One of the problems with telling people, even your nearest and dearest, that you’re doing something for book research, is that very few people seem to grasp how long research actually takes.
…Yes, this means cleaning up is going slowly. I’m sure more than one writer has said, “If I could just snap my fingers and have every piece of paper vanish, the rest would be easy!”
Well, it would. But the fact remains that research – whether it’s experimental “how long does it take to do X” by doing it, or looking stuff up on the Web – takes time. Ingenuity in search terms, sometimes; coming at things sideways (finding a person by finding obituaries of relatives, for example), or just having enough experience with the quirks of Google or a library database to poke it in unexpected ways. But most of all, time.
This is a two-edged sword I’m feeling particularly keenly at the moment. Since I spend a lot of my free time poking books and other info sources, I have a bunch of odd facts stuffed in my head. Meaning if someone asks me a question, I often either know something about it, or at least know where to look it up.
(Seriously. Ask me about beekeeping, I can tell you we’ve got hieroglyphic records of people sailing up and down the Nile with hives in baskets. Edible wild plants? I can ID more than a few. Bio/chem warfare? Has been around at least as long as poisoned arrows. And on. And on.)
The problem comes when I don’t know. Because people are used to me coming back with an answer immediately, or “I’ll go poke that on the internet” and getting it in a few hours.
When I don’t even know where to start… research takes a lot – a lot – of flailing around. And dead ends. And “I got this smidge, I’ll have to look for more when my head stops aching.”
A zpoc might be preferable, sometimes. Zombies, easy. People hard!
Well. Back to research…. 😉