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5 Lessons Writers Can Learn from Kitchen Nightmares

I am a full-time content creator. I write about entertainment, personal finance, & every facet of health.

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Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay is known far and wide for his extreme bluntness, yet he is one of the best chefs in the world, and it is very rare to see someone with his level of success go around helping struggling restaurants.

The man is, in a word, honest.

Devastatingly honest, but these chefs are on the brink of bankruptcy, and they are being forced to face the music, no matter how painful it might be.

1. If Business Isn't Booming, Perhaps Your Content Needs Work

The problem with struggling restaurants is always the same: The food is simply horrible.

Needless to say, the chefs don't like to hear this, and they are often in denial but, if their cuisine was enticing enough, the customers would be queuing up to visit the place, and that is just not the case.

When they manage to turn it around, there is always one key ingredient responsible for their success: Good food.

It's just as simple as that so, if you are struggling content creator, it might be time to take a look at your articles, books, poems, etcetera, and see if there are any improvements needed.

You may want to consider the following:

  • Do you need an editor?
  • Do you need to learn how to become a better editor?
  • Do you need to take a writing course?
  • Do you need to read more widely?
  • Are your storylines dry?
  • Do you know how to market?
  • Have you managed to adjust to web writing if necessary?
  • Do your images grab people's attention?
  • Do you use unnecessary words?

It's essential to make the necessary adjustments if you feel like you are not raking in as much cash as you'd like to.

Granted, it does usually take 3-5 years to really build a following and earn a living from your art, but it's important to set yourself up for success, and good content captures peoples' hearts, eyes, and minds. Period.


2. Constructive Criticism Helps You Grow

I hate constructive criticism.

Most people do, especially if they've been working at their art for years on end and would like to think they are good, despite not reaching the level of success they had hoped for.

That being said, I am genuinely grateful when individuals try to help me because, if I can manage to surrender my stubbornness and actually listen, it can allow me to improve.

If no one ever had any issues with my work, it would be rather boring, and I'd never know what I was doing wrong.

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Now, there is a difference between haters and people who are giving you critiques that are meant to help you improve.

Usually, the latter are artists themselves.

People who want to knock you down do the following:

  • They only say your work is bad without giving you any suggestions to improve it.
  • They are mean-spirited.
  • They often tell you to quit.
  • They seem determined to ruin your reputation and are quick to criticize your work publicly.

Individuals who actually want to help you will do the following:

  • They will give you feedback that is difficult to hear but that will genuinely help you if you can manage to listen to it.
  • They genuinely want to see you succeed.
  • They will never tell you to quit.
  • They will often ask permission or provide you with feedback privately because they really care about you and your feelings, and they actually want to benefit your life.
  • They might be blunt and even brutal, but it always comes from a good place.

If someone is genuinely trying to help you, it's often well worth your while to take that feedback to heart.



3. Marketing Is Key

There is one thing that successful people in literally every industry know how to do: Market.

For Gordon Ramsay, this means approaching the locals by giving them free food, shouting about specials on the street to passersby.

Say what you will, but it works: It gets butts in seats, and that is all that matters.

If no one is reading your work, that might be due to a lack of marketing.

The reality is that artists have to have at least some business-savvy in order to achieve their goals, so you'll likely want to consider the following:

  • Have you posted your articles on social media?
  • Have you given your readers freebies as a gesture of gratitude for reading your work?
  • Do you have a website?
  • Do you have an email list?
  • Do you have business cards? Merch?

Don't be afraid to market your content. You're allowed to sell you art.


4. Keep It Simple; Don't Get Caught Up Trying to Impress People

There is a common theme among failing restaurants: They have over-complicated menus that sometimes are so elaborate they confuse customers, and they have focused so much on presentation that they have overdone their dishes while forgetting the most important element of food: taste.

This has also led to slow turnaround times and angry, hungry diners who are deeply disappointed when the food finally arrives.

They almost always pull in more profits after Gordon Ramsay simplifies the menu, offering customers comforting, delicious meals that taste incredible and are easy for the chefs to crank out.

Essentially, these menus are also shorter: If you have a deliciously simple menu, then customers will keep coming back, and chefs will be able to execute each dish efficiently even when the place is packed.

As a writer, you might find yourself over-complicating your work by:

  • Using fancy words you or your readers don't fully understand
  • Crafting elaborate paragraphs that take forever to read because they are unnecessarily tedious
  • Using longer paragraphs than you need to
  • Incorporating a lot of extremely long, drawn out sentences
  • Focusing on trying to impress people instead of simply writing a compelling story
  • Getting so caught up with following grammatical rules that your work becomes less compelling as a result

The best writers in the world are the ones who disobey grammar rules intentionally because that sort of work really packs a punch.

It's engaging, and it makes your readers feel something.

Just look at authors like Stephen King and Jessica Wildfire.

You'll get the picture.

Basically, prioritize the story and stop worrying about using the fanciest words or writing the longest, most elaborate paragraphs known to humankind unless you're intentionally writing an Olde English novel.

Your readers will thank you!


5. Quality and Quantity Are Equally Important

It's great to have an excellent menu and amazing food, but none of that matters if customers spend hours waiting for their dishes to arrive.

If they absolutely love it, they might say it's worth the wait, if you're lucky, but they'll probably only go to your restaurant if they have nothing else to do that day.

The worst case scenario is that they will leave the place early and give you a bad review due to the tedious wait times.

If the food is not up to their standards—which are likely going to be higher the longer they spend sitting at their tables—then you can "look forward" to more bad publicity, which can run a new restaurant into the ground and have a massively negative impact on its reputation as a dining establishment.

Basically, chefs have to cook a lot of dishes very well, and very fast.

Similarly, writers have to be prolific for people to notice them: The folks who earn seven figures on Medium.com annually write at least 8 articles per week.

They have to.

In short, you need to turn out a lot of excellent content fast to reach success in this industry.

Quantity and quality are equally important.

Writers Can Take Enormous Inspiration from Chefs

As a writer, I find inspiration in everything: Painting, cooking, music.

There's nothing wrong with learning from other artists. In fact, this can actually benefit you enormously.

When you're a creative of any sort, it's important to garner as much inspiration as you can from as many people as possible.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Daniella Cressman

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