What Fine Dining Can Teach Us About Writing

What Fine Dining Can Teach Us About Writing

I’m a nut for cooking shows. I’m not talking about drama-ridden, spoon-throwing reality shows, but the ones with absolute masters of culinary experience. Maybe it’s because I can draw so many parallels between great cooking and great writing.

I recently binged on Chef’s Table on Netflix (highly recommended) and revelled in the story behind each master. As I did, specific things stood out as metaphors for exceptional writing.

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Don't try to sound different, try to sound authentic.

Don't try to sound different, try to sound authentic.

“We don’t want to sound like just another boring service provider." A small electrical company told me when discussing their website content. "We want to come across unique and appealing to homeowners, not just more corporate talk.”

My first thought was, ‘Are you just another boring service provider?’ I can understand a desire to stand out, but what would I want from an electrician? I want professionalism, collaboration and the ability to get the job done. If you pass that test, perhaps I’ll call for a quote. What’s really important to me is that what you say in your marketing matches what you deliver.

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Behold! The Buzzword Armageddon Cometh!

Behold! The Buzzword Armageddon Cometh!

"It needs to be social at times and viral."

That sentence was one of biggest turning points in my career. Young, doe-eyed entrepreneur and slick marketing dude faced with the same jargon I slung for years. It was a proposal filled with buzzwords. The customer was asking for something they couldn’t define to fill expectations they couldn’t articulate. Nightmare. 

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Garage Sale and Corporate Storytelling

Garage Sale and Corporate Storytelling

I was reading some article on our love for garage sales. The quaint backyards and double bays opened with all the personals a lifetime has gathered, ready for bargains.

What is really appealing to people is that you’re buying more than just second hand treasure (or junk), you’re buying stories. A family cared for this furniture, children grew up and made memories with those toys and these tools lasted a generation and will continue to serve. 

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Ad Rant - Chevy 'Feel About A Guy'

Ad Rant - Chevy 'Feel About A Guy'

I’m probably most upset about this because of the dire saturation these Chevy ads have been having everywhere. It grinds on me to see most advertising in place of my programming, but these Chevrolet ads are so blatantly misleading, and not in that fun ‘make fun of yourself’ way that we find endearing.

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Archetypes – Shortcuts to Thought and Emotion

Archetypes – Shortcuts to Thought and Emotion

The beauty of archetypes is that we all know what they are, even if we can’t consciously place them. Symbols have always been powerful marketing tools because they carry a certain emotional weight, and provide shortcuts to meaning. There’s a symbolic connection with the image of a magician or ruler that transcends borders and cultures, and those are the roots of archetypes.

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Starbucks Race Campaign - A Bad Idea From the Start

Starbucks Race Campaign - A Bad Idea From the Start

Look, I have to say first that I like the idea of the program; I just don’t like how it was done, whom it was done by or why they did it. Make sense? More discussion about racial equality is a huge hot button right now, and it needs to be brought to the forefront, but why Starbucks?

I have to question the entire thought process with my top reasons that the program didn’t make sense. Not reasons why it didn’t work, but why would you do it in the first place?

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The Infamous 'Business Manger' Story

The Infamous 'Business Manger' Story

Over lunch, a friend showed me a photo of their new corporate business cards the made in-house. He works at a design company, so they make cards all the time, but this time it was special. These particular ones were for an owners, and he received a full box of cards that read ‘Business Manger’. A typo – from a design company – to one of the owners. Things got messy.

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Stop Craving the 8-Hour Work Week

Stop Craving the 8-Hour Work Week

When did working hard start going out of style? We feel sorry for those people who bust their buts, putting the extra time and extra mile to set themselves apart. Sure, there’s plenty to say about abusive work environments, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. What I’m questioning is our destructive culture of wanting to get as much as possible for the least amount of effort.

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