I think I fall within the whatever category. I'm retired and I've pretty much taken the status to the limit. I take each day as it comes, and since I'm a pantser, I rely greatly on my characters talking to me. Sometimes, they fall mute, as Yellow Moon has of late. When that happens, I just walk away and wait for her to speak to me so I can continue. Without the voices in my head, I'm lost. I know other pantsers understand.
I've tried plotting, but it doesn't work for me. As for research, as the story unfolds, I double check my facts to make sure they are accurate. As an historical author, even in fiction, you want to maintain your credibility by making sure everything within the story fits the era: language, equipment, homes, appliances, etc. You wouldn't want to have your cowboy playing a Kazoo in 1860 since the instrument, according to my etymology online dictionary didn't exist yet...
1884, American English, probably altered from earlier bazoo "trumpet" (1877); probably ultimately imitative (cf. bazooka). In England, formerly called a Timmy Talker, in France, a mirliton.
Kazoos, the great musical wonder, ... anyone can play it; imitates fowls, animals, bagpipes, etc. [1895 Montgomery Ward catalogue, p.245]
Now, bounce on over to Billie Williams' blog and check out her answer to todays question.