Research Obsession – or, Can Research Kill You?

July 4, 2014 at 12:11 pm (books, research) (, )

“I am consumed!”

That was my hot-off-the-presses confession to a friend over email, this morning.

For several months I have been actively gathering more Smith and Gosling bits, mainly letters and diaries and images. Perpetual negatives on the job front make this project – as tenuous as any “writing project” can possibly be – cook on the biggest, brightest burner my stove carries. Today, for instance, despite (or because of!) it being the 4th of July, I’ve been working, deciphering letters. It’s become an OBSESSION!

My vacuum comes out only for the biggest dust balls under the bed; my garden sprouts gargantuan weeds; my parents probably wish they’d had more than one child.

And all _I_ want to do is immerse myself in the world I’ve unearthed among a trunkful of dusty letters 200-hundred-years old.


I’ve books I’d like to read, but who can sit still when the laptop beckons so enticingly. “Come, read an old letter. See, here’s a new bit for you to transcribe!” Oooh, such exquisite torment! Real torture this past week, as the temperatures soared into the 90s (hot-hazy-humid). Turn the fan on high, set the computer on top of bare legs.

Is it masochistic to desire MORE, always more? Research will prove the death of me. But what a way to go.

“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”


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