So, it comes as no surprise that watching culinary shows is also one of my favorite past times. From Julia Child reruns, to Rachael Ray, to Martha Stewart, to Divas Can Cook, Hell’s Kitchen, Simply Ming, and a few others in between. I love to tune in and check out what’s brewing in their kitchens weekly.
Here’s the “value added” bonus: in addition to picking up some delicious, new recipes, I found that these programs have also imparted some valuable lessons on turning up the heat with my writing.
Here are a few worth noting:
- Presentation is important. In cooking, the concept is called “Plating”. This involves having a good balance of colors, textures, portions, and visual appeal for those being served. Good writing is similar. It “boils” down to having the right spelling, formatting, grammar, clarity, and structure for editors and readers to consume our work.
- Good cooking taps into the 5 senses. So does good writing. To draw readers in and create a more complete experience, it’s important to use vivid descriptions, imagery, richness, and colorful dialogue. This insures that they’ll come back for seconds.
- Time management allows for greater efficiency and optimal results. In a recent episode of Hell’s Kitchen, one of the finalists was eliminated, because she failed to manage her time properly, and undercooked a pastry served to the 3 judges that unfortunately sealed her fate. Many writers find themselves in “hot water” with their assignment deadlines with editors, and important work for clients. Don’t be one of them. Multi-task. Don’t wait for the last minute to tackle important projects. And limit the time devoted to social media. Remember, “If it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense.”
- Don't rush the process; avoid potential disasters. If a recipe calls for something to be baked at 300 degrees for 2 hours, don't try to reduce the time by placing it in the oven for 1 hour at 600 degrees. Unless you’re going for "Cajun". :-) Your creative work should be treated likewise. Prepare. Let it simmer. Revisit. Flavor to taste.
- Resist “stirring the pot”. Simply put, don't engage in online "word wars" or the belittling of others through blog rants. You're better than that.
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Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, pro blogger, and ghost writer. Her work has appeared at award winning sites such as: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, The Well-Fed Writer, and Funds for Writers. Her site, Pen and Prosper, was chosen in 2013 as “The Power 100”--Best sites for modern writers.
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