The Salad Dressing Analogy

“Status Quo” literally means “the state in which”, or “the existing status.” It has come to be felt as that which is, has always been, and will always be. I understand that many people are happy with the state of things or are not physically or financially able to change things. Elderly people; people with low-paying jobs or no jobs; people who have a massive burden of responsibility.

But when it comes to writers (or any artists for that matter) the status quo is a death knell. Writing the same things over and over again; working within the same genre because it is “comfortable”; not changing styles because it took so long to find your “voice”; following the same routines and patterns of writing.

I suppose if you are a best-selling author who is actually making a substantial living as a writer (and there are so few), then the status quo is your economic life blood. For the rest of us, there is the struggle. Not endless (I certainly hope not) but ongoing. We blog, we follow other writers’ blogs, we go to conferences, we join Associations and critique groups.

But, in order to avoid the rut that will eventually lead to self-doubt, we MUST change up the patterns that we have ingrained in ourselves. Read a novel from another genre. Try to write a poem. Enter a contest. And then another one. Something. Different.

As I have found through the years, the salad dressing tastes a lot better when you shake it up.



  1. July 27, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Although I like to practice, practice, practice… I don’t think mastery should include redundancy.


  2. July 28, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Loved the thought. Introspection needed.


    • tikiman1962 said,

      July 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      However, too much introspection can lead to stagnation. It takes a fine balance.


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