Top 10 Things I Learned About Writing from Project Runway

My sister is hooked on the television series, Project Runway, a fashion design show hosted by Heidi Klum, so I’ve watched quite a few marathons. Heidi has been pregnant, skinny, pregnant again. Dozens of fashion design contestants have come and gone. (Not to mention many hours have passed while I sat glued to the television.)

I will admit to getting caught up in the show. And lately, I’ve been wondering, “What can Project Runway teach me about writing?”

Here are the top 10 things I learned about writing from Project Runway:

10. You’ve got to have your own vision, and you shouldn’t let other contestants’ snippy comments sway you from it. Believe in yourself and your work.

9. Beginning with a well-thought-out design (or plot or synopsis) really helps focus the work—but you should always be willing to roll with it if the design (writing) process presents a better idea.

8. There will be many other contestants (or writers) around you, and they all want this as much, if not more, than you do.

7.  Picking the right fabric and colors (or genre and words) can make the difference between a gorgeous completed piece of fashion (or a novel) and a hideously-overdesigned rag (or piece of hack writing).

6. You’ve got to follow the rules and maintain your integrity—win or lose with class. (Frankly, this goes for writing, fashion and life.)

5. The way you discuss your finished work matters—be prepared to defend your choices, but stay professional. Whining does nothing to help your cause.

4. Appreciate good feedback and wherever possible, incorporate it into your work. Never be unwilling to learn something new.

3. Work hard, work as quickly as you can, and meet the deadline. Sending your model down the runway naked (or presenting an unfinished manuscript) won’t get you to Bryant Park (or the publishing world).

2. If you don’t know the ins and outs of sewing (or the craft of writing), you’re going to be at a distinct disadvantage. Learn, practice, learn some more.

1. Remember what you’re designing (or writing) will ultimately to be worn (or read) by someone else…this is not all about you. Be sure to keep your client (or reader) in mind.

Actually, I could go on…Project Runway taught me a lot about writing. Also, it proved that I can use up a lot of time in front of the television NOT writing, if I let it!



Filed under The Process

2 responses to “Top 10 Things I Learned About Writing from Project Runway

  1. Jeanne De Vita

    This is absolutely fantastic. Thank you for sharing these insights, and with such a positive and inspiring perspective. I shared this on my facebook wall with your link to do so, so that any friends who need this kind of pep-talk can enjoy. Thanks again, this is wonderful!

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