Creating a Family History in 2018
Gather photos of homes you lived in, schools you attended, and cars you owned. Write a paragraph or two about why you did or did not like them. Ask your children, parents, and grandparents what their memories of these are.
One of the most popular books for most non-professionals is a family history. Putting together a simple book that can be shared with your family members can be fun but it is also a lot of work.
Involving your kids, if you have any, can turn this into a family activity. Children and teens alike might like drawing family pets or houses where they’ve lived. Some will warm to the idea of self-portraits. Of course, the trusty cell phone can help them take pictures to include.
At some point, you can help them create a family tree. This can be helpful, but be aware that difficult issues can arise. Think of how each family member will react to the information included: divorces, deceased infants, suicides, adoptions, and other events may not be known by everyone who will see this information.
I will post this each month as a reminder to be cautious about information you share. Better safe than sorry!
Consider interviewing relatives, too; their stories are often treasures. Ask them for copies of old photographs of people and places. Don’t limit this to family. One of the things that makes these histories so interesting is pictures of friends, places of worship, schools, and favorite vacation spots.
I will be posting a suggestion each month for an activity that will help you focus your efforts. I think most of these can be done in less than four hours a month. You can spend more time if your interest is piqued.
Commitment to Your Art
Promote your work. It sounds daunting but can be accomplished by making a plan and working on it regularly.The first thing you need to do is look through your work and figure out who your audience is. Do your artworks sell better to students or businesses? Do your manuscripts do better with independent journals or do you accomplish more by self-publishing?
When you have a clear picture of your potential markets, you can begin compiling contact lists. Remember that you will need a good program to keep track of telephones, cell phones, physical addresses for deliveries, mailing addresses, and emails.
If you don’t have a website, create one. There are many excellent free website hosting programs online. I like WordPress for its simple designs that cater to a variety of needs.
Now create a schedule for upcoming releases or exhibitions. Work back from the date of release of a book or article or the opening of an art exhibit in which you are participating. When is the deadline for submission? Do you have photographs of book covers or artworks? You must include production time, such as obtaining copyrights and arranging printing of any promotional materials. The last step should be mailing printed promotions and marketing materials and arranging interviews with your media contacts.
“God is different to us now, after all these years in Africa. More spirit than ever before, and more internal. Most people think he has to look like something or someone- a roofleaf or Christ- but we don’t. And not being tied to what God looks like, frees us.”
(Alice Walker, The Color Purple)