other blogs #genchat

JLJMcCarronJan 31, 2:31pm via Twitter for iPhone

@SparrowBeth73 @HeritageDetect how do you use excel for timelines? #genchat

GenealogicalGemJan 31, 2:31pm via Nurph

A5 seriously tho when there is no flow I simply walk away and do housework#genchat

SNiblickJan 31, 2:31pm via Hootsuite

RT: A3 When to write? Think of most memorable time w/your fave relative. When you laugh /smile, THAT’S your story. Start writing! #genchat

packrat74Jan 31, 2:31pm via Nurph

A5: I follow the advice of Natalie Goldberg — pick something, just start writing, don’t stop, just keep the hand moviing.#genchat

geneapleauJan 31, 2:31pm via

A5. Sometimes I just write an outline of the high points i want to hit, then do the sentences around that. Like now #genchat

CarolinaGirlGenJan 31, 2:31pm via Nurph

A:5 Take a step back, do something else. Look through family pics and documents.#genchat

kmjordan73Jan 31, 2:31pm via Nurph

@jbron1jones I have summarized stories my father has told me, and shared w/cousins. That’s not really *me* “writing” though. #genchat

GhyxionJan 31, 2:31pm via

Proud of myself 4 resisting. Knew I wasn’t ready.MT @IrishMason: A4: Am I the only 1 with stacks of “Record Your History” books. #genchat

SNiblickJan 31, 2:32pm via Hootsuite

A5. Review your research for additional details and inspiration. What was life like for them. #genchat

alhupartuJan 31, 2:32pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A5: I put down the pen and find something else to do (usually read), this usually clears my mind. #genchat.


MeetyouinOhioJan 31, 2:32pm via Nurph

A5: My blog posts are like volcanoes, the research builds until it explodes on the page. No writers block. #genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:32pm via Twubs

Q5: Not a believer in writer’s block, write, it might be crap but write anything, it has a way of working itself out #genchat

brandyheiJan 31, 2:33pm via Hootsuite

A5: Eh. Always so many projects. If I’m not feeling genealogy, there’s always my novel, TBR list, hare-brained schemes, etc#genchat

FamilySleutherJan 31, 2:33pm via Twitter for iPad

A5. Yeah…that’s a work in progress. Unfortunately, I sometimes set writing aside until I find get re-motivated.#genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:34pm via Twubs

Q5: That’s why I use the egg timer, set if for 20 minutes, must write no stopping until it goes off! #genchat

mdiane_rogers Jan 31, 2:34pm via Twitter for Android

A5 I just find something else to do for a bit- or start jotting down any rough ideas.#genchat

lamacki88Jan 31, 2:34pm via Twitter for iPad

A5: I’d take a break from writing. I’d prob work up an outline to follow. #genchat

HeritageDetectJan 31, 2:35pm via Twitter Web Client

A5 The best way to get past writer’s block is to WRITE past – keep writing, even if it’s dreck, and your mind will take you thru#genchat

AtcherleyONSJan 31, 2:35pm via Twitter Web Client

A5: ‘Writer’s block’ in my case is usually tiredness or depression. I do more research & try writing again when feeling better. #genchat

hardyp3Jan 31, 2:36pm via

A5: Make a really rough outline and then just WRITE (or TYPE actually) #genchat

brandyheiJan 31, 2:37pm via Hootsuite

A5: Sometimes “writers’ block” is actually exhaustion. It’s OK to take time to recharge. Necessary for creativity, in fact.#genchat

GenealogicalGemJan 31, 2:38pm via Nurph

I do not limit my writing time. After 20+ years they all know if I’m in the zone to leave me be! #genchat

leprchaunrabbitJan 31, 2:38pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A4 No pushing! The stress will appear in your writing #genchat

mdiane_rogers Jan 31, 2:39pm via Twitter for Android

A4 I’m pretty new to Evernote. #genchat

HeritageDetectJan 31, 2:39pm via Twitter Web Client

@mollyscanopy A5: By showing up at the page and being willing to rewrite a lousy first draft – I second that! #genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:39pm via Twubs

I’m not a fan of music for writing, everyone must find what works for them, keep trying things #genchat

SNiblickJan 31, 2:39pm via Hootsuite

A5. I tend to edit way too much in my head. It always slowed me down & made writing papers a painful chore. Get it out, then edit #genchat

leprchaunrabbitJan 31, 2:40pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A5 Change chapters. Change topics. You must have someone else you can write about? Like who got you in trouble behind the barn? #genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:41pm via Twubs

@SNiblick You turn off the internal editor, it’s not part of the creative process#genchat

_genchatJan 31, 2:41pm via Twitter Web Client

You learn to write family history by writing. #genchat

_genchatJan 31, 2:42pm via Nurph

Ok, last question coming… #genchat

leprchaunrabbitJan 31, 2:42pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A5 While doing housework, just think: how did GGran do this? What else did she do?#genchat

_genchatJan 31, 2:42pm via Nurph

Q6: what is your favorite excuse for NOT writing? Let’s hear it – I’m sure there are some good one’s! #genchat

SparrowBeth73Jan 31, 2:43pm via

A6: I forget, don’t have time. That’s usually what I tell myself #genchat

GhyxionJan 31, 2:44pm via

A6 I haven’t found anything interesting that I have enough facts on. #genchat

CarolinaGirlGenJan 31, 2:44pm via Nurph

A:6 The worst is thinking that what I write will not be good enough #genchat

MeetyouinOhioJan 31, 2:44pm via Nurph

A6: Usually more research though#genchat

HeritageDetectJan 31, 2:44pm via Twitter Web Client

@SNiblick I know, but perfectionist. – The time for perfection is when you’re editing that 1st draft that has all your ideas in it.#genchat

AtcherleyONSJan 31, 2:44pm via Twitter Web Client

@CLPendleton I like peace & quiet for writing too, but if the neighbours are being noisy then the music goes on!#genchat

hardyp3Jan 31, 2:45pm via

I write family history more to learn what I DON’T know than to record what I DO know. Helps focus the research. #genchat

alhupartuJan 31, 2:46pm via TweetChat powered by oneQube

A6: Didn’t think I made/had any excuses then I realized I do. I can’t the information on the person I’m writing about. #genchat

GenealogicalGemJan 31, 2:46pm via Nurph

A6: normally excuse is that I am on a roll researching … ever notice some days u find everything and others it’s a wash#genchat

brandyheiJan 31, 2:47pm via Hootsuite

@jaygee35 I have a copy of a book put together about 40 yrs ago for one of my lines. I get the benefit of the author’s hard work #genchat

JLJMcCarronJan 31, 2:47pm via Twitter for iPhone

@jaygee35 #noddinghead. Part of my reason is trouble figuring out the intended audience, for me #genchat

hardyp3Jan 31, 2:47pm via

Ha ha, yep in two generations what you write now will become gospel then!#genchat

_genchatJan 31, 2:48pm via Nurph

@LynnPal Would you like to take a moment to tell us about what’s coming in FEB? #genchat

SNiblickJan 31, 2:48pm via Hootsuite

A6. I don’t need any more ideas for excuses. I have enough already. #genchat

mollyscanopyJan 31, 2:49pm via Twitter for iPad

A6: “Need more research” was old excuse. Now writing & research work in tandem#genchat

packrat74Jan 31, 2:49pm via Nurph

A6: When you’ve revised so many times you get back to your first draft, you’ve edited for too long. #genchat

cindylittlejohn Jan 31, 2:49pm via Hootsuite

Me, too. RT @kidmiff: @hardyp3 Yep! I find out all the holes in my research when I start writing. #genchat

CLPendletonJan 31, 2:49pm via

Me, too. I could tweak forever. RT @MyTrueRoots: A6 rewriting several times. I get caught up in Editing. #genchat

lamacki88Jan 31, 2:49pm via Twitter for iPad

A6: I get stuck on a missing bit of info, search fruitlessly in my disorganized piles, get frustrated, and go do something else.#genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:50pm via Twubs

You can also join us in the writer’s forum and chat with other writers, even share some of writing if you’re up for it.#genchat

kansaswriter Jan 31, 2:51pm via Twitter for Android

A6: trying to decide how to tell the profound stories that aren’t always flattering…especially when someone living will care. #genchat

_genchatJan 31, 2:52pm via Nurph

I will leave you with this: “5 Reasons You Should be Writing Your Family History” from… #genchat

LynnPalJan 31, 2:52pm via Twubs

@kansaswriter soooo true! Feel the accomplishment of finishing a story before you go epic novel #genchat

CalifWildflowrJan 31, 3:22pm via Nurph

Q1 I have done some blog posts, barely started writing my story, have some that my mom wrote before her death#genchat

CalifWildflowrJan 31, 3:23pm via Nurph

q2 the standard advise to writers to write about what they know, & who knows more about me than me, so that is where I will start #genchat

IrishMasonJan 31, 3:23pm via Twitter Web Client

After #genchat tonight I’m even more happy that I decided to start a new genealogy blog to describe my journey! …

CalifWildflowrJan 31, 3:39pm via Nurph

A5 I have a fellow genealogist/writer friend that will give me feedback and ask questions, that helps with the blocks#genchat

CalifWildflowrJan 31, 3:40pm via Nurph

A1 Also started writing a family newsletter and wrote a bit about our common grandparents for them #genchat

 InfolassJan 31, 3:55pm via Twitter Web Client

You learn to write family history by writing#genealogy via #genchat.

geneapleauFeb 01, 4:27am via Twitter for iPad

“@RootsTechConf: Did you know that hearing and telling family stories can improve your health?” what #genchat said!

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