Posts Tagged ‘Family History Writing Challenge’

Family History Writing Challenge photo FHWC14-290p_zpse0310b87.jpg

I’m taking the challenge again this year – 3rd time. For the month of February I will work on the Colbert Whelan Family History book.

I know, I know, I’ve been working on this for 7 years!! I have a complete draft, but it needs work – a lot of work. I’ve edited and revised much of the Colbert section, so for this challenge month, I will edit and revise the Whelan section. The story will start in Bansha, County Tipperary, with my grandfather’s parents, James Whelan and Honora Keating.

The real challenge will be to complete each chapter – that means I must finish the index and citations too. I will post my progress from time to time, but let’s hope that the end of the month one chapter is compete. Then I will have to set up a plan to complete the rest of the book.


These pictures were taken in 1973 by my mother. She and Aunt Angela went to Ireland and visited Bansha and Ross.

Bansha - 1973

Bansha – 1973

Bansha Roman Catholic Church - Whelans were baptized here.
Bansha Roman Catholic Church – Whelans were baptized here.

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Yesterday was day 29 of the Family History Writing Challenge. It’s officially over.

Not really.

I plan to continue writing, but now I have some better ideas on how to write, and re-write this Family History book of mine.

I was bogged down in the research, which is the part of genealogy because you never know what you might find.

I know can research and still continue to write. After I do some research, whether it’s at the archives, or in a book, or online, I will write it up and weave it into the story.

Today I worked on some of the Whelan story. I had forgotten how many good stories Aunt Angela told me.

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It’s been more than a week since I started the challenge. I’ve stuck with it. Every day I set the timer for 30 minutes and write. The first couple of days were easy because I wrote about the new information I’d found – Mary Coleman Colbert’s life in Harlem in the 1860s and 70s.

Since then I’ve been reviewing my book draft and revising – and adding more details and more background.

I sometimes procrastinate before I start the writing timer, but I’m always surprised at how quickly the bell goes off.

I found a great new program on one of the challenge links. It’s called Scrivener and it’s designed for writers. It’s a MAC program, but now it’s available for Windows. There’s a free 30 day trial – and that’s 30 usage, not calendar days. My kind of trial. The cost of the program after the trial is $40.00.

So far it’s been great – there’s a split screen, so I can look at the section I’m typing and check out what I’ve written in another part of the document or in another document. I can easily cut and paste from one document to another.

Another feature I love is the highlighter – it comes in several colors and I can highlight an area that needs more research or a citation without losing my train of thought.

Only 21 more days to go – but I plan to continue past that, until I’m finished.

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