Writing vs. Cooking

What inspires: Pushing Through

“Unlike cooking, for example, where largely edible, if raw ingredients are assembled, cut, heated, and otherwise manipulated into something both digestible and palatable, writing is closer to having to reverse-engineer a meal out of rotten food,” -author David Rakoff, from his essay “A Writer’s Day,” published in the spring 2011 Authors Guild Bulletin.

Rakoff shared how he procrastinates, justifies, stalls before settling in to write each day. How in most things, art, for example, one progresses, learns, becomes more adept and so the work gets easier. Conversely: “Writing—I can only really speak to writing here—always, always only starts out as shit; an infant of monstrous aspect; bawling, ugly, terrible and it stays terrible for a long, long time (sometime forever).”

Still, even with the “terrors and agitations,” Rakoff pushes through—never forgetting for a moment that his is not a life of “mining coal, waiting tables, or answering someone’s phone for a living”— beginning each writing day “suffused with this sense of privilege, shell-pink and pulsing with new hope.”