I hit the genealogical doldrums in the first quarter of 2016. There were a variety of reasons, the top of the list being our standard poodle puppy, Bix, whom we brought home mid-December 2015. But there were other competing obligations, including my business and my home and family.
Bix is now five months old and doesn’t require constant supervision. Things have settled back into routines and I have time again to do some research. But I find myself unexcited and it’s feeling hard to get started again.
This morning I sat down and thought about what it would take to reignite that spark. I started by making a little list of what I love about genealogy research:
- Playing detective
- The thrill the hunt
- The reward of making discoveries
- The stimulation of my curiosity constantly being tweaked
But so much time has gone by that I’ve lost the itch and I’m having trouble remembering what I’m curious about. I have a genealogy to-do list, but nothing’s exciting me.
Then I realized what always sparks action for me: A deadline. I’m going to visit my father in Washington state in two weeks. He’s always interested in what I can tell him about his family history. So I’m going to try to come up with some sort of discovery to share with him or create some sort of narrative or timeline that he might find interesting.
With that in mind, I’m going to set aside time on my calendar to do some genealogy research in an effort to come up with some sort of gift to share with my dad when I see him in two short weeks.
Suddenly there’s some urgency and my imagination is starting to spark a little. Hooray!
Some other strategies I came up with to reignite the spark include:
- Read genealogy blogs to get my creative juices flowing.
- Focus on some genealogy Facebook groups to see what others are reading about.
- Do another 30 x 30 challenge so I do something at least daily. Or maybe I need to set myself up for success and make it 15 x 15. (Fifteen minutes of research for 15 days straight.)
- Let doing genealogy research be a reward for working on my still-unfinished income taxes.
Now I’m feeling like I’m going to get some research done in the next few days. That feels so much better! I’ll report back next week and let you know how it goes.
Have you ever had the doldrums with your research? How did you reignite your spark?