Thursday, July 8, 2010

How Writing is Like Top Chef

It's no secret that I love Top Chef.  It's the one reality show that's more about competition than wacky personalities, which makes it awesome to me.  In my opinion, if a competitive reality show isn't about who's the best, then it's a failure.

Anyway, the one thing that always kills me is when the people with the worst dish are up in front of the judges, and someone inevitably admits that they didn't try their hardest.  They didn't do their food their way.  And I'm like, "WHHHHHHHY!?!"  If you know that you only have one chance to make an impression, why would you not put in 110%?  

And then I realize that I've been guilty of it too.  I talk to my agent about half-baked ideas.  I send manuscripts to my crit partners that aren't quite ready.  It's stupid and I admit that.

I was watching Friday Night Lights the movie, and the character of the coach always told his players to be perfect.  Toward the end, he explained that being perfect simply meant being able to look each other in the eye and know that they'd done their best.  We should all strive to be perfect.  

I've gone from cooking to football, but the point is that if I'm going to end up having to defend a losing idea to my agent, an editor, or whatever, I want to at least be able to say that I did my best, that I was perfect.  

Damn, now I'm hungry.


  1. I agree with you that we should always do our best. The thing with Top Chef, though, is that sometimes I think the contestants say they weren't true to themselves or didn't do their best as an excuse. Rather than admitting the dish wasn't good enough or that one day they just screwed up, I think saying they just didn't do their best or deviated from their heart's intention is a way out. A way to save face. Because saying what they made just wasn't good enough that day--even with them trying--is far worse. Really, it prob. just was an off day, just like we get with writing sometimes. But if for a moment you think you put in your all and still came up with crap, where does that leave you?

    And then there are always those contestants who you wonder how they got there in the first place....

  2. Sarah Naomi AronsonJuly 23, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    I so agree! And it's a good thing no one gets to see my rough drafts or free writes.

    I thought this week's episode, in particular, offered many writing lessons.

    Here's a link to my post, if you are interested:


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