Writing isn’t baking a pie. I see recipes for writing all the time and I think how part of me wishes they worked so I could find the recipe and every time I’d make a very nice pie and that would be that. No more worrying and driving myself crazy about whether this or that works or doesn’t work or how to make a character really real instead of just a shadow of real. OR the big question—what am I missing in this manuscript? Parts of it sound right but parts of it don’t. I want to ignore this sense of missing but I just can’t quite fool myself into thinking it works and sometimes it haunts me.
If I had a recipe I could just put it all together, bake, and serve and people would eat (well, not literally) my book and they would say, “Pretty good.” Maybe there are writers who do this. A few—not many.
So, yes, I wish for this sometimes. BUT where’s the fun in that? Oh, maybe once or twice it would be fun, but without the struggle, the failures and the hard-earned victories, writing wouldn’t be the adventure that it is. I look at writers like Ray Bradbury and Elmore Leonard, writers in their 80s, who say they still love writing, it still gets them out of bed in the morning. That’s a wonderful thing. The act of writing enriches a life.
Recipes don’t work but maybe it’s a good thing they don’t