To ask me to blog about lifelong learning is virtually the same thing as asking me blog about my approach to research. That is about the most organized way it works for me. At any given moment, the burning questions of my heart, and the topics I’m curiously interested in learning about, have a way of ending up in the novel I’m writing at the time, assuming I’m not busy with editing.
I’ll admit I have strong pantser tendencies and with them comes an arguably bad habit of getting started writing before I’ve done all the necessary research that project will require. This forces me to stop writing at the point where winging it won’t cut it and look up the information I need to continue.
Like a lot of us, I go to google.com first and try to get my information from websites that appear to be credible. For instance, in writing about Mars, I’ve been spending far more time than normal at NASA’s website. When writing about cancer, I go to credible medical websites like webmd.com and others that doctors recommend. My search history lately would have someone worried that I think I have a brain tumor.
Since it is the 2080s in the novel I was writing at the time I wrote this article, I’ve also had to dig into what medical tech is in development/research to create a believable fictive dream of how technology might make things better for future patients than it is for the friends with cancer that I keep up with on Facebook.
Another website that has proved surprisingly useful to me for research is Pinterest.com. The “Saved Blog Posts” board is a mix of pins of my stuff and others articles that I found interesting and decided to save for later. The “Books” board is likewise a mix of my books, others books that looked interesting at the moment, and pins with tips related to writing books.
I have two boards devoted to pins specifically related to research. The board labeled “Research” is for articles I’ve found useful as I was actually writing. The other, “The Future is Here” is for pins related to current tech developments that I either think might be useful to me in future works or I think it could lead to the tech and the gadgets found in my completed works.
Mind you, not everything I come across as I research a topic for my book ends up on one of my Pinterest boards. The Research board is more like a small sampling of the data I’ve actually been feeding my intuitive brain with as I write.
This is the last week of the blog hop, so we should get back to normal around here soon. Not that normal usually describes me. 🙂
To see the other contributions to the blog hop, check out Ruth Snyder’s blog.