Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Searching

Quote from Paulo Coelho's book entitled Life:

"I discovered that searching can be as interesting as finding--as long as you overcome your fear."

On a very practical level, this has been true for me this week. I wanted to do some searching for information to expand a short story that I wrote for class last semester. I just didn't know how to start. Finally on Sunday afternoon, I got my computer and a notebook and started looking on the internet. It's so exciting! I can't wait to get home at night to start the search again. And the wealth of information available is stunning.

Many people ask me why I still keep my AOL account. Pure sentimentality, I tell them. I remember the Christmas we got our family's first computer. I stayed up late on Christmas Eve into Christmas morning trying to get it all set up. A wonderful friend stayed up a good part of the night with me via phone, helping me install the AOL software and hook up the modem. And I remember the first time I heard the sound of that modem connecting--a sound I had of course never heard before--and I knew that something amazing had happened. At the time, I had no idea what it meant to have access to practically all the information in the world, and how that accessibility would impact the ways we learn, communicate, create, share.

I've overcome the fear of beginning the search and now it's a journey full of promise. As my larger story is taking shape, as the finding continues, I feel a sense of excitement about my writing that I haven't felt before. I understand why people like Charles Frazier say that they love the research for their books almost as much, maybe more, than the writing.

It's going to be a fun ride!

1 comment:

MitMoi said...

I meant to tell you - the first time I read this ... researching for Josiah is one of my favorite parts - and asking people questions - confirming information. I just don't know how people did it BEFORE the internetz - how did they find the time to go to the libraries - out-of-state even - and do the research. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G that anyone who wasn't a historian ever published any historically based stories. (if you ask me!)