Posted by: nancyisanders | May 4, 2011

Deadline Digest: Research

Yesterday morning I spent about 1 hour reading research for new material. I sat in my comfy easy chair with my feet up, pen and paper handy. I jotted down notes along with the page number and the code I have assigned to the book I was reading. This helps me track my research. For instance, here’s an entry I made in my notes:

Women suffragists have opinions about 15th Amendment BG324

Then I headed to the computer to type out new content for my book deadline. If I want to finish up the first draft in about 2 weeks (to give me plenty of time to actually finish the book) I need to keep pushing forward at a rate of typing about 700 words per day, 5 days a week. When my hour of writing was up, I found to my happiness I had typed 1100 words!

Then I took a break from the computer and went outside and watered all my potted plants because it was going to be a hot day. This gave my eyes a rest from the computer screen and got me moving with a tiny little bit of exercise.

Next I made a beeline back to the computer. Not only do I need to keep moving forward writing new content to reach the finish line, I need to go back through previous chapters and fact check any portions of text I highlighted in red that don’t have enough sources to back up what I said.

I spent the next hour pouring over all my resource books (I have about 50) looking for at least 3 sources to back up every fact I have.

I sent a quick e-mail to my editor to ask if I could quote one source as being in the public domain or needed to get permission from the editor/author who compiled the book I was using. He replied within a minute saying he wasn’t sure, so he would ask the author who also happens to work there at the publishing house.

Then, for one fact I really really wanted to include in my book, I could only find one source to back it up. I just can’t stop there ’cause that’s plagiarism. So I went online and googled the fact…

AND HIT THE JACKPOT!!!!!

I discovered a book written in 1868 all about my topic!!!!! This means that this book is in the public domain and I can therefore quote it freely without worrying about plagiarism. This was the key I’d been looking for since a year ago when I started writing the book.

I hurried over to Amazon and found the book has been reprinted and ordered it right away for $26. Usually I don’t spend that much on a book but this book is IMPORTANT. Even at this late in the project, it will become one of my KEY resources I can use to double check everything I’ve been writing in my own book. Wahooooo!

By then it was time for lunch and time to switch gears to work on my other book deadline. And after all that intense work, I took a nap, too.


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