Writing is very like cooking, at least for me. I have a recipe to follow, I prep all my ingredients and have them ready to add, make sure I have the proper mixing bowls and cooking dishes on hand.
If I decide to add a little more or less of an ingredient, to substitute this for that, it’s all right. It’s a decision, not an accident.
But then there is the question of who is going to eat it. Do I leave out some of the pepper for those who don’t like it spicy? Or do I trust my own judgment of how it should taste and just accept that some aren’t going to eat what I set it before them?
I must be the chef. I must be the one who decides, from recipe to plating. Not that I shouldn’t listen to suggestions, of course — I’m always on the lookout for new tastes, new ways of presentation.
Then I have to hand it off to the waiter and hope for the best!