The Creative Writing & Research Interviews are a series of interviews with writer-researchers, in celebration of the publication of Researching Creative Writing by Jen Webb.
Niyousha writes: Professor Jeri Kroll is currently Dean of Graduate Research and was formerly Program Coordinator of Creative Writing at Flinders University. She is on the editorial board of Australasian Association of Writing Programs journal TEXT.
This is the second part of this interview. The first part can be found here.
Which part of the creative writing process do you enjoy the most? And which part of the research process?
I enjoy writing most when I lose all sense of time and place, absorbed in what Csikszentmihalyi called the experience of ‘flow.’ Of course, there’s always some awareness of what you are doing, but that is accompanied by the excitement that results from being led, rather than leading. The work itself is telling you where it wants to go.
When I am immersed in research I can also feel that sense of discovery that comes from looking at any type of writing – creative or critical – from new angles or alternative perspectives. Working on something as a research project encourages me to keep digging, to keep questioning, to keep trying to synthesise and reform.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a novel but being superstitious I won’t say more, except that an extract with a research statement appeared in the October 2015 Special ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) issue of TEXT.
Can you leave us with the best piece of research or writing advice anyone has ever given you?
A poet and writing professor once told our class, ‘Happy accidents only happen to those who have immersed themselves in the craft. No one gets it right the first time.’