Finding motivation to set and reach goals -
one month at a time.

December Mandate – Week 1/Day 3

December 3rd, 2016 | Tags: | No Comments »

Back on track

So I got back to work on the project today.  I started by continuing to work on the outline.  I think I found an interesting way to organize it that I haven’t really seen in other books.  I was thinking of organizing the chapters in the way that you would actually go about researching a family tree.  Namely: Plan, Collect, Evaluate, Record.  I figure I’ll go into depth in each section and hopefully that will reinforce in the reader’s mind the order in which they should tackle their research.

On another note, I started some quick research into finding an editor.  I checked out and there are plenty of people out there that will edit your documents for you.  The going rate for the top editors seems to be about $5 per 1000 words and the time required is anywhere from 24 hours to 3 days.

After a quick google search I’ve found that an eBook tends to have about 210 words per page and an average eBook (educational) has somewhere between 30 and 100 pages.  So I’m looking at about 6,000 to 21,000 words.  Which means about $30 to $105 to edit.  So, to stay within budget, I think I’m going to look to stay at around the 50 page mark or about 10000 words.  That means about $50 for editing and another $25 or less for the cover art.  I’ll research that another day.  But of course, the outline and material will dictate the length regardless of what I’m planning for.

I also found the following site which describes a method to write an ebook in 30 days.  Very similar to what I’m doing here.

Time Spent: 1 hour



December Mandate – Week 1/Day 2

December 2nd, 2016 | Tags: | No Comments »

1 for 2?

Wow – Only two days in and I’ve already missed a day.  In my defense my car died today.  Not just “died on the side of the road” died but died as in “This car needs work costing more than it is worth”.   It is basically undriveable so I spent all of yesterday researching new cars.  Partly because I was upset over the sudden need to by one and partly because I suddenly get to buy one.  It’s a weird contradiction I know but it pretty much consumed my brain all day so I got nowhere on this project.

Oh well, I’ll pick it up again tomorrow.

Time Spent: 0

December Mandate – Week 1/Day 1

December 1st, 2016 | Tags: | No Comments »

First mandate – First day – First problem.

I was excited to get going this morning but when I sat down to actually do anything I was overwhelmed and anxious.  So, I procrastinated for bit. Got up – walked around – got some tea.  Then told myself I’d just tackle setting up a Trello board to organize tasks.  After I did that, I start to prioritize the tasks and then some of them didn’t look so daunting.  So I started researching existing books on Amazon (“Look Inside!” FTW!).

Then I thought that I could take the good parts of some of these books and start building an outline/table of contents for my book from that.  Things started to flow a little faster after that and I think I made good progress on the outline.  I realized though that I was trying to make everything perfect.  I was trying to make sure that I included every little tidbit in every chapter.  I needed to remind myself that this is an iterative process and that it was better to just get something out on (digital) paper than to have it be perfect.  I will modify and update it as I go through the process.  I suspect that this will be a recurring problem that I will have to deal with especially when I get to the writing and editing.  But, all-in-all I’m happy with the progress today.

Hopefully today’s success in overcoming the first hurdle (anxiety, being overwhelmed) and actually getting something done will help me continue through the next days.

Next up is probably going to be refining the outline and considering how to provide visual examples – Should I use my own family research, another family that I’ve done (probably would need to get permission) or start up something new for a famous person and use that?

Time Spent: 1 hour


December Mandate – Planning

November 30th, 2016 | Tags: | No Comments »

Week 1:

  •   Research existing genealogy ebooks and physical books – See what others think is important
  •   Outline chapters
  •   Outline within chapters
  •   Begin Writing

Week 2:

  •   Continue Writing
  •   Find an editor
  •   Find a cover artist

Week 3:

  •   Finish Writing
  •   Research eBook formats
  •   Research eBook publishing – Amazon etc.
  •   Begin editing process
  •   Cover art drafts

Week 4:

  •   Finalize editing
  •   Finalize cover art
  •   Create Website (stretch goal)


December Mandate – Goals

November 29th, 2016 | Tags: | No Comments »

The mandate goal for December will be to have a completed eBook that people can use to learn about genealogy so that they can research their own family histories.

As a stretch goal I’d also like to look into building out a quick website to promote/sell/distribute the book.

And finally, as a personal goal, I’d like to investigate using the funds for this month’s mandate to see what parts of the project I can outsource.  I’d like to teach myself how to have others do the things that they better at than I am while I focus on the things that I can uniquely add.  For this project I’m thinking things like editing and cover art might be worthy things to outsource. Additionally, I’d like to investigate if there are any tools for purchase that might make this project easier instead of struggling and wasting time with free tools.  In quickly thinking about this there might be some tools out there for making/publishing PDFs or ePubs or maybe something that can convert between formats.  I’ll have to take a look.

Also, if there are any funds left over, I could possibly use those for the website portion of the stretch goal.

December Mandate – Project

November 20th, 2016 | Tags: | No Comments »

December’s mandate will be to write and self publish an introduction to genealogy ebook.