Writing vs. research

By Katharine Swan On Friday, July 15, 2011 At 1:37 PM

One of the concepts that I'm struggling with right now regarding my transition to writing fiction part-time is whether research counts.  As I said in my last post, I'm somewhat disappointed with the reality that this will be a slow transition, rather than an abrupt change.  Right now I'm spending roughly an hour every day researching the time period I'll be writing about — I've been reading a nonfiction book on the subject, and have one or two more I want to read, as well as some other research to do.

The logical part of me knows that reading and researching counts toward working on my novel, because it does have to be done.  But at the same time, it's work on my novel that's hard to quantify — I can't update my word count in the sidebar, for instance.  (I do have a small word count, from when I got inspired during my week off, as you can see now in the sidebar; but I feel like most of the writing should be done after I finish my research.)

Being able to quantify my research would be nice not only because it would allow me something to update in my sidebar, but also because it would give me a way to measure my progress, and feel good about what I've accomplished so far.  I could just get a final count on the books I want to read, and measure my progress as the percentage of reading material that I've finished.  Any other ideas?

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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