Friday, March 5

Food and Writing

(please note there is not one single basis of fact, proven or otherwise in the below statements, but don't tell the author, she believes everything she writes) 

Back in my younger days, oh a year or so ago, I discovered the connection between food and writing.

You’ve never heard of it you say?

Well listen in my dearies, and I’ll lead you down the path of Hansel and Gretel. And Carrie the Cookie Monster.

First of all, as I'm sure everyone knows, eating cookies brings out adjectives in your brain. One bite of a chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and zoom! Your writing will become delightful, excited, exuberant. Twist off an Oreo and adjectives spring to your fingertips – frightened, colossal, mammoth. Those Keebler Elves? They knew what they were doing, even if they’re nutty and obnoxious little buggers.

But let’s move on to chocolate – the motherlode of story inspiration. Spurts of plotting inspiration will tickle your brain cells with just a small handful of M&M’s – The war torn planet of Zoombaloomba has a cunning duke crossing paths with a flair bartendress who is haunted by Mata Hari. Haha! Nibble on a Snickers and plot twists will leap to the forefront – the duke was really a twin! Someone left an orphaned baby on their doorstep! His Italian mistress secretly bears twins!

After chocolate does the trick, we have no further place to go but up up up! Carbs. And don’t you wimp out on me by eating a slice of whole wheat toast or 9 grain pasta. I’m talking microwave popcorn. Doritos. BBQ potato chips. While these delicacies have a tendency to gunk up your keyboard if you aren’t careful, they can bring on hallucinations …er..inspirations to your romantic love scenes. Embracing, cooing, sliding, whispering. Yes, there is power in carbs. Those South Beach people don’t know what they’re missing.

So if you’re one of those health food people who chew on a raw apple while typing a love scene, if you’re popping handfuls of homemade granola with 16 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat per serving while you’re typing out the next romance novel, let me tell you, you don’t know what you’re missing, baby. Pump up the carbs, pump up the sexual tension.

And don’t even get me started on cheesecake.



  1. Not to throw cold water on you, but since we're all hoping to be professional writers, you'd better nip this habit in the bud. Once you start doing nothing but writing every day, this would become a very unhealthy habit! What if, instead, you rewarded yourself for writing milestones - not as frequent, and you could still use the good stuff? Cause I've gotta say, the amount of people I saw at RWA last year that fit the cliche of the the horribly obese chocolate loving writers was shocking. I started to worry we'd have at least 2-3 heart attacks every day of the convention! I mention because I care, not to be a downer....

  2. Carrie - you should be writing a newspaper humour colum! I love your sense of fun and ability to find laughter in the minutiae of every day life.
    OTOH, I agree with Christi on the obesity rating for writers. I've met some pretty big women in crit groups - bigger than me even! - which can result in an uplifting feeling even if it doesn't help my writing. :) It's so easy to sit and eat at the computer - even lunch - or, my personal downfall, drink too much coffee or pop. Another mind-altering substance which can result in some pretty bizarre scenes if you let your heroine loose while you're on a caffeine binge!

  3. Carrie, you're cracking me up! I agree, chocolate is definitely an inspiring food.

    You can bake it or cook it or drizzle it or chunk it or...the list goes on! Unfortunately when I hit 30 chocolate made my behind start to now I chocolate in moderation, and most of my inspiration comes during exercise (an hour each morning) or breaks (usually Wii Fit/Active for 30 minutes or so) in the afternoon...

  4. And I haven't been to a conference yet where we didn't spend lots of time in the bar with peanuts and something other than Diet Coke.

    Worth it? Oh, Lord, yes...

  5. Carrie,
    I'm right there with you.