Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Writing for FamilySearch TechTips and other activities

Writing a Blog, any Blog, separates the compulsive writers from the not-so-compulsive writers. Writing two Blogs is really the hallmark of the terminally possessed. When the number passes three, the whole activity begins to take over your life. I once had six different Blogs going at one time. Not even I have that much to say every day. It didn't take long before some of the Blogs began to wither on the vine. I started to throw baggage overboard, as I could see the storms of life coming and, as they say, the handwriting was on the wall (or in my case the Blog).

Genealogy's Star now has well over 1000 posts and I feel comfortable with the idea that I will probably keep writing until the grim reaper comes or I kick the bucket. The fascinating thing about genealogy is that it is the cat's meow. I can keep going on because the topic is as fascinating as snake charming.  (If you are still reading this, congratulations, you now know what it takes to write a Blog, day after day, sometimes your mind starts to wander and you begin to imagine life without words pouring out of your finger tips)

On the other hand, not being satisfied and seeing the green grass on the other side of the fence, I kept my Walking Arizona Blog going. Mainly because of the dream I had, that I would some day retire as an attorney and go back to graphic design, this time in the form of working full time as a photographer. Walking Arizona began to evolve into my sporadic photography Blog. Let's just say, if the number of people who read that Blog is any indication, I will have heart break hotel time being a photographer, post-law.

So time passed, the scene now changes to the time when my retirement from law is a reality. But meantime, I make a lot of new friends and acquaintances in the genealogy world. Some of them include people who actually work at genealogy including a few at FamilySearch. The folks at FamilySearch throw me a curve ball, they want me to write for a new website which turns out to have a series of names but has a fascinating idea, promote technology among genealogists. I agree and suddenly I am writing post after post for a website that doesn't really exist. Eventually, the world turns, and the site goes public with a mention at RootsTech. I would like to say that it took off from there, but guess what, it is like living a double life now, writing for my daytime job at Genealogy's Star and Walking Arizona and then sneaking out late at night to write for this underground Blog disguised as a website.

Finally, FamilySearch decides that the site will have a real name and calls it FamilySearch TechTips. Still tucked down in the corner, fighting for menu bar space, it is the unknown stepchild, but I am still writing post after post about all this techy stuff and having it posted online which is what compulsion is all about.

Did you catch the fact that I was back up to three Blogs? Retirement has its attraction, no more clients, no more time keeping, no more 100 e-mails a day, no more judges, no more courts, no more lots of things I can certainly do without. But what is retirement? Writing three Blogs? This reality brought me back to the dream of photography. I decided to bite the bullet and start another Blog. This time I am serious, this will be the basis for my photography business. I start PhotoArizona360 which promptly sits there for months without any activity because I am still going to court and returning calls from clients.

Time flies, I am finally at the cusp of retirement from law and I activate my connection with Google Earth and and go into photography or is it blogography with four Blogs now?

Will our hero survive writing four Blogs? Will he keep turning out tech stuff? We he have time to do anything else? Turn in for next exciting installment whenever.


  1. Just went to FamilySearch TechTips - and got an "Oops!" style page...

  2. For what it's worth, I am not sure I believe in this "retirement" thing. How do people stop working and nothing?

    This sort of soft-retirement, where you stop doing the thing you did before and do other things instead, makes much more sense to me. That's definitely my plan. I think having multiple interests and projects keeps you young and healthy.