Let It Simmer

01 Jan

I love to put words to paper.  Even more I love to know that there are people out there would find my writing worthy of reading.  Is that vain?  Maybe.  I suppose so at some level. 

Blogging has provided an outlet for my thoughts this past year.  I’ve shared a lot of my thoughts.  Some thoughts shared through my writing were better than others because I took more time on the content and structure of what I wrote.  Other thoughts not so much.

One thing that has been difficult for me has been to let my ideas and words simmer.  I’m excited to write-up my posts, edit and push that publish button, instant gratification, my words in print for others to read.  I want my words to be worthy of those taking the time to read them. 

As I think of writing I can easily relate it to cooking,  something I have done a lot of in the almost 51 years of my life.  When I want to cook or bake something new, I do some research.  I check out different recipes and find one that with ingredients I like or one that looks good in a picture that entices me to read the ingredient list.  The same is true with writing.  Research into the topic you write about and life experiences can make your writing more interesting to the reader.

When writing I gather the important ingredients I want to include, usually three or four ideas.  After I have decided what I want to include I begin blending them together just as in a recipe.  Sometimes just like Mom used to do in the kitchen, ask for a second opinion.  Give someone the opportunity to taste your writing and help season it.

When I am cooking, especially soups, the best thing to do is to put the pot of soup on simmer and walk away.  It gives the ingredients in the soup and opportunity to blend their individual flavors.  Some things that I make actually taste better the second day or at least several hours later. 

The same can be true for writing.  After the words are put to paper I think it is better to let them simmer.  It provides the opportunity for the words to blend and the thoughts to be mulled over,  rearranged in my mind and sometimes on paper. 

This process goes beyond just editing for spelling and grammatical errors.  It looks at the finished product, the presentation.  This is by far the hardest part for me. 

I want to publish my words now and not wait until later.  If I do, I run the risk of a soup without much flavor when I could have a soup that greets you from the very first spoonful until the last spoonful is gone with flavors blended to perfection, wanting for more. 


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32 responses to “Let It Simmer

  1. JoDee Luna

    January 1, 2011 at 12:43 am

    I so relate. Posts do need to simmer, kind of like a crock pot.I try to force myself to sleep on it and read the post with fresh eyes in the morning. What a great analogy cooking is. I am one of your faithful followers who enjoys reading your words 🙂

  2. flyinggma

    January 1, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Thanks JoDee! I can’t believe I started blogging almost a year ago. I have had so much fun thinking of things to write about that I am excited to get up in the morning to write and usually stay up way too late at night writing.

    I’ve met so many people through blogging this past year and learned so many things from other writers.

  3. JoDee Luna

    January 1, 2011 at 12:56 am

    I know, I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for over a year now. There are so many benefits to blogging but two of my favorites are processing my thoughts and meeting people like you.

    • flyinggma

      January 1, 2011 at 1:17 am

      Ditto on both items. Hope you are enjoying a nice Christmas break 🙂

  4. sunshineinlondon

    January 1, 2011 at 6:40 am

    I love this metaphor, Jeanne, although I’m not great at letting thoughts simmer when it comes to writing. I have a concept; sometimes I’ll mull it over for a while, but mostly I just write and post …
    I always enjoy reading your posts and I’m so glad to have connected with you. I look forward to getting to know you even better this year!
    Sunshine xx

    • flyinggma

      January 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

      Thanks Sunshine. I’m not great at letting my thoughts simmer when writing but its something I want to do more of so hopefully my writing will improve. I enjoy your posts and writing style very much. I love the stories you tell about your life in South Africa and now in London. I feel like a get a glimpse in to both of the lives.

  5. Joe Clark

    January 1, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Great post, Jeanne. Right on target with the writing “needing to simmer.” From the photos, I would say Ardis and I need to go to your house for lunch!

    • flyinggma

      January 1, 2011 at 9:49 am

      Thanks Joe. The simmering part is the most difficult for me. The pictures are my Chicken Wild Rice soup. It’s a favorite at our home. I’d be happy to give you the recipe if you think you and Ardis would like it.

  6. Joe Clark

    January 1, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Oh yeah, Happy New Year!

    • flyinggma

      January 1, 2011 at 9:52 am

      Happy New Year to you and your family Joe. I feel blessed to have made your acquaintance in this past year. I’ve learned so much from you this past year and look forward to learning much more in the New Year. Blessinsgs, Jeanne

    • flyinggma

      January 1, 2011 at 9:54 am

      By the way, you and Ardis would be welcome at my home for lunch any day you happed to pass through Minnesota. Just let me know when!

  7. Todd Pack

    January 1, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Happy new year! I had an English teacher who firmly believed there’s no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting. Can’t wait to see what you’ll cook up in 2011.

    • flyinggma

      January 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm

      Happy New Year to you and your family. Sounds like you had an excellent English teacher. We had an excellent English teacher for our four kids in high school. Not one of them is intimidated by reading or writing. She was worth her weight in gold for sure. I wish I would have had her for a teacher!

  8. Carol Ann Hoel

    January 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Oh, Jeanne, you are so right about this. And I just posted a piece that was hastily prepared because it has to do with the New Year. I’ve posted many times when I could have waited and regretted it after seeing that it could have been better. I’m not above revising after posting, but tsk, tsk… I should let it simmer and then post. I must learn patience. Blessings to you and thank you for a great post.

    • flyinggma

      January 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks Carol. I often look back at what I’ve posted and wish I would have put things differently or came at it with a different angle but maybe I will do better in the new year. Blessings to you and your family in the New Year, Jeanne

  9. Linda

    January 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I too agree and I also send you HAPPY NEW YEAR greetings! In my journal this morning, for the first of the year, I asked what it is that causes me to want, to need to write. Of course, I do believe it is simply what God put inside me that needs to come out and be shared! Your soup sounds delicious!

    • flyinggma

      January 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm

      Happy New Year to you and Glen. I look forward to this new year and all that it holds for me. I want to keep learning about writing and so much more this year. Some days it’s hard to focus on just what it is I want to do with my time outside of work.

      You’re invited for soup or anything else we might happen to be eating if you are out our direction. Always room at our table for more. Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Linda

    January 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I sure understand what you mean. Never have a dull moment in our lives! When I retire, I’ll keep busy all the time! Glen says he doesn’t know how he fit everything in before he retired! Well, I’m off to start our soup!

    • flyinggma

      January 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      I’m all over the place in our house today trying to accomplish some things around home. I have a two day weekend for once and nothing on the schedule. I don’t want to squander my time away. Enjoy the soup!

  11. 36x37

    January 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    This is a good analogy, Jeanne. I’d never really thought about how cooking is like writing, but you’re right. It really is. And what a treat it is when your “recipe” comes out to perfection.

    Happy New Year! Happy writing!

    • flyinggma

      January 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks Maura! I tried to let this post simmer a bit before I posted it. I did end up going back and making some adjustments to the flow. Happy New Year to you as well and those handsome boys of yours!

  12. writerwoman61

    January 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Like Sunshine, I don’t let my posts “simmer” much…I do spend a lot of time planning them in my head, and a lot of time in execution, but once I’ve got it down, I don’t want to let it sit there! I’m all about instant gratification when it comes to writing!


  13. flyinggma

    January 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I’m a lot like you when it comes to writing. I do a lot of it in my head especially while I’m working but once I put in writing I’m all about instant gratification. Something I’m trying to work on. I think that I could end up with a better piece more often than not.

  14. nrhatch

    January 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    It’s here! 🙂

  15. nrhatch

    January 1, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I tend to post short essays straight away (or in short order) ~ as soon as I’m satisfied that they are “good enough.”

    Novels to me require a long, slow simmer in order to protect our readers from having to spit out unpalatable bits. 🙂

    • flyinggma

      January 1, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      Depending on what frame of mind I am in when I write, the words flow better some days and need more or less editing. Time definitely has its advantages.

  16. Adrian Pantonial

    January 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I so agree with you in letting your writing simmer because that way, we’re able to spot and correct the typographical errors, logical arrangement (etc.) of our writing to make it more easy-to-read and “palatable” to our readers.

    As for the cooking, I’m getting hungry just by looking at your photos. 🙂


    • flyinggma

      January 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Adrian. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts on your blog site since I found it.

      I wish I could say that I did more of the cooking pictured in the post but working six days a week and a lot of evenings doesn’t allow for much cooking except for the weekends but then I’m tired.

  17. planejaner

    January 3, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    i struggle with this, too!
    I vomit out the words…and I can’t wait to hit publish.
    we bloggers are a mess, aren’t we?
    I am glad you are writing your words…however fast they get to the WWW!

    • flyinggma

      January 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks Jane I’m glad I’ve found your writing this year. I’m so happy that you got to spend a weekend at a writer’s conference this year it sounded awesome. I would never describe your words as being vomited out. Blessings, Jeanne

  18. pearlsandprose

    January 3, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Great analogy. When you let the words sit overnight, they look different in the morning. I wish I’d done that more often.

    • flyinggma

      January 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm

      I’m not great in the patience department. I try, really I do but then I hit Publish. Instant gratification until I see something I should have caught in editing if I would have been a little more patient.


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