I remember my mother’s advice that “a watched pot never boils,” but I’ve learned that an un-watched pot burns. Like my very favorite stainless steel sauce pot. I walked away for 10 minutes, forgetting to turn down the burner, and returned to find irreversible damage. Or so I thought.
I almost tossed out my pot. My best and most-loved pot. I purchased another pot, but it wasn’t the same quality. In fact, it wasn’t good for anything but boiling water. I wasn’t alone in searching for one that matched the stamina of my old burned pot. Every review I read said the same thing. “They don’t make them like they used to.”
I soaked my burned pot daily, scrubbed it with metal, put it in the dishwasher often with caustic dishwasher detergent. The inside is somewhat pitted now, but most of the burn is gone. Then the test. Will it make my favorite white sauce without burning? It did!
I tell this tale because it’s a reminder to me that there should be a balance between watching my book ad results or my book reviews–and not watching them at all. I watch them three times a day. Is that too often? Did a book sell overnight? Did I get a coveted review? When I see nothing new, I hear my mother whisper in my head, “A watched pot never boils.”
“It’s OK, mom,” I say. “I’ll strike a balance one of these days.” In the meantime, I’m going to make sure that my work won’t go up in ashes. At least not irreversibly.