Write like cinnamon

Why does fresh ground cinnamon taste better? Does it actually taste better? Either way, there is a difference.

2 sticks © R L Raymond

To me, the act of rasping the cinnamon into coffee grounds, onto an apple, into a barbecue rub adds to the experience. There is an ownership of the spice, an effort in making the most of the ingredient that elevates it. Instead of just tapping a few shakes from a plastic jar, you actually make the flavour come alive through action.

How does this apply to writing? Simply. Don’t use canned ideas, expressions, clichés, styles, conventions. Make something new. Create something never done. Act on your writing. Go beyond the idea of stringing words together; go deeper, into sound, structure, meaning, history, foundations. Writing should be active and not a passive exercise in retelling. This is best exemplified in Hollywood these days. Reboots. Reruns. Retellings. All boring, adding nothing new… When a well written, original movie comes along, it truly stands out. In each case, there is a conscientious effort to make a masterpiece, outside and beyond what already exists.

Practice by reading different styles, from different sources, from different cultures. Soon, you’ll transcend the words, you’ll find the elemental spice that make the work unique, vibrant, original. Then find your own ingredients, break them down to the constituent parts, build your own, fresh literary recipe.

One thought on “Write like cinnamon

  1. I really appreciate and enjoy your posts about writing. Clear, thoughtful and inspiring. And suddenly I realise I’ll have to up and alter my cinnamon consumption! I don’t fully own the spice yet but that will change very, very soon. Great analogy!

    Liked by 1 person

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