Participating in The Family History Writing Challenge

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Don’t you just love how life interrupts your most basic of plans, and throws your whole calendar for the year out the window!!

Oh well………..

My plan was to spend the month of January preparing and writing blog posts for at least 2 months if not more so that I could better organise myself for the year, and present more of the family history content that I so love to write about. However I find that whilst I am progressing with my initial goal, I am also spending a large amount of time preparing for The Family History Writing Challenge with Lynn Palermo which takes place during the month of February each year.

I am so very excited to be participating in the writing challenge again this year.  This will be my fourth year with the challenge and it seems to me that I have never given it the level of commitment that I am putting in this year, so I am hoping for great things to come out of next month.  I have a favourite saying –  “ If it’s worth doing at all, do it well”.  With that in mind I am going to give this years’ challenge my all.

Over the last three years I have learned a great deal about writing short stories from the challenge – whether I am good at it is not the point here.  It has helped me put together interesting posts for The Keeper of Stories about many of my ancestors, as well as a collection of short stories about some of those ancestors for my sisters.  I particularly love The Daily Dose, which is delivered to my email every morning.  This small, informative and encouraging message gives me focus for the day and it also teaches me something new about writing every day.    I watch “the forum” where members talk about their projects, but have never had the courage to comment on what others are writing about due mainly to the fact that I still feel I am a complete novice when it comes to writing.  Maybe this year I will find my voice.

I wonder how many others there are out there that have a committed attitude to preserving their family history and would like to join in the challenge to write their family stories?  I can only say that this challenge is the most enjoyable, helpful and supportive resource that I have found since starting my family history blog two and a bit years ago.  You have so very much to gain – in knowledge and in content for a book or blog – and you have absolutely nothing to loose.  You can participate at any level you choose, talk to people – or not, write 100 or 50,000 words a day (ok – that’s an exaggeration), but at the end of the month you will present on paper the draft for a wonderful story about an ancestor that is just begging to be told.

Good luck to you all – I will be posting during February about my experiences during the challenge – so we’ll talk again real soon




  1. Julie, this is my fifth time taking part in the challenge, but only the second year I am blogging my actual posts. It will be fun to follow along with you!

    1. Hi Kim, I don’t plan to blog every day – I thought I’d do a “summary” every couple of days. I’m so looking forward to it! I have already re-written the story about my wedding day. Not sure if you know what I plan to do. It will be a memoir for my sons in the form of letters – each letter will contain a story – I HOPE! What will you be doing? Would love to hear your thoughts on how you are doing

      1. That is such a neat idea, Julie! I know your boys will really enjoy that. Don’t we wish our ancestors had done something similar for us to read – ha! Thanks for the compliment on my writing – we’ll see if I can post every day. That may be a lofty goal in this case.

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