I’ve decided to take the plunge and take part in the 2013 Family History Writing Challenge this year and get this blog – and my family history writing – kick-started. The challenge is simple: to commit to writing your family history each day throughout February. Aside from that remit, it is pretty flexible. How much to write, the style, the focus, all down to individual choice.
I have thought a lot about how to tackle this. There are certainly characters in my history that I would like to write about. The mystery of Henrietta Campbell. The tragedy of Alice. The two John Buchan Brodies and the characters who link them. And that is just one family line. There are many others to explore. The Spencer brothers – from 18th century farmer to photographers and publishers in a generation. William Sisson – and the son born on the wrong side of the sheets. The Irish Finlays and their journey from Antrim to Cumberland. The many who fought in wars; the lawyers and the labourers; the family heartaches and the secrets.
I thought about concentrating on one family but decided that I want more flexibility. For me, this is not about writing a complete history at this point. It is about exploring family history writing. I want to try out different styles, explore different directions. See what fits.
So I have decided to use the challenge to start this blog. Each day through February I will write at least 250 words on an aspect of my family history. This may be a person or a family. It may be a profession. It may be a document that has proved vital. Some days will see a completed story; others, where I am working on a story behind the scenes, will see just an update on my challenge. At the moment I am not sure where it will take me. But I am excited by the possibilities.