You may think after my last post that I have food on the brain.  Well I do!  Christmas is coming and Cubans love their roast pork, black beans, rice, yucca, flan and turrones.  If you don’t know what some of those items are, Google them because they are so good! 

 

In the meantime though, I still believe there are lessons to be learned from the culinary arts that can be applied to writing. 

 

1.       Take your time. For me, cooking is a pleasure when I’m not rushed or being hassled by hungry mouths. When I take the time to take out the ingredients, chop things correctly and follow the recipe step by step, I enjoy the process more and my dishes taste significantly better. Applied to writing, if I take the time to concentrate and follow a logical outline, my writing is clear and concise. When I rush, my thoughts are jumbled and my writing unclear. 

2.       Taste as you go. Sampling for salt and seasoning is part of cooking. Sampling is a part of writing also. Stop part way through and read your words out loud. Do they flow? Do they make sense? Make adjustment as you go so that you don’t get to the end of your work and realize that your tone or flow is not working. 

3.       Let it sleep. For those who know beans, you’ll understand when I say that certain foods do better if left to “sleep.”  My mom always made her black beans prior to a holiday and then put them in the refrigerator or freezer to let them “sleep” or rest. They absorb more flavor and always taste better after the fact. Your writing could also benefit from a rest period once completed.  Give it a day or two and then return to it.  You’ll find your mistakes and have a fresh perspective on tone and content.

 

Words are like food. They can be sweet and delicious. Enjoy yours this holiday season and throughout the new year.