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The Cookie Contest & An Unexpected Writing Exercise

I suppose it began walking from my family room to the kitchen and aimlessly asking anyone who wanted to answer what we should do today. I was hosting an out of town friend and my roommate suggested we go get “the best cookies in New York City.” Never one to turn down dessert, later that afternoon I found myself at Chip City—enjoying a vegan chocolate chip treat.

A few months later, my roommate, a friend, and I would visit again and at some point, I would find myself on their email list which means at some point, I found out about a “NAME THE COOKIE” contest. Basically, they had a Coffee Crumb Cookie in need of a name more exciting than Coffee Crumb Cookie.

At first, I joked around with some friends, “we should name the cookie.” And of course, we came up with the strangest names you could think of for a cookie.(What if we call the cookie Sludge?) But then a bit later, I read the email again and I got to thinking.

The cookie’s flavor profile was as follows: sugar cookie mix with freshly ground coffee and topped with brown sugar glaze and cinnamon spiced cake crumbs.

And then it became a game. A riddle. A fun creative writing exercise for someone who had been struggling with a lot of creative writing block. After work one day, I stared at the cookie icon and reread the profile and came up with as many names as I could.

I submitted a bunch—why not?—and then logged off my computer, made dinner, and went to bed. As I was catching up with friends the next day, I relayed how, what started as a funny little joke, naming a cookie had actually turned into a really cool exercise in character development and creative thinking.

It may sound silly, but I had a lot of fun approaching writing and the creative process through… a Coffee Crumb Cookie. And while we all continued to joke about Sludge, the contest had more or less left my mind.

That is until last Wednesday when I received an email from Chip City. They’d selected one of my names. Crumbdiddlyumptious was a finalist.

Public voting for Crumbdiddly (my affection nickname) takes place this Wednesday, February 8, and of course, I think you should all vote for Crumbdiddly on their Instagram page (@ChipCityCookies).

But perhaps more than that, you should take your craft and find the simplest, silliest way to turn it into joy. Spending 15 minutes with a Coffee Crumb Cookie flavor profile unwedged the writer’s block and reminded me why I first fell in love with creative arts. It gave me permission to be wacky and outrageous and to play. Anywhere else it goes from here is just collateral joy.


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