Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another Slump or Just Too Many Distractions?

I've not been blogging as much lately... not been doing much research either. The reasons vary and it's not unusual for me to go through one of these "times". I've had one of these slumps earlier this year and while I know it will pass, it's never comfortable for me. I feel as if valuable time is passing and I'm doing nothing about it. In reading blog posts from several other bloggers lately, it's not just me; it seems that many of us are in a bit of a slump or stretching ourselves too thin.

My blog is suffering for several reasons - lack of what I feel are interesting topics, lack of time to sit and write a meaningful post and the biggest reason being it's summertime and I've got lots of kids! I've spent the last 4 weeks taking them here and there, sending some off on trips, getting them back home and sending someone else out. All of my children are under driving age and two of them are under school age... birthday parties, play-dates, get-togethers, sports activities, sleepovers, boo boos.. these are the things that summer break are made of. One plus this month was a recent visit to my parents home which did provide me some valuable research time in the way of family photos and putting some timelines together.

My research is stalling again and I think it's partly because I simply tend to go through this every few months - I just don't have anything that's "calling" to me right now. This has been something that I've done for the last 15 years - take a bit of time away from it and come back with renewed excitement to do more. The trouble is, I wasn't blogging before last fall and now that I'm into one of my down times, my blog is also suffering because my research is slowing. Tombstone Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday are about all I can muster at this point. In the meantime there are MANY records that I need to get entered into my database - something that I've always had a problem with. I go through a research "flurry" find lots of great stuff and then it sits in a folder waiting to be entered. Maybe during this slump I could get that done, trouble is whenever I open my software I have trouble keeping myself off the internet - anyone else suffer from this distraction? The next thing I know I've skidded on over to Ancestry looking something up, checked my email, replied to a few, stopped by reader to catch up on some reading, left comments on great posts, and searched the new members at GW... viola! an evening wasted and no data entered. This is certainly an area that I need to work on.

Two more distractions that have come my way recently are Twitter and GenealogyWise. While I am still loving GenealogyWise, I have not found much use for Twitter. I'm not sitting at my PC all day, I don't use a mobile device for texting/mailing/twittering etc. I think I am ready to get out of the world of Twitter - because I never truly entered it anyway. GenealogyWise is another story. Because I was not a user of Facebook (I was tempted but never got "into it" if you will) GenealogyWise offers me another way to reach other researchers and possibly other family. Rather than waiting for someone to trip over my blog, I can reach out to any other members researching the same surnames & areas and directly contact them. This is a wonderful tool in my opinion and unlike facebook, we're ALL there for the same general purpose - Genealogy.

Whew, now that I've gotten all that off my chest, I think I'll go do some laundry and color with crayons for a while. No need to push it for today :-) I don't want to suffer another genealogy blackout.


  1. Cindy

    It is common to see a slump not only in blog posting but in genealogy research during the summer. Many events like Scanfest usually take a break until the Fall.

    Love your blog and I know you'll be back to posting soon!

    Thomas MacEntee

  2. All I can say is ditto! ditto! ditto! I've realized that not all of the reasons I don't seem to have as much time for genealogy and blogging are actually due to distractions (Facebook and Genealogy Wise) - I haven't spent a whole lot of time on them, either. Thomas is right - it must be summer. My college daughter is home, so I want to spend time with her, and we all want to do a few some fun summer things. Work is enjoyable but busy, so I'm tired when I get home. The genealogy project I'm working on involves transcribing a lot of obituaries and extracting information from them - it's nice, but a lot of the same thing gets to be a drag. All the posts and comments seem to be indicating that all of this is cyclical and probably good for our research in the long run - we will ultimately get more energy and more inspiration out of this. (Let's hope!) Meanwhile, even if you just post a couple of pictures and a few words, we'll still be following!

  3. Cindy, I share your problem with unentered records. I'm telling myself that I have found everything I can find on Ancestry. I've managed to actually transcribe and scan 2 wills in the last week. Not bad! Of course, I still have a box of scans to go.

    We have to be doing this....research, blogging, whatever...because we love it and it brings us joy. Otherwise, it's a job, and who needs another one of those.

    Besides, in 30 years one of your kids will be blogging about the summers spent with you doing all the things that take you away from genealogy and give them memories.

    Relax and enjoy!

  4. You're not alone. I go through this with blogging (writing and reading) and genealogy, but I also go through this with life in general. I'm in a slump of my own right now in just about every facet of my life, including genealogy. I'm trying to pull myself together, as I need to prepare for my research trip to SLC in September...I just can't get motivated. Over the last few days, the fog has slowly lifted and I've been blogging a little bit I am catching up of 5,000+ genealogy blog posts!! I hope you find your mojo!!!

  5. Seems like we need to form some kind of club or association for those of us who "occasionally" suffer from this irritating condition. :) If you can't tell, I too go through times when I get in a slump when it comes to my genealogy. And I feel guilty about it for some the rest of you do too? Anyhoo, Cindy you are in good company, so don't feel bad.

    Later, Deb