Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Polymath's Writing Process, or Non-Writing Process, Part Three

Now, being a published writer, people ask a lot about “writing process”, and mine differs from project to project. But one of the things that tends to remain true for me, is that I often write with the television on, tuned to something relevant. When I was writing Room for Improvement, about an interior designer, I had HGTV on almost exclusively. With Spinster Sisters, a book about self-help gurus, there was a lot of Oprah and the Starting Over house on my tube.

My new book, Good Enough to Eat, is about a chef, so of course, it was all Food Network all the time. One day, while trying to knock out a chapter, I caught the tail end of a show about a cooking contest in which the winning chicken recipe won $100,000. In true Joe Biden form, let me repeat that.


I stopped writing. I turned up the volume.

Now, I always knew about state fair blue ribbons for pies and jams and the famous Pillsbury Bake off. I knew all about the big BBQ competitions. But here was a contest about chicken.

Something I cook all the time with frankly delicious results. And which is worse, the winner’s recipe seemed sort of pedestrian to me. Not nearly as good as some of the stuff I make for myself to eat alone on a random Tuesday! I looked at my laptop, and the book that I was under contract to finish ASAP. And then I looked at the television where a benign ashy blonde was accepting a huge prize-patrol check.





This is like two full years salary from when I was still working full time. This is more than I have made on all four of my books combined. This could be…my new source of income while I wait to be discovered as a literary genius!

NEXT: The Polymath Ponders: Make Money Working From Home!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one addicted to Food Network. Please let us know if you're on a televised contest one of these days!