Saturday, June 21, 2014

What I have Learned About Going "Out" to Write/ Research

My sister and I have been working on a project.  It has grown into a trilogy for teens/tweens that touches the lives of our great grandparents.  The project has grown from a simple historical retelling to a trilogy involving some semi-fictional characters set in a real historical time frame.  There is much research to do to get these stories going because they are set in the late 1800s.  I am not sure whether the books will ever happen but at this point the research is still fun.

Since my sister is the writer and I am the researcher/librarian, I am doing some research.  Some of this has involved the trips we have made to Oklahoma and Kansas.  I want to go back to Kansas this year and maybe to northern Illinois.  But, for now, I am reading books and taking notes and praying and thinking.

I made an amazing discovery.  I don't get much done on this project at home.  There are too many distractions, things to clean or that should be cleaned.  Things to put away and sort.  There is the phone, the television, the cat, the doorbell and the computer.  Home distracts me.  I get very little done.

I have spent the last couple of weeks trying out places to write.  So far my favorite is the library.  The research room is quiet and nobody comes up to talk to me.  I tried a couple of fast food places and I found that chatty people were a big drawback to those places.  At first I thought is was fun to talk to folks, but after a few minutes and television program recommendations (I don't want to watch television that is only marginally related to the subject I am researching) I was ready for the person to move on and they didn't.  I tried a Bread Co. which is a coffee shop equivalent, and it was okay, but it was rather busy and a little dark and crowded.  There isn't really a Starbucks close by and although I can't remember why, I think I am boycotting them.  Since I don't drink coffee it is no sacrifice.

I resisted the library because I work in a library and it didn't seem "fun" to go to one.  I will admit, I can get distracted by all the books and people who are looking for things.  It is an occupational hazard.  But, after a couple of times, I have found it easier to focus on what I came to do and block the rest out.

Although I am miles from finishing this research, I feel that in just a couple of weeks I have made some headway.  It all doesn't seem so much like a hopeless pipedream as it did. Going "out" to work seems like a winner.

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