Writers work hard. Sometimes we even write every day. Most of that writing is completely worthless, but we write it and that’s all that matters. Non-writers imagine us hammering away at our craft.
While fiction writing is basically playing pretend and writing all the shit down, we have to use facts occasionally. This is when we must research. You might know writers who tell you about all the time they spend researching, and we do research, but it’s not quite as much work as we let you believe, because we can’t focus on real life things like facts for too long. Our brains are special, tender things, like delicate flowers.
Okay, that’s bullshit. The truth? Well I’ve compiled a guide to show you what we really do when we’re “researching.” We do actually look stuff up and we read a lot of things, but a day of researching typically includes about an hour of research and 7 hours of …other activities.
So here’s how it usually goes (Disclaimer: activities may vary slightly depending on genre, location, alcohol tolerance, and fondness for porn and such, but the amount of research remains pretty much the same. Those who claim otherwise are probably high.)
Go to Google.
Phew! That was exciting, right?
Type in the topic we’re researching. Side note: Yesterday I looked up the etymology of beaver, because curiosity forced me to do it. Did you know that the C-word is believed to originate with a street called “Gropecuntelane?” Anyway, the results kept me occupied for hours. There are many words for vagina, which is a useful thing to know, because who wants to call it a warm sleeve or a moist cavern? There are people who find such metaphorical shit romantic. I am not one of those people. Anyway, here’s a link I found that shares some classy alternatives for all the pussies out there who are afraid to use the words vagina and penis. End side note.
Check email. Ten minute jaunt through Cyberspace. (Sometimes longer, because it’s Cyberspace and it’s awwwwesome.) Side note: People who type “aweee” as a way to convey a long, drawn out “awe” are assholes. You’re trying to draw out the w sound, not the e. With the extra e’s you’d actually sound like an idiot. Not that either one is technically a word, nor should writers use them, but I just did, because I wanted to tell you all to stop adding the extra e’s and that’s the only way I could. Every time you do it, a unicorn dies, and that sucks. End side note.
Okay, now we’re back to Google. No, not Google. Let’s get a real book this time. Shut down the computer.
Contemplate going to a library. Fuck it. Libraries smell like fart and old. Well, my library does. It’s not their fault. They keep a clean ship, but someone old is farting in there all the time. Anyway, find a book at home. Open book.
Scan a few pages.
Hungry. Is it lunch yet? No? Snack time then. Commence sixty minutes searching cupboards. Eat crackers. Is that a bug or a burn mark? Oh well.
Back to book. Scan a page or two.
Fuck this shit.
Turn on the computer.
Scratch balls. (Even if we don’t have them.) Type in search words again. What is that speck that keeps convincing you it’s a period? Weird. Wipe computer screen with sleeve. Speck appears in new position. Lose interest in speck.
Read a few articles and such. Think about how it’s weird that Wiki has ALL THE INFORMATION, but it’s usually wrong. Leave Wiki and go somewhere “reliable.”
Make a couple of notes. Pick nose. (You know you do it.) Contemplate what to do with boogie. Wipe it on the cat.
Bored again. Go to the Facebook. Play Candy Crush or Farmville, or whatever. Don’t judge us. We’re THINKING, assholes. Some of us (Ahem, Christian) get sidetracked by porn. Not me, (not since the beavers anyway) but some of us. So just be happy we’re playing stupid games.
Realize procrastination is taking over research. Go back to Google.
Stare at the wall. It holds a secret. Someday, it’ll crack.
Head hurts thinking about walls and cracks.
Coffee or booze? Booze it is. Another 60 minutes in the kitchen trying to remember why we’re in the kitchen. Oh look, vodka!
Think about how much easier it’d be to just make shit up instead of writing about real places and things. Decide making shit up is a fantastic idea.
Go back to computer and write as though we know what we’re writing about knowing full well the research will have to be done during editing. But editing is another story full of crying and praying, snot and boogies and, of course, booze.