Research is the New Black

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of research and only a little writing on my Marriage Kit project. The research is interesting and fun, and finding things that validate my argument are essential to making the book a success, but I miss the writing part. For the past week, I’ve been organizing myself, making a makeshift outline (something I never do as I’m a pantser), deciding what I really want to focus on and say. So far, I’ve identified the areas I most want to discuss, started pulling out scriptures I may want to use and researching them, writing down any insights that strike me while studying this, and trying to find further resources.

The one thing I’m worried about with the research is hitting a wall. For this project, there are a lot of people I want to talk to–counselors, matchmakers, ministers, married couples, singles ministers, singles. For the more professional people, if I can’t get information from them, it could halt my progress.

But I’m not thinking about that. I’m pushing on…and I’m focusing only on this project, whether I’m writing or researching, I’m putting my focus on one thing at a time and one project at a time…finally.

So, that’s why I’ve been a little silent here. I will try to update more as I navigate my way through this process.


Cheating in the Next Room…


I'm hoping my WIPs don't listen to this guy (Johnny Taylor) Image via Wikipedia

…is a blues song by Johnny Taylor. “Cheating in the Next Room” is about a woman talking on the phone to a man she is cheating with, making plans to meet up with him. Johnny is letting her know that he knows she has been faking lovemaking with him and has been meeting this other man. He tells her “that’s alright; I’ll soon be gone.” He is fed up and won’t take it anymore.

My writing can say the same thing about me. I’ve been “cheating” on some projects with other projects. I am supposed to be working on the short story project that I had the breakthrough on. Before I had that breakthrough, I was working on my memoir about college. Now I put the college memoir on the back burner, because I think the program I’m preparing for the high school students at church on Saturday would be the perfect place to begin the memoir (as it involves my college journey). Since the event hasn’t happened, I don’t have the opening. That’s understandable. I’m at a natural stopping point.

However, after talking to a real-life and blogging friend, I began to get really excited about another project that’s been on the backburner: possibly turning the marriage kits into a book. The thing is, making the marriage kits into a book will involve more than just compiling the interviews (and conducting more): I’ve noticed the book on weddings I’m reading has things to say about marriage. I have several other books, podcasts, and TV shows that speak to marriage that I frequently mine for information. I want to expand my interview pool. I want to research. I want to put away the short story project and work on this one, even though I know I’m supposed to return to the memoir after Saturday. I also know I will be doing more researching than writing working on the marriage kit project.

Does anyone else suffer from the lure of research over actual writing? I get so excited about some of the research I put into projects that I never get around to writing it until much later. How do you balance research with writing?

The greater question is how do you decide which project gets your time when your time is limited? I work full time, have an occasional second job, a boyfriend, a church I’m active in, my Dad’s book to format for Smashwords publication, and I want to have a little me time, so my writing time isn’t as extensive as I would like. When you don’t have time to do it all, what do you do? How do you keep a project on the backburner from burning up? This is my dilemma of the past few weeks. I’ve just went with it and done writing wherever my fancy has taken me, but I’ve not made much progress on ANYTHING. Help!