The Right Tools for the Trade

Howdy everyone!

Once again I’m here writing about cooking. It is my favorite pastime right behind reading a really good book.

A few months ago I went in search of the perfect chef’s knife – that I can afford. This is a tough thing, because what I want to do is drop $80 on a professional knife, when I know I don’t need it – it’s for cooking at home, not cooking for an income. So, I bought one at Walmart that looked like the one I really wanted. It was cheap, and you get what you pay for, right? Well, so the search goes on. I also need a good cutting board. I’m picky about my cutting boards, and because I’m picky, I’m not ready to drop too much money until I find the right one. Therefore, I’m stuck using the poly-whatever one I’ve had for ages that’s cut and scarred and bugs me every time I use it. You know, while I’m at it, I would so love a new fry pan.


Well, along comes Gordon Ramsay on BBC with his Ultimate Cookery Course. 100 recipes to stake your life on. I’m hooked. First off, I find him really attractive. He’s my dream man. Cooks great and looks great, and well, gee, lovely accent on top of it!

He says, throughout the 100 tips he also gives, all you need is 3 good knives, one good cutting board and one good fry pan that can go from stovetop to oven. Yes, there are other tools, but he’s talking right to me!


So, over the weekend I went to the mall (not my favorite place in the world) with my daughter. She dragged me into Hot Topic, and I dragged her into Kitchen Connection. I walked out a bit poorer, but I got my knife, my cutting board, and my fry pan. Tonight for the first time I got to put them all to use, and I can tell you it’s true, the right tool for the job makes things soooo much easier.

This made me think about the tools I need for writing. It’s not quite as complicated as cooking, but then sometimes it’s even more complicated.

My tools, if you asked me, I would say all I need is my laptop and a power source and I can write. My Thesaurus and Dictionary are helpful, and I always have my Manual of Style close by…but I don’t need them to write.

But then, I also need peace and quiet. Not as substantial a “thing” but necessary for me to create. Then there’s the need for some kind of inspiration, but there’s no telling when or how that will hit, but I need it at some point before I begin writing. I need the support of my writerly friends. Writing can be such a lonely career, having the support of a select few friends who understand the writer’s mind, who know when I need a nudge or need to be left alone, or if I need to be redirected is vital to my wellbeing. I need my family to understand when I don’t feel like cooking, cleaning or even talking. I need them to know that yes, I am ignoring them but I still love them, but Mommy’s working, her office just happens to be in the living room.

Every author needs to know and understand what their individual tools of the trade are, and they need to demand them. It makes the job more fun!

Anna Leigh

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