I need the 5 question at the bottom answer.
Steven Johnson (born 1968) is a writer known for his books about the intersection between science technology and personal experienceincluding the bestseller everything that is good for you: how today’s popular culture is actually making us smarter and the ghost map which examine the 1854 cholera epidemic in London. He has published a few pieces about his writing process at medium.com including the following article.
Your number one nemesis in trying to write is inevitably the siren song of procrastination. There is no more effective way to remind yourself of all the errands or side projects that you really should be doing than by staring at a blank page. Computers have only amplified this threat. Hemingway had plenty of distractions to pull him away from his work but at least when he sat down at his Royal DeLuxe it didnt tantalize him with Pinterest or Angry Birds.
But of course email and social media and games are obvious distractions. In my experience the more subtle threat — particularly for non-fiction writers — comes via the eminently reasonable belief that youre not ready to start writing because you havent finished your research yet. Its a plausible excuse of course; I used it myself countless times when I was in college and grad school which led to a long series of extensions including a few spring semester final papers that I spent the whole summer perfecting. There was always one more obscure article I had to track down; one more vaguely related novel that had to be in the bibliography. And so Id postpone starting my own essay–and before long it was Labor Day and a whole new semester was starting up with a whole new batch of papers to postpone writing.
I do relish the research period before you start actually writing in earnest: youre just sitting around sifting through books and articles following links and playing detective. Theres something wonderfully open-ended about it without the actual pressure of having to produce your own words. (This is why its such a seductive procrastination device.) But as much as I enjoy it I have learned the hard way that you are never done with your research. Waiting around for the research phase to be complete is a recipe for infinite postponement.
So now I take a different approach. I do enough research to plan out the general structure of the book: I figure out the main themes and arguments; the main characters or ideas; in books where there are complex technical or scientific issues I try to get a solid grasp of the fields Im writing about. And I try to get a more comprehensive survey for the first chapter or two so I have somewhere to start.
And then I start writing fully aware that there are large blind spots of material that Im going to have to track down while Im in the middle of the book. This makes it vastly easier to get started of course but it has an additional benefit that has become clear to me over the years: when youre researchingin media res the new ideas or details or stories that you stumble across are much more useful to you because you can immediately see the slots where they belong. When youre researching and you dont even have a chapter outline yet you can find an amazing story but it doesnt really stick with you because you have only the vaguest sense of where it should go in the book. Pre-writing your research sensors are much more hazy:this seems interesting I guess. But once youre in the mix everything sharpens up. You find a provocative quote and you can tell in a split second whether its going to be useful or not and more often than not you know exactly where its going to go.
The end result of this is that at least 50% of the research happens while Im in the middle of writing the book. That comes with a certain cost to flow; Ill regularly find myself reaching some new section of the book and having to stop writing for a week while I track down the missing data I need. And inevitably it means going back and re-working your arguments or interpretations because youve uncovered new data that changes your mind about something. But in my experience the tradeoff is worth it because I dont get stuck in the holding period of pre-writing research. When I start writing Ive done enough research to know what Im going to need to know but Im nowhere near knowing everything. E. L. Doctorow once said Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. Thats putting it a bit too strong at least in my experience. You cant start from nothing when youre writing non-fiction (and I suspect you cant with fiction either.) But if you try to start with everything youll never get started at all.
According to Steven Johnson what is the danger of pre-writing research?
It can discourage you because other writers have covered your topic.
It can distract you from your chosen topic and lead you to a dead end.
It can cause you to procrastinate because research is never finished.
It can increase the scope of your work too much and overwhelm you.
What is one benefit that Johnson sees in researching projects as you write?
It prevents boredom by providing variation in daily tasks.
It requires less effort to keep track of where ideas came from.
It makes it easier to see where new ideas will fit within the work.
It makes more sense than planning because projects change over time.
What is your attitude toward research? Do you let it overflow into your writing time? Why or why not?
What is one of the drawbacks of researching during the middle of a project?
In terms of your personal writing process what did you find the most useful about this chapter?

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