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Writing about a cooking career (2 Viewers)

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Seifer

Senior Member
I been cooking professionally for 15 years now. I decided to start writing. Any suggestions on what I should say or write about. Should I talk about my past at young age, grandmother making food. Looking for advice thank you.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Two suggestions for getting your thoughts going:

Try sitting down with a piece of paper and a pen (preferably) or a blank page on your computer. Set a timer and write everything that comes to mind without stopping for 10 minutes. Just write your thoughts. That activates your thoughts which makes them malleable. This isn't about 'what to write about' yet, it's just an exercise to dump everything going on so it's not a distraction.

Start a doc (I keep a shortcut to mine on my desktop) for 'Timed Writings'. Get a timer or hourglass (I prefer my 15-minute hourglass) and every day pick something you'd like to write about and just go for 5, 10, 15 minutes without stopping. Write about anything: preserved lemons, demonic influence of ballpoint pens, the neighbor who was walking their dog past your house, parakeets, time-traveling toast, etc. Make stuff up and write about it for 15 minutes a day.

After you've done that for a week or so see if you're starting to get an idea of what pulls at you, what would you really LIKE to write? I'd love if you did this and came back and said how it went.

The more often I write, the more I want to write, the more ideas that I generate. I think this can work for you as well.
 

Seifer

Senior Member
Two suggestions for getting your thoughts going:

Try sitting down with a piece of paper and a pen (preferably) or a blank page on your computer. Set a timer and write everything that comes to mind without stopping for 10 minutes. Just write your thoughts. That activates your thoughts which makes them malleable. This isn't about 'what to write about' yet, it's just an exercise to dump everything going on so it's not a distraction.

Start a doc (I keep a shortcut to mine on my desktop) for 'Timed Writings'. Get a timer or hourglass (I prefer my 15-minute hourglass) and every day pick something you'd like to write about and just go for 5, 10, 15 minutes without stopping. Write about anything: preserved lemons, demonic influence of ballpoint pens, the neighbor who was walking their dog past your house, parakeets, time-traveling toast, etc. Make stuff up and write about it for 15 minutes a day.

After you've done that for a week or so see if you're starting to get an idea of what pulls at you, what would you really LIKE to write? I'd love if you did this and came back and said how it went.

The more often I write, the more I want to write, the more ideas that I generate. I think this can work for you as well.

I will give this try, this sounds like fun !
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I guess you have to decide if you want to write fiction or non-fiction. I could see both working well with a cooking career.

Non-fiction - A tale of you becoming a cheff and all the trials and tribulations that brought. Was it anything like Hell's Kitchen? Because those stories could be fun!

Fiction - An obvious choice would be from the POV of a chef. But perhaps the chef is only a minor character, just the narrator. Perhaps it's a group of people who always eat in the same restaurant, each with their own tale.

There's a great thread in WF about writing what you know.

https://www.writingforums.com/threads/191547-Write-What-You-Know

Lots of differing opinions, but I think it helps if you are just starting out to do something somewhat relaled to your career, after all you must have a ton of stories there.

I just started writing a year ago, and I choose not to write characters with my same career, but I used my body of knowledge finance as the basis for my plot. I think it made it easier and makes me feel more relevant as writer. That I actually have a voice someone might care about. Similarly you could base your story on the food industry but not make it about a chef. Have you seen the Netflix movie The Illegal. It's about a foreign student who ends up working in a restaurant. It might be good for inspiration and to give you an idea of the scope of a setting.
 
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druid12000

Senior Member
I just finished reading 'Noir' by Christopher Moore. His main character is a bartender who gets tangled in a plot involving murder and aliens. The sky is no longer a limit :D
 

Seifer

Senior Member
Then start there. Write out some of the funny stories and either they'll be standalones or they'll be worded and written out and ready to be woven into something bigger. Great place to get a start.

Thank you for advice this is going to be so much fun to write
 

Bloggsworth

WF Veterans
If it were me, I wouldn't worry about technique, words per day, grammar construction or anything like that, I would begin with your desire/need/compulsion to cook.

Start with your morning coffee, then instead of going to the kitchen, write down the process from first sip - What are you going to cook, why are you going to cook tthat particular dish, what is it about that dish that makes it special, did a dinner out, a special friend, an evening in provence - from conception to consumption as a stream of conciousness, just one long flow. After you've done that, put it in a drawer for a few days, then read it aloud to yourself and see what you make of it, then see if you can do better.

There are thousands of recipe books out there, why and how you arrived is often more interesting than the meals themselves. Under The Tuscan Sun is a book in that vein. Bolognese sauce has very many variants, but the one Nonna taught you is special because...
 

Seifer

Senior Member
So to give a update I started writing it as a fiction. Going well I'll be sharing a few things soon thank you everyone. Keep the tips coming they are great help.
 

Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
Now would likely be a great time for you to look into writing flash creative nonfiction. The stories can be as short as 500 words (or fewer). But by doing this type of writing (short) you can assemble the tiny pieces like bricks and from them build your direction (and you'll have captured many of the stories that might otherwise escape you). Plus, you can market each individual tiny story too. I hope to get to watch your progress with the project. Good luck! Sounds interesting.
 

Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
Love how contagious inspiration can be. Your post about your new project made me recall the time my sister mixed up baking powder and baking soda in a recipe. Result: not good. I think I'll write up a short-short about that hysterical event. Thank you! Oh, just thought of another funny cooking incident . . .
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
Netflix’ “The Chef’s Table” has been interesting for highlighting the story and personality of chefs and showing their work as well. I think people are interested in the subject.
 

Seifer

Senior Member
Love how contagious inspiration can be. Your post about your new project made me recall the time my sister mixed up baking powder and baking soda in a recipe. Result: not good. I think I'll write up a short-short about that hysterical event. Thank you! Oh, just thought of another funny cooking incident . . .
Your welcome!
 
When i first had my 'idea' i had no plan of what to do ...i just wrote. As time passed i researched. I had what i wanted in my mind, had stories in my mind, subplots developed all the time, characters and characteristics forming as the weeks and months passed.

What i really suggest is start small. Write short stories, something that takes a week. Work on your story for a few days, edit the best you can, revise it to the best you can and then see what others say on how to improve it. Then alter it and start another short story.

The aim of these is to build your writing style, what interests you. Humour ... great, real stories ... good too ... write what makes you engaged and it will translate onto paper.
 

Seifer

Senior Member
When i first had my 'idea' i had no plan of what to do ...i just wrote. As time passed i researched. I had what i wanted in my mind, had stories in my mind, subplots developed all the time, characters and characteristics forming as the weeks and months passed.

What i really suggest is start small. Write short stories, something that takes a week. Work on your story for a few days, edit the best you can, revise it to the best you can and then see what others say on how to improve it. Then alter it and start another short story.

The aim of these is to build your writing style, what interests you. Humour ... great, real stories ... good too ... write what makes you engaged and it will translate onto paper.
I enjoy humor with real stories
 
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