Research Can Kill Your Deadlines!

jianne_carlo_img_avatarOne of my favorite author activities is research. Unfortunately, research’s not a double-edged sword, but more a kazillion-edged one.

Research is exponential. You start off by looking up the exact date an event occurred, and the Google search engine gives you six different sites. Of course, being a conscientious and ethical writer, you must read and compare each site.

The first webpage mentions a precursor to the incident, and you need to know if it will impact on your storyline. So, off you go, and the whole scenario’s repeated ad infinitum. All of a sudden your carefully carved out block of writing time’s over and family and work responsibilities demand your attention.

Sound familiar to those of you who hold down day jobs?

There are so many other distractions, email, blogging, author loops, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads…I could go on forever. Add to that the pressure to devote time to marketing and — did I get in five minutes today?

We haven’t even touched on the notion of an actual social life.

I’m not what you could remotely call a social butterfly, networking or otherwise. By nature, I’m reclusive, and the strain to engage at large wirelessly makes my stomach clench and jerk. In 2013, sheer peer pressure made me cave, and I attempted to master too much at once. I spread myself thin and my writing suffered.

Not happening in 2014. In terms of my author persona, I have but two goals:

1.     Writing—No matter what I will write 1000 words 5 days a week.

2.    Research—If I’m in the middle of writing, and I need to look up a fact, instead of scooting online, I’ll simply insert three question marks. After I’ve completed my daily quota, then, and only then, will I research the point in question.

That’s it. Nada else.

According to the experts, it takes six weeks to either break or make a habit. So, I’ll report back to you on my blog on April 14, 2014 on whether I’ve stuck to my resolve.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!  Shamrock



4 thoughts on “Research Can Kill Your Deadlines!

  1. I jear you, Jianne. When it comes to my research, I employ a similar tactic. If I have a fact I need to check, I put a star in the manuscript and get back to it later. Research is awesome, but it’s so hard to stop!


    • Agreed Rosanna. I also read non-fiction research right before turning off the lights and take whatever research book (s) I’m working on to Doctor’s apps etc. Keeps me from being bored and is productive.


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