Monday, December 31, 2012

Motivation Monday--THIS IS NOT A NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: Some realistic genealogical & historical research/writing goals for 2013

Not a resolution...
I say this is not a resolution because those are made and broken each year as easily as fad dieting. Over the past thirty-five years my weight has gone up and down like a yo-yo in the hands of a competent trickster. I generally succeed for a time, only to get frustrated by the stresses of life...eventually weakening, giving in...leading to total abandonment of the resolution till the next New Year comes around.

Let it be said...
I resolve NOT to make or break any resolutions in 2013!

I've been following several blogs written by successful genealogists, historians, writers and editors who have shared their guidelines for identifying goals and developing successful strategies for reaching them. They have shared their own personal goals for the year to come, and have encouraged their readers to do so as well.

So, with that said, the following is my list of goals which I believe are attainable.

  • Reconstructing Co. B & G 14th Regiment USCT
  1. Finish transcribing and analyzing the Civil War Pension File of my great grandfather-in-law, Isaac Carter;
  2. Create an index of all the soldiers within these units, download their service records & pension file applications;
  3. Order Civil War Pension Files for Isaac Carter's comrades, and note corresponding testimony;
  4. Speak with authorities regarding events at Carolina City during November 1864;

  • Set up the Carter Family Tree in Legacy 7.5 Deluxe in order to bring our tree up to professional standards, including proper documentation and attached digitized records.
  • Organize my paper files using the method promoted by Genealogy Research Associates, Inc. ;
  • Continue writing the family history memoir using Scrivener trial edition, and consider purchasing the full version; 
  • Purchase Randy Ingermanson's writing software, Snowflake Pro to streamline  character development, lining up scenes, creating a book summary and proposal in order to attract editors and agents;
  • Complete the first draft of my family history memoir on Isaac Carter and the following two generations: Antebellum Period to the Great Migration;
  • Take the 2013 Family History Writing Challenge this February and begin my personal memoir, the second in the series;
  • Read, read, read... 
  1. Currently I am reading The Gravedigger's Daughter, by Joyce Carol Oates;
  2. The next book I'd like to read, also by Oates, is  A Widow's Story: A Memoir;
  3. ????

  • Continue blogging and journaling my progress at least three times per week. 

Any more than this would be a completely unrealistic expectation...and even this will take daily diligence to move me along to the next phase of writing. I hope you'll take the time to critique my list, and perhaps even share your own goals for the year to come!


  1. I completely agree with you that resolutions are tough. Your goals are ambitious, but I think it can be done. I did the FHWC last year and it really helped me to focus. Most importantly it highlighted the blank spots in my research which was invaluable. Good luck!

    1. Thank you, Heather, for taking the time to critique my list! Last year's Family History Writing Challenge helped me to write the first chapter of the first memoir...the courthouse scene where young Isaac Carter and his siblings were bound out as apprentices. So much added historical detail was necessary that it took me even past the month to complete...and it could still take some revisions. This year I'll be writing my personal memoir which tells of the events leading me to the cousins who had started the George Family Reunion Committee, of which I have been Co-Historian since 2004. I think it should be easier in many respects since it is personal.