motivating creativity: baking for the imagination


Motivating creativity: Baking is good for the imagination


Every week I’m going to post about something I like to do when I’m contemplating how best to write a scene. Baking is one of them.

This week I’ll share one of my favorite: Cinnamon rolls. I’ve been doing them since high school and still love how perfect they come out.

Sometimes when I’m writing a particularly good scene, I lose myself in the story so completely; the world around me fades away. It’s a wondrous thing, to lose oneself in the make-believe.

Sometimes, those scenes come naturally to me, a slideshow of ideas that keep pouring in while I try to keep up.

Sometimes, those ideas contrast with each other, and I have to choose one.

Here, I stall.

What should I do when both ideas are good enough but completely different?

I follow the thread down the line. I think about the next scene, and how the follow up will eventually meet the ending of the book. I imagine both alternatives and play it in my head – dialogues and all – and choose the best one. Sometimes it’s a long process, and sitting on the couch distantly watching space while I figure it out scares the kids away.

So I bake.

Today I’m going to share that recipe with you.


Cinnamon rolls:



  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Two tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ cup warm milk
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (I also add 1 tbsp coconut extract)
  • 1 egg

2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp butter



  • In a small bowl mix together 2 cups of flour, salt and the yeast. In another one mix warm milk, 4 tbsp sugar, 1/3 cup softened butter and brown sugar until all sugar is dissolved (if necessary, heat it some, but don’t let it get hot). Add vanilla – coconut – extract to the milk.
  • Add milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix well, then add egg and mix again. Start adding the remaining flour little by little. Dough will be a little sticky, but easily removable from fingers. If not, you may add one or two tbsp of flour, but no more than.
  • Cover dough and let it rise for an hour and a half. Take half of the dough and roll it open on a floured surface. About half an inch thick.
  • Mix two cups of granulated sugar with 1tbsp cinnamon and 1 ½ tbsp of softened butter in a small bowl.
  • Brush the dough with butter and use half the sugar/cinnamon mixture and spread it evenly atop the surface.
  • Roll the dough close then pinch the ends to hold. With a floured knife, start cutting the roll – about an inch apart. Place the pieces on baking sheets and let it rise for another hour.

Do the same to the other half of the dough.

  • Preheat oven to 350 f and bake for 12 minutes or until bottom is golden.

Let it cool and enjoy!

Ps: Sometimes while I’m waiting for the dough to rise – either case – I take the time to outline the best scenario so I won’t forget.


Jina S. Bazzar





2 Replies to “motivating creativity: baking for the imagination”

  1. That’s amazing! Not the cinnamon rolls, although they sound delicious. The amazing thing is your capacity to imagine a couple of plots going forward like that. That’s a true gift, one I lack. I’m off to let myself read a couple more of your “motivating” posts. My guess is the recipes would wreck my diet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not a gift, no. it’s easy, because alot of things only happen in my head. It’s like thinking about a movie you watched, beginning to end, recalling the dialogues that you most liked. Yes, there are times when i forget the dialogue, and if the stories are long, i sometimes make abbreviated notes. but short stories, like those in the writing prompts, i write the entire scenarios in my head, delete and approve before i actually start typing.


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