KDP Writing Weekend #1: How Did I Do?

2013 0818 writingIn looking back over this intensive writing weekend when I put in a minimum of 21 hours writing on my KDP, I discovered some new/old truths which may help others of you who are also procrastinating about certification….

Truth #1: starting is the hard part.  While I may not be having all the “fun” that Judy Russell did when she wrote her KDP, I did find it liberating to get started. (You can find her webinar by clicking here.)

Truth #2: Mix it up!  I did some reading, some writing, some citations until I found, I really wanted to tackle the genealogical proof summary–and so I did that all day Sunday.

Truth #3: Take breaks.  I didn’t take enough of them but should have taken a few more–maybe even a nap.  These can be as small as watering the plants (Lord knows they need it.) or going to a picnic. They were great ways to disengage the mind.  I even played a few computer games.

Truth #4:  Get some sleep.  I missed on this one.  I didn’t go to bed until 1:00 am most nights and woke up groggy the next mornings.

Truth #5: Take time to read the BCG Application Guide, to remind yourself of what you might have forgotten and re-read Genealogy Standards. (It’s just dawned on my that I don’t have the latest edition on my iPad.)

Truth #6:  Make sure you have Numbering Your Genealogy and Evidence Explained close at hand.  I cannot tell you how many times I opened both.  For a while I thought I was catching a breeze but it was only the fluttering pages of those two books! 🙂

Truth #7:  I stunned myself how organized I was when I first started researching my family. I have used Master Genealogist (sigh) since 2002, and my goal then, as it is now, is to find every source with the desired evidence within 20 seconds or less and I can!!  I found a critical 1978 letter that I forgot even existed — in 20 seconds.  Course, I also found that I had misfiled a probate file and now I have to go back and get it. Most of the sources I am missing, I never had.

Truth #8: Don’t store your BCG envelope next to a window.  It can get wet.  Luckily, none of the truly important stuff did–but still–where was my head?

Truth #9:  I found myself losing focus on Sunday at 8:30 pm.  So I quit and watched WDYTYA and went to bed.  It was time.

Truth #10:  Do it again!  The next KDP Writing Weekend #2 is scheduled for Labor Day.  3.5 days!  I don’t know if I can stay focused that long.  I may have to mix it up with some library work.  We’ll see.

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last posting:  Well, you pretty well know, but I also structured the OGSA program for the 2016 conference in Excel and sent it off to the Board for their review, attended a PS-APG picnic, prepped my next presentation on “House Histories–Thank You Taxman!” for the Northwest Genealogical Conference (NwGC). I present on Saturday.  Saw a Call for Proposal that looked right for my librarian friend and I to apply for. (She and I have been looking for some time to find the right venue for us to present–we are going to sit down and brainstorm a presentation.)


The BCG Application Guide. Board for Certification of Genealogists: Washington, DC, 2011.

Board for Certification of Genealogists. Genealogy Standards. Nashville, Tennessee: Turner Publishing, Company, 2014.

Curran, Joan Ferris, Madilyn Coen Crane and John H. Wray. Numbering Your Genealogy: Basic Systems, Complex Families, and International Kin. Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2008.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: City History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Third edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2015.


5 comments on “KDP Writing Weekend #1: How Did I Do?

  1. Wow. Your writing style sounds like you are a marathoner who works best in large blocks of time. Please do catch up on your sleep and also, don’t forget to go out and walk around the block, it will help you stay alert! Fresh oxygen for the brain!

    • Jill Morelli says:

      Valerie, I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you are right! I do need to “get into the groove.” Once I am there, I can continue for some time. Since it takes me a while to get there, short work stints don’t work as well for me. Now, I can knock out a report for my boss in less than an hour but this kind of writing takes much more of my mental energy. I also need to take a “Valerie Break” more often. Thanks for the advice. Jill

  2. Debra A. Hoffman says:

    Thank you for taking the time to inspire the rest of us procrastinators. Though I think my problem is more of too many eggs on my egg plate…thanks, Mark Lowe for that visual! 🙂 Keep up the good work, Jill. I’m looking forward to seeing the announcement that you have achieved certification!

  3. Dana Leeds, The Enthusiastic Genealogist says:

    Sounds like your plan worked pretty well! I love your goal of being able to find any paper/document within 20 seconds. Hmmm… I have a lot of work to do. 😉

    • Jill Morelli says:

      I set that goal back in 2002 when I changed from paper to computer genealogy program. I re-entered all my data and started over. There are two documents I cannot find in 20 seconds….I misfiled them. If that occurs, my system has no way to recover except to go throught he entire file. I file in 3-ring binders with archival pockets. Each binder is a family (mother’s, father’s or husband’s). Each binder holds about 150 exhibits, one on each side of the slip sheet. Each side of the slip sheet has a “smart” number: a family code letter and then a sequential number. The letter is the family code, e.g. B[ode]152 or J[acobson]34. These are cross referenced in the computer program and each datapoint is cross referenced to the slip sheet code. I can see the code by just looking at the citation. I have probably 95-98% of every entry sourced. (I was a citation fanatic from very early on.) There are no other division of exhibits–I just file as I receive them. Pretty simple actually. And that’s how I found the 1978 letter written by the cemetery caretaker who looked in the church book and who also happened to be a cousin! 🙂

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