Research vs. Procrastination

Has this morning’s work been useful, or just a means of procrastination?


I found myself buried in Wikipedia links this morning. I’m trying to develop some characters (one primary, one secondary) who are quite religious. But I’m sure they didn’t have time for a lot of sophisticated religious study. More than, perhaps, the average Methodists of their time, but not close to what one would expect of a seminarian.

So, how much is too much about John Wesley and his brother, Charles? Charles, it turns out, wrote the hymns. He was writing poetry and it happened to become music. Which is very important in the Methodist liturgy.  And, probably not coincidentally, my primary character won a ribbon at the Iowa State Fair for vocal musical performance. Neither Charles nor Wesley foresaw that, I’ll bet.

Do I need to get into Arminianism? Probably not. But perhaps a bit of the distinction between Methodism and Calvinism is in order. I’ve been reading Gilead and feel fairly strongly that there is more than enough there about Calvinism. I don’t want to go that deeply into the Methodist religion. But then, my character is not the pastor as is the narrator in Gilead, so that makes perfect sense.

I started this morning with a desire to find the name of the book Methodists used in the early 20th Century to educate children and new converts. What would be called in the Catholic religion a “catechism;” I think.  I haven’t been entirely successful in rooting that out using my computer. I may have to ask a Methodist historian unless I can find a way to write around it. (Anyone who can help me out by commenting here, please do so.)

Has this morning’s work been useful, or just a means of procrastination? Since I’m on no real deadline, these diversions from my actual re-writing (developmental self-editing) are okay to at least some extent. Aren’t they?  I did make it through one chapter of rewrites. I’d hoped it would be two.

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