Creating a Family History in 2018
Take pictures of your favorite haunts in your city. These can be hamburger joints, parks, sports arenas, fairgrounds, drive-ins, and other memorable venues. Include friends and family who accompanied you; if you met them for the first time there, mention it.
If you have the opportunity, visit other cities. Beach or mountain trips, camping, and other favorite vacations are good inclusions.
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
Read, attend exhibits, and performances. Know your field.
Keep up with professional journals. There are many available in every artistic area: art, writing, music, dance, and theater. These can provide new insights into the work of your colleagues and information on conferences and calls for submissions.
Few careers are as lonely as the creative ones. That doesn’t have to be the case, and shouldn’t. Knowing what other creative and innovative people are working on can keep your mind alive and engaged with the world beyond your doorstep.
“There is a solitude, which each and every one of us has always carried with him, more inaccessible than the ice-cold mountains, more profound than the midnight sea; the solitude of self. Our inner being, which we call ourself, no eye nor touch of man or angel has ever pierced.”
(Elizabeth Cady Stanton)