Saturday, January 29, 2011

What writers can learn from The Bachelor

I'm a romantic, or sucker, who watches The Bachelor each season. With great hope I view hot tub scenes, dream getaways, and tearful breakups.

My time with The Bachelor is not a complete waste. There's *ahem* valuable lessons to be learned from this guilty pleasure:
  • Rejection stings--in both the dating and publishing worlds. As writers, if the editor or agent we're pursuing doesn't love us back, we need to move on (or try again later with stronger material).
  • Image matters--when the women first step out of the limo and are introduced to The Bachelor, they're creating an impression. As writers, our image matters. Online, or in person at a conference, we should be aware of what we're projecting.
  • We will make mistakes--Jake and Vienna anyone? Gaffes are embarrassing, but writers improve by building upon lessons learned.
  • Some people hit the jackpot--Allie and Roberto. *sigh* Their battle to find each other was tough, but their romantic dreams came true. Writer bonanzas happen all around us with blogger buddies securing agents and publishing contracts.
  • We should aim high--not all 30 women will win The Bachelor's heart, but that doesn't prevent them from trying. Not all writers will achieve the same level of success, but that won't keep us from pursuing a perfect love match with readers.
Fess up...do you watch The Bachelor? If not, what's your guilty pleasure?

On a similar topic, check out this post on How Querying Agents Is Like the American Idol Auditions.

40 comments:

  1. I watched one season. And totally got sucked up into it. I don't watch it now, but I loved your lessons from it. Dream high! Aim high!

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  2. Oh, Julie...just love your take on this. You and I go way back w/ The Bachelor, right? I must admit I, too, have been obsessed w/ the steamy show for years, but now that new project has come along and taken over free time, I've missed a few episodes this season. Saw the first two...am rooting for Bama girl, Stephanie. Who's your favorite?

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  3. Clever post, Julie! Another similarity: I watched the initial seasons of the Bachelor and was totally hooked, but I've fallen off of late. That's how I feel about the works of an author or two.

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  4. I've only watched MAYBE one show--or part of one. This is partly because my hubby and I don't get TV stations or have cable. We watch DVDs. Anyway, clever comparison to writing, Julie! :)

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  5. I've never watched the show. Okay, I hardly watch ANY television these days. Maybe House and CSI.
    Those are very good points though.

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  6. How true your points are (I'm being Yoda today). What really struck me is the "image matters" bullet. Too often it's so easy to make snide comments on an agent's or another writer's blog. Those kinds of actions will cause people to question you. Just this month I've read three agent posts about people who are not being more responsible with their images.

    Great post!

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  7. Oh Julie, how funny! I actually never quite thought of your points so good for you!
    However, I do NOT watch the Batchelor but I do watch Survivor and Amazing Race...I guess there's rejection there to be had, yeah?

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  8. Good way to justify your purpose behind watching the Bachelor, Julie, lol. But everything you said is true. We just have to keep trying:)

    Now... what have I learned from Supernatural? Hmm... Keep searching for what you're looking for? Haha yeah I'll come back to you on that:P

    Always,
    Lindsey

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  9. LOL love this, especially the part about image matters. I think there have been some excellent posts about this lately, yours included. Great work and check my site Monday for details on my first blog contest ever - huzzah!!

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  10. I haven't watched the show in a long time but your ability to apply what happens on the show to writing is great! I enjoyed this post!

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  11. Great comparisons, Julie and so true!

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  12. I don’t watch it, but love the way you compare it to writing… nice post.

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  13. I don't watch The Bachelor, but I watch plenty of reality TV that I should be embarrassed about. The Jersey Shore for one. I know.

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  14. Funny! I had to stop watching The Bachelor because I couldn't take the tension and the cliff-hanger ad breaks. I probably learned a lot about where to end chapters though!

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  15. I must admit to not watching The Bachelor. But, I'd imagine there would be much food for thought when writing certain scenes :)

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  16. Sometimes and it cracks me up! Casey lived in my town and I lifeguarded with him as a teenager...gah! Okay, what I learn actually are more movements, ques, expressions and things of flirtation, jealousy, anger etc. I love watching how different the men and women react LOL

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  17. I was forced to watch Millionaire Matchmaker over the Christmas holiday. Okay, it cracked me up. I think of agents as the literary matchmakers between their clients and editors. Hey, perhaps I've stumbled on a new premise for a reality show. Literary Love Connection.

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  18. I've never watched the bachelor - sorry! I do love American & Canadian Idol & the 2 versions of So You Think You Can Dance though!

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  19. The only TV I really watch are the BBC miniseries on public television. I guess I don't feel that guilty about that one. But I do drink a Dr. Pepper every single day. That's my guilty pleasure. :) (Sorry, not TV related.)

    Amy

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  20. Love this analogy. Great post!

    I'm more a fan of scripted shows and my current favs are GLEE and Modern Family. In Glee, I love that people spontaneously break out into song during random moments. In Modern Family, I love how the characters are unexpected in subtle, but often hilarious, ways.

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  21. Nice. Who knew I could learn so much from reality TV? :D

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  22. I agree! You can totally learn things from The Bachelor :) I admit it straight up front, I love this show! Fun post!

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  23. What an apt analogy! Never watched "The Bachelor", and not a fan of any of these reality series, except perhaps the funny auditions nits of "X Factor" and "American Idol". :)

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  24. I love it! I don't watch, but now I'd kind of like to! My reality guilty pleasures are SYTYCD and Survivor--plenty of lessons for writers in the latter!

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  25. I don't watch the Bachelor. My guilty pleasure is So you think you can dance -- love it!

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  26. Great analogy. I haven't watched the show in years. I believe I only watched the first and second season.

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  27. I haven't watched The Bachelor before, I don't think, but that's such an apt analogy.

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  28. Hehe, great comparisons :)... I don't watch the show, but my mom loves it!

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  29. A very wry, insightful post, Julie. Thanks for visiting my blog post and commenting. It made my Sunday all the better, Roland

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  30. I don't watch the show...but love your analogy

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  31. Great analogy, Julie. I don't watch the show, but I've seen previews of it. One of my favorite shows is Top Chef.

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  32. I don't watch the Bachelor but now that I know how much you can learn from it maybe I should! LOL! My guilty pleasure is So You Think You Can Dance. Love that show!

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  33. if there are hot tub scenes I really must watch this :))

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  34. I'll admit I've seen episodes of the Bachelor, but not for quite awhile.

    The show cracks me up, really. You whisk these people away from their normal lives, put them in a gorgeous house where the alcohol flows freely and the most amazing dates are all pre-arranged...of COURSE they're going to think they're falling in love, who wouldn't?

    How about they do date in the *real* world where they have to manage on a budget or one party has a hectic work schedule and is too exhausted by the end of the week to go anywhere. Throw some bills and chores in there too and you're more likely to have a couple that stays together after the show. Sorry...didn't mean to go off on a rant like that.

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  35. I was so into The Bachelor last summer, I watched it with a neighbour religously, but she's too busy with school work now and I keep forgetting to watch it by myself.

    Great comparisons, who would want to be the Vienna of the publishing world, yikes.

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  36. I don't watch The Bachelor, but I love your list!!

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  37. I used to watch it but haven't the past few seasons. It's embarrassing to admit I kind of miss it. I'll have to fire up the Tivo for the next season.

    Love your analogy though. I also love how we can "practice" writing even while indulging in guilty pleasures.

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  38. Okay. Great minds think alike! I was just thinking about doing the same type of "parallel post" at my site. Still might. Good lessons!

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