Like with most writing projects, this blog is beginning with the best of intentions. I intend to share my love of books, history, and genealogy. I had attempted some writing projects before, such as family history stories for my files and even tried a blog once. Things just did not work out, for one reason (i.e., excuse) or another. I spent quite a bit of time with it and found the entire writing process very frustrating. This frustration kept me from attempting serious writing projects until now. What has motivated me to want to give this another shot? There are just so many research discoveries to share! I have spent the last fifteen years researching American history in depth, and my own family’s history in particular. In the process, I have come across an immense amount of primary source material (deeds, wills, diaries, letters, photographs) that I find incredible and I know others will as well.
While I have decided to begin this blog, what has motivated me to think it won’t end in frustration yet again? Of all the writing advice I have read since deciding to blog, the most useful was the bluntest and came from Jeff Goins: “People ask me all the time what advice I have for them in regards to their writing. Honestly, most of what I say to them boils down to this: Just sit down and write. I wish it were more complicated or mystical than that, but it’s not. Writing is an art, but it’s also a craft. That means that almost anyone can do it if they put in the practice. ” He has shared some handy writing tips!
In addition to Mr. Goins, I have found Judy Reeves to be an incredible inspiration to my inner writer. In particular, I enjoyed the talk she gave on “How to be a Writer Who Writes” Like Mr. Goins, she emphasizes that the best thing to do is to start writing! She takes a holistic approach to creativity that is very meaningful and seems to have me in mind when she says that for the beginning writer, “the next step is the tricky one and the one where most would-be writers trip up: keep writing.”
Ultimately, to “keep writing” is my resolution! I do worry that some of the technology of blogging will trip me up. From all I read, WordPress seems to be the best blogging platform out there, although it is taking me a bit to figure out. Don’t expect a lot of fancy widgets on this blog! As with those who share their love and gift for writing with others, I am very impressed and grateful for all the tips other bloggers have given to us on even the smallest, most mundane technical questions.
I would like to share with you the recent discovery of a writing tool that has been incredibly helpful, both in reducing writing anxiety in general, but also with maintaining concentration and focus. It is an app called The OmmWriter. For just a small donation, this software creates a distraction-free writing environment. The genius of the program is its simplicity. Unlike other word processing programs, cluttered with distracting icons, OmmWriter is very simple. Almost deceptively simple. At first, I saw its lack of “extra” features as a drawback, but now that I have used it a few times I see the wisdom of the design. I put on the headphones, choose the sound effect and font, and go! The lack of extra features or options is liberating…just start typing! I can worry about editing and formatting later when I cut and paste what I have written into my usual word processing program. With OmmWriter, I can focus on the writing itself. I first heard of Omm Writer from reading Free Tools for Writers, Bloggers, and Solopreneurs by Karen Banes. This book is an incredible source of free tools and great ideas.
Another writing tool I have just started using is the Grammarly editing tool. This writing enhancement tool proofreads your writing by checking it against hundreds of grammar rules! Currently, I am using the free version, but I am seriously considering upgrading to the paid one. The free version has been incredible, but the paid version has some fantastic features. A lot of my writing anxiety stems from my fear of spelling and grammar errors, and this tool has helped a lot.
Thank you for visiting my blog!