I read a fascinating post written by Marian of Marian's Roots and Rambles, in which she discussed her three top bits of advice for blogging.
She first asked: what is your goal in blogging? (for instance, to attract clients, share your knowledge etc). This made me think. Why am I blogging? Why am I doing this? is it just to give myself another excuse to beat myself up at the weekends when I realise I haven't posted even once during the previous week?
No, I'm not trying to attract clients. Nor even distant cousins. I am happy to demonstrate my knowledge of a particular area, but don't for a moment imagine that anybody reads it. So why am I blogging? When I set up GenWestUK, it was just along the lines of "it seemed a good idea at the time", and "everybody else is doing it". What I found was something quite surprising. When you have to post about a time, an ancestor, a type of occupation, and so on - it focuses you tremendously! Although for years I have been warning beginners against the scattergun approach of trying to research all your ancestors at once, I have not followed my own advice. This sees me "doing family history" like a butterfly, zooming from the same ancestor to another same ancestor - you know, the brickwalls that frustrate you every time. So many of my ancestors are missing out on my attention.
Blogging has changed all that. In order to write a decent post, I have been forced to sit down and concentrate on one th (oh, look! a bird) ing at a time. And this has opened up new horizons for me - gosh, new vistas. I had never slowed down and stayed in one place long enough to realise that my great-grandmother, Annie Marian BUCKINGHAM, saw the first horse-drawn tram in Plymouth, travelled to Ireland, lived through the invention of the car and plane, then went to Australia! or that a great great grandmother, Eliza ELLIOTT wasn't just a dressmaker- she made fancy frocks out of damask and brocade.
I look forward to learning more about my forgotten ancestors, now that blogging has made me sit still in one place...
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