I’ve been working on a couple chapters to prepare for my writing retreat. As I work, I keeping coming across all this research that will be helpful to have on the trip. If I try to take everything on the list in my head, I’ll need a bigger car to transport it all.
Luckily (I think), the cabin I’m staying in is a 5 minute walk from the parking lot, a walk that involves crossing a creek. I’ll have help getting materials to the cabin, but it’s likely I’ll need to trek all my stuff out on Sunday by myself. So I’m limited to what I can carry. I say “luckily” because I can easily imagine myself diving into a bunch of research and spending the whole time reading rather than writing. As we’ve discussed at Dame Eleanor’s, research and reading is a necessary part of writing, but this weekend, I’d like to get through some of the tough writing tasks needed for my chapter revisions.
I haven’t quite decided yet, but I may limit myself to two or three books and whatever pdfs I have on my computer (being able to search documents and having to read from the screen save me from getting sucked in to reading whole articles). Still, I’m tempted by some book chapters and books that I’ll need to use at some point.
While I’m thinking, I’ve got to get packed–clothes, food, and a flashlight and whistle to warn away the mountain lions.*
What would you take? What kind of balance would you strike between writing writing, and the research part of writing?
*I did get an official letter of warning from the farm where I’m staying: “Our purpose is to inform you, not to frighten you. Having appropriate information is important. That being said, we are hopeful that you will keep your reservation here at Working Farm.” Comforting, no?