Looking for a little inspiration? TED conferences (Technology, Entertainment, Design) cost $7500 per year to attend, but dozens of its speakers appear online on videos. Many are short enough that you can watch a few at a time.
Here are three picks for food writers based on storytelling, inspiration, and passion:
1. Filmmaker Andrew Stanton: “The clues to a great story.” Yes, the presentation is about animation (Stanton works for Pixar and includes some film clips), but his advice is spot-on for any writer. Plus, he opens with a hilarious joke to illustrate why writers should know what happens at the end.
I also loved his idea that it’s a writer’s job to instill a sense of wonder. Do you agree that should be part of storytelling? How would you go about it?
2. Writer Elizabeth Gilbert: “A New Way to Think About Creativity.” The author of Eat, Pray, Love has millions of fans, and I am not one. But several people told me to watch this speech because they found it inspirational and motivating. And they were right.
Gilbert is the opposite of Stanton. She’s not practical or didactic. Instead, she talks about an idea she came up with to keep writing paralysis at bay after the huge success of her novel. Wouldn’t you love to be the poet she references, who only had to transcribe the poems that came to her fully articulated? So much less work!
3. Here’s a clip of one of our own: Penny De Los Santos, a senior contributing photographer for Saveur and a cookbook photographer. She talks about what it was like to take one photo of men eating a meal in Iraq.
I’ve always said that people fall in love with Penny within five minutes of hearing her speak, and this talk shows you why. Her fierceness and passion to get the story comes from the heart.
Do you watch TED videos? If so, which do you recommend?