Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two Nights of Research and Writing – What a Concept!

After my post from work on Monday, about needing to have writing available worthy of eSP, I came home and took the evening to research and write. I had already done some research into my next genealogy article at Suite101.com, so I decided to write the article. I did so, it taking less than an hour after the research was done. I'm not up to 119 articles at that site.

Having finished that, I went to my book set Annals of America to look for something to write for my Documenting America series. I pulled out the volume covering 1895-1904, mainly because I hadn't yet done anything after the Civil War and I want the series to cover much more than that. I found a good article, by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts (the first one, not the second). I read the article and found lots of good material for my article. By the time 11:00 PM rolled around I had the quotes identified (if not yet condensed), the introduction written, and a fair couple of paragraphs. Tonight I've been working on the actual chapter, and it now stands at 950 words, on its way to 1000 to 1200. This writing took me longer than expected, because I haven't written this kind of piece for a while.

It all felt good. I've written very little since mid-December, except a Suite article and a couple of articles for Buildipedia. The reading I've done to research To Exile and Back was fine, as was my reading of Eudora Welty's short memoir. But there's just something about writing new material from original research. Kind of like home-grown tomatoes vs. store bought, if you get my drift.

I can't abandon market research, or eSP research. Actually, I did some of the latter today by reading two writers' blogs. But I have to say that carving out some writing time was really satisfying. After I check stocks, I'll head upstairs, turning back down the thermostat in The Dungeon, sit in my reading chair—perhaps with coffee—and try to complete on paper the ending of my Documenting America piece. The title of it: "We Have Lost Sight of These Vast Interests". Fitting for a writer on two days he sets aside for pure writing.

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