The start of a new year is always a good time to take a look back at what you’ve accomplished, and more importantly, what you’d like to accomplish going forward.
For me, 2012 was the year that I started researching the “professional” side of genealogy more. I joined a few mailing lists, bought a few books, and became a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). While I don’t know if I’ll ever become a full-time genealogist, the idea does have some appeal to me. If nothing else, what I’ve been learning through the mailing lists, books, and magazine articles I have been able to apply to my own family research.
For 2013, I’ve been thinking about what my upcoming goals are. To keep it simple, and within reach of able to be completed within the year, I’ve decided on three major goals:
- Goal 1: Continue my genealogical education. Early last year I signed up for the National Genealogical Society’s Home Study Course (NGS HSC). I’ve completed assignments one through four, submitted five (which needs to be resubmitted after some minor tweaks), and done about half of the work needed for assignment six. My goal for 2013 is to complete the second CD of the course, which starts with assignment seven.
- Goal 2: Attend a genealogy event. Other than trading emails and letters with a few folks in the past, I’ve been a solo genealogist. This year I’d like to break out of my shell a little and meet some other genealogists in person. Last year I joined the Genealogical Society of Vermont (GSV), but I’ve yet to attend a meeting, so that may be one possibility. Another possibility may be The New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC) conference, which will be held in Manchester, New Hampshire in April. There are some sessions at that event that look interesting, in particular regarding old photographs and early New England research.
- Goal 3: Write more. I’ve enjoyed writing since I could put a sentence down on a piece of paper. I still have “books” that I wrote in first and second grade. When I graduated from Junior High, my English teacher gave me a thesaurus that occasionally finds use, even in this age of the Internet. Most of my heroes are writers of some sort, whether they are novelist, poets, or song-writers. Even with all that, though, it’s safe to say that I don’t write nearly as often as I used to. I’m hoping to use this blog to remedy that. My goal is to write a focused post every two or three days. If I’m lucky, maybe the act of writing about genealogy will creep into the rest of my life, and I’ll start writing fiction again for fun.
Goal 2, I think, will be my toughest. I tend to be an introvert, so going to large gatherings of strangers takes some effort. The NERGC sessions on old photographs really pique my interest though, as I enjoy both photography and digital restoration as hobbies. Thanks to one of my other hobbies, the NERGC conference would also be my second large convention-type event of the year (oddly enough, at the same hotel), so finances may also play a part in that one. I still have a few months to mull it over though.