Oh, Those Instructions

I bought an ice cream maker from The Pampered Chef. As soon as I brought the box inside, I opened it and cleaned it up. My daughter read the print instructions to me, and they said to put the crock in the freezer for 24 hours before attempting to make the ice cream.

But you see, I never did like to follow instructions. So, I put it in the freezer for 30 minutes, stirred together the ingredience for plain vanilla ice cream and waited.

30 minutes later, I poured my creamy mixture into the cold crock and turned it on. 40 minutes later, what do you think I had?

Foamy, yet still rather liquidy sweet cream.

“It might help,” said my very practical husband, “if you’d follow the directions.”

Turns out, y’all, when you do follow the instructions, you get something more closely resembling ice cream. It’s a soft serve consistency, but after you freeze it, it looks and tastes like it should.

For those of you with vision loss, have no fear; the machine is very easy to use.

Now, back to following instructions.

We like to think we’re pretty smart and don’t need help, right? C’mon, we’re all like that, whether we have a disability or not. Truth is, we all need each other at various times in our lives. When it comes to doing something new, we need to learn how before we can experiment.

If you just threw a lump of butter in a bowl, piled in a little bit of flour, salt, baking soda and sugar, you might end up with cookies. You also might end up with a scone. Or, you might end up with a mess. LOL But, if you already know how much butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, ETC. to put into the bowl, then you know when and with what ingredience you can play with to get different flavors and consistancies.

My kids don’t believe me, but math works the same way. Guestimate? Not in my house…At least, not until you know how to get the correct answer with no difficulty. Guess work doesn’t count when you are giving someone back their change. Guess work won’t please your boss when you come up $5 short in your drawer at the end of your shift. And, guess work will end up in disaster, if the carpenter you hired to build your house only guesses at the measurements for those floor joists.

So, why has it taken me so long to learn to follow directions when it comes to writing? Why did I think I could write a book without learning how.

I suppose I thought that since I’d read thousands of books, I could just do what everyone else does. Truth is, I needed to learn.

And, now that I’ve learned a few things after being published for 10 years, I learned that I still have a whole lot more learning to do.

How about you? Are you one who follows directions, or do you like to just wing it?

Drop me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.


3 thoughts on “Oh, Those Instructions

  1. I tend to follow the directions….only like short cuts if its driving or getting me somewhere quicker! Although, I feel like most instructions in life mean something else than what they were originally intended for. Maybe it’s just me….but all the “fancy lingo” with cooking/baking instructions makes my head spin!


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