Sometimes when I research my attention span will last long enough to get through it all in a few goes. When this happens I can remember most of what I want to remember (probably because I’ve had a pen and paper next to me the whole time and was able to write it down thus cementing it into my memory for at least a week if not longer). There are other times, however, when there are long gaps in my researching because I’ve gotten side-tracked for whatever reason.
Do I remember anything I’ve read or written down when this happens? Nope. I believe I’m safe in saying that I remember perhaps 10% in those cases.
Sometimes you just have to throw your bookmark out and start from the beginning.
That’s what I’ve had to do with my Norse mythology research. When I first started toying with my Norse mythology idea about 2 years ago, I started reading The Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland. It was awesome but I didn’t get very far because my NT manuscript was coming together and needed my absolute full attention.
So I started again but skipped the intro and reread the myths I had originally gone over. While that was helpful and I ended up getting my entire idea strictly from those few myths and another book that told of the life of people back then, I should have read the intro again.
Acknowledging my laziness to myself, I sat down on a recumbent bike and read till my legs and attention couldn’t take it anymore. 5 miles in 30 minutes. Not bad for someone who was trying not to bounce around on an old bike while also having the inside of her elbows drip sweat from holding a book in front of her face for 30 minutes. Two sessions of that and I was done with both activities.
What do I have to show for it? Other than sweaty elbow creases I mean. Lots of information to use in the story! And, of course, I couldn’t write it down so I’ve forgotten most of it.
I’ll probably reread it all again later at home but not right now as I have a needlework project that I’m currently torturing my finger pads with.