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Be the Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables

5 Jan

My boyfriend found a chicken nugget in his bag of frozen vegetables the other day.

And just to make sure it was a chicken nugget, he popped the frozen mound into the microwave. Sure enough, it emerged crispy and delicious. Like McDonald’s.

Concerned that perhaps the workers at the packaging house were rebelling, and some poor vegetarian would end up with the same fate from another bag, my boyfriend called the company.

“Are you sure it wasn’t a carrot?” the manager asked him, after he explained his immaculate discovery.

“Of course I’m sure,” my boyfriend replied. “I think I’d know the difference between a chicken nugget and a carrot.”

Though laughing hysterically, this got me thinking. The odyssey of his chicken nugget was so outrageous, that it became contagious.

So here’s my question to you: When you write, are you being the chicken nugget in a bag of frozen vegetables?

Make Your Writing Stand Out

I struggle with breaking free of clichés, as does every writer. But whether you’re a journalist trying to engage the public, a creative writer encouraging people to buy your book, or a corporate writer building your company’s brand, you won’t get anywhere if you don’t stand out.

Besides writing about the unexpected, consider these tips to transform yourself from a frozen carrot into that chicken nugget:

  • The Curse of Knowledge: A communications coach from my work once fed me this term. Are you so embroiled in your area of expertise, that you forgot what it’s like to be an outsider? Think: what would excite an 8-year-old to read your story?
  • Humor: Of course, this depends on what you’re writing, and for whom. But while making people cry takes talent, making people laugh takes true genius. Ask yourself: am I laughing as I’m writing this?
  • Your Personal Voice: Don’t you want to slap those teenagers who try on new identities as easily as they change outfits? With writing, you need to let your unique voice shine through. Don’t try to be anyone else, except you, even if you’re writing for a company (yes, I said it!).
  • OBSERVE: Admittedly, I’d forgotten this tip lately. My boyfriend had to remind me that the best writers observe the world around them. Are you stepping back and just looking? Seinfeld was insanely successful for a reason.
  • Realism: I don’t care whether you’re writing about a real person, or a character you developed. That person, and his or her story, better be realistic and believable. If people can’t relate, they won’t care. Which leads me to my next point . . .
  • Conflict: We’re all drama kings and queens at heart. Without conflict in a story, we’re bored! Build the tension of conflict, whether for a novel, article, or short story. In the corporate world, you can do this too. Established a new process? Interview an employee and learn how hard their job was before the new process kicked in.

Considering this is probably the longest blog I’ve ever written, I’ll stop here. But make yourself that chicken nugget in the bag of frozen vegetables—and surprise the world!

Like the advice I offer? Subscribe to my free blog (upper righthand corner) for email notifications on new writing tips, short stories, and media lessons. As a professional writer/editor, journalist, media strategist and communications consultant, I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others grow.

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136 Responses to “Be the Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables”

  1. foodietopography January 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Great tips and great title for a post.
    Thanks

  2. Old hindi Songs January 11, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    Its quite different … rather its what your title says.

  3. iamsarahk January 9, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    Excellent post! I just created a blog and the usual thoughts I have running around my head don’t seem good enought to be posted on the World Wide Web – I love the advice you gave! I’ll be keeping it in mind :)

  4. Joy Of Jessalin January 9, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    LOVE this post. Thanks for sharing. Your cute photo made me click on your post in addition to the unique title of the post. I am not a good writer, but would like to improve my writing skills. Where do I start? Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks! =D

  5. haynes20 January 9, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    Great post. Still struggling to find my voice, but getting there I think – excellent tips, and something to think about. Thank you!

    • Shari Lopatin January 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      I am so glad this came in useful to you! Everyone struggles to find their voice, but if you keep practicing, you’ll get there. Good luck and keep writing!

  6. princesayasmine January 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Nice post. I’m vegetarian so I think I’ll opt for being the vegetable in the bag of chicken nuggets :)

    • Shari Lopatin January 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

      Ha! That’s great. :-) Either way, you get the point. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. agirlandhercarrot January 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    You had me at Bag of Vegetables. I’d like to be a chicken nugget or rather the elusive jicama nobody knows what to do with, but once they try it, they love it! I subscribed. Thanks!

  8. Babygirl January 7, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    I absolutely loved the story at the begining of this post and how it ties into making your writing stand out. This post was absolutely great

  9. drivingmsmiranda January 7, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Solid advice for all writers. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed … again!

    Drive on,
    – M.

  10. bornagainandfree January 7, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Thanks for the tips. The title jumped up out at me like a dancer would jump out of a sea of unmoving faces. It was drawing me in and I couldn’t resist, I had to read. Very wonderfully written and I will be sure to apply those techniques in my writing. Thanks again.

  11. middlemman January 7, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    i like this post a lot. I just started a new blog and this post is such a big help. I am a cliche addict by the way…

    middlemman.wordpress.com

  12. bigcitybabycarrots January 7, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    Even as a non-chicken-nugget-eater, I love this post! You have yourself a new subscriber.

  13. Sunflowerdiva January 7, 2011 at 7:44 am #

    Thanks for the good writing tips! Haha–that’s so funny that he found a chicken nugget in the frozen veggies!! That must have been really funny! Congrats on the Freshly Pressed!

  14. Alex January 7, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    chicken nuggets are so good what do you like better mcdonalds or burger king chicken nuggets?

  15. becauseimightforget January 7, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    Somewhere out there, a kid was dreading the plate of vegetables he was going to have to eat before leaving the table and just when he thought that he couldn’t go on… there it was, a delicious ray of hope waiting for him amongst the vegetables. Thank you frozen vegetable chicken nugget.

  16. paulabish67 January 7, 2011 at 5:14 am #

    Interesting reminder about keeping to your own style! I’ve just started another blog. My others have been topic and time limited but I realised that I have to keep going because my day job in local authority requires me to adapt my style … corporate doesn’t do funny and I need somewhere else to actually write! I keep thinking I’ll run out of material but so far training for the London marathon (that never happened because I needed a new hip), taking my family by train to Crete and a hip replacement have kept me going. And 2011 looks no less boring! Thanks for more inspiration!

  17. shesmiledaside January 7, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    I like the cheeky biscuit picture to go with your story. My blog definitely needs more pictures (or more biscuits, maybe) but I’m not sure my tech is up to it. I’m only just getting going with writing, never mind adding images/photographs! Can I stand out? I’m not sure I’m going to be a chicken nugget – more of a comedy vegetable shape… It’s a start. :-)

  18. starbucksfairy January 7, 2011 at 2:36 am #

    i love how you can relate chicken nuggets to something completely random
    the clashing of two random topics is beautiful :D

  19. Fire Crystals January 7, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    I think I am trying to turn into a chicken nugget …but haven’t succeeded so far. Can you tell me how I can attract readers and get them to follow my blog?

  20. Hanna Wilbur January 7, 2011 at 12:15 am #

    This post just made me subscribe to your blog…
    I hope I made the right decision :D.

  21. bookjunkie January 6, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    I enjoyed this so much. When I first saw the title and picture, it explained how I was feeling. I just experienced the most miserable reunion where everyone was married with kids and I was the only unmarried unemployed person there. I truly felt like a chicken nugget in a bag of vegetables!

    I love your views about writing and I found your post totally engaging. Just wanted to tell you I love the way you write. It feels like you’re speaking to me :)

  22. Aurian January 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    Just wanted to say that I *love* the pic that you found for the topic. It’s perfect!

    Congrats on being freshly pressed :-).

  23. enjoibeing January 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    really like your post! great tips and a great read as well. i will make sure to keep your tips in mind when blogging. thanks!

    http://enjoibeing.wordpress.com/

  24. typhoidterri January 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Love your advice! Congrats on Freshly Pressed. Since I’m vegetarian, can I be the vegetable among the chicken nuggets? I call Broccoli! Please visit me at http://www.rowawayfromtherocks.wordpress.com

  25. crashingwaves January 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    I love your post! I, too, am a chicken nugget struggling among the veggies. Thanks for your helpful writing tips. =)

  26. Abigail January 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    Great reminders. Thanks and congrats on FP!
    Now…I’m craving McD’s chicken nuggets (which should be spelled “chiken,” because, let’s be serious…).

  27. leahsinger January 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    First off, congratulations on getting freshly pressed! Secondly, I love this post. Love how you came up with some great writing tips and lessons from finding a chicken nugget in the bag of veggies. Awesome analogy!

  28. E.C. January 6, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    I enjoyed your article very much. I like your writing voice. Thanks for sharing such helpful advice in a pleasant and fun manner.

  29. The Chic Nerd January 6, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    Wonderful blog post! I had no idea your post would be what it was when I first read the title, but the moment I started reading your first paragraph I laughed out loud. Strange how some naturally occurring events lead to even deeper thought. ;) Great job on your post!

  30. Michael January 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    As chicken nuggets are one of my favorite foods ever, this post really inspired me. To quote VeggieTales, “I laughed, I cried; it moved me, Bob.”

  31. halfwayto50 January 6, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    As a new “blogger” I’m trying so hard to learn all that I can about being good at this new venture. I enjoy entertaining my friends through funny stories and sarcasm in person, but conveying that same sense of dry humor is challening in text. It sometimes comes of as me having a bad case of PMS. Thanks for some tips!

  32. Holly Vandervort January 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    Great tips, thanks for posting! Observing the world around me in new ways is probably the thing I like most about being writer. It also makes me feel a little less creepy when I’m “people watching.” lol

    We all write about common everday things, whether it is a technical piece about solid state hard drives or a romance novel or a sci-fi adventure. Even when the conflict is extraordinary or “out there,” our characters have the same human emotions as all of us (or they should, so they are relatable! ;) But I think, as writers, it’s HOW we see the world that makes all the difference. Thanks for the Seinfeld reference, that’s a good tip and helps to illustrate what we need to do as writers. And you have inspired me to write tonight when I was just planning on going to bed early, so THANK YOU for that as well!!!

  33. Jill January 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Wow Shari…

    This was great!!! What an inspiring analogy. I am so proud I raised a “chicken nugget” and not a “frozen carrot”.

    • Shari Lopatin January 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

      Hahaha! Thanks Mom! Love you!

      • Pearl's twirl March 17, 2011 at 6:07 am #

        Hi Shari,
        I stumbled upon your blog and I love it.
        Just read your mom’s comment and I wish I could click on the “Like” or “Love” button!

      • Shari Lopatin March 17, 2011 at 8:45 am #

        Ahhh, how sweet! Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, my mom’s comment (:-)) and everything else. I do hope you keep coming back to visit, for more fun stuff!

        Shari

  34. rohitprasad71 January 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Amazing tips…be the chicken in the veges…also be the vege in the chicken…anything to mix it up
    Humor is essential to grab the reader by the throat :-)

    http://www.cynicseyeview.wordpress.com

  35. biomediclabs January 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Great Post, thanks!

  36. piratepals January 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Thank you for your blog and this wonderful post! Funny and touching and very, very fundamental.

  37. acleansurface January 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    I recently wrote a post about twice as long as I normally write, because I wanted to meet the requirements for submission to another site. It was a real challenge for me to be so wordy and I found that i couldn’t say the kinds of things I was thinking about saying originally. It was a great exercise for me, but I’m glad I don’t always need to write so much. It went against my nature!

  38. abraj January 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    Proud to be a VEGETABLE !
    just kidding :p
    your post should also be applied to ones character and way of living.
    for me your words are inspiring and i thank you for this post.

  39. Blake Dean January 6, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    I was just on wordpress and I saw this post and said, hmm maybe this could be good. I read this and other posts and LOVED them your style is so amazing. Good Job.

    ~Blake Dean~

  40. vagrantjack January 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    Thanks for this! Consider me subscribed!

  41. somethingnewplease January 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    I’d like to see you break down what the difference would be between writing as a McDonalds Chicken Nugget and writing as an organic, free roaming, no antibiotics chicken nugget.

    Excellent thoughts,

    D

  42. KugelKaskade January 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    “But make yourself that chicken nugget in the bag of frozen vegetables—and surprise the world!”

    Thank you for this single line. Although I don’t like chicken nuggets it really makes me smile. And a few minutes before I felt quite empty, exhausted but now I’m kinda motivated to write. I think I’m not able to explain how much I like this post. I just want you to know that I’ll keep it in mind everytime I don’t believe in myself anymore.

    • Shari Lopatin January 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

      Oh wow, that really means a lot and your comment touched me very deeply. I would have never thought my words would help inspire another so much. I’m glad you feel inspired! Keep writing! :-)

      Shari

  43. whenquiet January 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    The Gingerbread Man……. one of my favorite stories as a child…a true STANDOUT among all the Snow Whites, Jack and the Beanstalks, Rapunzels and Cinderellas. Wonderful post!

  44. lifeintheboomerlane January 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Great post. You could have done the entire thing about the nugget, but you transitioned so beautifully to talk about writing. And, of course, the greater message is that we all could benefit from being the nuggets in life. Unless we are in a crowd of nuggets. Then we want to be the vegetable. Or something like that.

  45. pryan51 January 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    Great blog entry – thought provoking and made me laugh. But I just LOVE the graphic, it is PERFECT!

  46. transplantednorth January 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    great title! I thought this was going to be a blog post about going against the grain of the uber healthy that are trying to wring every bit of fun out of what we eat. You had me pleasantly fooled and inspired all at once.

  47. thejamminjabber January 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    Oh, I’m a chicken nugget alright. Great analogy.

  48. thewordmavens January 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    very funny! I admire how writers (myself when i’m feeling inspired) can take a small incident and use it as a jumping off point… although i recently had an essay rejected(it was about an angry shopper during teh Xmas rush) and the editor said “Too small an incident to merit an essay” Obviously, you and I would disagree,
    PS
    your boyfriend was BRAVE to eat the nugget

  49. Deanna January 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    I’m still not convinced that is chicken in those McNuggets, but otherwise great tips and solid reminders to BE YOURSELF.
    Another tip could be stop procrastinating and write.
    Back to my post I go…

  50. Kat Richter January 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    One of my preschool students has gotten into the habit of beginning (and ending) every sentence with “Chicken nugget!” Now at least I’ll be inspired when I talk to him, as opposed to ever-so-slightly IRRITATED! :) http://www.katrichterwrites.wordpress.com

  51. adamodwyer1 January 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Really love this post, but can’t stop thinking that a factory worker may have been eating and lost one of his nuggets (that sounds wrong), but then again I’m kind of germaphobic so I probably would have writen off the whole bag.

  52. chaitanyasravanthi January 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Congrats on being fresh pressed (more fresh I would say :) ) while we are in the midst of raging questions of – How did the chicken nugget end up in the bag? , Was there a nugget or you made up the story and so and so forth , I’d have of mine all of us here who like your blog are on our way to be chicken nuggets , and thanks for reminding what it means to stand out really … and why the heck, in the first place … :) keep up the nice work

    • chaitanyasravanthi January 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

      em .. sorry bout the spelling mistakes and apparent lack of connectivity at places.. typing out rather hastily in excitement of getting a smart, quote worthy thought inside your head at about 3 am doesn’t help at all!!!! :)

    • Shari Lopatin January 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

      Thank you! I’m very glad you found the analogy helpful. Amazingly enough, the story is NOT made up. This really happened. To this day, my boyfriend and I have NO CLUE how that frozen chicken nugget wound up in his bag of veggies. It plopped out when he was pouring the vegetables into a bowl. While laughing hysterically over the situation, I suddenly realized how much this chicken nugget stood out–thus, the post today! :-)

      • chaitanyasravanthi January 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

        hey I wasn’t implying that the story was made up :) but glad that u noticed how it stood out… teaches us about a very basic thing that a writer has to do, in order to be really understood and to be able to reach out :) kudos lady…you rock

  53. Etiquette From the Trenches January 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Your picture grabbed me on the Freshly Pressed page (congrats, by the way!) and I’m glad it did. As a novice writer, I love your tips! Not sure if I’m ready to adopt “be the nugget” as my new mantra but it’s kind of catchy! I’m also your newest subscriber.

    Thanks for the tips. I hope to put them to good use on my blog,
    Amy

    • Shari Lopatin January 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

      Hi Amy, so glad you found me too! Thank you kindly for your subscription. ;-) I will make sure to run by your hub in one of the coming evenings and check out your blog as well!

      • Etiquette From the Trenches January 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

        I’d love for you to stop by when you have a moment! I was Freshly Pressed in October and spent all my blog-world time responding to comments. It was a great ride! I need to explore your posts more as well. I’m not a professional writer but serious about working to become a better one … enjoy!

        Amy

  54. rtcrita January 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Have you ever noticed that McDonalds chicken nuggets are … grey? So, I think I’d rather be a double-chocolate chip cookie in a bag of lightly salted chips. Either way, great tips!

  55. mybakingempire January 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    Thanks for the laugh. I’m not a writer, but I can certainly apply the “chicken nugget in a bag o’ veggies” to my daily life. Great tips, passing them on to my writer friends!

  56. Dad January 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Shari, I don’t know how you come up with such fascinating twists and concepts, but I have to hand it to you, that is great writing and an ingenious way of dispensing some invaluable tips. GREAT JOB!!!!

    • Shari Lopatin January 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

      Dad, you’re one of my biggest fans. ;-) Thank you!

      • kozmo77 January 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

        Your tips capture the dynamic that writing should be. We can get so caught up on the treadmill of rules, that one can forget that bouncing a medicine ball off someone’s head is where the action is.
        JUDGMENT DAY
        May 21, 2011
        http://www.familyradio.com

  57. leeroyholt January 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Cracking post.. Good tips aswell.

    Im curious to know how the phone call ended tho?.. Living in the current state we do in this world, im assuming you won £/$ 200,000 Compensation?. =)

  58. J Dampier January 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    I really enjoyed this article. I’m not a writer but I find that that way of looking at everything is pretty essential to the rest of everyday life too. It’s not necessarily about standing out but about turning a surprise (or shock – if you were that vegetarian) into something that carries forward… like the post… or even just looking at the manufacturing industry differently. Many people get mad when the unusual happens or something falls out of their routine. Good post.

    _____________________________________
    weight loss hypnosis

  59. Summer January 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    I am gladly a chicken nugget!

  60. Cheryl McNulty January 6, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Pretty funny! Nice post! :)

  61. pltprincess January 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    I would define myself as a chicken nugget in a bag of vegetables. Definitely in my life, though maybe less so in my writing. You make wonderfully valid points. Thanks.

  62. mairzeebp January 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    The title of your post grabbed but so did the picture. I loved them both! I thought you had some great points that centered around several things that I have been trying to figure out as I make my way through the world as a new blogger.

    I started a blog about seven months ago. I did it mostly because I had fun writing and because I was lost in my life. As I continued with each post, I really struggled with my voice. What should I say? What do people want to read? How should this be geared? The thing is that the more I pushed those kinds of thoughts, the less authentic I felt.

    Now, I go with my gut and if my gut says nothing, I say nothing. Another thing that has been helpful is that I imagine that nobody will read what I have to say (I know, I should be a salesman) but it keeps me honest and reminds me that I do this for me. I have to like it. I have enjoy it. Otherwise, why do it?

    Don’t get me wrong, I still want to conquer the world and have my own bobble head but, for right now, I’m happy to just take the time and express who I am. Cheesy, yes? A carrot, definitely not. Great post!

  63. ferkung January 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    I think the analogy to the chicken in a bag of vegetables can backfire though… When you’re steaming veggies, you don’t want that glorious processed chicken hunk.

    How do you avoid alienating your core audience (to take the metaphor too far, vegetarians) while still being an expected gem for new readers (people who hate veggies)?

    I run into this problem a lot with my music, instead of my literature, writing. It’s great to talk about p- and r-series and the specific sound manipulations, but how do you successfully achieve these aphorisms, especially in more niche fields?

  64. izziedarling January 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    I like this. Very much. Be the chicken nugget …

  65. tiallarising January 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Nice post! I like your ideas!

    -Tia

    http://www.tiallarising.wordpress.com

  66. indyink January 6, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    Finally, some useful and innovative insights. Congratulations on FP, Chicken Nugget.

  67. capnstephel January 6, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    I like that phrase and I’m going to have to remember it. Thanks for posting some great tips :)

    http://tehcatspajamas.wordpress.com/

  68. Emjayandthem January 6, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    hilarious story, great tips, fun to read. Thanks for the post! ;) MJ

  69. rinnyf January 6, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Love your post- even if it did take an angry rebellious packaged food worker to make it happen. Perhaps that will be my new years resolution. I was going to forgo them this year, but how can you say no to being a chicken nugget in a bag of vegetables?

  70. Lakia Gordon January 6, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    This is a very good article!! I hope I’m being the “chicken nugget” out of the bag lol

  71. insurance7lady January 6, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    That is so absolutely disgusting….. haha. Great post though. I feel as if most bloggers/writers these days write what they think will bring them the most traffic and not what they really truly think or feel. Truth is always a great read.

    ~heather

  72. night crawler January 6, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    first time i read your blog and probably the first of your blogs.i just started blogging a few days back so i need your comments on it just so that i’d get the idea of my writing skills(just inform me if i should continue blogging or am i too miserable for it). and yeah i am definitely being the chicken nugget almost every-time i am doing something

    • Shari Lopatin January 6, 2011 at 11:22 am #

      Hi Night Crawler! I will be more than happy to visit your blog and check it out. ;-) It might take another day or two, as I’m busy at work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but in the evenings, I manage this blog and will swing by your hub. Thank you for taking the time to stop by mine!

  73. Evie Garone January 6, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    I’m still wondering about getting the chicken nugget in the frozen veggies, what?? Do you think it was a rebel worker or a horrible accident, what else is in those veggies we don’t know about??

    I hope I AM a chicken nugget when I write!! I try to be ME, which is a horse of a different color!

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Good concept!

    evelyngarone.com

  74. girlonthecontrary January 6, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    Might I add that using profanity wisely can really pay off. Especially if you write a blog or are trying to be humorous in your writing. I’ve noticed a well placed curse word can be the difference between a giggle and an all out laugh riot.

    Great Post! I hope you enjoyed your miraculous chicken nugget!

  75. nearlynormalized January 6, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    You said it!!!!!

  76. thepsychconvert January 6, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    As a new blogger, I will really take these tips into account when i write my next post.

    Thanks!

  77. Ursula January 6, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    I don’t want to be some reconstituted ersatz meat full stop.

    U

  78. Lugon January 6, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    I don’t really like the way “professional” sounds, but I still liked your words.

    I’ll keep myself subscribed, trying to bem the nugget. :)

    Nice Post!

  79. Tee January 6, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    Cool. I like the concept of being a chicken nugget. And you are so right–if we want to promote ourselves, we can’t be carbon copies.

    But my crazy investigative mind, cannot let this story go. How did the chicken nugget get in the bag of veggies. Were there no reasonable explanations?

    Then the question becomes even more esoterical. How do any of us get to where we are. And if we are the chicken nugget, what are these people around us?

    As you can tell, I am suffering the effects of lack of sleep–too many late nights staying up writing and reading blogs.

    But I really liked yours. Fun! Thinks for giving us something “meaty” to think about.
    :-)

    • Tee January 6, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      And too bad I cannot edit after hitting send–thinks? Really? And the lack of question marks. If anyone in my English classes reads this, I am being held hostage by a bag of frozen peas and being forced to use improper grammar and poor proofreading skills.

      Oops. :-)

  80. Mitch Leuraner January 6, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Oh, how I wish that the bags of vegitables my girlfriend brings home would include a few chicken nuggets!

  81. Christina Cronk January 6, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Thanks for the laugh! A carrot? Good thing your husband is not a vegetarian… I would have been upset.

  82. notesfromrumbleycottage January 6, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Loved where you started from and the tips you provided. They are things that writers need to be reminded of and yet are so simple. Congrats on being pressed.

  83. barb7802 January 6, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Love your post. I have had this discussion many times with a couple friends. Does one write for themselves or do we write for others? Is one better or does it matter? Congrats on being fresh pressed!

  84. milieus January 6, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Great advice! I can’t say I would have ever thought of using the analogy of a chicken nugget in a bag of veggies. I guess inspiration can come to you in the weirdest ways.

    The most important question here is this: did you end up eating the chicken nugget? If you did, how does that tie in to your analogy? Does eating the chicken nugget represent reading a great piece of writing?
    <3 Milieu

  85. lilzbear January 6, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    I love the analogy! How nice to get inspiration on improving writing by an unrelated (although quite awesome :)) thing that occurred in daily life…

  86. CrystalSpins January 6, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Conflict is the hard part for me. I avoid it in my real life so inserting it into my writing just for the sake of extra conflict is a hard thing to remember. But I remind myself that each conflict is a chance for a resolution. That seems to help. But it’s still a hard choice every time. Thanks for the reminders — and good luck observing.

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

  87. Mowenackie January 6, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    All great reminders! I’m so glad you were “freshly pressed” today. (“Are you sure it wasn’t a carrot?” – hilarious!)

  88. She's a Maineiac January 6, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    I needed this post this morning, thank you. Just starting to write again (a book, like every other person on the planet apparently…) and it’s a daunting task to be unique.

  89. Steph January 6, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    I think your a great writer, and definitely the chicken nugget of the bag. ~SW

  90. Joe Storm January 6, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Wow! Intelligent. I like they way you describe the chicken nugget as a metaphor as a niche for your success in writing/blogging. The steps you’ve listed is a great motivator for me. I’ve just started blogging a couple of months ago, and I think this blog will help me in the future. Great words of thoughts!

  91. The Sprightly Writer January 6, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Ah, yes, the Curse of Knowledge.

    I range in writing from humorous to spiritual to intellectual. I’m not even sure where I want to end up, but I try to aim for the middle ground…tackling some intellectually dense topics with a touch of humor (or at least attempting to do so). It makes it very difficult to find an audience. I definitely stand out…too far out. I write blog posts on my favorite philosophers (like Nietzsche) and unusual writers (like Anais Nin, Mark Twain and Jack Kerouac) that few people would take an interest in, though I’d like to get back to more fiction efforts. I’m trying to find my voice, my values/philosophies and my intentions that will eventually end up in my fiction writing.

    I’m not even sure where I’ll end up…but I’d prefer to lean towards the humorous, but I struggle with that because I had worked in the biotech field for 12 years before I became a stay at home mother for my daughters. Talk about being embroiled in an area of expertise. It’s difficult to let the artist out when the scientist/intellectual is an attention hog.

    Sometimes it’s difficult to stop thinking/analyzing and just write.

    • Shari Lopatin January 6, 2011 at 9:39 am #

      Humor is my biggest pitfall as well. I was a journalist (including an investigative journalist) for some years, and I actually began this blog to reconnect with my creative roots as a writer.

      Only recently can I say I’ve truly begun writing with more humor. And the key is simply this: What makes you laugh? Every day, when you laugh with your husband, your kids, your friends, what is it you laugh at? THAT is what you should write. By boyfriend and I were laughing hysterically about the chicken nugget he found in the frozen veggies. Laughing frees your mind from the “type A” rational thinking, and allows your creativity to flow. It was only after laughing with him about his chicken nugget that I thought of how this applies to writing.

      I empathize with your plight! But I truly believe you can do it! Subscribe to my blog (it’s free, and you’ll get email notifications when I post something new). I think many of the entries might help you find that humorous, unique voice you seek. You have it in you, it just needs to find the key to emerge.

      Shari

      • Nikkolai Hel January 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

        Shari, Hi!

        You can count one more pitfalling for humor and fished by the Freshly Released pic, and fished from far down the South America – from the [not so] sunny [nowadays] Brazil.

        I hope I managet o follow you up by reading and replying, as much as my transtion life of wanna-be writer permits. And I hope that happens, at least, every now and then.

        This way I think being the chicken heading out of the vegs bag will become a piece of cake, an even sweeter one!

  92. kaleighsomers January 6, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    I love the idea behind this. As a writer, I’m so glad I stumbled upon this post. Did he determine how the chicken nugget ended up in the bag? Just curious :)

  93. hunter71 January 6, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    I would have been soooooo excited to find a chicken nugget in my veggies. My Mom always tries to make me eat veggies and I beg for nuggets….they are my favorite. Love the tips we will have to try them on our site. http://www.hcrproducts.com Thank you! Hunter71 :-)

  94. dearexgirlfriend January 6, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    while i appreciate your advice and everything…i really want to know if you guys complained to the manufacturer of the veggies!

    http://dearexgirlfriend.com/

  95. runtobefit January 6, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    This is great advice. Yes…I am the chicken nugget in a bag of vegetables when I write. In fact, I am the chicked nuggest dipped in BBQ Sauce that comes with a free toy. I know…it made me hungry too!! :-)

    http://www.runtobefit.wordpress.com

  96. aeroxotl January 6, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    Good thing you and your boyfriend got the nugget, instead of a unsuspecting vegan/vegetarian. My question is, how did it even get there??

  97. humanitarikim January 6, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Hey, weren’t you FP a few weeks ago with your post about your cat? If so, you must buy a lottery ticket, quick! Congrats on the post, I think the title is hilarious!

    http://humanitarikim.wordpress.com/

    • Shari Lopatin January 6, 2011 at 9:14 am #

      Hahaha! Yes, the post about My Jewish Cat and the Art of Guilt was a few weeks ago. Thanks for remembering me! ;-)

  98. Emily Jane January 6, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    I wrote a post last year about being nicheless in a world full of people telling you you need a niche in order to be a “successful” blogger. I pride myself on being a chicken nugget for lots of reasons :)

  99. DullSheep January 6, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Great post, very well done!!

  100. Tori Nelson January 6, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    Love this almost as much as I love a surprise chicken nugget! Relating a frozen food mishap to the area of writing takes a genius!
    -Tori@TheRamblings

  101. Sonika January 6, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    Title itself stands out…Nice post…

  102. auntbethany January 6, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    I love the cookie picture, and I love this post! Personally, I think putting a chicken nugget into a bag of vegetables is a great way to get your kids to eat their greens. You may have come up with a new ploy to get kids to eat healthier!

    Kudos on being FP!

    http://miracleon32ndstreet.wordpress.com

  103. bigsheepcommunications January 6, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    I strive everyday to be the chicken nugget. I wonder, though, is the fact that my writing makes me laugh a sign of my scintillating sense of humor or do I just need to be medicated? Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  104. Mikalee Byerman January 6, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    Being the chicken nugget in the bag of veggies is the new black. Haven’t you heard?

    I love to use humor (my most recent post features me wearing a tiara of tiny penises) and a very strong voice in my blog (in fact, it may even be TOO strong for some, I’m guessing).

    These are great tips. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! :)

    • bigsheepcommunications January 6, 2011 at 8:59 am #

      Did you say a tiara of tiny penises or do I need new glasses??

      • Mikalee Byerman January 6, 2011 at 11:51 am #

        Indeed. Seven tiny penises are atop the tiara, to be exact.
        ;)

  105. Denim January 6, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    I agree, it is a great title and message, another great POST!

    Thx!

    • insurance7lady January 6, 2011 at 11:20 am #

      Completely off topic but I met and got to take pictures of that Cuban lady in your avatar!!!!!! Thank you for making me smile today.

      • Denim January 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

        Is she not the most beautiful gal you have ever seen! I found a link on her with more images, I hope to expand on her someday soon!

        Holy… how and the world do you keep up to a freshly pressed post! My inbox is jammed!

        LOL!

        Good job and good luck!

  106. HaleyWhitehall January 5, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    I love the title of your post. I just had to read it. I’m glad I did. Those are some good tips. They are very simple but often forgotten.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Are You the Banana in the Purse? « V.V. Denman - May 23, 2011

    [...] so memorable, is that I didn’t expect it. Several weeks ago, I wrote a similar blog entitled, “Be the Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables.” It has the same message: stand out, and be [...]

  2. Why do YOU Write? (take the poll) | Shari Lopatin: Rogue Writer - February 7, 2011

    [...] for additional writing inspiration? Check out my wildly successful post, “Be the Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables.” Or subscribe to my blog (upper righthand corner) for email notifications of future posts about [...]

  3. Be the Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables (via Shari Lopatin: Rogue Writer) « Normanomicon - January 7, 2011

    [...] I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of her blog later. As for me right now? well, that’s another post. My boyfriend found a chicken nugget in his bag of frozen vegetables the other day. And just to make sure it was a chicken nugget, he popped the frozen mound into the microwave. Sure enough, it emerged crispy and delicious. Like McDonald’s. Concerned that perhaps the workers at the packaging house were rebelling, and some poor vegetarian would end up with the same fate from another bag, my boyfriend called the company. “Are you sure it wasn’t a ca … Read More [...]

  4. Miserable After the Reunion | Tiny Island - January 6, 2011

    [...] I truly feel like a Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables. I love this post that I just saw on Freshly Pressed because it made me feel that being different [...]

  5. Der Blogpost vom Scheitern « Kugelkaskade's Blog - January 6, 2011

    [...] But make yourself that chicken nugget in the bag of frozen vegetables—and surprise the world! [...]

  6. Be the Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables (via Shari Lopatin: Rogue Writer) « in der zwischenzeit… - January 6, 2011

    [...] My boyfriend found a chicken nugget in his bag of frozen vegetables the other day. And just to make sure it was a chicken nugget, he popped the frozen mound into the microwave. Sure enough, it emerged crispy and delicious. Like McDonald’s. Concerned that perhaps the workers at the packaging house were rebelling, and some poor vegetarian would end up with the same fate from another bag, my boyfriend called the company. “Are you sure it wasn’t a ca … Read More [...]

  7. Be the Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables (via Shari Lopatin: Rogue Writer) « In My Flippie Floppies - January 6, 2011

    [...] My boyfriend found a chicken nugget in his bag of frozen vegetables the other day. And just to make sure it was a chicken nugget, he popped the frozen mound into the microwave. Sure enough, it emerged crispy and delicious. Like McDonald’s. Concerned that perhaps the workers at the packaging house were rebelling, and some poor vegetarian would end up with the same fate from another bag, my boyfriend called the company. “Are you sure it wasn’t a ca … Read More [...]

  8. Be the Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables - January 6, 2011

    [...] laurenlibor wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptA [...]

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