PicturePhoto by Piotr Miazga on Unsplash.

Last night I cooked dinner, chicken soup made from the leftover chicken from Sunday night’s supper. Chicken soup isn’t difficult; I’ve made it many times. This time I decided to try something a bit different.

I seasoned the soup with thyme, lemon, and garlic. Those flavors usually combine really well. I added in some green bell pepper and celery. I was out of chicken stock, so I poured water into the pot. Then, instead of potatoes or noodles, I added a cup of long grain rice.

After two or three hours, I tasted the soup. It needed something. So, I added a bit of parsely and dill.

I don’t know how the Campbell’s keeps the rice in their canned soups whole, because the dreadfully overcooked rice in my soup dissolved into a grainy mess. I didn’t think what had turned into a chicken-and-rice stew (you could eat it with a fork) tasted bad, but my husband didn’t like it.

Later that evening, I worked on one of my ongoing manuscripts, this one a continuation of the Russian Love series. This book features Ciro as our hero and Evelina, Inessa’s cousin, as our heroine. I added a couple of thousand words and … I wasn’t sure I liked what I wrote.

The beauty of writing today, done on an electronic device using a word processing program, is that I can easily review and delete and rewrite content that doesn’t meet my own expectations. Not so much with food. It’s impossible to remove the seasonings once added.

This just goes to show that, no matter how long one has been doing something, it’s still quite possible to get it wrong. Regarding the chicken soup (or stew), the leftovers may get tossed. Currently, they’re in the refrigerator. I’ll eat some for lunch. If it’s still off-putting, then I’ll toss the rest and settle for something else. As for the manuscript, I’ll review what I wrote and, if it still strikes me as less than worthy, I’ll delete what I wrote last night and try again.

Writing isn’t a one-and-done process. It involves multiple rounds of reviewing, editing, revising, and rewriting to get the story just right. A lot of aspiring authors don’t understand that and err in one of two ways. The first is never to finish their manuscript because they’re trying to make the first draft perfect. The second is not to realize that review and revision are necessary, thereby submitting “undercooked” work.

With cooking, you don’t necessarily get a second chance to save a dish from disaster; however, you do with writing. The written word allows you to add and remove seasoning, adjust portions, and manipulate your content in myriad ways. In cooking, you can only add, not substract.