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The Creative Stove

April 14, 2010

Whether writing, painting or creating any other artistic or right brain thing, there is the analogy of the stove. Sometimes it might be small and other times seemingly endless in size and scope. The burners can be countless, as are ideas. On the front burner is that creative thing which you plan to finish next because the idea is on fire or at least very hot on your mind and in your head. Then there are other burners with your ‘lesser’ pressing genius concepts percolating closer to the front as well as simmering further back.

One key thing to keep in mind about the creative stove is this: don’t stop stuff from jumping onto front burners. If a flame leaps forward, stoke it. When you are doing mundane chores or relaxing, thinking, talking, playing or whatever, things that were further back or that hadn’t ever germinated at all, may suddenly jump forward into a front pot or pan. Seize that moment and that day. Work on stirring the fledgling dish. It might later slide behind to a back burner for a while, but you struck while the iron was hot. You did some work while inspired regarding.

I suppose you have to find a balance between totally controlling what you are working on, and going with the flow of working on whatever pops into your head. Starting and finishing something versus starting everything and bouncing to and fro so you never finish anything. Yes, you need to focus on the front burner and what you have put in that pot, but, you do need to leave yourself open to new ideas and take advantage of any when they do jump forward or out at you. Put them in the pan on a burner right in front of you and start frying.

You can juggle all the pots and pans around on your many burners as needed, but don’t just stare at the one pot that you have put at the front of your stove if the fire has temporarily gone out on that one. Check your other burners – listen to the bubbling that is going on in front of you. Pay attention to the heights of the flames. There might be something begging to be cooked a while, so cook that today and cook what’s hot tomorrow. And through it all, don’t forget to finally finish something from time to time, so you can serve your patrons a final dish. Happy cooking!

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