Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This Page Brought To You By

This page brought to you by . . . homemade sugar cookies.

by Tamara Passey

How baking gets me through revisions

When I’m writing a new story, I feel like I have a lot of steam. It’s easy to sit in the chair and not even notice I’ve been there for two solid hours. Revising that story, well, is a different story (sorry for that pun.) After rewriting about five pages, I find myself in the kitchen, preheating the oven and rolling out cookie dough. The draw to the kitchen, more than my craving for something sweet—although it is a strong motivator– is the need for something that brings immediate results. Baking, unlike writing, does that. Put a sheet of heart-shaped cookies in the oven and in seven minutes, results.

Baking as a break from writing might be the equivalent to vocal rest for singers. When I’m in the kitchen, I’m not using a keyboard, pen or paper. I’m not talking (usually) and don’t take this the wrong way –I’m not thinking. Of course, I’m thinking –but not about my writing. I’m letting my brain rest and switching gears or brain sides. About the time I’ve baked a batch of cookies, or a few loaves of bread, I’m ready to return to the page. Writing might not yield the instant gratification of say, cupcakes, but when it's finished, it does last longer.

What do you do to take a creative break?


  1. I guess what I do is similar. I'll do a load of dishes, start dinner, clean one room...
    Cookies sounds like a lot more fun though.

  2. Lately, WRITING has been my break...meaning I don't do enough of it to earn a break FROM it. However, I am a big cooker and baker so I am with you on those immediate results!

  3. Well, you know I'm revising when I find something in the house to clean instead. Not because I find gratification in cleaning, no, I hate cleaning with a passion. But apparently I hate revisions more!!
    But while cleaning I do find myself thinking about the revisions and by the time I'm halfway through with my cleaning project I come back to my senses and drop everything to write.



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