Baking has the illusion of being a cozy pastime. There is nothing so welcoming, in my mind, as walking into a house full of freshly baked goods. Therefore, the false connotation is one of comfort and ease. But as I was baking cookies today, I stopped to consider the directions I was following so blithely. They are, in truth, somewhat violent:
Crush the cereal until it is "roughly ground."
Shave the chocolate before mixing.
Break the eggs and add to the bowl.
Beat until creamy.
Cut in the butter.
Whip at highest speed for 2 minutes.
Bake until tops are slightly browned.
The ingredients must go through trials and tribulation before their full flavor and potential are realized. I tried to sit and think of how this truth applied to living and writing well, so that my flavor might be discovered. I came up with the following instructions:
Crush up all your expectations and previous assumptions. You may need to change the texture of your work before its essence can be used.
Shave off all unnecessary words and ideas. Thick chunks of musings will not be accessible to readers.
Break your shell of pride and add something personal, something real and alive.
Beat out any lies, fears and apathy that will affect the work until everything flows smoothly.
Cut in qualities you admire in other writers. This adds the richness that would otherwise be lacking.
Whip up all the support, encouragement, and inspiration you need. Motivation is crucial in getting a work to hold together from start to finish.
Bake your work, submit it to high temperatures where it will be refined and melted. Its consistency may change but the taste will only improve.
The result should be delicious.