I don’t usually cook first thing in the morning. Today, however, that’s exactly what I did. When you plan to run the crock pot for eight hours, well, I guess it’s an early start or a late dinner.
I’m an okay cook if I have a recipe. I can follow a formula. Today, however, I’m experimenting with some spices a friend suggested. These little deviations from the book usually lead to my biggest successes in the kitchen. And my biggest failures.
The best cooks, of course, are those that have done this for years and know why things are on the recipe and how changing the recipe will work and what changes to avoid. But you don’t get there by being afraid to experiment.
Now, gentle reader, I assume you are not an idiot and that you have already gotten the metaphor. I’ve spent several of the last posts discussing structures and formulae. I wanted to take a moment to remind us all that writing strictly by formula is often passable but generally falls short of genius.
If you know the formula/structure/recipe when you start, you have an advantage. But becoming a better writer, like becoming a better cook (or a better anything, really) requires a type of learning and discovery that only comes from practice.
Take risks, experiment, get advice from people you trust, and have fun with it. Throw your failures in the recycle bin. If you keep at it, people will remember your successes.