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Feb 23 13 3:27 PM

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I know we are getting close to the end. And while I will send out a survey to get feedback about the challenge I wanted to address the forum members specifically. I think the forum has been extremely successful this year. We have a wonderful group who are really eager to share and move their writing forward. I had thought about moving it to perhaps a private Google+ community or private Facebook group but not sure at this point. What does everyone think? I hope the forum continues but it's likely to quiet down considerably after the challenge ends. I would love to see you guys continue these conversation over in The Family History Writer's Community on Google+ but I feel that it does not give us the privacy we are looking for, especially for critiques. So I guess I have three questions. First would you like to see the forum change to another venue for next year and secondly would you like to carry on these conversations after the challenge and if so where? Third, who would be interested in joining a private critique group? 

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#1 [url]

Feb 24 13 5:50 AM

First, I want to thank you for your dedication and support to the forum, without it I probably would not have started to writing, but kept plodding along in my research and the technical aspects of my work. And as you probably will remember from some of my first posts, I am a skeptic when it comes to privacy and other issues. But The Daily Dose that you sent out daily, kept me on the bandwagon, even though a few days I fell off it.. In fact, I came down to start my writing this morning, and instead am responding here. 

And the others you brought to the table provided valuable insights to the Challenge.  So yes, I believe the forum worked for me and many other newbies. Thanks.

As for Facebook, and Google + Groups, I would prefer the forum, or something you have more control over privacy issues.  At one time when it was relatively new, I did have a Facebook account that I used to communicate with my daughters, but as it continually violated privacy principles and "opted-in" users into things I was not interested in, I found my only solution was cancel and have my Facebook account deleted.  I do not plan to go back.  Google + groups are not much better, but I do belong to one but it is mostly to discuss technical aspects of a project.

My first preference would be a closed forum, that is, one where the posts were not visible unless you were logged in. One not associated with a large outfit that may be interested in the posts for their own uses.  But that can affect your readership, those who might lurk in the sidelines to shy to participate. 

Given the support you and others have provided, I have ventured a few times into uncomfortable topics, but have no regrets.  If anything, it is helping me to come out of my shell.  So following the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't try fixing it" - my preference is to stay with what is working for you and us.

Would need to know more about what you mean by "private critique group", before I could comment.


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#2 [url]

Feb 24 13 10:42 AM

I think the venue for this year's writing challenge was very effective and I would like to see it continue.  I would be interested in continuing with a private critique group to share my ongoing writing with.

Thanks for all you have done for this challenge and I hope the newsletter continues.  The content was especially helpful to me.

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#3 [url]

Feb 25 13 6:22 AM

Hi Lynn--
This has been a very productive month, and the ideas keep spinning in my mind for what lies ahead in the writing process of this book. Like Tom, I agree that The Daily Dose was very inspirational, and while I didn't use it to guide my writing every day, I know I will be using the prompts throughout the year to jump start my writing if I get stuck...great tool for blog posts, too! 

The interviews followed by forum Q & A was outstanding this year! I really benefited from this! While I am a Google+ member and have a circle of genealogists already, I have never really gotten the hang of how to fully utilize it, and Facebook is more my link to articles, opinions & comments. But that could change provided the right options & guidance. I do like the existing forum already in place, though.

I would like to join a private critique group...but as you say, I don't really want to post writings that all eyes will see. But definitely, let's keep the conversation going!

Thank you, Lynn, for all you have done, and continue to do for us!


In Black and White: Cross Cultural Genealogy

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#4 [url]

Feb 25 13 6:53 AM

We certainly will keep the forum going for as long as members are showing up and sharing. As for a private critique group this is how I envision it. The group would be for those who have emailed me with their specific intentions of joining the group. It would be a closed group, so by invitation only. We could limit the group in size to maybe a dozen people but it certainly would work even if it was only 4-6 members. As you have writing to share and want feedback you can upload in a document to the group for feedback. It would not be necessary to post your writing in a blog, simply share from your document file. I could send out a couple of emails outlining some proper protocol and tips for giving feedback. This would be a small closed community with the sole purpose of helping the members who are serious about giving and getting feedback as a means of moving their writing forward. If you are interested email me directly I probably won't set it up for a couple of weeks, I need a bit of breather, and some other projects waiting in the wings need to be addressed but we certainly would not want to wait to long and lose our momentum. 

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#5 [url]

Feb 25 13 11:11 AM

I visited this forum occasionally throughout the past year but there wasn't much posted until we started getting close to February and the new Challenge.  Still, it was nice that it stayed here intact!  I would hope that everyone would go ahead and keep the conversations going as well as the critiques.  This is an awesome place, Lynn.  A very "comfortable" place for us family history writers.  I sure do appreciate, like the others, all the work you have put into it.  Count me in to stay here!

Bettyann Schmidt rhinegirl.blogspot.cim

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#6 [url]

Feb 25 13 4:03 PM

I would like to keep the forum going - I have found it very helpful and even if it gets quieter (as it inevitably will) hopefully there will be enough interest to keep it going. I am planning to continue my writing but at the moment, realistically, would not have time to commit to a private critique group - but that may change during this year. 

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#7 [url]

Feb 25 13 6:20 PM


I would love to see the forum continue.  I must admit to being a bit slow to jump in here with my own comments and questions, but the more I read from all the members and our fellow writers (It feels SO good to be able to say that!), the more compelled I am to keep going.  

Your Daily Dose is a godsend for me.  I plan to keep all of the issues in a binder for future reference and inspiration, especially on those days when I really need encouragement or suggestions for the various aspect of this writing life.  The guest articles have been insightful and often hit home on a particular topic.  Even seeing the coffee (in my case, tea) cup on the typewriter gives me goosebumps.  It puts me in the mood to write, no matter where I am.  

I would like to join the private critique group and plan to submit something in the next day or so for suggestions.  Will this comment suffice, or should I send you a private e-mail?

With regard to what happens after February ends, I definitely plan to write every day, as much as time allows.  I do this now, even if I don't post something new on my blog on a daily basis.  The commitment is what makes it work.

This monthlong effort and all the preparation that goes into it must take a lot of time.  Many thanks to you and to your guest writers for sharing your time and talent so generously with us!

Linda Huesca Tully

Linda Huesca Tully

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#8 [url]

Feb 26 13 4:46 AM

Lynn, I also would like thank you for all the work you have put into this venture, and would like to see the forum continued.  It has helped me immensely.  Reading the comments and stories of others has given me many ideas and much insight into my project.  Your Daily Dose has proven invaluable, especially on days when my writing just wasn't going well.  I was able to pick a topic from your prompts and all of a sudden the words just came tumbling out.  Then I could go back to my story and everything went much better.  Sometimes the writing from the prompt had nothing to do with my story, but was filed away similar to your "Ideas" suggestion, and may become part of another project. Thank you again.   Karen

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#9 [url]

Feb 27 13 7:59 AM

Lynn, while I haven't been able to participate as much as I wanted to, this forum has inspired me to actually put the stories on paper. My writing is a combination of people, places, things and how I found some of them. As the eldest in my generation on both sides (oh my goodness that sounds old... only 66 years young), I think that for my family this is something that will serve them best and then go from there. Who knows what the next year will bring with this venue to spur me on. My grandmother was the record keeper and I seemed to have inherited that title.

I haven't gotten much feedback on my stories because I posted them on my blog instead in the critique section, however I would like to keep on with writing and meeting all of the great folks on the forum.

I would like to see this forum continue. Just knowing it's here is incentive enough to continue. Keeping it as it is seems to be the best for now, maybe in the future move it to another venues if you see fit. We don't want anyone to miss any of the great dialogue that goes on here. As far as the private critique group, I would love to be a part of it and think it would be a good thing for many of us. It would help those who might get lost in the telling of the story. As a former typesetter and proofreader for a local newspaper, you don't see what you wrote, you see what you thought you wrote. Very important thing to remember... never proofread your own stuff.

I've loved this form and the writing prompts and ... well ... all of it.

Thank you,

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#10 [url]

Feb 28 13 5:04 AM

Wonderful Patt. I'm so happy to hear you found value in the challenge. Unfortunately members don't feel comfortable critiquing a blog post that the general public can read and may not understand the reason for the critique. I understand that even in the forum it was difficult for many, that's why I feel a small controlled environment would be beneficial. I'll be contacting everyone in a couple of weeks time who expressed an interest here in the private group and we can iron out the details. I'm thrilled to here you'll be moving forward with us.  

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#14 [url]

Mar 14 13 3:40 AM

I've just updated my blog with a new article Profits of Misery - the story of this family will be up there shortly too. Not sure if the critique group is still a possibility but I would be interested too. I want to keep writing my family history. 

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#16 [url]

Mar 19 13 10:54 AM


I am so sorry I got sick and crashed out at the end of February with our writing challenge.  I have not been on in quite a while and wanted to let you know that while I failed to reach my goal with the challenge, I did learn so much and most of all, I learned NOT TO GIVE UP.  When I became disabled, I gave up my writing completely and had not written in years till I joined your challenge.  Now I know that while I may have to stop at times that doesn't mean I have to stop forever.  So THANK YOU!!!   It may take me a lot longer to finish my book but I can still write it.  You have given me back my writing and I thank you for that.  I would love to keep our forum and be able to have the private critique that you spoke of.  I love your site and also thank you for the new e-book.  I have downloaded it today and look forward to reading it.  Again my sincerest thanks.



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#18 [url]

Apr 13 13 9:24 AM

Hi Mitzi, I haven't. I am on Goodreads so I'll look into it. Can it be a close group? And for everyone who interested I haven't forgotten about it. I have been doing some research and pondering how I want to handle it. Online groups can be tricky and I want it to be a good experience for everyone. Hopefully I'll have something out to interested parties by the end of this month. 

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#20 [url]

Apr 15 13 3:47 AM

Definitely look at it, now that I think about it I did use Goodreads for a book club a several years ago. Will take another look at it. 

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