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

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lurkers Welcomed

Don't feel like you have to have a blog, genealogy or otherwise. Blogging is not a requirement for being interested in genealogy. Some people try blogging for a while and then abandon the blog when it begins to interfere with real life (or the other way around). Before I began blogging I did my usual research and reading. Of course, because I read the "How to become rich and famous through blogging" books, I had visions of becoming independently wealthy. In my zeal, I started six (count them) blogs. Whoa. That turned out to be impossible. I kept some of them up for a while and then slowly dropped them one by one. Finally, I ended up with two active blogs on two entirely different topics; genealogy and photography.

Now, the difference was that I am more than involved and more than passionate about both topics. In both cases, I decided to try an experiment. Could I keep going long enough to build a readership in both categories? If you have read this blog even once before, you can probably guess that I am seldom at a loss for topics. Every time I sit down to write, all I have to do is start typing and the topics just pop out like dandelions in a summer lawn. I talk to people all the time who express agony at the thought of having to write something even once a week. They fuss and fidget over every sentence and paragraph. I just write, most of the day, almost every day. Books, blogs, email, letters, notes, whatever comes to mind.

If you don't have passion for your topic and you have to agonize over every word and sentence, then I suggest doing research and forgetting blogging. If I stop writing, I start talking. Fortunately, most of the people around me have learned to ignore me almost completely so I can talk all I want because they just tune me out. The nice thing about writing rather than talking is that people actually read this stuff!

I tried writing a legal blog for a while and found out pretty soon that despite 37 years of going to court, I really didn't have a passion for writing about law. I would find myself falling asleep in the middle of composing a post. I also felt really sorry for anyone who had such a severe problem that they needed to read about the law. So the law stuff was really dull.

I tried a current events blog. But I hate to keep up with current events. I get painfully tired of politics and avoid the news. I haven't watched TV news for years and years. I only get what leaks through on the Internet or on NPR when I am driving. Plus the comments were insufferable. That ended.

I tried a practical preparedness blog. Not even the end of the world could keep me motivated to keep writing about the end of the world. That ended also.

I tried an eclectic, funny, thoughtful, philosophical blog. The pressure of trying to be cute or funny almost killed me off. Finish.

OK, so that left this blog, the Star thing and Walking Arizona. Walking Arizona, the photography blog started out to be semi-historical and biographical. But I realized that I took thousands of photographs and I might as well start putting them online. Walking Arizona is well on the way to becoming my most popular blog yet. You are right, there is a vast difference between my photographs and those of "famous and rich" photographers. But I like my photos even if no one else does.

That leaves Genealogy's Star.  When I go back and read my early posts, I feel awfully sorry for my early readers. (I only feel a little less sorry now). I have found out that I have a higher statistical chance of being hit by a meteorite than becoming rich and famous through blogging about genealogy. I have made some really interesting and good friends. I have met a lot of wonderful people. I really enjoy the comments. I get the shakes when I can't write for a while, so it looks like, like it or not, I will keep shuffling along, pouring out everything I come across in the genealogical universe that catches my attention. I also try hard not to copy any one else's style or manners. Someday I may even get the attention of someone at


  1. Well I for one am terribly glad you continue with the Star thing. I have certainly learned a lot about genealogy research and appreciate the time and effort you put into this blog.

  2. I am with you completely on the blogging thing. Do it if you love it, skip it if you don't. I get a bit cranky if I can't blog. I'm a bit like you I think in that I can just sit down and write a lot. I can also talk a lot :) Writing is better!

  3. I find your blog very helpful, and have also recently discovered the Tech Tips on FamilySearch. My area of research is Western States, with a lot in Arizona and New Mexico, so thanks!