You remember the phrase "made from scratch." It may have originated with the practice of scratching a line in the dirt to mark the beginning of a foot race, beginning at the beginning. This can be tricky. Carl Sagan said, "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." Well, I am not willing to go that far. Fortunately, in food prep we assume that some of the ingredients are ready made. I don't have to graft and plant the apple tree, wait for it to mature and the fruit to ripen. I don't have to pick the apples; I go to the market and pick out the apples. Same process applies in writing. We need not invent language and we pluck ideas from previous bits of text. None of us reinvents the cosmos to write a short story, although for some writers world building is their morning coffee, their "cup of tea."
Look at all the food references I've used here so far. That's because I love food, love language, love books about food. My last book was The Great Hunger. So, I plan a new page here at the Bookblog: FEED THE READ will focus on writers who specialize in food. They come in a cornucopia of varieties and I'll pick a few at a time to offer you. Our menu will include biography & memoir, fiction, history, food science, and any miscellaneous tidbits I find. I'll get this page on my plate within the next two or three days, so check back. It will be delicious.