When it comes to your genealogy research, are you in it for the process or the results? I got to thinking about that question recently when I was teaching a client how to process her genealogy source documents in Reunion. When you’re first starting, it can be a slow process. It definitely gets easier.
As we were working through some documents, she asked me how long it takes me to process a document. (The answer to that question, of course, is “It depends on the document.”) Then she asked, “Does it get faster?”
As a new genealogist, she understood that it’s necessary to analyze and glean information from all her documents (and create a source citation) if she wants to be a researcher, not just a searcher. But she was finding progress to be frustratingly slow. I had to break it to her that, even for experienced researchers, genealogy is a marathon, not a sprint.
That got me thinking: Am doing this for the process or the results? I realized that, speaking personally, it’s about the process for me. I think that’s because I don’t feel there’s a finish line with my genealogy research. There’s always more to learn about my ancestors and I really enjoy the process of discovery. And I actually like the painstaking process of the documentation that follows the discovery.
I’m also a knitter and we have this same discussion in knitting. When I start a project, am I doing it for the finished product or for the enjoyment of the knitting? The answer to that question can inform what projects I take on. A Fair Isle sweater would be (for me) a bear to knit, but if I love them and would wear one with pride, it’s worth the effort. That’s not the kind of knitter I am, however. For me, in knitting as in genealogy, it’s all about the process. I have any number of hand-knit garments, shawls and bags that I ended up rarely using. But I sure loved making them.
How about for you? When it comes to your genealogy research, do you enjoy the process or are you in it for the results? (Or perhaps there’s a whole different element I’m not thinking of.) I’d love to hear.