“Simple ingredients, treated with respect… put them together and you will always have a great dish.” – José Andrés, Born Jul. 13, 1969.
We aren't talking about cooking here – not presently, anyway.
We write. And like a good dish, a good piece of writing consists of simple ingredients that are treated with RESPECT.
That respect is something you can see lacking in most writing, whether it's content, or marketing, or even speeches and presentations.
You need to respect your ingredients.
The ingredients are:
– The subject itself. Self explanatory. This is the base of the whole recipe.
– Your attitude toward the subject matter. You need to be able to summon, or at least effectively pretend to have a genuine interest in the topic you are writing about. Enthusiasm is even better than interest, if you can muster it. Or righteous indignation is good, when you're speaking out against some wrong…
– The craft of writing itself. I don't mean strict grammar and style according to the rules. I mean you have to care to enough convey your message well – so that it has the best chance of being received as you intend it. Grammatical “rules” should serve that end, but shouldn't limit it.
– The client, when there is one. You need to have a healthy respect for their experience, their history, their business, and their point of view. They know way more about their customers than you can reasonably research. And their perspective is what you should use to examine, explain, and explore the subject for their audience.
– The reader. So much writing pretends the reader isn't even there. Who is going to read your stuff? What do they care about? What do they despise? How does your information serve them? What are they to do with it once they consume it? Is it worth their time to even read it?
These are very simple ingredients, stripped of any structure or format or word counts or power words or whatever.
But if you treat them with respect, your writing will crackle with life and connect with your intended audience, and they will find it delicious to read.
Yum yum, nom nom.
<!—- lagniappe In this extra, I want to take some of the ingredients above and break it down into a simple, re-usable “recipe” for a piece of persuasive writing that you can use again and again, and readers will feel “full” but just like the Chinese buffet - will be hungry again for more soon enough... So, this is an intimate dining experience, to continue the metaphor. One chef, one gourmand. The writer of the piece should be positioned as an expert in their field, and they are identifiable, and writing from experience in the area of interest they share with the reader. The reader of the piece should be specifically identified. Not necessarily with a complex avatar or specific demographics. But the piece should be framed as though it is a message for one specific person. Let’s talk about tone. I like to recommend that it be casual, as though you know each other. So no formalities - but also, the presumption is that you like this person and want to delight them. The meal itself - you want to take a close look at something simple. One element of the niche, but deconstructed, pulled apart, explained, with a little bit of a surprise thrown in. A simple one, just a new thought or perspective. Something a beginner wouldn’t know, but a practitioner could discover through time spent working there. Finally, we get to the writing. Write good, lol. Use a structure that engages, entertains, educates, and enlightens. Don’t neglect POV, sensory info, anecdote, and emotion. That’s it. Bon appetit! —->
2 thoughts on “Do You RESPECT the Ingredients of Your Writing Work?”
The writer certainly has the ability to get the interest of the reader and this is kept focused right up to the very end.
Very interesting writing style and it’s the telling of the story that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats.
I think you’re saying I write good – in which case, thanks!