Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Recipe for a Writer

by Maggie Toussaint

I was creating recipes for book characters today over at The Book Spa and decided it would be fun to come up with a recipe for a writer. Stock ingredients came to my mind: perspiration, dedication, talent, luck, networking, strong work ethic, education, professionalism, adaptability, faith, confidence, creativity, computer savvy, and analysis. The challenge was to decide on the proportions and amount of cooking needed.

Here’s my recipe for a writer:

Mix together equal parts talent, creativity, confidence, faith, education, perspiration, dedication, and computer savvy until well blended. Simmer in a moderate oven until half-baked. Meanwhile, stir up a bowl of strong work ethic, analysis, professionalism, networking, and adaptability. Layer over the baked portion, making sure all areas are covered. Bake until the writer is immune to rejection. As the writer cools, sprinkle with luck. Serve with caffeine and chocolate.

Want to give it a shot? Leave your recipe in the comment section. I'd love to read it!

Maggie Toussaint
author of romance and mystery


Terry Odell said...

Having just seen Julie & Julia, this was a timely post!

(I'd take minor exception to 'simmering' in an oven until half-baked' as a cooking technique, but I know what you mean. And 'half-baked' is perfect.)

I do think you left out the most important ingredient, though. Persistence. Without it, the results will not come out right.

Denise Patrick said...

I like Terry's addition, but I'd also add some thyme (time) in there somewhere, too. Maybe it needs to be served on an "endless" afternoon.



Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Terry and Denise!

Yep, persistence and time should be in the mix. I like the endless afternoon concept as well, Denise. Good thing we have so many cooks, er, writers, to tweak the recipe!

Rita said...

Hi Maggie. What a good idea.
Rita's recipe for a good book
Write what you love. Pour yourself into it. Add that one bit of flavor that makes it different from every other book on the shelf. Use ingredients that make the reader fall in love with the hero and feel every emotion the heroine has. Never stop learning your craft.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Rita,
Thanks for stopping in at SRN Writes. Your recipe is wonderful. It says so much about your writing excellence and determination to succeed. Wishing you all the best!

Diana Cosby said...

Hi Maggie,
I'll toss passion into the recipe! :) Half-baked? I'd omit that from my card, to me, writing is all or nothing. Fun blog! *Hugs*

Romance Edged With Danger

Pamela K. Kinney said...

Persistence should be part of the recipe, like Terry said. Time too. Though computer-savvy, I am not too sure of that. Long as you can type with Word and submit your manuscript right. knowledge can be sprinkled in too. :-D

Ellen said...

I think you've covered all bases on a recipe that couldn't possibly be improved. Especially serving with coffee and chocolate---two of my very best friends :)

All the best to you, dear friend! Ellen

Unknown said...

MAGGIE--it all looks and sounds great. But you omitted one vital ingredient--without it, your entire recipe might blow up in your face. What is it? Patience.
A great blog, as usual-Celia

Liana Laverentz said...

I like the half-baked part, too. And the chocolate at the end :)


Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Diana and Pamela,
Yep. Need Passion for this job - it is not for the feint hearted. Persistence is a good quality to ad as well. Thanks for the ideas!

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Ellen, I'm so glad we're on the same wavelength! And Miz Celia, how could I have forgotten patience. Must add that into the pot.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hey Liana,
You share my sense of humor with the half-baked part! And of course the chocolate. Yum!

Debra St. John said...

Hi Maggie, Your recipe is spot on, as are the extras other people have added. Fun stuff!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

With all these great comments, it's hard to add anything extra!
The recipe now seems perfect.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Debra and Jacqueline,
Thanks for stopping by and commenting on our writerly recipe, which is now very much a group project! Glad to see you ladies.

Polly Iyer said...

All the above are great ingredients, but I'm surprised no one mentioned concentration. No Spider Solitaire, no Tetris. No switching to Facebook or Twitter or writer blogs or political blogs. Concentration.

Maggie Toussaint said...

That's a great addition to the recipe, Polly! Thanks for stopping by.

K.M. Daughters said...

Maggie this is so creative and fun - well of course it is, you wrote it. Before we simmer our unbaked writer in a moderate oven I think we need to stir in a gallon of inspiration.


Bikecopblog said...

Awesome! I would ass the ability to see the word through opportunity-colored glasses. That is, no matter what happens, the first question a writer asks is "How can I use that in a project?" That has seen me through some dismal times.

Jim Greer
Author, Wild Child Publishing

Bikecopblog said...

Oops. I meant add. And maybe the tendency to proofread?

Kathye Quick said...

Don't forget to add tenacity and a never give up attitude.

Maggie Toussaint said...

KM Daughters aka Pat and Kathie - thanks for stopping by. We definitely need a gallon of inspiration for this recipe! Good catch.

For Jim - yes, opportunity-colored glasses. That is a must. Without those, it is a bleak landscape for sure.

For Kathie Q - tenacity! Now why didn't I think of that? Yessirree. We need tenacity in this recipe. Perhaps a full measure.

I hope y'all are enjoying this as much as I am!

Mona Risk said...

--talent, creativity, confidence, faith, education, perspiration, dedication, and computer savvy--

Ok plus persistence and time...great

When I started writing I wasn't comuter savvy, far from that. I completely lacked confidence. I wasn't really dedicated to publish and I didn't have time or support from the family. Also my grammar and my typing suck.

But I had passion. I wrote with so much passion. I lived in my head the stories I wrote in both To Love a Hero and Babies in the Bargain.
The rest came later. Hard work, dedication, wonderful CPs, the willingness to study every facet of the art of writing and the business of writing.

Allure of Deceit said...

Repeat recipe multiple times, with various alterations, twists and new flavors - revision is a must!

Maryannwrites said...

Love the recipe and all the comments. Only thing I would add is to stress tenacity. Too many writers give up when the going gets tough. Chocolate helps. :-)

I blogged about tenacity here if anyone would like to read what I had to say.

Maryannwrites said...

Opps, posted the wrong link in my comment. Just in case someone really wants to go over to read my post about tenacity, here is the direct link.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Very interesting post! I never thought of it this way--"ingredients" for a character. Very clever! LOL I have enjoyed reading the posts and have nothing to add--it seems it has all been very well covered and processed. You have given me a new "take" on viewing my characters!

LK Hunsaker said...

Half-baked: exactly right! We have to be, don't we?

Maggie Toussaint said...

Whew! It's been a busy day.

Mona, You r passion for writing shines through your stories. I love Babies in the Bargain.

Susan, I like the repeat idea along with new flavors and twists.

Maryann, Tenacity is so critical, I agree one hundred percent.

Cheryl, thanks for stopping by, my okie friend.

Hi Loraine, Half-baked is the only way to be!

Thanks everyone for stopping in. I had a great time reading all the additions to the recipe for a writer. Now I'm off to the kitchen to see what can be done about dinner!

Unknown said...

I think you've covered it all. Maybe you could add the ability to juggle
Fun post, Maggie.


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