Who should I write about for today’s post? This question has bugged me for the last two weeks. Although I am working on several projects, none are ready for a report yet.
This year, I started tracking my blog post topics more closely. I created a spreadsheet with information about each blog post including date, title of post, and person or persons discussed in the post. I made a table with number of posts related to each family by year. The highest number for a given year reflects my primary focus for that year.
What determines my focus for a particular year? I started my blog in April 2017 with goal of sharing information more or less equally about each family line. An August 2017 family reunion trip to Pennsylvania generated more posts about dad’s family. In 2018, I received family pictures and other items from two cousins on mom’s side. Cataloging those pictures and items steered me to Tucker-Maurer family for 2018. My father- in- law’s death in February 2019 guided me towards the Ellerbee family. Johnson-Reed family then became focus for 2020 as I prepared another scrapbook.
As I write each post, I check sources, revise citations and identify gaps to be filled for each person. I pose and try to answer at least one question. Content in my family tree improves. Sometimes, a person contacts me about an ancestor named in an online tree or blog post. These contacts often generate a topic for my blog. DNA matches also yield possible blog topics.
For my blog, what are the benefits of delving deep into a particular family or person? Well, I try to discover the story beyond the basic facts. I seek a better understanding of the person and share that information with others. I feel like I am more intimately involved in their lives.
Writing about a variety of people has been a blessing. I reach a wider audience with the potential of contacts from more than just one branch of the family tree. Often, I choose the person or topic just a few days before I publish. I am writing shorter blogs so there may be more series about a particular person or family.
Right now, I have several projects in the works. I am writing two articles to be considered for publication in genealogical journals. Due to potential copyright issues, I must defer writing more here about either of these. A potential DNA match contacted me about a specific line. Several years ago, I made a note in my files and asked questions similar to what this DNA match is asking. I give what input I can.
Question for today is still- where do I go from here? And I don’t have a good answer. I search for inspiration from various sources such as blog posts written by others. I review my goals for the year but nothing stands out at this moment. I have been here before. A spark of inspiration will come! In the meantime, I continue the process of cleaning up at least one family tree. Stay tuned!