As genealogists we all the know the many positive reasons for belonging to a genealogical association. However, have you considered also joining a writing association. For many positive reasons, writing organizations can benefit a family historian.
This week, Tuesday to be exact was the start of NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. This organization brings writers together to encourage them to meet their writing goals by dedicating the month of November to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Many writers have aspirations to write a book but never find the time or make it a priority to reach the goal. This organization comes together once a year, to help you achieve this goal.
However, you don’t have to wait until the month of November to become part of a writing organization.
If you want to write your family history consider joining a writing association. Regardless of your goal, whether it is to write your family history for just a handful of family members, or for the world, if you wish to write a family narrative, a fiction novel based on your family history, or a non-fiction novel on how to research your family history, or even if your writing is for your family history blog you can benefit from a writing organization.
A membership in a professional writing organization can help you improve your writing skills and advance your career.
National writers' organizations often hold annual meetings. These meetings are often an opportunity to meet editors and network with other writers. Seminars, courses often are offered to members as a result of becoming part of a writing membership. In addition to the chance to meet editors and network with other writers, these meetings offer seminars and short courses that can help you improve your craft and marketing skills.
Joining an organization brings writers together in a community. Ultimately the goal is to learn from your fellow group members. Great conversations and learning can result around discussions about marketing ideas, referrals, jobs, story ideas and critique groups. Ongoing education is also a key component, as well as the opportunities to learn from other writers. A member can learn in the form of seminars, webinars and courses. Many of these organizations are accessible online, bringing the community and learning to your living room. Many websites offer learning courses, teleseminars, monthly newsletter, events, workshops and conferences that combine both a online and in person format.
Professional writers' organizations range from local writing groups to national and international organizations. Some have open membership, while others require members to meet certain credentials for acceptance. There are general organizations for freelance journalists, to novelists and to very specific organizations including family history and memoir writers.
As a family historian, there are number of organizations that you may want to consider to advance your writing skills.
International Society of Family History Writers and Editors - “ISFHWE's primary goal is to encourage excellence in writing and editorial standards in genealogical publishing. This embraces all media, including newspapers, magazines, newsletters, professional journals, books (including compiled family histories), online columns, society and personal Web sites, Web logs (blogs), and broadcast journalism of all sorts”
National Association of Memoir Writers “We gather to connect, learn, and become inspired about writing true stories based on real life. Our goal is to help memoir writers feel empowered with purpose and energy to begin and develop their stories into a publishable memoir, whether in essay form, a book, a family legacy, or to create a blog.”
International Association of Journal Writing - “We're here to help you write, write in your own voice, and write more deeply. We'll help you stick with your journal writing. Once you are a member you'll find that you are learning ways to keep your journal writing fresh and your momentum high. In short, we'll help you juice up your journaling!”
Association of Personal Historians - “We believe everyone has a story to tell and that every story matters. Our mission is to preserve those stories for posterity, and we hope you’ll join us.”
Consider checking out the above writing organizations as a source to help develop your writing skills and become part of a motivating community that will inspire and encourage your goals.
Are you a member of any of the above organizations? How do you benefit?