Tag Archives: Immersion Writing

Writing Research Right Through Your Vacation

Three years ago today I was enjoying the Santa Monica shoreline on July 4th. Maybe you are having a wonderful vacation over the (American) holiday today.

But writers and bloggers never miss an opportunity to find fodder for writing, so keep your ears and eyes open–and your notebooks and pens ready, too.

According to Robin Hemley, in A Field Guide for Immersion Writing, a travel writer can handle her topic in one of several ways: The Infiltration, The Quest, The Reenactment, The Investigation or Forensic Journey, and The Experiment.

It’s difficult for a tourist to infiltrate a place as if she were a local, but it can be done with a lot of research and hard work. For the quest, plan out what you are going to search for ahead of time.  If you’re vacationing somewhere you have been before, I am sure you can reenact your previous good times without too much trouble ;).  For an investigation you want to be a little more hard-boiled than for a quest.

If you just want to have fun with your leisure time, choose an activity you wouldn’t normally tackle and go “experiment.”

Above all, enjoy yourself and then get back to your writing next week.


Filed under Blogging, Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Memoir writing theory, Research and prep for writing, Writing

What’s Happening in February: Prep and Research for My Book Project

Thanks to Faith Adiele, I’ve been reading Robin Hemley‘s A Field Guide for Immersion Writing: Memoir, Journalism, and Travel.  In this book, Hemley suggests writing a blog as a way to research a writing project.

It sounds like great advice, but as you know I already have a blog (well, more than one).  He also warns in a June 2012 interview:

It’s quite easy for writers to spread themselves too thin: writing a blog, tweeting, Facebook updates, all that. Most writers need good long stretches to simply be alone with their work and their thoughts.

So I decided that rather than spread myself more thinly, I would use this blog for the month of February as my laboratory.  I’ll work on some of my prep and research for my book Scrap.  For this project, I am studying my history and experiences, particularly as they involve my father and our relationship (which looks like both drama masks) and arranging these memories into a new and enriching vision.

I hope you won’t mind coming along and visiting during this nostalgic trips to the fifties, sixties, and seventies.

from Wikipedia

from Wikipedia


Filed under Blogging, Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, Memoir writing theory, Research and prep for writing