Writing your family history

Some researchers are so well organised that they start writing their family history story the moment they begin their investigations, others wait years and years before putting pen to paper or fingers to the computer keyboard.  In both circumstances, it can seem to be a daunting task.  Why? Because you know that you want it to be interesting and not just a set of facts and figures.  You know that you want to tell the stories of your ancestors in such a fascinating way that your children and grandchildren and perhaps even your siblings become engrossed in the doings of great great grandfather James, who tended to fib about things.

To help you get started, you could think about joining the Writing Interest Group. This group aims to help beginning and experienced writers learn more about the writing process through to editing and publishing.  You can submit your drafts to the Group and receive feedback and encouragement.

Read through the stories written on the GSQ Blog.  Which ones did you find enjoyable and interesting to read?  Look at the style and voice of the writing – was it chatty or perhaps a little more formal?

Why not write a short story about one ancestor and submit this to GSQ’s quarterly journal, Generation?

You could also enter the Joan Reese writing competition so that you gain experience in writing to a specific length and on a nominated topic.

The first step is the hardest but once taken, the rest follows at a steady pace.  Just remember who your audience is so that your style of writing is geared towards it.

Good luck!