This week of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog could not have been more timely. Like GeneaPopPop I have gone from post to post, writing when an idea strikes me, but never having an advance list of things to write about. As I usually feel like what I have to say is not anything anyone would want to read about, I pshaw a lot of my ideas, or in other cases I’ll have them when it’s impossible to write them down, like while driving. Since I’m in the car at least 10 hours each week (not including weekends), and it’s probably the only time my mind is clear of other tasks that beckon for my attention, I probably miss out on a lot of decent ideas.
Yes, I have a iPhone that has the ability to take voice memos, but I’m just not coordinated enough to turn it on, move the slider, choose the app, and start recording, all whilst driving. If I even remember what it was I wanted to record at that point, it would be a miracle. (Wish list item to Apple: maybe a nice easy “record” button on the side of the phone for on-the-fly recording?) Oh and I refuse to carry around yet another gadget like a Sony digital recorder (even though I do have one).
Okay enough ranting and down to the task at hand.
Tonia’s challenge is, in a nutshell, to look at my last five blog posts and brainstorm ideas for future posts. This turned out to be an excellent exercise, since I came up with so much stuff I actually was tired of writing before I was halfway through.
Here is a list of my last five posts:
Here are ten of the ideas that came forth during my brainstorming session:
1. Waffles and Genealogy: Why I can’t decide on a genealogy program
2. Follow me, no don’t follow me, the sequel.
This post has been swirling around in my head as of the moment I hit ‘publish’ as so many other nuances have popped into my head. Now if I can just find a way to write them down as they ‘pop,’ I’ll be in business.
3. Transcribe newspaper article about an ancestor.
4. Write more about my ancestors; describe a research journey to find a particular ancestor.
5. How I use my iPad for genealogy.
6. Join a genealogy blog carnival and write about it.
7. Take a genealogy course and write a review.
8. My experience with Findagrave (or better yet: Findagrave’s experience with “O Confused One”)
9. Why you won’t see me at a genealogy conference (actually, I would love to go, but that’s besides the point).
10. My genealogy bucket list
I came up with quite a few more, but these are the ones that I might actually get to at some point. In brainstorming I noticed that the meme offered the most opportunity for expansion to other posts – it was easiest to come up with ideas when there were 50 different possible subjects on the screen before me. Which leads to my next idea: continue to do memes and challenges. They’ll lead to new ideas.
Even if I never write about these things (do you see how I left that door open?) I learned a great lesson from this exercise – brainstorming works! One post is all it will take to make it worthwhile, and I can see from my full list that I will at least get that much out of it. Now I’m going to go apply this method to my ‘real life’ research (you know, the one that actually pays the bills) and see how it works there.
Kudos to Tonia again for this challenge!!