Currently, the prevailing thought in my head is “What did I get myself into?” I couldn’t help it though, the timing was perfect and it seemed like a good thing to do at the time. I’m sure you’re wondering what I got myself into this time. Well, I signed up for ProGen. For those who don’t know what ProGen is, the ProGen Study Group is a book study group that focuses on the book Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians (edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills).
Each month course attendees are given reading and written assignments related to the material. They also participate in online discussion groups to talk about the current topic and offer constructive feedback to their peers. This study group is not for the faint-of-heart, however. It’s an 19-month commitment and formatted for genealogists who have professional level research experience. Hence me currently questioning my own sanity. I’m not a professional genealogist by any means. But after attending NGS and speaking to a number of ProGen alumni I began to realize that ProGen would be a great opportunity to learn to be a better genealogist. I have no doubt that it will be hard. Probably one of the hardest courses I’ve ever taken. But in addition to being intimidated and completely overwhelmed by the thought of spending 19 months taxing my brain and my skills, I’m also extremely excited. I’m pushing myself to learn more, be better and gain experience in a field that has become a great love for me. I heard a TED speaker the other day that I think really said it best: “I think the thing that stops people from doing it [being creative] is always exactly the same thing, which is fear. And what I’ve discovered over the years is not that you have to be fearless…I think instead what you have to do is recognize that fear and creativity are conjoined twins.” (Elizabeth Gilbert, “Where Does Creativity Come From?” http://www.npr.org/2014/10/03/351554044/where-does-creativity-come-from).
Alright then, let’s do this. Fear, your twin Creativity and I are going for a ride. We know you’re coming along so hop in back but you’re not allowed to make any decisions on this trip, you’re only allowed to come along for the ride.