Last week, I was in Laramie, Wyoming, taking a crash course in astronomy. A month ago I was wandering through China with a group of friends that included my old pals Ellen Datlow and Eileen Gunn. And today?
I'm bouncing between tapping on the keyboard and downloading papers on Messier 4.
When you're a writer, there ate four constructive types of activity you engage in, three of them falling under the heading of research. The first is wandering about, experiencing new things and learning all you can. The second is acquiring new (or, in this case, refreshing old) lore. The third is specific research for a given project.
The fourth, alas, is tapping away at the keyboard.
As a general rule, the further away you get from the actual writing, the more fun the activity is.
There is also a fifth category of activity, and that's all the business stuff: reading contracts with skepticism, cashing checks, responding to editorial queries and the like. This is even less fun than the actual writing is, which is why editors find it easier to get writers to make revisions of their work than it is to get them to provide a social security number, so they can get paid. Ironic, but true.
Above: my work in progress.