Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The food processor brain of this writer...

Last night I realised one of the challenges I face with writing to a deadline is that my brain seems to work a little like a food processor.  At one end I stuff information, experiences and ideas into it.  Those bits and pieces are pushed through a processing system that chops and mixes and mashes them all together, and at the other end the finished product comes out - a little like coleslaw; all ready to be dressed and presented.

It's great in that my intuitive mind works well to take a little bit of this and put it together with a little bit of that, producing an appealing end product.  The problem is, the process cannot be rushed!  If I stuff too much information, experiences and ideas in the first end all at once, I clog up the system and it grinds to a halt. So, I have to carefully feed my mind piecemeal, so it can properly process stuff as it receives it (this process has slowed somewhat as I've gotten older, too, I must say).  Alternatively, if I try to open the machine half way through processing and extract the contents, they're likely to only be half processed and even less than half as appealing as they would be if I just let the process take its course.

The time it takes to process all the information, experiences and ideas and fit all the pieces together so they come out looking appealing is sometimes longer than I have until the looming deadline, and so it becomes a matter of letting the process work for as long as I can to get the best result possible, but having to be prepared to not let the process finish in it's own time, and present a less that ideal product at the end because there just wasn't enough time...

I have next to no control over the process itself...  In a sense it's a bit like a slow cooker as well.  You heap in the raw product, add water or stock, and let it simmer away until the contents are perfectly tender and amalgamated.  You can feel it bubbling away, and you can sort of smell the aroma of what promises to be a hearty and tasty meal, but if you take it off the simmer too early, it'll be undercooked!

I can feel the ingredients simmering away in there, I have hints of what the final product will look like, I sense the sauce is thickening, but I'm also looking at the clock and soon I'll run out of time!  I think I need to give this meal a bit of a stir - maybe turn the heat up a bit, see if that helps?

Man, I'm getting hungry!

No comments:

Teenagers and the failing parent...