Google is a writer-in-a-hurry’s best friend.
I have never done so much research for a novel, and I’ve been writing for a long time. This is the worst month of the year to be writing a book that requires having some knowledge of how things work (writer problems. Writer problems everywhere). I’ve been looking things up for writing purposes and for professional reasons, and thought you might be entertained by a few of them.
Why? Because November is too short not to take five minutes to laugh (and cringe at how weird I get toward the end of NaNo, it happens every year).
You have been warned.
WebMD knows everything about diseases I don’t have
I’m a fairly healthy person, and I know enough about how the body is supposed to function under normal conditions to seek medical attention from an actual human when something goes wrong (I could rant about this for pages, stop me now). But I don’t have an undetected congenital heart defect or depression and (okay it’s not a disease technically, but) I AM NOT PREGNANT (NOT NOT NOT NOPE NOPE NOPE). So please don’t judge my search history OKAY? I’m trying to take care of my characters here.
Flipping the funnel
Keep in mind here that I am a writer and editor by day, graduate student by night (where’s my cape? WHO TOOK MY CAPE?). I’m in a marketing class and had to do some research for a report due Monday. It’s actually pretty interesting to do this kind of research, figuring out how to listen and talk to your customers/community/followers. I don’t do the best job of that with all of you. I mean, I do the best I can, but I also never really took a communications course before starting my MS program so it’s information overload to the max over here.
I know nothing about how high school works
Okay, back to my novel. Let me be clear, I’m not THAT old, it hasn’t been THAT long since I was in high school. But apparently I have blocked out everything having to do with basic logistics, like how long a school day is, what an AP class is like, how high school theatre auditions work, you know, the basics. Side note, I accidentally had a 15-year-old driving a car by herself without a license, which isn’t so much about being out of high school too long as it is about just not paying attention to the real world at all ever.
This one requires a bit more of an explanation. I am a writer, editor and graduate student, but I also have one part-time job and am on a continuous, seemingly never-ending search for a full-time gig doing something that will allow me to do things like move out of my parents’ house, buy things I don’t need off Etsy, etcetera. So yesterday I applied for a content editor position that asked me to write something educational and science-y. TO THE RESEARCH. Grow those antlers, bulls. I need to stop.
Perhaps, instead of a slump, we have reached the point in NaNoWriMo where I lose my mind and must accept that things are never going to be the same again.
Dear God help me.
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.
Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.