But, as usually happens, one day I was forced to watch the show. The circumstances which forced me to watch the show are not important. What is important, however, is the fact that I watched the show.
At the end of the show, I was surprised by the fact that I actually liked the show. I liked it, not only for the human interest element of the show, but also for the type of challenges that the participants have to face.
These challenges can be used by everyone, including writers, to improve their craft.
1. The Mystery box: The participants are given a set of ingredients, and they have to cook a dish using only these ingredients.
As a writer, you can challenge yourself by choosing a random topic, or asking a friend to give you a random topic, and write about it. For best results, the random topic should be different from the topics you generally write about. It will help you to think differently, and, therefore, expand your writing skills by challenging you to write about a subject that you usually avoid.
2. The Invention Test: The participants are given a core ingredient and they have to invent a dish using the core ingredient.
You can similarly test yourself by choosing a subject to write about, and then writing about it in a way that you haven’t done before. It is a way to challenge yourself to do something new. An individual is usually comfortable doing what he has already done, and doing something new takes extra effort and time that one usually wants to avoid. The Invention test is way to force oneself to find time to do new things.
3. The Pressure Test: The participants are asked to a cook a dish in a given time.
This one is simple. All you have to do is write what you usually do, only in lesser time. If you write a blog post in 40 minutes, then, as a challenge, set yourself a target of writing a similar blog post in 20 minutes. This test can help you stretch your limits, and make you more productive.
4. Team Challenge: The participants are broken into teams and given tasks to accomplish.
This one is slightly difficult as it involves finding like-minded people who would want to collaborate with you. A group of you can set yourself a combined goal and work on it. This will help you in building bonds with other writers, and create an environment where you can learn from each other. Writing, as it is, is a lonely craft, and the opportunity of finding like-minded friends is one that should not be missed at any cost.
5. Master Class: The judges teach the participants about how they could improve their cooking skills. The participants are told how they could have accomplished the tasks given to them over the weeks in a better way.
This one is the most complicated, as to do this you would require an able and a willing mentor to help you out. You can send him some of your writings and request him to review it and offer suggestion as to how you can improve upon what you have written. This part is also difficult because accepting criticism in a positive manner is a very difficult thing to do. But, one must do that, if one wants to improve.
These were some of the things that I learnt from Master Chef. So, now, would you agree with me when I say that the time I spent watching Master Chef was time well spent?