Today I am beginning my third year blogging! When I began during the Winter Games in 2010, I never really thought I would continue as consistently as I have. I have never been a writer even in boarding school where I got grounded on a regular basis for not writing a weekly letter home. Frankly I didn't see the point since I went home almost every weekend. Not much to write about between Sunday evening and Tuesday.
Did I mention that I took English 101 more than once because I did not complete the writing assignments?
Anyway when Thomas MacEntee offered the Winter Games Challenge, I jumped in with both feet. I knew Thomas from facebook which I joined to help the Unclaimed Persons group. Blogging has helped me grow as a person and as a genealogist.
Before I began blogging I was a solitary genealogist. I didn't belong to any groups or go to seminars. Now I belong to the Illinois State Genealogy Society, the Southern California Genealogy Society, and the Schertz Cibolo Valley Area Genealogists, a local group. Through SCVAG I am also a member of FGS. I have attended local seminars, webinars, and the Jamboree twice. I have taken two genealogy cruises with plans for a third.
Currently I am participating in the Family History Writing Challenge by committing to write 250-300 words a day for the month of February. As I proceed with this challenge I can see how what I am doing now can eventually be combined into a family history book.
By joining my local genealogy group I have been able to help others. I learned to create power point demonstrations. I have given several presentations to the group, organized a Family History Workshop that the group held at the Library. I have been a 1940 Census Indexing Ambassador in addition to regularly indexing for both FamilySearch and Ancestry. I created both a website and facebook page for the local genealogy group.
This is a lot about me but it's about others too. Volunteering at the LDS Family Search Center encourages me to use what I have learned to help others with their genealogy efforts and brick walls. I also volunteer at the Genealogy Room of the local library for the same reason. Blogging helps me make contact with others, those with a common background or those from an entirely different lifestyle such as comparing Christmas customs with other bloggers.
Joining Geneabloggers was a big step for me but I have never regretted it. Everyone I have met has been welcoming, encouraging, and helpful, whether I met them at a group meeting, a conference, on a cruise, or on facebook. Thanks to blogging I have become a different person, hopefully a better one.