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Blog to Book: Finding Your Writing Routine



Many family history bloggers create blogs with big intentions. They're excited and ready to write up those family history stories. But after the excitement has waned their writing becomes sporadic, they become discouraged and their blogs go delinquent.  Their struggling to find the time to write, to establish a readership and stick to the challenge of keeping a regular writing routine in amongst all of life's other challenges.

Belief it or not it has little to do with your calendar and your time (while maybe a little) but mostly it has more to do with declaring yourself a writer.

You see, we all started out as family historians and somewhere along the way we became writers. Only thing is we forgot to declare ourselves as writers, and to announce it to our family and friends.

When I first decided that I was going to pursue writing, I kept it to myself. What if I fail. When I submitted my first article to a genealogy magazine and it was accepted within 60 minutes after hitting send, I was ecstatic. Yet, I still did not give myself permission to think of myself as a writer. Must be a fluke.

And even though I had dedicated three years of my life to writing a family history book, I still refused to refer to myself as an author.

Then came blogging, it started out as this thing I did for fun, to keep my mind active, something for myself beyond laundry and mom's taxi service. But that soon changed and as my readership grew I could no longer deny that I indeed had a presence online. People were actually reading my blog, they found value in my words and I still didn’t value myself enough to call myself a writer.

For the longest time when I would run into old friends, or acquaintances from my days as a manager and they would ask me what I’m doing now I would declare, “I’m at stay-at-home Mom.”  on occasion, I would state, “I do some writing.” I wouldn’t even mention the blog. It almost seemed like I needed it to remain two separate worlds. And  after all blogging wasn’t really writing…was it? 

One day I owned it. I ran into an old friend, this time I declared, "I’m a writer and a family historian and I have a blog." That’s when I learned that owning up to being a writer was the first step to establishing a writing routine.

By owning and declaring that I was a writer and a family history blogger, I gave myself permission to sit down in the chair everyday and make the time to write. By declaring to the world that I was a writer, I was expecting my friends and family to honour that declaration and grant me that time to create.

There is no magic formula or line in the sand that makes you a writer or for that matter a family historian. Create your own moment, declare yourself a writer and become a member of the club. I know somedays, I feel like I snuck in the back door too. Regardless, whether you write family history stories, or a journal or a genealogy blog, or magazine articles or books, you are a writer. Once you own it, then everyone else will. And that is the first step to opening the door to a writing routine.

Publishing a book on Amazon is not the epitome of an author. Every time you write a blog post and hit publish you are an author. Now, your only responsibility is to continue to develop your skills for yourself and your readers.

Declare it. I am a writer! (Tweet this)

Now that you’ve declared it, you can create that writing routine necessary for a successful family history blog. You can now write that family history book you thought you never would have time for. Blogging is no longer just this thing you do, you're a writer.

When you're up at the crack of dawn with your extra large coffee in hand pounding away on the keyboard while everyone in the house is still cosy in their bed or your the last one up at night masterfully writing your next family history blog post while the rest of the house has fallen silent ….know you are a writer.

Welcome to the club.

Now it's time to create a serious writing routine, one that supports your art. Join me for tomorrow’s post, I'll share the steps I use to maintaining my blogging routine. 8 Steps to a Writing Routine

21 comments:

  1. Thanks for this! I have had these thoughts so I guess this is my clue that I should stop beating around the bush and say that I am a writer. Something that I never thought I would say in a million years.

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  2. You're most welcome Michelle! I no you definitely are a writer!

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  3. I'm with you on that Shannon, life is journey and we end up in some of the most unexpected places, but embrace it and enjoy the ride.

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  4. Wow, thank you, Lynn! I never thought about it this way, but I know instinctively that you're right!

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  5. Sometimes we need other people to give us the confidence to call ourselves what we are. Just another great post, Lynn! :)

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  6. Cuando eres el último en acostarte o el primero en levantarte para lograr encontrar el silencio necesario para escribir... tal vez ahí comienzas a sentir un poco la responsabilidad de la creación.
    Gracias por tu post!

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  7. Wow! Great Post. Okay I admit it. No better yet I own it. I'm a writer :)
    Stephanie you took the words right out of my mouth.

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  8. "I know somedays, I feel like I snuck in the back door too."

    Bang! You hit the proverbial nail on the head! But that is exactly how I feel a lot of the time. Time to get over it. Thanks for this excellent post.

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  9. I AM A WRITER!

    When I started blogging 18 months ago, I was almost embarrassed for anyone to read my posts. But they did and many even said "you are a great writer". Every time I have some self doubt, I reflect on that statement and remind myself that I am a writer. And sometimes I even think I'm good :-)

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  10. @Shelley welcome to the club, follow your instincts!

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  11. Thank you Stephanie, absolutely, no one gets there without the support of our loved ones.

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  12. @Sonia, Gracia! Sorry that's the extent of my Spanish, but I'm honored you stopped by.

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  13. @Andrea You absolutely are a writer, and I know you have family memoir in you itching to get out.

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  14. @Nancy, my friend, there are only a handful of us that can claim we were writers before becoming family historians, you are not alone. Welcome to the club.

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  15. Way to own it Debi! There is not a writer on this planet who does not cringe at reading an earlier piece of their own work. Even the family history book I wrote, I would love to re-write today. I've grown so much as a writer even in those few short years. Every piece you write is an evolution to the next. Just keep moving forward.

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  16. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I hesitate to tell anyone that I write and I write for my blog and two online magazines! You are so right for some reason it does feel like I'm not worthy of the title. You certainly have helped me open my eyes to "owning" it and I will be back to read tomorrow's post. Thank you so much Lynn!

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  17. Cindy, you are very welcome. Wow, a blog and two online magazines, you certainly are worthy of owning it, and a serious writing routine.

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  18. Inspiring post Lynn! I am a writer! There...I said it!

    I never imagined I'd be writing a genealogy blog, or any kind of blog for that matter. I suppose I didn't have much confidence in myself to tackle such a thing. But, somehow I just plunged right in and my genealogy blog is almost six months old. I think, perhaps like anything else, writing gets easier to do the more we just do it.

    Thanks for your great post!

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  19. Love that declaration. So powerful.

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  20. Thanks Jeff, I'm honoured you stopped by . You're a huge inspiration to me.

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