Gloria Steinem, a Biography by Patricia Cronin MarcelloOK, OK… I know you’re like, “What so exciting about research, especially organizing it?”

Well, some of us like that. Really. I love it and have my own special means of organizing everything I find. I’m sure there are other ways, and maybe even faster ways, but the more I immerse myself in what I learn and the better I know the subject I’m writing about, the better my work turns out.

Years down the road it’s hard for me to dredge up details for an interview, if I don’t.  I’ve had Australian newspapers and radio contact me about Ralph Nader over the past few years, a British magazine about Gloria Steinem, and various other journalists and writers contact me to ask me tons of questions about things I wrote a very long time ago. And you know what? Because I became immersed in the research and really “knew” these folks (at least from research, not so much from interviewing, though that was amazing), I was able to talk about them so far down the road without getting out my cheat sheets.  It’s something to think about.

And isn’t being a celebrity fun, even if only a very minor one? 🙂 So… prepare. Maybe you’ll be a major one and that will be really fun. LOL

Putting all the stuff I find together isn’t exciting, but what comes from the research that I do surely is. I can be writing about the most boring topic ever (not to suggest that either Nader or Steinem are boring — at all), and still readers come away amused by something cool they’ve learned and never knew before.

Everything I find online is printed out and put into a huge binder. Everything I find online that’s video, audio, images is kept on my hard drive, and ultimately moved to a CD. I designate a number for each book I’ve used, and then I take all of my important notes (which I highlight and tab) and put them into a control document. It tells me where I got what and where I can find it again to pull a quote or whatever. The system is fairly simple, and totally works for me.

But you really have to find your own system. Some people use index cards. Others use software (which I will totally look into the next time the need arises. I have way too much research sitting around because you can never get rid of it.), but whatever you do, find a convenient way to be able to access the best tidbits. Making reading exciting and fun for your readers is the end game.

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