From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

3 Writing Lessons From Chopped

My mom and I have gotten in the habit of watching Chopped together at night. It is the perfect decompression show. It's entertaining, fun, and the perfect show for working on other stuff too like folding laundry, job-hunting on craigslist, eating a midnight snack. Blogging. Sometimes I don't drive back to my own apartment until...well, late.

So what am I learning while I watch?

1. Take what life throws. Nobody knows what's coming, but I believe that those who find success are the ones who figure out a way to roll with the punches. Rejections will come, publishing will change, someone might screw you over. Take what happens and find a way to use it to your advantage. Get a rejection? Use it to make your writing better. Write a useful and relatable blog post about it and promote it to new readers. Seeing some publishing industry changes? Experiment, use it to reach new readers. Get screwed over? Find new people and write a book about it.

2. Don't Be Cocky. This ones kinda simple. The cocky people are annoying and the ones we as an audience want voted off. Don't be that person. We need the support of not only readers but all the people involved in our publishing journey. Writing may seem like a solitary endeavor, but none of us is doing this alone.

3. Be Yourself, Be Original. Take the ingredients you've got and do something new and fresh. Find an original way to promote your book. Find an original media outlet or tie-in. Go for that weird story idea. I think we gotta at least recognize and be aware of the rules and the normal way of doing things, but then take it and use it as the base for something uniquely your own. 

Of course, if you look like Scott Conant that doesn't hurt either.

Anyway, there you have it. Anybody else a fan of Chopped?

Sarah Allen


  1. See, this post is exactly why your blog is one of my favorite, Sarah! I love this. I love how you took the show and pulled great applications from it.

    Finding my voice-- boy, that is the question of the moment for me. I'm working on finding out who that is in writing. I started a new blog, just to try writing non-fiction stuff on. I'm having a hard time finding an audience, but even more difficult is finding my voice.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sorry, I've never seen Chopped but you've got three good lessons there.

  3. Hi Sarah, I'm back again. Just don't let your mind wander while chopping as it might while ironing. Wouldn't do to chop off anything of your own, would it? Ptherwise, chop safely. Happy chopping.


  4. I love Chopped. Actually, I adore Food Network in general. I'm with you on the cocky chefs. I'm always happy to see them go :D

  5. Have you seen the episode where they get to the desert round and the ingredients are croissants and lemon grass?

    I laugh so hard when the guy serves up a stick sandwich and the judges /facepalm.


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