Cooking creativity

cooking creativity

I’ve gotten into this groove with cooking in the last month or so. I’m cooking dinner basically every night, while part-time working and full-time Dad-ing, and I’m not stressed about it. Not only that, I’m actually making (and I’m totally being objective here) good food. Like real food not from a box.

I’m thinking that my cooking process can apply to other areas of my creative life as well.

After finishing Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte, I realized that how I’m approaching cooking now is a lot like a key concept in the book around creating small “IPs”, or intermediate packets of work.

What Tiago recommends in the book, which aligns with the habits and practices of so many creative giants, is that you create in small increments, gradually accruing bits of writing, code, research, images, gradually rather than waiting for a time when you have a massive block of time to do it (which of course never happens).

“Intermediate Packets are really a new lens through which you can perceive the atomic units that make up everything you do. By “thinking small,” you can focus on creating just one IP each time you sit down to work, without worrying about how viable it is or whether it will be used in the exact way you envisioned. This lens reframes creativity as an ongoing, continual cycle of delivering value in small bits, rather than a massive all-consuming endeavor that weighs on you for months.”

I realized that what I’m loving so much about cooking is that I’m following the same principles. I break down my meals into their component parts and chip away at them gradually. In between shifts at work on any given weekday, I’m probably roasting some cauliflower for a Kung Pao Cauliflower dish I’ll make the next day, blanching some green beans for a Red Thai Curry with Green Beans and Tofu that night, or mixing some waffle batter to rise overnight for the next morning.

There are a lot of other great concepts in the book (I really like the 12 problems bit) but this one just makes so much sense. It’s not really novel or new, but the way that it is presented made it stick differently.

I never thought about creating as simply another exercise in cooking, but it makes so much sense.

Comments welcome!

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