I don’t believe in writer’s block. Really. Creativity is not a constant, pressurized flow one can stem with a spigot and turn on and off at will. Creativity doesn’t stream. It doesn’t back up like a clogged drain, just begging for release.
Creativity seeps. It burbles. It oozes. It seeks its own path. Creativity is always on its way, but it takes its own sweet time. Sometimes, you just have to wait it out.
The thing is, I’m not so good at the waiting. When the ideas aren’t coming, I get anxious and try to force the story. I hear the silent judging of the Word Count Gods and the not so silent nagging of my inner critic, who already knows I am a fraud and have no business whatsoever calling myself a writer.
That’s when the stress eating starts, which is what I do to stave off the day drinking and hypercaffeination. But when I can’t find anything sufficiently sweet and self-destructive in the house to munch, it’s time to bake.
One of my favorites, especially this time of year, is my mom’s banana bread. It’s quick, easy, and just decadent enough to distract me from my writing demons – at least for the better part of an afternoon. Here’s the recipe, in case you want to give it a try:
Joanne’s Brown Sugar Banana Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup dark brown sugar (the light kind will do if you don’t have the dark on hand)
2 large eggs, beaten
3 ripe bananas (the riper the better), mashed
A pinch each of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Ginger (or a big dash of All Spice)*
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Lightly grease 9 x 5 loaf pan.
- In large bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
- In separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.
- Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.
- Fold banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.
- Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
*To make this yummy bread even yummier, try throwing in some extra flavor shots – nuts, dates, orange extract, whatever you have in the pantry. My favorites are chocolate chips and chopped macadamia nuts.