Sunday, January 9, 2011

When Does Research Become Stalling?

I have 10-15K left to write on UEQ.  I have queries to send out for DLN.  And I'm committing myself to finding a home for several of my older manuscripts.  (I also have a boatload of housework to do and a pile of books to read, but that's just added stuff I don't want to think about.)

What did I do yesterday?  I researched ebook publishers.  Well, I started out just doing some simply research, which then turned into writing a big huge helpful post for other writers in my position (because, ya know, I didn't find a single site that gave me everything I wanted from a list of ebook publishers, so I, like, made my own.) 

Okay, so I didn't look very hard for an adequate list.  I googled epublishers a couple of different ways, taking the first few lists and running with them.  As I went down lists of links, I found too many broken links and too many others who simply weren't accepting submissions, which lead me to the post I worked on yesterday.

Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that at some point along the way, I think my researching might have turned into stalling.  I took a simple task - to collect links for myself - and turned it into an all day event that isn't even finished.  Or rather Day One of an ongoing event that could distract me for an untold amount of time.  I mean, kee-ryst, I spent almost an hour reading 7 pages worth of a forum where people venomously either attacked or defended one publisher in particular.  Talk about unproductive - for me and for them.

At the time, I thought I was being productive, but looking back now, I think I was just stalling.  The problem now is, I still need to do the research whether I'm subconsciously stalling or not.  Ack.  Oh, the workings of the sometimes neurotic mind. 

Ever get tangled up in research only to realize you're probably stalling?  How do you balance necessary research with unnecessary avoidance of the real work?  Any hints and tips will be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and a big shout-out to the members of My Posse - new and old.  Howdy, folks, thanks for being here. And for the newcomers, welcome to The Spectacle.  Feel free to wander around, read a few old posts, and enjoy the mayhem.


  1. I've been researching my latest Wip for the past year and have enjoyed the research so much it's definitely stalled my writing.

    I've had to put the research on the back-burner and just get on with telling the story, then I can work on ensuring the correct details are in the book when I do my editing.

  2. I do this all the time. It's so easy to get distracted from actual wordage. Sometimes the internet is like a black hole! :p

  3. Hmmm...difficult question to answer. I'm not inclined to the publishing world type of research, but can get totally distracted with research related to my stories themselves. Sometimes I have to set a timer just so I can step back and evaluate whether what I'm studying is actually relevant!

  4. I love stalling! I check and recheck my blog for comments. Then I reply to comments. THEN I research my novel to make sure no one writes the same one. After that, I read excerpts of other novels. I get so caught up in stalling that my ms remains at 35,000 words. HA!

  5. Oh, I've totally stalled in the name of research! When I was finishing my final draft, I spent a whole month researching agents and compiling this ridiculously detailed spreadsheet... even though I knew I wouldn't be querying for a couple months and would have to double check everything anyway to be sure nothing had changed.

    But, in our defense, there are definitely worse distractions than research! :)

  6. I agree that procrastination can take on many forms. It's a tricky little devil. The one I fall for every time is digging for faux cover pictures. "It will inspire me." Yeah right. Three hours later I have a neck ache and no will to write.

    Ha ha

  7. Man, this is me! I totally was procrasinating last night as I was "researching" for a new project. Fortunatel my CP slapped me around and FORCED me to get writing!