Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tasty Cure for Writing Insecurity

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds. 

Welcome to my 100th blog post! :D

When I am feeling insecure about my writing, I put down my pen and power down my computer. During this off-time I tell myself learning is all part of the writing process, and not to get mad when I learn something new. I also have to remember why I started writing in the first place and that was for the pure love of it. Not because I wanted to be a best-selling author, to have thousands of readers, or even to share my work. All of that came later, but the real purpose was because I simply HAD to write. Finally, I have to remind myself my writing style is different from other writers and that is fine. Actually, that is GREAT! After all, I am my own writer.

If all else fails, I eat cookies! 

WRITER'S SPICE COOKIES

YOU'LL NEED:

2 cups of William Shakespeare (flour)
1 cup of Jane Austen (light brown sugar)
¼ cup of Anne Rice (dark brown sugar)
3/4 cup of Stephen King (shortening)
1 Dr. Seuss (egg)
2 tablespoons of Debbie MacComber (milk)
1 tablespoon of Nora Roberts (vanilla extract)
1 teaspoon of E.L. James (cinnamon)
¼ teaspoon of Sidney Sheldon (nutmeg)
A pinch of The Brothers Grimm (cloves)
¾ teaspoon of J.K. Rowling (baking soda)
1 teaspoon of R.L. Stine (salt)
1 cup of Ronald Dahl (white chocolate or milk chocolate chips)
½ cup of Edgar Allen Poe (walnuts or whichever you prefer)
Your favorite sprinkles

**Feel free to substitute authors to make this your own. I just tried to select well-known authors from many genres to create a well-rounded list.

STEPS:

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
2.    In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, light brown sugar, and dark brown sugar. Beat in the egg. Then add the milk and vanilla, creating a light and fluffy mixture.
3.    In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt; add it to the batter, making sure it is blended well. Mix in the chips and nuts last.
4.    Drop spoonfuls onto the greased cookie sheet, leaving about two inches between each cookie. Press a pinch of sprinkles onto the center of each cookie then bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the bottoms are a golden brown.
5.    Remove from cookie sheet and let cool.
TIPS: Since these cookies are small you can use mini chips or chop up normal-sized chips. If you don’t have or want to buy light and dark brown sugar just use whatever you prefer for both portions.

THE STORY BEHIND THE INGREDIENTS:

William Shakespeare is essentially the foundation of literature as flour is the foundation of all baked goods. Without Shakespeare, literature today wouldn’t be what it is. Jane Austen has always been the sweetheart of literature with her classics like Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Northanger Abbey. Is it any wonder why she is light brown sugar? Anne Rice is the one responsible for introducing vampires to our modern age. She also brought out our darker sides and that says dark brown sugar to me. Stephen King changed horror forever and without his wisdom many writers wouldn’t exist today, as cookies would fall apart without shortening. Dr. Seuss gave birth to our imaginations. For a lot of us, he gave us the egg that cracked and spilled forth our interest in books and writing at a very young age. He also wrote “Green Eggs and Ham”! Debbie MacComber is milk because milk is cozy. You can curl up with one of her books for a cozy read as you can curl up with a glass of milk before bedtime. Nora Roberts has influenced a lot of writers including me. She specializes with romance, and vanilla is a very romantic flavor. E.L. James is known for her erotic-romances. For many women her books were literary-aphrodisiacs, and Cinnamon is a real aphrodisiac. Sidney Sheldon is a best-selling mystery writer, and nutmeg is always the secret ingredient in many dishes. The Brothers Grimm created folktales that had dark elements; witches that ate children, witches that poisoned apples, evil stepmothers, etc. Their slightly violent tales have since influenced our fantasies and writing, and the spice of cloves definitely influences the taste of cookies. J.K. Rowling brought magic into our world. Her Harry Potter books expanded the minds of younger generations almost in the same way that baking soda expands baked goods. R.L. Stine has written hundreds of books with a dash of horror and humor, and cookies always need a dash of salt. Ronald Dahl was a big part of many children’s childhoods. Looking back, we can remember being read his stories, and those memories are as sweet as chocolate! And Edgar Allen Poe was as nutty as walnuts. There . . . I said it.

What about the sprinkles, you ask? Well, the sprinkles represent the most important and best part: YOU!


QUESTIONS: What do you do when your writing insecurities get the better of you? Do you love cookies? What’s your favorite?

Mine is a pumpkin white chocolate chip cookie I make every year near Halloween. :) One reason I didn't use this recipe is because I wouldn't have been able to decide which author would represent pumpkin puree. :P


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52 comments:

  1. I love how you did this recipe with authors' names. Very creative. :)

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  2. Chrys, you put so much thought into this post today. Thank you for sharing with us. I love how you created your own flare to the ingredients by adding authors to the recipe.

    You are absolutely right about the art of being a writer. We all have big dreams of becoming beloved authors. However, we must remind ourselves about the one true thing that drives us to write almost every single day; our passion for writing. We love it. And most of us do it well because it is what we live for. The journey is about discovering ourselves through our writing as we go through and experience our own work as well as the work of others. There are times when we will feel insecure but these moments shall pass when we clear our minds and take in the beauty of our talent.

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    1. Thank you, Gina! I wanted to do something fun for today's post before my insecurities really get the better of me ad I start to whine. lol

      Well said! I'm always going to have moments of insecurity, but if I can keep this perspective I shall beat most of my insecurities as they come. :)

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  3. What a delightful post. I love how you incorporated authors into the recipe. My fav cookie is macadamia nut/white chocolate chip. At Christmas time, I'm crazy about Spritz cookies. Love the almond flavoring. We all have our times of insecurity. I like your solution!

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    1. Thank you! I had fun deciding which author would be which ingredient. I also like Spritz cookies for Christmas. The almond extract really is yummy! :)

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  4. I think I'm going to have to do some substitutions on some of those authors. I think I'll put in some Stoker instead of Rice and Baum instead of Dahl. King, I may have to drop entirely. Or use that guy that Briane Pagel is always going on about.

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    1. I don't read all of the authors I included in the recipe, but used them to create a well-rounded list. Stoker would've been a great addition! :D But I wanted women to be sugar. ;) You can certainly substitute other authors and make it your own. Thanks for your comment! :)

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  5. That was Sweet! (pun intended)
    I'm ok with Dr. Seuss being the egg, but does it have to be green?
    I will eat anything sweet....I am partial to chocolate though.
    My insecurities in writing is the sprinkles. I can be my own worst enemy sometimes, that is why I rely on my wife to keep my chin up.
    (I drool somtimes)

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    1. No green eggs needed for this recipe. Plain eggs will do. ;)

      I'm also partial to chocolate because if the caffeine. If you don't like chocolate you can omit it entirely or swap it out for something else, like raisins.

      We are always our own worst enemies. Which is why we really need to realize we are the sprinkles. While other authors may influence us, we are the best ingredient in our writing. We make our writing special. We make it shine. :D

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  6. Ha! I am totally trying this recipe (I'm a sucker for cookies:). When I'm feeling insecure about my writing I let go of it. Walk away, watch some TV. Have a drink. And then remember again why I write in the first place; because I love it.

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    1. I am delighted you will try the recipe. I hope you like it! :)

      Walking away, relaxing, and doing something else are all good cures. I don't drink, but having a glass of wine would certainly help. ;)

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  7. I love that I can be the sprinkles! What a fun receipe, and you are so right we must never forget why we started to write in the first place. Ooh I fancy a cookie right now!

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    1. I thought someone would enjoy being the sprinkles. ;) If I could, I'd give you a cookie. :P

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  8. Kudos! I love the idea of choosing authors - which you did with great care - as representing the ingredients for cookies. :)
    Thanks for the reminder, going back to why we started writing in the first place. Sometimes the love of writing gets lost for me in all the scramble to network and promote.

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    1. Thank you! I tired to include authors others would like even though I don't read work by all of them. :)

      Sometimes I have to remind myself that writing isn't about how many followers I have on my blog, how many likes I have on FB, or how many pieces I publish. It's about writing and the passion I have for it. So I thought I should remind all of my insecure writer friends too. :)

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  9. Love your recipe. So very true! I'm a fan of good old fashioned choc chip from scratch. With a tall glass of milk. mmmm heaven!
    My last story (Butterman Travel) was written solely from the love of writing. For the first time in awhile i just let myself have some fun and it made such a huge difference. No pressures, no perfectionism, just good ol fun!

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    1. You can't beat chocolate chip cookies!

      Admittedly, it's been a while since I wrote something as a result of the love I have for writing. The last time was in high school when I wrote every day, before I wanted to get published. Now, writing is a job, but a job I love! I'm glad you were able to have fun while you wrote Butterman Travel. :)

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  10. It's good to step away now and then and put things into perspective. I have no argument with cookies either. Chocolate chip are a favorite, but I'm not overly picky about it.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Lee! :) It's important to take a break when you need it.

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  11. I love cookies. I eat them a lot. But now I'm baking gluten free because my husband is a cookie monster. I once hid some cookies in the cupboard in the laundry room and he found them! I know, go figure!

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    1. Cookies are great! You can definitely fix this recipe to make it gluten free. :)

      It's amazing that the one time a man goes into a laundry room he finds our secret stash of cookies. Men! :P

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    2. Most definitely. I've already bookmarked the page. Thanks, Chrys. And Congrats on 100 posts!

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    3. Thank you! :D And I hope you enjoy the cookies! :)

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  12. LOVE this post! Now I'm craving cookies. Hehehe! I actually do make cookies when I'm blocked or when I'm celebrating something.

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    1. Thanks! :D It seems that I'm making everyone crave cookies now. :P

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  13. Congrats on post 100! I totally hear you--food is the solution! I've been telling people that for years, although I promote cheese over cookies. (More sustaining.) ;)

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    1. THANK YOU!! I've had a blast during my first two years of blogging. :D

      Hehe! Food is the solution for everything!

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  14. That was really clever, Chrys!
    And it is great we all have our own voice. Otherwise, all stories would read the same.

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    1. Thanks, Alex! ;D

      If all books read the same it would be TRAGIC!

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  15. Creative recipe, I love it! Eating cookies isn't a bad way to go when stuck, either. ;)

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    1. Thank you, Caitlin! And cookies are a cure for almost everything. ;)

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  16. I love that you included a recipe in your post! I'm a sucker for food porn, and who doesn't love cookies? I don't think I could pick a favorite, but I'm partial to my mom's whipped shortbread, my grannie's soft gingersnaps with raisins, and chewy chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that aren't too salty. Oh, and anything with coconut!

    When I feel insecure about writing, I talk to a writing friend. I'm lucky enough to have an awesome little writer's group that is for just that--talking about the writing life and sharing the joys and miseries. I couldn't find a group that worked for me, so I started one.

    So happy to have met you! Hope we can keep in touch between ISWG posts.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. So many cookies, so little time!

      I would love to have a writing group. But I have learned through blogging that talking to other writers/authors really does help, because they all understand what you are going through and can offer wonderful advice. It's amazing that you started your own group!

      I look forward to getting to know you more! Count on seeing me at your blog. :)

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  17. This is great! So creative. I bet the cookie are really tasty too. :)

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    1. Thank you, Janel! Yes, pretty darn tasty. ;)

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  18. What a fun post. You hit my weak spot thought. When I'm feeling anxious or insecure, the cookie jar is where I go (unfortunately). But now I have a new recipe to try. Sounds yummy.

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    1. Awesome! I hope you like it, Deborah! :D

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  19. Wow. Congrats on the 100th post! Those cookies look delish!

    --Ilima Todd (IWSG co-host)

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    1. THANK YOU!! :D And thanks for stopping by, Ilima!

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  20. And now I crave for cookies! (Haven't had dinner yet, but am already planning for supper.) Love that recipe of Creative Writers, and was pleasantly surprised to see you include R.L. Stine. I had a great time reading his Fear Street series in adolescence. And Roald Dahl was chocolate ... of course he was. :) (Poe was nutty ... that's funny! He probably was, wasn't he? Somewhat gory and nutty.)

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    1. I'm making everyone crave cookies. hehe

      I'm glad you liked my author choices. And of course I had to add R.L. Stine. He is one of the most popular and best-selling authors out there! :D

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  21. What a delightfully clever post, Chrys! And this post makes you one ingredient of my cookie now *wink* ♡ :-)

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  22. Congrats on 100!! And wonderful post, loved the creativity you used. Excellent choices for ingredients, btw. Good balance.

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    1. THANK YOU, Brenda! I did my best to pick good ingredients and to create balance, so I'm glad you approve. :)

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  23. Wow, great IWSG post Chrys!

    You're totally right though, i often forget WHY i write :)

    Now im off to bake cookies ;)

    xx

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    1. THANK YOU, Vikki! :D

      lol Have fun! ;)

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  24. What a fun way to make an excuse for making cookies (as if cookies need an excuse), blending in your favorite writers.

    We've got a similar cookie recipe in our family, but we don't add chips, nuts or anything to ours, just enjoy the flavors.

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    1. I definitely don't need an excuse to bake cookies! ;)

      These cookies would be good without all the extras; the spices are wonderful enough. :)

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