What’s up?

When I started this year I didn’t intend that my blog would go silent. I thought it would be business-as-usual, with at least a good though-provoking post every so often. Sadly, as the year went on, the posts got less and less frequent.

Rest assured, though, I am not disappearing—just reorganizing my priorities. I will try to continue to post as much as I can, but my efforts in the field of genealogy are being refocused.

Among some of the things I have been working on this year:

  • I taught at three major institutes, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (in January), the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (in June), and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (in July).
  • I have written several articles published in various journals: two in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (December 2012 and March 2013), one in the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal, and one in Chinook, the magazine of the Alberta Family Histories Society. Several other articles have been written and are pending publication, one of which even (gasp) involves research into my own family. Even more articles are in various stages of completion.
  • I have been assisting with the creation of the Southern Appalachians Genealogical Association. I am serving as Editor of the annual Journal. If any of my readers have an interest in the Southern Appalachians region, please join the society and consider writing for the Journal. The call for submissions is posted on their website.
  • You may have seen me on the Chris O’Donnell episode of Who Do You Think You Are? That was fun. I am also credited (though I do not appear on-screen) for my research in the Christina Applegate episode.
  • I have continued to serve my term on the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Genealogists. I also served as Chapter Representative of Greater Philadelphia Area chapter of APG, helping with the chapter’s organization and incorporation into the APG—a process now complete! Unfortunately I will be stepping down from both of these positions next year.
  • This month, I was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. I am looking forward to being able to contribute what I can in this position.
  • Supplementing my genealogical activities, I have also been taking several online courses to continue my own education in several subjects. Some of these relate indirectly to my work in genealogy; some do not. You may soon witness the incorporation of some of these topics into my educational offerings.
  • There are a few other projects I have been working on as well, but I am not at liberty to tell you about them yet. As soon as I can tell you, I will.

You might notice some trends.

When I first began my career as a professional genealogist, I wanted to focus on two things: writing/publishing and promoting higher standards for research. Over the years, in not wanting to turn down opportunities, I became involved in other endeavors. I spread myself too thin. So this year I decide to reassess my career goals, and have been moving away from anything that did not further my goals. My new activities will (hopefully) continue to reflect these goals.

Be patient with me. I plan to soon regain some semblance of balance in posting to the blog. I may not post as often as I once did, but it should be more often than it has been recently.

Michael

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13 responses to this post.

  1. Your one of hardest working people I know in the genealogical field. Whenever you don’t post for awhile, I know you’re doing something worthwhile. So I wait patiently. I too have been spread a little thin this past year and I want to refocus my attention to my personal education. Keep up the good work and see you in Richmond next year (hope you teach there).

    Reply

  2. I am also doing a hard realignment of my priorities regarding my career as a genealogist. A year or so ago, while work was very slow, I said yes to way too many volunteer projects, board appointments, etc. While I still have another full year at most of them, I won’t be able to do them all again after that. Not if I want to get anywhere professionally. You know the feeling Michael – stretched so thin and far you feel as though you’re going to snap at any moment. Having you proclaim outloud that you are cutting back on activities is great. I don’t feel like such a mean cranky old lady when I say firmly – NO! lol

    Reply

  3. Do what you need to do, it will always lead to a better organized place.

    Reply

  4. It was great seeing you on WDYTYA! I look forward to your posts, whenever you chose to make them.

    Reply

  5. I understand… and can sympathize. I have had to cut back on some things, although it has left me very sad as I enjoyed it. Just do not have the time to do it, and be a mom and wife. I laugh though when my husband says genealogy is just for people who are retired.

    Reply

  6. I appreciate each of my GeneaBlogger friends, as well as true professionals such as yourself, for annually reminding each of us to reset priorities, each year. This post, and the good comments, so far, are great re-enforcers of that practice – which I view as healthy. This is whether we are amateurs, retired, professionals, or whatever. Keeping our priorities in line with our current needs, desires, and wants is critical to both personal and professional health. Thanks, again, for sharing this important post. ;-)

    Reply

  7. Michael, this is a very important step you are taking. It doesn’t hurt any of us to reassess ourselves from time to time. I would much rather do fewer things and do them well than to have my hands in a lot of things and not do any of them well. With the commitments you have, plus that of being a husband and a father, your priorities are set correctly. I commend you!

    Reply

  8. I’ve never commented, but I have followed your blog for the past year or so and wondered what the quiet was all about! I’ll join the chorus when I say I admire your genealogy work and am sure you’re up to no good :) I do hope you continue to update from time to time, though. Your posts are always a good read. I also particularly appreciate your public emphasis on the academic nature of genealogy and insistence that the work we do also be scholarly. I hope to hear and see more from you in that regard, as I’ve always appreciate intellectualizing the research I do and keeping it truly interdisciplinary. Thanks for all you do,

    Eva

    Reply

  9. Posted by L. H. "Larry" Head, Jr. on October 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Michael, sorry I haven’t commented sooner. My weakness is subscribing to more than I can read at all, much less read timely.

    “Irregardless,” it’s great hearing from you, and seeing the iceberg’s tip (i.e., all that you’ve been involved with). I’m very happy that you’re able to pursue genealogy as a profession, and so successfully. And I’m equally as glad b/c of the reasons mentioned by Eva Goodwin.

    I look forward to seeing you again at IGHR.

    Kindest regards,

    Reply

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