Writing is like cooking

Historical Oven cooking depicted in a painting...

Historical Oven cooking depicted in a painting by Jean-François Millet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m becoming a touch obsessed by analogies between writing and other daily activities. I’m thinking, well, if I looked at writing as something I do every day, whether for pleasure or necessity, would I do it more often? This is how I came to draw a parallel between cooking and writing. I love both, so that’s a good start. I cook every day, so why not writing every day too? Stick with me, it gets worse:

Cooking takes preparation and planning (you know, some shopping and at least a view of what would make sense on the table as appropriate nourishment for growing children and generally to enjoy food.) So does writing.

But yet if you happen to have a full fridge and cupboard, off you go, the world is your oyster and you can just launch into an improvised meal without any advance planning. The same goes with writing. Some of my best writing was born spontaneously, spurned by “uncontrollable” typing – a process technically referred to as: “as long as your fingers keep up with your thoughts, you are in business” (don’t ask me for a quote – I don’t keep track of scientific and literary citations….)

There is a lot of washing up after cooking. Some wash up as they go along, some leave it to later, or to somebody else altogether (the lucky ones!) I think you know where this metaphor is going: EDITING! I like to read and re-read my writing before moving onto the next chapter, but I also know from some of your posts that a few of you like to drop down as much new writing as possible before lingering on past sentences.

There is no right or wrong answer, and yet some cook better than others, and some write better than others too. The quality could – again one of my scientific verdicts – stem out of finishing touches. There is a saying in my family: Grand dad is a brilliant cook. But he has a secret: his wife! What our family means by this is that whilst nonno does all the shopping, planning, preparation and cooking, it’s nonna who adds the final magical touches (herbs, a powerful and violent flame under a pan which gets rid of sogginess and wetness at the very final stages of cooking, a pinch of salt or a drop of milk or sugar). Could editing do the same to a clumsy first draft? May be. More likely it’s the initial quality which makes the difference.

An early start in life helps with considering an activity a natural part of life. If a child is used to writing, he or she will not find it a chore in adulthood. The same goes with cooking. But I will stop the analogy here and wish you all a very good Sunday, one blessed with new chapters or verses and a tasty evening meal.

Do you view writing as a separate activity in your life, or is it just one of many?

All the Best,

Ofglassandbooks

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About ofglassandbooks

Who, me? A fan of good reads and glass jars experiences; budding fiction writer in the very little and spare time available...
This entry was posted in Books, reading, reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Writing is like cooking

  1. Ajaytao2010 says:

    Nice reading about you

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Be in touch. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may find something of your interest.

  2. Fantastic analogy–especially the importance of relationships and teamwork! Cheers and Happy Holidays!

    • Dear Raxa, I’m tremendously happy that you’ve taken the time to drop me a line: ANALOGY, not METAPHOR! as I wrote metaphor, in my usual super fast fashion, I thought to myself that the choice of word wasn’t right, but the mental block was such bother to unlock that I left it alone. Cheers to you!
      Gratefully yours,
      OG&B

  3. What an amusing post. I love your style of writing and while I’m at it thanks for following my blog and letting me know that you exist 🙂

  4. Pingback: Why Writing Is Like Everything Else |

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