My father is visiting me this week. It’s been a good visit so far, and tomorrow we’ll be having an early Thanksgiving, making a mini version of the turkey, stuffing, and other goodies since we won’t be able to celebrate together at the end of the month.
But there’s a twist. Instead of pumpkin pie, we’ve made a key lime pie. Instead of mashed potatoes and gravy, we’re having a sweet potato and butternut squash gratin. And we’re trying out a new recipe for cooking the turkey instead of the traditional standby method we’ve used for years.
Part of this is for practical reasons. As great as Thanksgiving is, two full-blown meals just a few weeks apart is just too much for any mortal. Changing up the menu is a way to preserve the symbolism of the meal but keep it fresh for the palate.
It’s also an excuse to try something new. Something different. It’s also a way to practice something we both love to do: cooking. Maybe we’ll find a new method or recipe that will replace the old one. Make a new tradition for ourselves. Or, then again, maybe not.
But we won’t know unless we try.
Just like revising, until you take the time to rework that problem scene or brainstorm ways to invigorate the third act of your story, you won’t know what works unless you try.
And in the mad dash to produce a draft, to get an agent, to get published, time is at a premium.
This November, even with NaNoWriMo in full force, I encourage you to take the time to tinker. Take the time to try something new, something different with your writing.
Give yourself the mental headspace to consider the possibilities of what can be in your story.
Your craft will thank you for it.