Being willing to be wrong: On Research

Staying with the research theme, one of the main lessons I’ve learned recently about research is to be willing to be wrong. To be willing to have my preconceptions shattered, to be open for information and experiences that do not fit into what I had planned. The other realisation I have had is that the more in-depth research I do, the more I become aware that I do not know ‘the truth’. That perhaps the message or messages I had hoped my novel might explore, no matter how subtle, are perhaps quite limited, that in fact there are many sides to a story. So, is it possible for me to step back, to see with clearer eyes, to not take ’sides’ but to lay out for my readers a series of events and characters in such a way that they can also see the larger picture rather than look for the heroes or the villains?

About Sandra Jensen

I am a writer. I was born in South Africa and have British and Canadian citizenship. I have over 40 short story and flash fiction publications, including in: World Literature Today, The Irish Times, Descant, AGNI, The Fiddlehead and others. My work has received a number of awards including winning the 2012 bosque Fiction Competition and the 2011 J.G. Farrell award for best novel-in-progress. I have been awarded Professional Writer’s Grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Arts Council of Ireland and Arts Council England. The novel I have recently completed, Ten Virtuous Acts, is a literary adventure set in Sri Lanka during the civil war. I was a guest writer and panellist at the 12th and 13th International Conference on the Short Story (Little Rock, Arkansas and Austria); an invited participant at The Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka in 2011 and a six-time participant of the Sirenland Writer’s Conference in Positano, Italy. I attended The Banff Centre’s Wired Writing Studio in 2011/2012. I administer the In Memory of Vučko and AWABosnia websites, raising awareness and funds to stop animal suffering in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I live with my partner, David Crean and my foundling cat, Rónán.
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