My mother was the queen of homebaked goods. Everything from fresh baked bread to homemade candy and doughnuts and cakes. For myself, it took a while to get the hang of things. I even tried to bake some cookies one summer when my mother was on a trip out of town and I almost burnt the house down. I find that my writing is a bit like baking a cake. My first attempts are sloppy at best. I can't quite figure out what goes wrong, but I KNOW something is missing...some secret ingredient which helps take my stories to the next level.
But I keep at it. I don't give up. I put together another story while throwing in a pinch more of humor here and a dash of suspense there until I finally get something of which I can be proud. Others even think THIS attempt smells good and I think maybe I have finally figured out how to cook up a good book.
I don't want to stop there. I want to be a gourmet at this writing thing. So I sample the works of other writers. I ask other cooks for their recipes for success and spend a lot of time learning to perfect the process of creating a good book. And I cook. And cook some more. And if I'm lucky enough and work really hard, one day I might cook something worth consuming.
But then again, there are some things I want to stay away from...