Doing writing research in real-life settings means investigating individual, collaborative, and organizational writing and text production in complex and dynamic contexts. Methodological questions need to be clarified, such as: which method fits which problem and how should and can various methods complement each other? – In our paper, we start from two methodologically complementary approaches of doing research into real-life writing processes (part 1). Based on these approaches, we then explain why collecting data represents a key challenge in the history of writing research (part 2). Finally, we outline a typology of state-of-the-art methods in writing research that can be combined to face this methodological challenge (part 3).