Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ancestry.Com and IWSG all in one day.

My first post isn't exactly writing related, but it could lead to a good story.

If you have never tried, I highly recommend that you do. Your families past can be a source of ideas and inspiration.

My interest in this started when my Mom passed away. I was going through old pictures and came across an old album with my great, great grandparents, etc. All black and white with people in old fashioned attire. I wanted to know who they were and I figured out some, but not all. So I tried and it easily filled in the blanks within the 14 day free trial. The cool thing about is that it links you to other people who have also made family trees and you can message them. This led to many contacts where I also found out that on my mother’s side her great grandparents came over from Ireland on a slave ship to Canada. They remained slaves there for the entire lives, but their children moved to Pennsylvania.

One advantage for writers is who knows what stories you can find. I might just write one about Irish slaves.

If you like being a detective, give it a try. It’s like going on an adventure.

Keep in mind we all come from strong people who have survived through the beginning of humankind.

Today is also IWSG, so I should mention a few things about insecurities. Lately I’ve noticed a trend of what must be the biggest fear of writers. It’s a question that circles in the mind:

Will all the time spent writing this novel be for nothing? Will it be a flop?

The only way to ease this fear is to remember why you started writing in the first place. For me, I simply enjoyed sharing my stories with others. But why? Because of ideas. I love coming up with ideas, sharing them with others and finding out their reactions. So no matter what you write, there is always the option of sharing your stories freely because in the long run having readers is more important than making money. Of course, money doesn’t hurt, but with any art it is very difficult to make a living at it. So all one can do is focus on where you began.

My situation is often frustrating. Over the last few years, I was contracted to different jobs until finally finding a permanent one close to home. I’m also divorced with kids, so it’s hard to devote a lot of time to writing, but I also find it impossible to completely stop. My progress is actually better if I take the pressure off myself and just write for the fun of it.

You can join the IWSG HERE.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It is easier when we take the pressure off ourselves and remember we first wrote for fun.
That's wild your ancestors came over on a slave ship.

Pat Dilloway said...

The older of my younger sisters does all that ancestry stuff. She even goes to cemeteries to look for gravestones and such. Sounds really morbid to me. When I visited Michael Offutt in Salt Lake he mentioned the Mormons have the largest stash of genealogical information, so there's a trip to take sometime if you really want to get into that stuff.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Grumpy is right. Here in SLC we've got massive geneological resources. That's what the busy bee state focuses on. Maybe someday I'll get into it.

Chrys Fey said...

I've always wanted to try I think it would be neat to find out about my ancestors and learn their stories. :)

-Chrys Fey
Tremp’s Troops - A to Z Co-co-host
Write with Fey

Kieron Walker said...

One of my cousins was really interested in genealogy, and he came up with a pretty good family tree. It was a good way to get some of the family elders speaking about things they lived through. I believe he was even able to track down some lost relatives along the way.

Nancy Weeks said...

My father told me in one of the most difficult times in my life to remember who I am and what I'm made of. [Bad sentence but I hope you get my point. :)] I never forgot his words. When I began to search for answers, I discover an amazing family tree of good people who fought the fight. I continue even today to draw strength from those dear relative who died long before I was born. Knowing where I came from allowed me to see what I'm made of.

Karen Mortensen said...

Good luck with everything. I have heard good things about it.