A story must simmer in its own juice for months or even years before it’s ready to serve.

What did Edna Ferber mean by:

A story must simmer in its own juice for months or even years before it’s ready to serve.


This quote speaks to the process of creation, specifically in the realm of storytelling. It suggests that a story should be allowed to develop and mature over time, much like a stew that simmers over a slow heat to allow the flavors to meld together. The “juice” in this metaphor could represent the core elements of the story: its characters, plot, themes, and conflicts.

The process of simmering allows these elements to interact, evolve, and deepen, adding richness and complexity to the final product. It’s a reminder that great works often don’t emerge fully formed, but are the result of time, patience, and ongoing refinement. It’s about giving a story the space and time it needs to reach its full potential.

In today’s fast-paced world, where instant gratification is often sought, this quote serves as a reminder of the value of patience and persistence. Whether it’s writing a novel, building a business, or developing a skill, the process cannot be rushed. It takes time for ideas to mature, for skills to be honed, and for ventures to gain momentum.

In the context of personal development, the quote suggests that growth and change are gradual processes. Just as a story needs time to simmer, so too do individuals need time to learn, evolve, and become who they’re meant to be. It’s a reminder that personal development is not a race, but a journey that unfolds over time.

In essence, the quote is a call to embrace the process, to be patient with oneself and one’s work, and to understand that great things often take time. It’s about valuing the journey as much as the destination, and recognizing that the “simmering” phase is not just necessary, but valuable in its own right.

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