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Thursday, December 31, 2015

No Looking Back: Why I'm Choosing Myself in 2016!

Well, here we are again, saying goodbye to another year. I would say that 2015 was not the best year for me, but not the worst year either. 



For the past several years I have done some "Year in Review" posts reflecting on happenings and accomplishments, and outlining goals for the New Year. I went back and read my post from last year, "2014 Year in Review: Looking Back and Moving Forward," and overall I did a pretty good job with what I outlined for 2015, coming up short really in just one area: Location (I wrote, "One of my hopes is to relocate somewhere other than where I currently reside. I have one specific locality in mind, but am leaving my options open"). For a whole host of reasons that did not happen, and so it stays on the list for 2016.

I am grateful for many blessings in both my personal and professional life. In 2015 I traveled a lot. I had plenty of opportunities to speak about genealogy to wonderful groups in Salt Lake City, Indianapolis, Fountain Hills Arizona, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, and Iowa. I also presented a number of webinars and coached family history writers in two Genealogy Writing Intensives. I wrote my tenth book (I can't say much about it because it has not yet been officially released by the publisher, but it is on genealogy and a subject I enjoy writing and teaching about). I worked hard in 2015 and I anticipate doing more of the same in 2016, but with one big change:  I am choosing myself!

What exactly does that mean? Well, I recently read a book called Choose Yourself! by James Altucher and it really opened my eyes. It talks about how we're all suffering from "post-societal traumatic stress disorder." The global economy has shifted and society is changing and we need to be able to make that shift to succeed. The basic premise is to shake off what we are taught--that "we are not good enough" and about having the confidence to make things happen for yourself, not waiting around for things to come to you, and not asking permission. There is so much in this book about exploring our creativity and using our entrepreneurship muscles. 

And, this is exactly what I want to do in 2016. I am not being selfish when I say this (trust me, anyone who knows me well knows that I am not a selfish person--this is evidenced in the fact that I spent 14 years as a primary caregiver for my parents during major illnesses, making many personal sacrifices and passing up a number of professional opportunities. And I have no regrets--I would do it all again in a heartbeat). But it is time for me to make some real changes in how I live and work.  

A few areas I will be working on include:

  • Downsizing my physical living space and possessions.
  • Choosing work that fulfills me rather than just taking on any project or doing work for little or no payment, or that doesn't fit my current business model. 
  • Focusing more on my own writing (including more posts to this blog) and self-publishing 
  • Expanding my work inspiring genealogists and family history writers by offering more personalized instruction through online courses and virtual learning experiences. 
  • Making more time for personal genealogy research and for enjoying life.

See you later, 2015. I am so ready to start choosing myself in 2016!


©2015, copyright Lisa A. Alzo. All rights reserved.




[Disclosure: From time to time, I include affiliate links in my blog posts (see my disclosure policy) What does this mean? Well if you click on the link and make a purchase, I get a small sales commission.]






Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Take Your Scrivener Skills to the Next Level: Scrivener II: Beyond the Basics Mini Boot Camp – Saturday, January 23, 2016

Is writing your family history on your list of goals for 2016?  Do you plan to use Scrivener, but want to learn how to get more out of this amazing writing tool?  Then, you won't want to miss the Scrivener II: Beyond the Basics Mini Boot Camp – Saturday, January 23, 2016 presented by yours truly, and hosted at HackGenealogy. 



Here is the official announcement and instructions on how to reserve your spot today. 

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Are you ready to take your Scrivener skills to the next level? Perhaps you have been exploring how to use this combination word processor and project management tool for your genealogy/family history writing projects. Now, it’s time to build on the introductory instruction of the Getting Started with Scrivener Mini Boot Camp and tap into the true power of Scrivener.
Here’s what you will get in Scrivener II: Beyond the Basics Mini Boot Camp:
  • Review the Scrivener interface, and its four main modes: Outline, Document View, Corkboard, and Scrivenings.
  • Learn how to use Scrivener’s organizational tools such as labels, collections, the outliner, project notes, scratch pad, and more!
  • Get tips on how the best ways to import research files and other content, and how to customize your Scrivener experience.
  • Learn how to do more with the “Inspector” and how to use it to monitor your work.
  • Develop a better understanding of working with revisions, printing, compiling, and exporting your work.
  • Walk through a mini-writing project from start to finish: starting with a template, and following it through writing mode, corkboard mode, and outline mode.
  • And much more!
*Pre-Requisite:  To get the most out of this boot camp, it is highly recommended that attendees watch the “Getting Started with Scrivener” Boot Camp video (http://hackgenealogy.com/scrivener-miniboot-camp-started-scrivener/) or have experience using Scrivener on their own. Also, if you haven’t done so, it is also highly recommended that you download the free trial version of Scrivener (Available for Mac or Windows) at http://www.literatureandlatte.com/index.php before the boot camp in order to maximize your learning experience.
Bonus Handout:  In addition to the webinar handout, attendees will receive a free “Family History Writer Toolkit” complete with links to Scrivener resources and an “Ancestor Profile” template (Mac and Windows versions) [Note: The templates will be .scriv files, designed to work specifically with the Scrivener program].
SPECIAL BONUS: Lisa Alzo has negotiated a special 20% OFF DISCOUNT on the purchase of Scrivener for those attending the Scrivener II Beyond the Basics Mini Boot Camp. To take advantage of this discount, select the regular license for Scrivener for either Mac (http://www.lisaalzo.com/ScrivenerMac) or Windows (http://www.lisaalzo.com/ScrivenerWindows) and add it to the shopping cart, then enter the coupon code LISAALZO in the “Coupon Code:” field at the top of the shopping cart page. A 20% discount will be shown in the shopping cart, and license details will be sent upon completion of the purchase.

Sign Up for the Scrivener II Beyond the Basics Mini Boot Camp Today!
With the Scrivener II Beyond the Basics Mini Boot Camp you’ll receive 1.5 hours of educational content for a special low price of $7.95! You’ll receive an extensive handout, a special Scrivener “freebie” created by instructor Lisa Alzo, as well access to the recorded version of the webinar for up to one year!
Register by Monday, 18 January 2016 and receive $2 off the registration price for a low $5.95! Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handout, the freebie and access to the recording!
Saturday 23 January 2016
Duration: 1.5 hours
Click here to register. Don't delay, space is limited and seats are filling up fast!

©2015, copyright Lisa A. Alzo. All rights reserved.


[Disclosure: I have been hired as a freelance presenter for this boot camp by HackGenealogy, and I will be paid an instructor's fee].

Monday, December 21, 2015

Are You Ready to Write that Family History? Get Started in January with Genealogy Intensive™ – The Write Stuff Spring 2016

Do you need a push to finally write that family history book in 2016? Will weekly motivation from writing coaches and fellow writers help you to put those fingers to the keyboard? 

Then, don't miss your chance to sign up for The Write Stuff Spring 2016 Genealogy Intensive™  offered through HackGenealogy.com. In this six week, interactive course (11 January - 15 February 2016), you will build your skills as a writer and learn about the tools and techniques to produce a quality family history. [And yes, the course starts in January, but we are calling it the Spring 2016 session - we prefer to "Think Spring" instead of Winter!]




Previous sessions (including the Fall 2015 installment) of The Write Stuff sold out quickly! Reserve your spot for the new session now by clicking here to register.



Why Am I Doing This?

As avid genealogists, we collect names, dates, places, and sources, and these are all essential to us learning about who we are. But a total family history is so much more just charts and graphs, boxes and lines, or references. Writing about our ancestors and our heritage gives context, meaning, and purpose to all of the facts we have collected, and I want to help you to learn how to lose the intimidation and let go of your fears about writing so that you can dig deeper into your family stories. As a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s Creative Nonfiction Writing program, I learned from many of the best in the business, and I have spent years building my own career as freelance writer. I want to share my experience with you.

Why the “Intensive” Concept?

In the genealogy field, there are countless opportunities for learning about what records are available and how to search them. In addition, there are many study groups out there to help you build upon the methodology and research practices. However, when it comes to writing, there is not the same in-depth type of instruction readily available. Even presentations given at conferences and via webinars are typically only lectures that will “tell” you about some of the key techniques, but don’t always “show” you what to do (I know this because I have given many of these presentations). With six weeks of concentrated focus in this “intensive” format, you will receive “take away” assignments to put into practice what you learn, and get the kind of one-on-one interaction with the instructor that is not always possible in a conference or webinar setting.

Specifically, in “The Write Stuff” experience, you will:
  • Learn writing skills and techniques to produce a quality family history
  • Build on the skills each week.
  • Focus on getting a working draft.
  • Receive constructive and helpful feedback.
  • Learn to overcome fears and anxiety about writing.
  • Have fun!

Through on-line instructional sessions, weekly assignments, and collaboration with other participants, attendees will have access to an instructor with more than 24 years of writing experience, who will teach key nonfiction writing techniques used to produce a “can’t put down” family history that will keep the pages turning for generations.

The intimidation-free learning environment will offer you the chance to find your voice, and write without worry or fear that you are doing something wrong. You will learn the essential skills you need to be accurate and thorough in your writing while maximizing your creativity!

The cost to attend a The Write Stuff Genealogy Intensive™ over a six week period is $129 per person. A special discounted price of $99 will be available during the early registration period.

Click here for more details and to register. But don’t delay…there are only a limited number of seats available, and you will want to be sure to get the early bird discount. 

I hope you will join me so I can help you to stop worrying and start writing!

©2015, copyright Lisa A. Alzo. All rights reserved.


[Disclaimer: I have been hired as a freelance instructor this intensive by HackGenealogy, and I will be receive payment for leading this intensive.]

Saturday, December 19, 2015

This Just In - NEW SESSION ADDED! Taming Your Inner Packrat: Genealogy Clutter Buster Mini Boot Camp – Saturday, January 16, 2016

If you didn't get in to the sold-out session of the Genealogy Clutter Buster Mini Boot Camp, now is your chance. A second session has been added.



Click HERE to go to HackGenealogy to register.

Here is what you need to know:

UPDATE: Due to the overwhelming response to our first offering (and a complete sellout in 24 hours!), we’ve decided to add a second session of the Genealogy Clutter Buster Boot Camp on January 16th!  Please use the links below if you were not able to purchase a spot in the 10:00 am Central/11:00 am Eastern class.  The second class will be held at 1:00 pm Central/2:00 pm Eastern on Saturday, January 16, 2015.  See below for more details!
Are you drowning in a sea of papers, documents, old photographs and other research materials? Feeling like a family history hoarder? If you want to start the New Year off right as a more efficient and organized genealogist, then you won’t want to miss this genealogy mini boot camp. Author, lecturer, and instructor, Lisa A. Alzo will show you how to purge your inner packrat and bust through the clutter. In this 90-minute workshop you will learn:
  • How to organize family history documents, photographs, for quick retrieval
  • The pros and cons of going paperless
  • Stress-free filing strategies and creating checklists to stay on track
  • Effective ways for distributing and sharing genealogical information with others
  • Tools, apps and resources for taming your paper and electronic monsters

Sign Up for the Genealogy Clutter Buster Mini Boot Camp Today!
With the Genealogy Clutter Buster Mini Boot Camp you’ll receive 1.5 hours of educational content for a special low price of $7.95! You’ll receive an extensive handout, a special “freebie” created by instructor Lisa Alzo, as well access to the recorded version of the webinar for up to one year!
Register by Monday, 11 January 2016 and receive $2 off the registration price for a low $5.95! Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handout, the freebie and access to the recording!
Saturday 16 January 2016
Duration: 1.5 hours
2:00 pm EST /1:00 pm CST
Taming Your Inner Packrat
Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.
Click here to register.
BootCamp Information ©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.
Blog Post ©2015, copyright Lisa A. Alzo. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Overwhelmed by Family Documents and Treasures? Join Me for the Genealogy Clutter Buster Mini Boot Camp – Saturday, January 16, 2016

Is your genealogy life spinning out of control? Is your "inner packrat" taking over your life or precious family history research or writing time? If so, trust me, you are not alone.


I've spent the past year sorting through personal papers, family photographs, books and other items that haven't seen the light of day in over 10 years. When you work in a field that is all about preserving the past, the lines often blur between being a genealogist and becoming a packrat. If you feel this way, then the Genealogy Clutter Buster Mini-Boot Camp could be the boost you need to be a better organized and more effective researcher. I have partnered with Thomas MacEntee of HackGenealogy and will be sharing my experiences and some of my favorite organizational tips and resources. 

Here is the official announcement from HackGenealogy:

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Taming Your Inner Packrat: Genealogy Clutter Buster Mini Boot Camp –                       Saturday, January 16, 2016

Are you drowning in a sea of papers, documents, old photographs and other research materials? Feeling like a family history hoarder? If you want to start the New Year off right as a more efficient and organized genealogist, then you won’t want to miss this genealogy mini boot camp. Author, lecturer, and instructor, Lisa A. Alzo will show you how to purge your inner packrat and bust through the clutter. In this 90-minute workshop you will learn:
  • How to organize family history documents, photographs, for quick retrieval
  • The pros and cons of going paperless
  • Stress-free filing strategies and creating checklists to stay on track
  • Effective ways for distributing and sharing genealogical information with others
  • Tools, apps and resources for taming your paper and electronic monsters

Click here to sign Up for the Genealogy Clutter Buster Mini Boot Camp Today!

With the Genealogy Clutter Buster Mini Boot Camp you’ll receive 1.5 hours of educational content for a special low price of $7.95! You’ll receive an extensive handout, a special “freebie” created by instructor Lisa Alzo, as well access to the recorded version of the webinar for up to one year!
Register by Monday, 11 January 2016 and receive $2 off the registration price for a low $5.95! Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handout, the freebie and access to the recording!

Saturday 16 January 2016
Duration: 1.5 hours
11:00 am EST /10:00 am CDT
Taming Your Inner Packrat
Presenter/Moderator: Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.
For more information and the registration, link, click here.
I hope you will join me for this mini-bootcamp and make the pledge to purge the clutter and start out 2016 on the right path!
BootCamp Information ©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.
Blog Post ©2015, copyright Lisa A. Alzo. All rights reserved.