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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