Writing and Eating

chopstick pencils

Last week, NY Mag ran a fun piece highlighting the best answers they received to a series of questions they asked various showrunners (i.e. TV industry people who oversee the creative visions of shows). Questions ranged from “Pick a character from your show; which reality show would (s)he be most suited for?” to “What was the biggest creative misstep you ever saw made by a show you love?” (My favorite answer to the latter was from Lena Dunham, creator of Girls: “Obviously, Felicity cutting her hair–I get it now, but it was rough at the time.”)

But the answers that made me laugh outloud were to the question: “The hardest thing to pull off on a TV show is…” They all revolved around eating!

From Carter Bays, of How I Met Your Mother:

Writing and producing it without constantly eating.

From David Caspe, of Happy Endings:

Everything. And staying thin (the room is full of really great snacks).

From Graham Yost, of Justified:

Convincing your wife that it’s actually a job and not just some fun thing you get to do each day where they provide lunch and a snack room.

As someone who makes a living with words, I can definitely relate. It’s hard not to nosh all day while you’re working! Everything about writing makes me want to eat: When I’ve completed a paragraph that’s given me trouble, I need to refrain from rewarding myself with a piece of chocolate. When I’m stumped on a lede or transition, I have to stop myself from reaching for a snack. When I’m procrastinating from starting an assignment, it’s hard not to extend my food break just a few more minutes. And I’m not going to get into all the free snacks that are floating around at work.

If I had no self control, I really would eat my way through every day. But I’ve found that just as much as writing makes me want to eat, it eventually has the opposite effect. Every writer knows how draining the process is–and how hours can fly by when you’re bent over a desk. When I’ve completed an assignment or finished my work for the day, I want nothing more than to stretch and move. And by then, ballet class or a good run feels way more refreshing than yet another brownie.

Fellow writers, do you feel the same? Are you always stopping yourself from snacking as you work?

(Photo via Pinterest)

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4 comments

  1. I am always trying to stop myself from snacking at work! i am a bored snacker, so if I am busy enough, I won’t think about eating. I have nuts, fruit and yogurt on hand for when I get snacky — I TRY to make good decisions! But i have such a soft spot for Ritz crackers!

  2. Totally! I snack constantly when I’m writing. 90% of the time, I choose healthy things. BUT quite often I’ll sneak over to the restaurant across the street for some pie, or will make a quick trip to the corner store for ice cream. It’s brain food 🙂

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