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The Art of Writing Avoidance - Culinary Edition

On Monday I made my first ever meatloaf. On Wednesday I played with several different recipes for tomato basil soup, and today was beef stew, as per my mountain cedar allergy struck husband's wishes. When I cook, I work half from a recipe and half from feel, smell, taste, and gut - er, stomach - instincts. With every new dish I served up I tweeted about it, proud of my work.

There was much approval, some even declaring they must go make their own as well. My friend Amanda (she's been showing up a lot lately, hasn't she?) mentioned that Sylvia Plath baked when she got writer's block. I tittered, amused to find myself within the same topic as Sylvia Plath. I rarely bake more than a microwavable brownie, though I've been thinking of trying to make some fancy pastries. And then what had been said finally sunk in, and I stopped at the thought.

Am I cooking to avoid writer's block?

Of course not! Well, maybe I've been a bit distracted. I've barely done any sort of writing in the past several days, nor even made much of an attempt. I've shared with you all my struggles, questioning what may be keeping me from doing what I love best. Because previously my days were filled with nothing but writing, I've taken to cooking to avoid the lack-of-writing-elephant in my rooms.

I need to face the facts: I'm not writing. And I know it's something in one of the books that's blocking me.

I just don't know what 'it' is. My Muse hasn't been able to figure it out. Or maybe she has, and I have yet to see the answer smack in front of my nose. I've been sensing Evie flitting around in both Origins and Night Run, but it's been hard following after. She gets defensive, annoyed at being disturbed when she still hasn't found the answer to what's plaguing us.

So I'll wait, watching her intently yet letting her go about her work with little interference from me. It's been a hard month and some days, but I'm learning to accept that at times, I just have to let myself relax. It's not easy, but I trust Evie, and know that when she finds our answer, I can giver her a celebratory meal. I'm already planning it. A cool greek salad, grilled shrimp stuffed with cheeses on angel hair pasta in a creamy lemon alfredo sauce, desert consisting of a light mango flavored chocolate sauce dribbled over a cream filled cannoli with diced peaces and mangos.

Yep, I'm hoping I can learn to make all that. But I'm also hoping I find the answer to my writing troubles before I do.


  1. Amanda says:

    I totally know how this feels. I do, and I'm sending you big virtual hugs. I had the same thing happen to me over a course of 5 months in 2009. It was horrible. :( But don't worry. Eventually you and your muse will sort it all out and get back to work!

  2. Diandra says:

    I used to make simple rye bread when I was depressed or couldn't work on whatever-it-was-I-was-supposed-to-do - diploma thesis, writing, job appliances. And I hope that as soon as I have an oven again (within a month or two), I'll get to do it again.

    (Right now my flat is so small there is not enough room for a real oven, so I have to find other things, but nothing was as helpful as making bread.)

    Try to find whatever works for you, and stick to it. Your muse knows best. (^v^)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps your muse is leading you to cook as the answer lies in the preparation of these yummy-sounding dishes? In any case, I have faith. In you and your muse.

  4. Cooking to nudge the muse? Interesting. I never would have thought of that. Usually, I try to do a little cleaning or anything to distract me.

  5. Thanks all for your encouragement! I'm gearing up to pretty much WWII the shit out of the new first chapter, in hopes that finally completing the rewrite (to condense way too much backstory) will make revising everything else a bit easier.

    Totally likely a big fat lie, but it's all the Muse and I can hold onto at the moment lol.


  6. Know what you mean about being blocked and doing something else instead. Once when I couldn't get a scene to work I customised some jeans by drawing elaborate designs on them. Half-way through I got bored, but I couldn't leave them half-finished. To keep myself amused I found myself naturally thinking about... my scene! Displacement activity became a life saver.

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