Starting to writeDear Chrose,
One of the best ways to limber up for writing is to free-write.
Just pick a topic, then jot down whatever comes to mind. Don't edit yourself. Don't hesitate. Don't even think. Just let your mind work--almost unconsiously, where some of the best thinking is done--and let your hands jot down what comes into your mind. Some writers perform this exercise by writing the typical paragraphs. But it's faster to write in bubbles.
Jot down an idea in the center of a piece of paper and circle it. As soon as another thought occurs, draw a line out to it from the center bubble and jot down that idea. Circle it and jot down the next idea. Just keep jotting and circling until the page is full, at which point you should be far off the center point.
Read what you've written and try to determine what the threads between the ideas are. At that point, you should find some related ideas that can be strung together to form a few coherent paragraphs--about one idea per paragraph.
Once you do this free-writing exercise, it's easier to write down your thoughts without hesitation because many more neural and linguistic pathways will have been forged and ready to plumb.
Discussion boards are also a great forum for writing.
About the book...The Food Substitutions Bible is my 27th cookbook and it represents the culmination of many late nights of research and long days of experimenting and testing for about 3 years. I tinkered with ingredients of every sort...tamarind paste, pomegranate molasses, Maggi Seasoning, odd produce like angled loofah, plus equipment like convection ovens, grills, slow cookers, steamers, and techniques like broiling, steaming...I could go on...essentially the book is an A-Z reference book that shares everything I could pack into 620 pages, including more than 5,000 substititutions, and 1,500 entries, each of which begins with a short intro on the ingredient or equipment, followed by useful conversion tables (1 lb apples = 3 cups sliced), then substitutes with precise measurements for accurate, reliable replacements. As I explain in the intro, not every substitute is meant to replicate the original. In fact, every substitute is different in some way from the original and will affect the final results, which is why I included directions for adjusting the recipe whenever possible.
I could go on about the book (or if anyone's interested, I could post an excerpt from the introduction), but I'm more interested in what's important to you all, such as Chrose's interest in developing the skill of writing.
Keep the questions coming,