Secret of French Cooking for Writers

Last night I went to a wonderful celebration at the YMCA and sat next to a young guy who makes promotional videos for the internet. Here's what he said is the secret to great videos: brevity. You need to reduce everything. If you have 12 good ideas, cut them down to 9. Then look at them again and identify the 5 or 6 critical can't-live-without bits and keep only them.

This reminded me of:
a) the slash-and-cut stage of editing stage of a manuscript,
b) how amazingly short-term our attention spans are on the computer, and
c) Julia Childs standing over a basting pan reducing roast veal juices with a bit of stock and a dollop of butter to make a "sublime" sauce.

I'm not heading into reducing anything right now, least of all my mouthwatering fantasies about good food. Like 150,000 other hopeful, scared, crazy people, I've joined National Novel Writing Month to focus and push forward my novel writing for the month. If you've been too scared or worried to do this, and figure now it is too late: it's not. Join up. See what you can do when you make writing your front-burner obsession of the month. Go on. You can even treat your tired, written-out self to a delicious cooking session à la Julia when you've done your words for the day.

Let me know if you sign up, or already have. I'd love to know I have invisible company at my writing desk!