All very good questions and concerns. I have written about how to start sharing family stories in blogs. And I think a blog is a perfect place to do this, but I thought I'd delve into it a bit more. This technique applies to all genealogy bloggers, whether you're blogging as a cousin hunter, genealogical society, a professional genealogist, or a genealogy-related business.
Here's my recipe for family history blog posts:
You start with passion.
When you look over your tree, your work, your stories, your documents, your photos, what moves you? What makes you cry? What makes you laugh? What makes you shake your head in disbelief? What makes you ask why?
Why did that have to happen?
What did they think about it?
What did their loved ones think about it?
What would you have done if you'd been in their shoes?
How would you have felt if it had happened to you?
Would you have made the same choices? Would you have reacted the same way?
Any one of these questions could be, at the very least, one story in a blog post for just one of your ancestors. You don't have to write an ancestor's complete story in just one written story. Take a small aspect of their story and blog about it.
Take your documents & photos and pore over them. The stories are there. I promise. You just have to slow down & remember your ancestors were just like you.
They had problems. They had issues.
They had decisions to make from choices that were less than perfect.
Sometimes they got it right.
Sometimes they couldn't have been more wrong.
Add your ancestor.
Look at a death certificate. How did they die? Accident? Health-related? Disease? What kind of disease? Look into the history of the disease. Was it a long illness that preceeded their death?
The cause of death is at least one story.
Add a little of you.
Put yourself completely in the moment. Do you have any experience with someone who has died with this disease? Does it seem to run in your family? How about a similar disease? How did that make you feel? Do you think it's possible their loved ones felt the same way?
Likening something that happened to your ancestor with something you have intimate knowledge about makes it personal. And don't be afraid to let the past collide with the present.
In What Order?
Do you have to start your blogging and storytelling with you and work backwards like your research?
While a blog itself is kept in chronological order, your stories can be out of order.
In fact, I prefer to think of them as vignettes.
What holds them together?
And now that you have the ingredients of what goes into the recipe of a story, stay tuned for the appetizer: how to begin a story so that you don't put your readers to sleep before they get to your passion.
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