Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Research is the unsung hero of writing.  It is so crucial to get our facts right.  Writing is not merely an art of expressing feelings and thoughts but also of knowing the content of what we are writing about.  Many people can pontificate on a given subject without any substantive knowledge of it.  There is a danger in that. I have heard it said that greatness lies in the details and I have to agree.

And yet, I rarely hear writers expostulate on the ins and outs of writerly research. How long do they spend doing background work?  How do they check themselves for accuracy?  Or is that the job of the editor?   Where do they look for their information?  How much of it is from primary sources?

I wonder how much you really need to know about a topic to get the details just right.  I have too often ignored the details, the precise words and facts that could give my writing that ring of truth.  These are two of my goals as I move forward, precision and accuracy.  

1 comment:

  1. You're absolutely right. I have often wondered about these things too - a course in journalism would probably be very useful if you want to learn more. Fact-finding and research takes time and patience, two things I lack, which is why I write about things that don't require much in the way of research. Having said that, if you're really interested in what you're writing about, it can be fascinating!