I love cooking. Always did.
Yesterday I had guests over for dinner and so I spent the day cooking. (It was actually more like two hours, but who's counting?)
I made split pea and ham soup, trout in dill and lemon sauce, and garlic mashed. Not a big deal meal, but still very nice I thought.
We sat to eat and immediately I could see that the soup was a hit. The bowls emptied out fast.
Then we had the trout and mashed, and that's when the bread became very popular. I tasted the trout and to my horror, it was gross. I don't know what went wrong, but something did.
What does that have to do with writing?
In cooking, just like in writing, there is the issue of feedback and criticism. In cooking, just like in writing, the 'audience' has different personal tastes. In cooking, just like in writing, there is the question of target market.
Working backwards then, a meal cooked for kids would be different from one prepared for adults, just like when writing.
As far as personal taste goes, the same dish could be a favourite of one person, but a nightmare to another, just like in writing.
And finally, different guests at a dinner party may have different ways of giving the cook feedback. One might try to drown the taste of the trout with bread, another would say very politely, 'I think there's something missing in the trout, but I'm not sure what,' and yet another, usually kids, would simply state the obvious, 'yuck!'
As a cook, I tend to prefer the direct 'yuck' approach. At least then I am able to offer something else and salvage that person's meal.
As a writer, I have the distinct impression I would like the direct approach much better than having to decipher the true meaning of a feedback given to me in a roundabout way. If you're wondering, here's the code as I know it:
- 'This part was a bit slow for me,' means the writing was boring.
- 'I'm not sure what exactly you meant here,' means the writing was vague.
- 'I thought some of the word choices and language was a bit awkward,' meaning this part was poorly written.
- And my all time favourite - 'I understand this is your first draft, so I'll only comment on...,' means the writing was raw and bad despite it being your fifth draft.
How do you prefer to get your feedback? Wrapped in a blanket to cushion it, or thrown directly at you stone hard?
Result of weekend post was no surprise:
- 15 clicked on Guess the Google
- 6 clicked to take The Sexual HELL Test (I guess that everything with the word sex in it would score high :)
- 4 clicked on What obsolete skill are you? quiz
- and finally 2 clicked on The 3 Variable Funny Test
No one felt like getting too deep and my list of posts received 0 clicks.
Last - I am working hard on changing my template to a 3-column design so if the page looks weird on occasion, please forgive.
Categories: writing, cooking, general, misc