When I was growing up I would watch my mother in the kitchen while she cooked. There wasn't much "convenience" foods available back then and my mother would create everything from fresh baked bread and cakes to homemade hot cocoa, all with fresh ingredients. She always had a plan. There was a list to follow and she made sure she had everything she needed before she began.
Good writers are like my mother. They make sure before they sit down to write that they have all the "ingredients" to create something fresh. Cakes can't be made without eggs or flour and great stories can't flourish without the the right ingredients to make things happen once you sit down at that computer. So don't forget your list.
Put up a sign and let everyone know you are about to get the creative juices flowing. Great chefs are never disturbed during the making of their creations and it's the same for writers. You have gathered the tools of your trade around you and you are ready to whip up something amazing!
You know the steps needed to cook up a great story. All of the pre-write planning has been done, the first draft (and maybe even the second or third draft) is finished and you are up to your elbows mixing characters, action, and dialogue. You think you have all the right ingredients but something is still missing. What can it be?
Maybe you need to add a few descriptive words to spice things up? Or maybe you have added too much punctuation and need to cut back a little? While every story follows a beginning, a middle, and an end, it's up to the individual writer to tweak or "taste-test" each creation to make sure it's just right for their readers.
Like a cake straight from the oven, works in progress need a "cool down" time. In the heat of the moment, writers may overlook the cracks in their work that can prevent that story from holding up later on. Editing is like the icing on the cake. Revising and polishing are the final decorations before that story can be fully appreciated.
Anyone can try their hand at throwing some ingredients together and hoping things turn out right. But it is the patient writer who knows a strong foundation of knowledge and skill will create a work of art that anyone would love to sink their teeth into...