To: (Enter name of recipient here).
From: Charles S. Gilmore
Date: 7 October 2015
Subject: Research Proposal (Why creative writing is worth it)
With this paper I will explore the pros and cons of creative writing. Ways in which creative writing can be detrimental to personal and family well-being, as well as how it has the potential to be a healthy addition to someone’s life. Using the writing of authors such as Correia, King, and Card, in addition to more scholarly articles, the paper will serve as a guide to beginning authors to help them see how they might maintain their lives and families during the difficult early years of their careers. In the process the paper will also demonstrate how while a career choice in creative writing can be difficult, it is also still a worthwhile pursuit for those willing to put in the effort.
Aspects of the paper will include:
Preparation of my position-What is creative writing.
Opposing views-Poor balance between work and family.
Stressful field of work due to difficulty of achieving success.
Financial difficulties and stress.
Response to opposition-Balance of work and family possible.
Other work positions for creative writers outside of getting published.
Potential therapeutic effects of creative writing can make the work far more worthwhile.
Conclusion-While difficult, a career in creative writing is worth the effort.
There are ways to cope financially during early efforts to get published.
Writers often find themselves in a difficult situation when first starting off. They must balance work, writing, and family. They must make a living while refining their craft. Often an author must work their way into the industry, either by eventually being published, or else by self-publishing. Even after getting published, an author may not be successful, and even a well-liked author must produce several stories before their writing brings in an income that they can live off of.
The significance of this paper is to show that while difficult, a career in creative writing can be successful, as well as beneficial to a writer in psychological ways. This research may benefit writers by helping them see that while a creative writing authors success is not easy to achieve, it is possible, and can very well be worth the struggle in the end so long as the author maintains a healthy balance in life during the long process of becoming successful. Further the paper will show the potentially detrimental effects of such a struggle, and thus warn less prepared writers from diving into such a career choice unaware of the difficulties they are likely to face. The paper will give them an idea of the challenges they might expect to encounter, and thus should be ready for when the time comes. It is my hope that the paper will be able to provide hope to aspiring authors.
The majority of my sources will likely be considered secondary in nature, except perhaps for accounts shared by authors themselves, such as Stephen King’s book, “On writing” or Correia’s statement regarding how he got started as a writer. Other sources will be research papers exploring how writing can be therapeutic, and a TED talk video about balancing work and family life titled, “How to make work-life balance work.”
THESIS: While many view the struggle to become a successful author in the field of creative writing as an unrewarding life choice, it can be well worth the effort over time if approached with patience and a long term plan to maintain financial security.
Support will be given for this from the statements of professional writers and scholarly articles addressing aspects of the topic.
All study time is to be considered as an estimation due to there being too many variables to accurately anticipate time needed and when used.
• Wed 7 Oct- 7:45am. Submit proposal after review.
• Fri 8 Oct- 8pm. Submit proposal before class, and prepare chart.
• Wed 14 Oct- 7:45am. Bring to class an image, chart, or table to include in research paper.
• Fri 16 Oct- 7:45am. Submit Works Cited draft after review.
• Fri 16 Oct- 8 – 10pm Work on draft.
• Wed 21 Oct- 7:45am. Submit Research Paper draft after review.
• Wed 21 Oct- 8 – 10pm. Finish Research Paper.
• Fri 23 Oct- 7:45am. Bring Research Paper hard copy to class and submit on Turnitin.
Alvarez, Nadia, and Jack Mearns. “The Benefits Of Writing And Performing In The Spoken Word Poetry Community.” The Arts In Psychotherapy 41.(2014): 263-68. ScienceDirect. Web. 3 Oct. 2015.
This article explores the psychological stresses found in creative writers, particularly poets. Secondary source.
Baikie, Karen, and Kay Wilhelm. “Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing.” BJPsych Advances. Royal College of Psychiatrists, 11 Aug. 2005. Web. 1 Oct. 2015.
The use of this article is to better express the potential benefits of creative writing in general, even though it is primarily in regards to the use of writing as a form of therapy. Secondary source
Card, Orson Scott. How To Write Science Fiction And Fantasy. n.p.: Cincinnati, Ohio : Writer’s Digest Books, 1990. 2001. BYU-Idaho Catalog. Web. 30 Sept. 2015.
This will be used as a source of information relevant to why creative writing is worthwhile. Primary source.
Correia, Larry. “About Me.” Monsterhunternation.com. CorreiaTech. 27 Sep. 2015. Web. 30 Sep. 2015.
A blog site from one of the most successful fiction authors in the US. He has several years of writing experience and his blog contains information useful to my research paper in that it shows the process of his becoming a successful writer, and offers advice in several articles. Primary source.
Indeed.com. Indeed. 2015. Web. 30 Sep. 2015.
A job listing site, for reference regarding potential jobs in the creative writing profession in order to show work options aside from income through creative writing/publication. Since fiction writing and the like often does not suffice as a sole source of income unless the writer becomes widely successful and earns enough royalties to be a full-time writer. Secondary source.
King, Stephen. On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft. New York: Scribner, 2000. Print.
A book about how to become a successful writer. Stephen King has a lot of experience in the area and his book will provide needed examples of pros and cons of creative writing. Primary source.
Lowe, Geoff. “Health-Related Effects of Creative and Expressive Writing.” Health Education 106.1 (2006): 60-70. ProQuest. Web. 1 Oct. 2015.
Explores the use of writing as a means of therapy, exploring psychological and behavioral benefits. Secondary source.
Marsh, Nigel. “How to make work-life balance work.” TED, May, 2010. Video.
Speaks about the balance between work and family life. I believe this is relevant to my paper because it can aid in discussion of how being a writer can be either better balanced or worse. Primary source.
Tate, Allen. “What Is Creative Writing?” Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature 5.3 (1964): 181-84. Web. 30 Sep. 2015.
While an older article, the paper appears to give statement regarding the inclusion of the creative writing subject in universities, this article may provide insight into how creative writing can be beneficial as a subject of study. Secondary source.
United States. Dept. of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 5 Oct. 2015.
A second source of job listings, including those for career writers. This site will likely be used for the job listing reference as it is more reliable than the indeed.com site. Secondary source.
REQUEST FOR APPROVAL:
This paper should be approved as it may serve to better inform those interested in pursuing a career in creative writing. Helping them be prepared for the challenges they are likely to face, and to see why a pursuit in such a career is worth the effort.