Bread is like sex and writing. The first time is the same for all three: afterwards you feel kind of proud but also disgusted and you’re not sure you want to do it again, but you know you’re going to.

My first loaf of bread was a failure. I didn’t give the yeast enough time to rise and I used too much salt. It didn’t turn me on when I ate it, the way good bread should. But I’ve been practicing and getting better each time.

My first major piece of writing was a disaster. It was autobiographical, but it wasn’t. It started in third person and ended in first. I refused to use commas. I had a major character named Monad and another named Sinew. It was terrible in so many ways, but it was also exciting. I had finished it, gotten past the first one to know that there would be many more opportunities in the future. Many more loaves to bake, many more stories to tell.

If you don’t understand how any of this relates to sex, then you’re having a worse time at it then me. Good sex is like the best writing. Rip the loaf open and stick your nose in it. Tear off your outer shell and expose yourself as who you are to your lover, to your reader. Leave everything on the page.