Despite it being only half way through November, it feels like the end of the year to me. As a result, I feel like I should be reviewing this year and planning for next.
Reviewing this year is a bit of a mixed bag for me. On first thoughts, I feel like I haven’t done much research at all, and I don’t need to think much to know how little writing I’ve done. But when I reflect a bit, and browse my notes (stacked untidily on my desk), I realise I’ve discovered a fair bit more than I thought. Which is good, of course.
Though I suspect I felt like I didn’t achieve much because I didn’t really plan my research. Rather, I discovered a thing here, and another thing there, often as a result of finding out about the availability of a new record set through one of the various email subscriptions I have (which I have regularly left unread for weeks!).
I’m not sure I want to be so unorganised next year though. Nor during summer when I have more time to research than during the rest of the year (because I don’t have to drive the kids around as much). But the idea of making lists and getting back on track seems a little daunting at the moment.
So I’m glad I found out about this free course that the University of Tasmania are offering: Writing Family History. (It may not be too late to enrol, if you’re interested, though it does start next week! Otherwise, and with less time commitment involved, GSQ might offer something more suitable for you.) Aside from this course combining two of my favourite things – family history and writing – I love that by doing a course, someone else has done the planning for me and all I have to do is tick off all the things they put on my to-do list.
I’m really looking forward to this course and hope it gives me a good kick-start to my new year, making the planning process seem a bit easier since I will have already started. Not to mention that by completing the assessment tasks, I will be writing again.
Though, just in case I do end up needing more motivation, I’d love to hear how you plan your research. All tips are welcome!