Writer Life Lessons #20: Save Your Research for the Second Draft

Imagine how much work we would all get done if we stopped to research every little thing in our writing to make sure it was factually accurate. I don’t know about you, but I would probably get no work done. I would be so into researching and making sure that every little detail was painstakingly accurate that I would never get any words on the page.

This is why you should Save Your Research for the Second Draft.

Let the first draft be what it wants to be. Finish a whole project and then do as much research as your heart desires. Get your ideas down and then find out if they are accurate. If you research after every scene, not only will you be burned out on research, but on writing as well. Writers need to write.

Sometimes in first drafts, we don’t always know exactly what we want to happen, so we just write something that resembles a plot and then hopefully edit the hell out of it later. If we as writers edit every little detail and research as we’re writing the first draft, we might not even use that research in later drafts and that was time we could have been using to write.

Don’t get me wrong, small bits of research, like how to spell or phrase things, is fine. As long as it is under 5-10 minutes (depending on your internet/data speed), then I think it’s fine. It’s when you get sucked into researching for an entire afternoon that it becomes a problem. So try and keep research to a minimum and writing to a maximum.

Happy Writing!

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