Hi there! My name is Allison Hosier and I’m a faculty member at the University at Albany, SUNY who is currently investigating the role of research in creative writing as part of a series of research studies. For the last two years, I’ve been writing fairly regularly about my work here on my blog, Studying Research (www.studyingresearch.com). I’m now hoping to start a series of guest posts from creative writers who are interested in reflecting on the role of research in their creative work. If you think you might be interested in contributing, below are some details.
I’m interested in any sort of reflection on the role of research in the creative process. This reflection can be about a specific project (past, current, or upcoming) or more general in nature. Your reflection can encompass any aspect of the research process that you would like to talk about. If you need inspiration, below is a list of questions, any of which can be used as a jumping off point. (Note: These questions are meant as suggestions only–don’t feel you need to answer all of them or that you’re restricted to only writing about these ideas. Please feel free to take whatever approach makes the most sense to you in terms of format and content.)
- How do you decide when to do research versus when to use your imagination to fill a gap in knowledge?
- What types of sources do you value most and why?
- How do you judge the quality of a source? What would disqualify a source from use as part of your research?
- How do you incorporate your research into your creative work?
- How do you decide what information to use as part of your work and what to leave out?
- How do you give credit to or otherwise acknowledge your sources, if at all?
- What are your thoughts on “creative license” with regard to information learned through research? When is it okay to “change” or ignore facts to serve a creative work? When is it not okay?
- What advice do you have for aspiring writers on how to do research?
- How has your research process developed over time?
- How has your research process differed from project to project?
For the purposes of this blog, “research” is defined broadly as any formal or informal process undertaken to fill a gap in knowledge, create new knowledge, or build on existing knowledge. This can be as elaborate as an extensive exploration of primary and secondary sources on a topic that takes years to complete or as simple as a Google search to look up a piece of previously unknown information that only takes minutes.
There are no hard and fast word limits. Most posts on the blog are about 1000 words in length.
The tone of the blog is generally “business casual.” Feel free to keep things fun and light or write in a more scholarly voice, whichever feels right to you.
Write for an audience who has some knowledge about creative writing and research but may need occasional reminders/clarification about common underlying concepts. If your writing and research is more specialized, try to describe it in terms that a non-specialized audience would understand.
Feel free to send me a draft of your post via e-mail (ahosier[at]albany[dot]edu), either as a Word attachment or in the body of the e-mail. If there is an image you would like to use as the featured image for your post, please let me know and provide any required image credits. If you’re looking for ideas, Pixabay (www.pixabay.com) is an excellent resource for copyright-free images.
The content of my blog is currently protected under a Creative Commons license that allows users to adapt and/or re-use any posts without permission as long as they do so for non-commercial purposes and give credit to the original author. If you would like your work to be protected under a different license (whether more or less restrictive), please let me know. You can read more about Creative Commons licenses here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/
I currently publish new blog posts twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My hope, once this series gets going, is to feature guest posts 1-2 times a month, depending on how many submissions I receive. When you submit your work, I’ll let you know the publication date for it as soon as possible.
Please include a brief bio statement with a link to your website/social media (if any) and any work you would like to promote.
Contact me any time by e-mail at ahosier[at]albany[dot]edu.