Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Digging Up Roots Turns One!

It's hard to believe it, but this blog turns one year old today!  Happy blogoversary to me!!

Actually, I'd rather say "Thank you" to all of you that actually read my ramblings!  I started this blog last year with the intention that it would be a way for me to motivate myself to work on my genealogy more and actually start writing about some of my findings.  I never really imagined that others would start actually reading what I wrote!  Needless to say, I'm pretty happy with where things are after a year, and I am excited to see where things go from here.

A few things I have learned over the past year of blogging...

1) Even though others are reading my work, I need to write for myself.  I got pretty wrapped up in writing blog posts for a while and it became almost obsessive.  I lost sight of why I started doing this.  I've since re-focused and definitely spend more time researching than I do writing now.

2) I need to write consistently.  Ironically, the second big thing I learned is that if I set aside my writing for too long, I get out of practice and get out of the habit of posting my stories.  This defeats the purpose of blogging just as much as getting too obsessive did.

3)  The blog actually can be "cousin bait."  I never really hoped for my blog to help me find distant cousins, but over the past year, I have actually found a couple "long lost" relatives on various sides of my family!  Talking and corresponding with them has helped me to focus my research at times, find new avenues to pursue in my research, and in one instance - break through a huge brick wall that I had been running into!  One of the things I wanted to do through my genealogy was to reconnect with some of relatives from my mom's side of the family, and it took doing some blogging to get that underway.

and finally...

4)  I have a lot of education to do for myself on genealogy!  As I said earlier, writing has helped me focus my research, but it has also helped to show me where my weaknesses are in my methodology, documentation, citation, etc.  I think I am definitely a more accomplished and stronger genealogist/family historian than I was a year ago, and I hope that growth continues.

So what's coming in the next year?  Honestly, I have no idea at this point.  I would say just more consistent posts and a wider variety of stories from more branches of my family tree.

Stay tuned...it should be a fun ride!

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