When browsing the supermarket shelves one is faced with the age old problem of too much choice. So many ingredients, so many combinations. When you are only shopping for one meal the task of choosing one can become too overwhelming, and there are days when you simply give in and reach for the takeout menu. This is exactly what it is like when you spend your time writing.
It always starts the same. There’s a base ingredient – let’s say chicken. What to do with it? Well, you could try a nice tomato and chorizo sauce, or perhaps marinate the chicken in a lemon and chilli sauce to serve with salad and warm bread. When you reach the warm bread stage you begin to think about braising steak, and how lovely it would be to have a homemade stew served with the same warm bread you picked out to go with your chicken. By the time you get to the end of your thought train you’re at the completely wrong station and you have to start again.
I have spent the last fortnight turning ideas over in my head and I could never quite settle on a decent recipe for a post. It has very much been a ‘takeout fortnight.’ I have nothing to show for the feeble efforts at generating something a reader could sink their teeth into but a food baby (the bulge you get when you eat too much. Mine’s called Fred), a headache and an empty word document. No wonder Gordon Ramsay swears so much – it’s frustrating! All the words are there, all the possible mixtures are floating around in your brain, but they are swimming too fast for me to catch them.
When this dilemma occurs in the kitchen my hands take over. The result is never Michelin Star standard, but it’s edible and there are never any complaints – possibly through fear more than taste, but I don’t think I’m that scary… This doesn’t happen with words. When my hands fight my brain I tend to wind up writing stupid rhymes or playing spider solitaire until the charge on my laptop dies. Why is writing not as easy as cooking? There’s a failsafe when you are cooking. If it all goes wrong there’s always a backup to keep you fed and satisfied. In my house it’s called the Dragon Inn (4 dishes for a tenner thank you very much) but there is not takeout menu that delivers well written posts to your doorstep.
I think it’s Fred (food baby) that is the key here. I know Fred must be fed, and so I make an effort to keep him happy. When he is hungry, he growls and it is very embarrassing in public. I need a word baby to make me as motivated with blogging. I could call him William. William the word baby…I like it. And you know, ll of a sudden I feel full of inspiration.