Home cooks divide into two groups: those who use recipes as mere suggestions or guidelines, and those who follow instructions as if they were sat-nav systems. As one who has sweated over the difference between “gentle boil” and “lively simmer” on the reader’s behalf, I’d like to request that everyone follows the recipe as written, if only once. At the same time, I issue a disclaimer: if it smells like it’s burning, then it probably is.
As a home cook with modest skills, I strive mightily to be counted among the ranks of the first group, although with varying degrees of success. But slavishly adhering to the recipe as written, there's nothing challenging or interesting about that approach.