Writing, research and… Sylvia Plath

As writers, we probably all can relate to being distracted by anything and everything during the writing process. We come up with all kinds of ways to procrastinate, sometimes unintentionally. We’re creative that way. 🙂15983_wpm_lowres

My own little trip down procrastination lane recently started by an innocent mention in the current MS to how the heroine’s daughter wants to be a famous writer like… and that’s where I paused.

Hmmm. Who would fit this bill in this teeny brief mention that the readers will probably not even give a second thought to? Well, first in my mind, was Sylvia Plath. I have no idea why as I haven’t read any of her poems or her novel, The Bell Jar. (Okay, I’ll admit that prior to this little exercise I wasn’t really sure what she’d actually written.) After typing her name above, I thought, “Wait. Maybe I better make sure I’m not referencing some serial killer or something that I’ve mixed up because it seems like that name is synonymous with tragedy.”


Ahh. The wonderful magical world wide web… let’s just say a little over an hour later, I decided to go with a different female writer reference and learned a heck of a lot about Sylvia Plath. Her life, her family, her husband, her husband’s mistress…Fascinating. Productive? Mmmm, no.

There is no rhyme or reason to this posting. Did that little exercise suck my writing time away? Yes.

Did I learn that attempting a historical novel fraught with endless possibilities of research opportunities at every sentence was probably not best in my best interest based on propensity to wander off topic? Yes.

Did I learn maybe to NOTE “check later” during the writing process and come back LATER to double check the reference? Yes…but I can say with great certainty I will likely do this many, many more times in the future. 😉

But…through Sylvia Plath’s intriguing life story and tragedy, I may have hit a glimmer of an idea for a future story, some where, some day.

Or not.


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