I’ve been talking quite a bit here so far about research and I realize that I haven’t really defined my terms. On the one hand, “research” is a term that doesn’t seem to need defining. You know it when you see it. For example, when you type “research” into Pixabay, the images that come up show things that are recognizably related to the idea of research. There’s a guy staring at a bunch of notes pinned to a board. A microscope. A book with some glasses resting on it. A woman sitting at a computer while sipping from a cup of coffee. Stacks of books in a library. Another woman in a white coat in a lab. Beakers. Charts. Graphs.
I’m using this blog in part to talk about a project I’m working on which involves reading through popular writing advice books to find out how and whether they discuss the role of research in creative writing . Before I get to some of what I’ve found so far, I wanted to spend some time establishing where the idea that research plays a role in creative writing comes from in the first place.
Because let me tell you, it was not, as far as I can recall, in any of the creative writing workshops I took as an undergraduate. If we ever discussed research as part of the creative process in that program, I have no memory of it.
Yet I can’t help but suspect that research does play a role in creative writing.*
I mentioned before that one of the goals of this blog is going to be to reflect on a
project to read 10 popular books on creative writing to learn what, if anything, they might have to say about the role of research in the creative process.
For a project like this, a few questions might come to mind.