Some people love to write and then there is the rest of us. Writing isn’t my favorite part of producing family histories, but I really enjoy producing and sharing them. This is where hiring a writer can be extremely helpful. The challenge then becomes in finding the best writer for your history.
Here are my recommendations based on your desired outcome.
1) If you want to decide every word of the book but can’t type very well, then record your history on a tape recorder or digital recorder and hire a typist to transcribe it for you. They will take the frustration out of the project and you will still have control of how it ends up. Check with young married relatives or neighbors, they often can use a little extra income and have time to type your book.
2) If you have a lot of written journals, stories, histories, and genealogies but need help editing out what doesn’t need to be included, then you can hire an editor to help you with that process. You can often find a good editor by contacting an English professor with the local community college.
3) But if you don’t have very much information that is already written and need help getting started, then you will need a Personal Historian or ghost writer. A good historian or writer can walk you through the whole process by asking questions, doing interviews, sorting through documents and pictures, and eventually writing the book. This method requires the least amount of work on your part, will cost the most, and will usually produce the most professional book. You can find personal historians in your area by checking the Personal Historian web site and searching by your location.