This month at Stories From the Past: PPD, NaBloPoMo, and NPO
Eventually monthly newsletters will show up as an email (if you follow by email), but I’m learning as I go, so I’ll make do until I figure it out. This first newsletter is more for my benefit than anyone else (I’m practicing), but I hope it helps my readers too.
Okay, I made up the acronym, and since just “PP” sounded well, you know, I added the D. It stands for Perfection Paralysis Disorder. I’m not much into psychology, so I don’t actually know if it’s a real disorder, but I do know that Perfection Paralysis is a real thing, and I really do have it. Perfection paralysis happens when you can’t do anything out of fear that it won’t be good enough. I’ll not go into too much detail, but a good friend once told me that I was afraid of success. It wasn’t until I learned about Perfection Paralysis that I realized he was right. I’ve been so afraid of the business end of blogging, that I have been putting off a professional release of my website. I’ve also been so afraid of not getting published that I haven’t devoted more than a minimal amount of time to writing my books. (Yes. That’s books. Plural.)
Over the past few months I’ve been thinking about a phrase I heard in a motivational speech a year or two ago, “What has changed?” I wish I could remember who said it, or even when it was said, but I am pretty sure that it was said in relation to the old saying often erroneously attributed to Albert Einstein, “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.” (I’m not actually sure who said it, but there seems to be plenty of evidence that it was not Einstein.) So after kicking myself over and over again for not making habitual changes, I am finally cutting whatever losses there may be and doing it (financial losses mostly, since this is my full-time job now). Not only am I going to devote myself to creating a great website for telling the stories of ordinary people who can no longer speak for themselves, but I am writing a full-length biography as well.
I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna get over that perfection paralysis.
By the time you read this I will probably have already switched from free WordPress hosting to pro. That doesn’t mean this is an official grand opening. I’ve got a lot to do between now and then, and there will be changes. This is just my jumping off point– which leads us to NaBloPoMo.
NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month. I haven’t ever seen it as an organized thing like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), but many bloggers do it. The whole idea of NaNoWriMo is that you write enough words daily to crank out a novel in a month. NaBloPoMo is less ambitious; just write a blog post a day for a month. That’s 30 days for November. But being the perfectionist that I am, I won’t just write out any old post and throw it onto the page. I’ll be researching, outlining, and drafting, but the posts will be scheduled for later so I can go back, proofread, and edit before pushing that publish button.
NaBloPoMo coincides with NaNoWriMo which is scheduled for November. But there are other things that happen in November to focus on as well. November in the United States is Native American History Month and our national celebration of harvest and Thanksgiving. I’ll be looking for, and telling stories about my grandchildren’s Navajo past as well as stories of Thanksgiving in America. Maybe even recipes. (It’s all about food.) Expect at least one post for each.
Appearing this November:
- The Second Wife’s Story: Mary has her own page now! (published November 4)
- November’s Ancestor landing page(s). I’ve planned for one ancestor per month, but last month’s ancestor required much more research than I expected, so the page wasn’t quite ready on its scheduled date. Expect a new landing page to appear on the last Tuesday of each month under Cousin Connection on the menu bar.
- Thomas Davis/Davies (October’s ancestor–scheduled for November 6)
- Rudolph/Rudolf Abeles (scheduled for November 27)
- Stories of a Home as told in Facebook Comments (scheduled for November 7)
- A Genealogy Hack. This is new. I want to include at least one a month, tentatively scheduled for the second Tuesday of Each month.
- Benjamin Jones, Benjamin Jones, Benjamin Jones (organizing documents and differentiating between ancestors when they share the same name) (scheduled for November 13)
- Chapter notes or even a full chapter draft for The Second Wife’s Story, focusing on Mary’s family in Wales, It just depends on how far I can get with my research. Click here to see how you can help. Chapter notes will always appear on the last Wednesday of the month. (scheduled for November 28).
Newsletters will be mailed or posted on the first Monday of each month. The only regularly scheduled Tuesday posts will be for genealogy hacks (second Tuesday) and ancestor landing pages (last Tuesday). Stories will be posted every Wednesday.
Tentative stories for the upcoming months:
- Rothsprack Cousin Connection
- Uncle Bernie (Kwiatkowski)
- Mary Rogers (Damron)
- Tante Rosa and Tante Rosa
- Ruth’s story
- Aucke Wyckoff’s story
- The story of a Pony Express Rider
- Mother was a prostitute (Not mine, Silly!)
- Tree? What Tree? (Christmas adventures)
I have agonized over ways to make a living without separating people from their money for years. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t embrace capitalism. And when I was teaching, all I really wanted to do was write. I tried substitute teaching and blogging at the same time, but I wasn’t consistent at it. And while my husband has a college education and works hard, he is high-functioning autistic and doesn’t make a whole lot of money (I’ll bet you didn’t know that, did you?), so I have to earn a living. A couple of weeks ago, it finally occurred to me that I could become an entrepreneur and still not rip people off. I looked it up, and sure enough, I can found a non-profit organization (NPO)!
How much do I know about non-profits? Almost nothing. But I do know a few things about grant-writing, I’m pretty good at research, and I already know that I can gather enough stories to keep this going (I’ve already done it). I already have more stories than I can keep up with, but I still want more, and I’ll be able to tell even more stories by contracting work out. I can do this. Yes, it’s going to take A LOT of behind-the-scenes get-my-hands-dirty work, but I’m taking the steps to git-R-done. I’m revising and revitalizing. Stories From the Past is going to be more than just a blog, it’s going to be my the rest of my life.
Starting an NPO means that I will have to become a we, not a me. I’ll need a team. Not just for moral support, but for fiscal and ethical oversight. I’m confident that I can find the right people here in Kentucky to help me with that. It won’t happen for a few more weeks, and maybe not until the new year. I’ll be sure to update you when it happens.
Managing an NPO means fundraising. This is a full-time effort, and I know I’ll be losing money for the first few months. Fundraising efforts will begin almost immediately.
I’ve been invited to Austria for the inauguration of a museum housing exhibitions on the Jews in Bucklige Welt and Wechselland regions titled “With – Without Jews.” The museum will tell the stories of the many families who disappeared during the Holocaust–including mine. I will be able to gather so many more stories of people who can’t tell them. New generations are already forgetting, and denying, the Holocaust. WE NEED TO REMEMBER AND RECOGNIZE THE TRUTH. This will happen in April 2019, and I want to be there. If I can take my husband with me, even better.
And If you’ve read this far, I have one last item for November:
I’ve created a Stories From the Past Pinterest account, a Facebook page to accompany my already existing Facebook group, renamed my Twitter account, and I’ll be posting regularly on my LinkedIn account very soon. Most accounts are still in the building stages but they are up and running. I am not at all confident enough for YouTube or podcasting, but I have some ideas. I wonder though, do I really need Instagram? Maybe you could provide some insight for me (comment below).
Have I overwhelmed you? It seems like a lot, but I’m restructuring my life to make this work. I would love to help you tell your story. I can publish it right here on Stories From the Past (free of charge, but donations are always welcome). I’ll write it for you, but I don’t hesitate to publish your own well-written work with proper attribution to the author. Let’s talk about it! If you have any other ideas, please leave comments below.