Thursday, April 28, 2011

The BLURB Project

Can I say that, “Transcription SUCKS!”?

I am currently working on a project to transcribe all my miscellaneous journals into one volume.  It turns out that this is a bigger project than I thought it would be.

The reason I call it my “BLURB” project is because my eventual goal is to get all these journals consolidated so that I can use the website to publish them into a printed book that I can make multiple copies of and send them to family and leave for my kids and grand kids.

So I’ve been gathering all these miscellaneous pages from notebooks, past blogs, missionary journals, old letters, taped journals, stories, etc.  I was thinking about making one volume.  But with as much as I’ve done and what I have left, I might have three volumes (depending on how big I decide to make them).  In addition to the written stuff, I plan on adding pictures and scrapbook pages.  I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor, but definitely a lot larger than I thought it was going to be.

Problems I’m running into:  I found some old mini-cassettes that I recorded on during college, but can’t seem to find the recorder so I can play them back.  Also, I know I made some journals on the computer, but can’t seem to find them now.  They are probably hiding on some old back-up disk that I made.

I’ve completed most of the odds and ends that I’ve found and my past blogs.  Now I am working on my mission journals.

However, the transcribing is really getting to me.  This project, along with other family history projects I have, has got me burned out and I’ve placed it all on the back burner.  But I think I will start scheduling time to start back into it.  Maybe do a couple entries a day.  That should get me caught up…eventually!  Or maybe I should try a dictating program.  Even with the editing, that may be faster.

I guess another thing is, I am doubling my work.  The first draft for this blog post and the previous one, I am writing old-school fashion, on paper!  Which, I’ll just have to transcribe.  Not smart, but it seems to flow better when I write it, rather than type it.

The Journal/Blog Challenge

So, I’ve decided I hate reading blogs.  Not that the material isn’t interesting or that I don’t like what I read.   In fact, it is the exact opposite.  I have subscribed to maybe 20-25 blogs.  Most are related to family history or genealogy, a few to quilting, and a couple of various miscellaneous topics that I find interesting.  I actually found two new ones today that are really interesting, but more on those two later.

I think my frustration stems from not being able to write my own blog.  It’s not that I don’t have the desire, or maybe it’s because my desire isn’t strong enough.   Who knows?  I just can’t seem to come up with enough new, fresh material in order to keep it regular.  I can’t even keep a journal for more than a few days at a time, with weeks (or usually months) in between entries.  But I feel I have that desire to be heard or express my opinion to someone that might care.

So, here is my challenge to myself.  I am going to spend at least two hours a week on my blog and my journal, one hour to each.  I can spend more time if I like.  I don’t have to do it all in one day, but I have to do a combined total of two hours.

I’m sure initially it will be hard, but maybe if I get in a habit, then I will bump up the time.  Maybe I’ll even find more stuff to write about.

My blog is supposed to be more oriented to family history and my adventures therein.  But maybe I’ll have to wander from that a bit as I get into the swing of things and get a rhythm going.  Maybe I need to schedule it in, as well as family history time.  It seems I don’t get anything done unless it’s scheduled in.

Another thing that kills me is I have so much free time at work that I could probably do more with my journal/blog/family history, except for the limitations on our web access.  Okay, so this is probably just an excuse.  I can’t log on to my blog to post anything and I can’t use RootsMagic to do family history.  But I could write in an email, write long hand, use Microsoft Word or a number of different options.  So yeah---excuses!

However, I think I am going to make a more earnest effort to be productive; at home, with wife and kids, at work, in personal pursuits…generally, in all aspects of my life.  This is going to take a lot of sacrifice and personal adjustments.  But in the end, or even near future, it will be worth it.