2 min read
THOUGHT FOR FOOD
Writing, like cooking, is about finding great ingredients and helping one shine.
Writing is cooking.
Instead of preparing food to make meals, writers prepare thoughts to make stories.
Many things make a good meal. You need a protein, a starch and a vegetable. Maybe some fruit to cleanse your pallet. A cocktail before dinner never hurts. Pair rich meats with red wine; a hot date with white. You need the perfect seasoning. But not too much salt.
You can’t cook a great meal without great ingredients.
You can’t write a great anything without great thoughts.
They don’t sell organic thoughts at Trader Joes. We grow thoughts in our own minds using our moods and surroundings as fertilizer. It sounds simple, but it’s not. Most peoples’ lives are a cacophony of stress, compensation and search for meaning. Rinse, repeat, back to the cubicle on Monday.
How can you get fresh ingredients if you never venture outside the frozen food aisle?
I’m currently writing a short story about a talented, conflicted young lady trying to surround herself with friends who embody the qualities she wishes she had. During the search, she learns that people are just as flawed, confused and lost as she is. Forced to accept there’s no right or wrong way to live, she’s able to free her busy mind.
Anyway, the ocean and her dog serve as metaphors for her personality throughout the plot. She wishes people could exist flawlessly in her mind, like the ocean and her dog. She learns that perfect ideas exist, but flawless people do not. She realizes the best you can do is have a perfect idea of a flawed thing.
That’s all beside the point.
I can’t write about beaches, dogs or talented females unless I experience them all in some capacity. It’d be completely impractical (although an intriguing thought) to travel to the beach every time I want to write about it.
But in order to write, I merely must remember. I must hunt the memory down, shoot it, cook it, then take it out of my oven just before gets to medium rare.
Unless it’s fish; I eat that shit raw.
Bigger, dirtier thoughts need to cook longer.
Easy on the salt.