By: Marilyn L. Davis
I Want It Now!
We live in the world of immediate gratification. We hurriedly down our coffee, rushing out the door before we head to the fast food chain to get our rations for the day. If we don’t receive a response to our text within a minute, we send a question mark to the recipient, demanding that they pay attention to us —now.
“How often is not the prospect of future happiness thus sacrificed to one’s impatient insistence upon an immediate gratification.” ― Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way
Microwaves: The Downfall of Patience?
The year that the microwave came out, my father told me that this invention would be the death of patience in our country. I laughed and said that this would give people more time to spend with family and revolutionize cooking as we could have food on the table in five minutes instead of two hours. He replied that this was exactly his point.
Did I honestly think that five minutes of unattended cooking would produce the same quality as a few hours spent tasting, stirring, and adjusting the spices in a dish? I had to admit that the results were sometimes fast, but not flavorful. Unfortunately, some writers seem to create pieces or publish in much the same manner.
Rush to Publish?
This rush to publish happens to all of us. About two years ago, I made the mistake of publishing a post on top of one of the other writers at Two Drops of Ink. It wasn’t that I thought the other post was poorly written and I was trying to cover it up. No, I just wasn’t paying attention; I just wanted to get my piece up so I could concentrate on my addiction blog.
How often do we rush to get to the next thing and don’t pay attention to what we’re doing at the moment?
There are deadlines imposed on us and by us. So, you’d think that with that mistake, I’d take a break from writing.
Instead, the experience made me think about how often we sacrifice our writing simply to get something out there. I felt pressured to edit and hit the publish button without checking that there was another post already up.
Sitting here writing today, I’d rather be proud than pressured, and that takes time.
Cooking, Creating and Correcting
Writing comes naturally to some of us, not that we’re necessarily good at writing, to begin with, but we’ve done it for a long time. But is our writing fast food or haute cuisine? I know the difference. My oldest daughter is a graduate of a culinary arts school and competed on the first student culinary Olympic team in 1988. I know you didn’t know we had one; well, we did. And she came by this love of creating excellent dishes from my mother.
Cookbooks were not just for decoration but used in our house. My mother had untreated Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and besides artistic talents, she found comfort in cooking.
For her, making excellent food was another way to dissipate some of her boundless energy. If she added to the recipe, she made notes in the margins about the improvement, responses from family or friends, and if the recipe could be doubled and still retain the taste or texture. There was no fast food in those cookbooks.
Beyond taking the time to cook delicious meals, I can remember her selecting the right pen to use for her margin notes. If she liked her variations, she would use a blue fountain pen. If she didn’t like the results, she wrote in red, much like editors on written pieces. This attention to detail was what made her cooking so outstanding.
It's the same with our writing; that attention to detail makes our writing stand out. Rather than fast copy, we let our post marinate for a day, revising it, editing it, and then publishing it for a better read. Click To Tweet
We have to pay attention and not publish until we’ve written as well as we can that day.
What Are Your Writing Ingredients?
- What got your attention today?
- What did you observe?
- Where did you find inspiration?
- Is there a fresh perspective that you can add to an old-familiar topic?
- How do you improve as a writer?
Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing