“When people say they’re doing research, I say, You’re just postponing writing.” —Mary Karr https://t.co/i9eMxjL0l0— The Paris Review (@parisreview) October 9, 2018
Yes, I am doing research, and yes, I am postponing the writing. But I disagree strongly here about the word “just.” The research right now is everything, and I’m not sure I’ve done enough of it yet to write the book I want to write. If I’m not writing come January, it’s because I am procrastinating. But not now.
Some days, it does feel like I’m spinning my wheels. Some days, I get stuck trying to follow a lead or track down a source. (I still can’t find the materials I’d like on Norman Crowder so that I can flesh him out as a character, for example.) Some days, I am overwhelmed by the amount of PDFs I have downloaded and still have not read. Some days I balk at research and reading I have done, and the task of shaping it all into a story.
I am using a couple of pieces of software to help me organize my research: Scrivener, Zotero, and Aeon Timeline. Some days, I find myself frustrated with how well I have organized and tagged the data there. Some days, making progress on the book involves re-shuffling these systems. I joked with Kin this week that I might buy a big cork board so I can transfer some of this digital planning into an analog visualization. Maybe I am just postponing the writing....