Confessions of a Researchaholic
The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man [or woman] will turn over half a library to write one book. — Samuel Johnson
The Writing Compost Heap
Reading is compost for the mind. It is one of best ways to mulch and amend your writing soul. No writer is complete without his research compost pile. Research expands your thinking, improves your writing and vocabulary, and creates a rich environment for ideas to grow. Research scraps decompose then fertilize the mind’s soil from which rich writing emerges. How can you start building your compost writing bin?
* Follow your curiosity. Ask questions.
* Observe! Observe! Observe!
* Interview or listen to experts or interesting people.
* Be aware of cultural trends.
* Develop a nose for interesting, unique details.
* Journal your responses to what you read, see, and hear.
Fueling Writing Ideas Read! Read! Read!
* Use general reference books—atlas, dictionary, almanac, encyclopedia, historical time line—to add interesting details.
* Read newspaper, magazine, journals, and Internet articles.
* Read biographies and autobiographies.
* Read online English edition newspapers on every continent.
* Read editorials and editorial cartoons on the Internet on every continent.
* Check out the bestseller lists for books, movies, and music.
* Contact or visit museums, historical societies, colleges and universities.
* Buy or check out pertinent books from the library.