In the beginning was the “hunch”

“Before anything, in your research project, pay attention to your hunch!”, one of our academic teachers and a field researcher used to advise us, during the methodology course of our M.A at Lancaster.

And although there are many others across the academic sector who “detest” any kind of “introspection” in their research and methodology, I came to realize back then that there is an ultimate truth in this:

You see, before any act of creation, research or spiritual quest, even before the conscious formation of a certain idea, there’s a preliminary urge coming from the inside, usually stemming from our subconscious or preconscious strata of experience. Such a trigger might be an image, a feeling, a dream, an archetype, a person, a sign, a color; nearly everything that has gained a specific role in our world for some reason. And not only that, but our cognitive system craves to incorporate that “particular something” and express it, one way or another.

Coming to the field of creative and/or literary writing, I find that this rule could equally apply. The “hunch” drives us crazy and presents all its possible forms in front of our mind’ s eye and we become aware of its existence. And it is this very moment that we are further asked to answer the “why” and “how go about it” questions.

Bringing “that bloody something” to the surface is not always easy. Besides, it’s not necessarily meaningful to everyone who might come across our creative endeavor. So, the answer to the inner posed questions has to be a persuasive one in order for us to proceed.

Otherwise, we will have to let it aside for a while, until it reaches a certain level of maturity. And if this moment never comes, we may have to bravely abandon it, till a stronger “hunch” motivates us to start all over again.


(The argument discussed in this paper is, to some extent, inspired from the seminar lectures “Read & Write” taught by author Aris Maragkopoulos. More information may be found here:



Copyright © 2017. Athina Zografaki, All rights reserved.