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Stories To Tell is a full service book publishing company for independent authors. We provide editing, design, publishing, and marketing of fiction and non-fiction. We specialize in sophisticated, unique illustrated book design.

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Want to Write a Family History, but Aren't a Writer?

Biff Barnes

It’s always interesting to see how someone else responds to a situation you’re often presented with. That’s why I liked Lynn Palermo’s recent post at The Armchair Genealogist.

The problem she faced was one we regularly encounter. "’But I’m not a writer’ is a common excuse I often hear when I am encouraging family historians to record their genealogy in a book format,” said Palermo.

For people who feel that way, she offered a list of a dozen tips to help them get their family history written. It was a sound list, worth taking a look at. However she acknowledges that developing one’s writing skills can be an arduous task which can take some time.

The alternative we frequently suggest to non-writers who want to create a family history book is to record the text, then transcribe it or get someone else to do it for you. All of us have told stories all our lives. Simply telling them into a digital recorder is an easy way to create a manuscript. And recording your stories will make sure that your distinctive way of speaking – what creative writing teachers call your voice - will appear in your book when the stories are transcribed. (If you didn’t see our series of posts on story recording in late August and early September, check them out. You’ll find plenty of advice on how to employ voice recording and transcription tools even if you are a non-writer.)

Whether you decide to employ digital recording technology to “tell” your stories or sharpen your writing skills to the point where you’re ready to draft a manuscript, I think you’ll find that as Lynn Palermo says, “…the satisfaction of having written a family history book will be reward enough.”


Click here to read Lynn Palermo’s post.