I’d have to say that one of the best things about being a writer is that you can justify anything under the guise of ‘research’.
Okay, maybe you can’t justify anything anything, but you can pretty much justify most things. As long as it isn’t illegal. Or immoral. Or bad taste. But everything other than that. As long as it doesn’t cost like a squillion dollars because writers do not get paid a squillion dollars. Although actually a select few do. But most don’t, so let’s go with it needs to be affordable, meaning that it basically needs to be free.
So, as I said, one of the best things about being a writer is being able to justify being curious about the world and being able to unleash that curiosity in a ‘I’m on a writer’s budget’ kind of way through the magic of the internet.
It’s this label of ‘writer’ that I tell my partner to use should the police ever need to check my internet search history because I’ve disappeared in mysterious circumstances. ‘She’s a writer,’ he will say, ‘That’s why she was looking up the difference between a coffin and a casket’. Or perhaps ‘She wasn’t on the dark web for anything sinister, no no, it was for research; she’s a writer, you see.’ (For some reason I imagine him saying this in a very proper English accent. Clearly I’ve watched too many murder mysteries from that part of the world).
It’s also this label of ‘writer’ that I use to justify the time I spend following interesting threads of information from one random site to another, down rabbit hole after rabbit hole until half of my evening has disappeared and I’m yet to write a paragraph.
But it’s that very same sense of curiosity that leads me to interesting topics like the one I came across last week – medicinal cannibalism, which is basically the practice of prescribing human remains or their by-products for healing. Yikes!
I don’t have a place for it in any of my writing just yet, but one never knows when a little snippet of information like that will in come in handy.