Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday - What I Learned This Week

I decided this would be the week I start working on my book - in preparation for the February "Write Your Family History in 29 Days" challenge.  It was just supposed to be an outline.  That's it.  This is how far I got:

1. Cover Page
2. Title Page
3. Copyright Page
4. Dedication Page
5. Table of Contents

Then I was like, "well, what now?"  In my mind, I had always thought about how I wanted my book to be.  It was crystal clear ... until I tried to put it on paper.  My brain locked up and all I could think about was whether I had any new posts on Facebook, or maybe I got a new email that needed my immediate attention (at 10:00 at night).

I was even prepared for it taking a long time to get the whole thing put together (I'm not even close to filling in all the blanks for the people I want to include in this book).  I knew I would be working on little bits at a time and filling in the information as I confirmed it.  But come on, this is just an outline!  Surely that would be the easiest part.  HA!

I knew what I wanted my book to be, but I hadn't really given much thought as to HOW I was going to get it that way.  Layout?  Never even crossed my mind.  Format?  Nope.  I guess I just thought that I would sit down at the computer and the story would magically go from my brain through my fingertips and onto the page.

This week's lesson:  I need more wine.  Maybe therapy.

Okay, the REAL lesson:  One step at a time.  Get the basics down before you move on to the advanced stuff (like an outline!)

I'm going to have to give some serious thought about how I'm going to lay out my book and roughly what each chapter will contain.  I already know that I want it to be a sort of narrative - written mostly for my family or whoever wants to read it - but I also want to make sure it's properly sourced and has the appropriate historical background (in case a future genealogist gets hold of it).  I probably should also give some thought as to whether I'm going to publish it as an ebook or in hard copy.  That decision will likely determine the direction of the other decisions.

For now, I'm going to see if I can get any inspiration from Monday night's episode of Castle.

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com


Jennifer Holik said...

I agree that inspiration needs to happen before a book can be written. I wrote and published a book about my cousin Bob Brouk, a Flying Tiger early last year. Right now I'm writing a set of six kids genealogy lesson books. A kids book had been on my mind since last January but I needed inspiration to start it. That came in Nov. when I taught at my son's school and in Dec. from @CornandCotton Stephanie on Twitter. Now I'm on a roll and the books will be out April 1.

You can do this - as you said - small steps and look for that inspiration to hit.

Debbie said...

Did you see their story board on Castle- the bubbles that intersect? THAT'S a great place to start! ;) And another glass of wine...

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