The creative writing process in the digital age
In September 2018, I embarked on a new journey as a PhD-student in the project Track Changes: textual scholarship and the challenge of digital literary writing, funded by NWO (Dutch Research Council). As I have previously worked with and for writers, as an editor and writing coach, and being a writer myself (an obscure poet;), this is a project very close to my heart.
I am based at the Huygens ING (KNAW), Department of Literary Studies. My supervisors are Karina van Dalen-Oskam (Huygens, UvA), Luuk van Waes (Antwerp University) and Dirk van Hulle (Antwerp & Oxford University). The project team further consists of colleague PhD-student Lamyk Bekius, Mariëlle Leijten (Antwerp), Vincent Neyt (Antwerp), Peter de Bruijn & Peter Kegel (Huygens ING).
We investigate the consequences of the digital work process for research methods into textual genetics. The project is a cooperation between the Huygens ING and the University of Antwerp, and draws on our shared expertise in the field of text editions and textual genetics, alongside our complementary knowledge of computational literary theory (Huygens ING) and cognitive writing process research (University of Antwerp). Using keystroke logging, the writing processes of several Dutch-language authors will be registered. The two main research questions guiding my PhD-project are:
How can we apply existing methods and theories of textual scholarship to analyze digital writing processes and in which ways will the analysis of digital writing processes enrich the existing methods and theories?
How do writing process dynamics (e.g. pauses and revisions) enable us to describe writing strategies?
The objective is to develop a new model of the creative writing process, both at micro (process) and macro (text version) level, and to develop a new protocol for collecting and analysing born-digital materials using state-of-the-art technology. I intend to approach this through three topics: revision strategies, both at the (micro) process level and as impacting the (macro) whole text development. Secondly, through looking at pause and fluency measures, and thirdly by exploring the effects of being online on the writing process.
If you would like to get in touch with me concerning my research, my email is
or > my Researchgate profile
Track Changes (2018 – present)
-‘Track Changes: demarcating phases in digital writing processes – Presentation at ESTS conference, Málaga, November 2019
– ‘New beginnings: using keystroke logging for literary writing’ – Poster presentation together with Lamyk Bekius at DH Utrecht, July 2019
– ‘Sofortkorrektur regenerated: digital literary writing processes’ – Presentation at Genesis conference, Cracow, June 2019
– Guest lectures – in a RMA/PhD-course on Computational Literary Studies, University of Amsterdam, and at the University of Antwerp’s ‘ Writers at work’ course for Literary Studies.
The literary work 2.0 – pilot study for my current PhD research (2015-2016)
- ‘Editing strategies of literary authors’ – Posterpresentation, SigWriting at EARLI conference, Tampere, 2017
- ‘How romantic is creative writing?’ – Posterpresentation, SigWriting Liverpool, June 2016
- ‘Het literaire werk 2.0’ – presentation given together with Peter de Bruijn, Achter de verhalen, conference on Literary Studies, Groningen, april 2016
- Guest lecture course on Computational Literary Studies, University of Amsterdam, spring 2016
Beyond the Book – cultural knowledge in translated novels; linking names to Wikipedia. (2014; also at Huygens ING, funded by Escience Center)
– Presentation at DHBenelux 2015, Antwerp
‘Het literaire werk anno 2016: Digitale schrijfprocessen vastleggen en analyseren.’ in Vooys 34:4, december 2016
Martinez-Ortez, Buschenhenke, Van Dalen-Oskam, Koolen. ‘Predicting the international appeal of novels.’ conference paper, DH Benelux 2015
– Literaire Werk 2.0 (in Dutch)