Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I clicked, I wrote, I conquered!

One of the articles I was assigned to write this week was about healthy breakfast ideas. This was the second time my editor threw one of these topics at me. The first time, I let him know that A: I am not a chef. B: I only had ONE good recipe of my own creation to share. And C: I didn't feel comfortable copying and pasting recipes off of the Internet.

The long and short of it, I decided to throw together a bunch of links and book suggestions for the recipes readers would be looking for. The result? This: Healthy Chicken Recipes

Now, fast forward. I got assigned ANOTHER recipes article this week. And I was all ready to tell my editor, once again, that A: I am not a chef. B: I only had ONE good recipe of my own to share.... But I really didn't think he needed to be told all that stuff twice. I guess he figured I'd either try to gather recipes from my friends to put into the article (like I tried to do, and failed at, last time) or do a repeat of the other article.

But I didn't want to do that.

Actually, this time, I wanted to TRY to have some recipes in this food and cooking article. I had to at least give it a shot!

But, like I said, I didn't want to copy and paste anything. That's copyright infringement, y'all!

So, what to do? What to do. What to do.

This morning, I had a little extra "computer time" while drinking my coffee and before my shower. So, for the heck of it, I typed the article title into Google to see what popped up. And what I ended up seeing was pretty much an indication that there wouldn't be anything to copy and paste. Mostly, they were meal suggestions, with nothing in the ingredients that were trademarked. And the suggestions and recipes didn't belong to professional chefs, either! They were mostly people sharing their creations on the 'Net.

Seeing all of this, I realized that, yes! Writing a food article was doable for me after all! I could reword the recipes, change the fomatting so that they weren't technically "recipes" but just ideas for things to use, and not use the names of the creations that the people used. I visited message boards, blogs and newsletters. And the recipe ideas I decided to use in the article didn't come from professional chefs or have any trademarks all over them. I felt I could just take these meal ideas and use them. It's not like I'd be saying they were MY recipes in the article, anyway.

So, I did that. I put the meal ideas together using my own words and without formatting them as recipes per se. And I think I did a pretty good job in pulling off my very first food article!

In fact, I think I can safely submit this article without worrying about getting hit with a lawsuit! I mean, it's not like I used any brand names, and you can't trademark words like "banana" or "oatmeal," can you?

I'm very happy I conquered that hurdle. Part of the reason why I do these articles is for the challenge of testing my writing skill and writing a GOOD article about stuff I am not well-versed about. It's all part of the learning experience and the challenges I face with this gig is helping me to be a better writer. And now it looks like I will somehow or another find a way to be a food writer, too. Yay!

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  • At 10:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    cool! I hope your breakfast ideas were low sugar, (LOL had to get that in, he he)

  • At 10:46 AM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    But of course. :) One recipe suggested adding honey and I was sure to note that a TOUCH of honey would be ideal. Ya don't need sugary stuff for da morning fuel!

  • At 9:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Good for you, Dawn, for meeting yet another challenge. :)

    Another thought I had, if you are worried about copying from the internet, is to look into your own family's recipes. Grandmothers have the best ones...

  • At 10:14 PM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Thank you SOOO much! :) Unfortunately, neither of my grandmothers are alive anymore. I don't have living grandparents. But that's a great idea! Next time, I'll look into if any of the family have recipes to share. Thank you! :)

  • At 8:51 PM , Blogger colbymarshall said...

    mmmm...did someone say chicken? I'm satrving and it's 11:45 at night! Yeesh! I'm hungry!

  • At 10:04 PM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Maybe I should hunt down some chicken recipes on the 'Net and rewrite that article! :) Meanwhile, I am telepathically communicating with the closest deli in your area that is open to send some yummy chicken snacks your way!

  • At 12:45 AM , Blogger Samantha said...

    Hi, thanks for visiting my blog. I live in Oregon too! Go Beav's ;)

  • At 7:30 AM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Yay! Another Oregon writer! How sweet blog networking is. :) Your baby is adorable, BTW.


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