I learned about writing from Project Runway is
5) Listen to your Tim Gunns.
People who regularly read my blog have heard this before from me, but it bears repeating.
Tim Gunn is the Chief Creative Officer for Liz Claiborne. He also acts as a mentor for the designers on Project Runway. He hands explains the challenges, accompanies the group to Mood Fabrics to buy supplies and advises them during the creative process.
Anyone who watches the show is familiar with Gunn's trademark stance of arms crossed, hand next to mouth followed by "I'm concerned." Smart designers know to take a good look at what they are doing. Especially if he is more specific. "Do you think that's a little matronly?" was a frequent question last year. The contestants asked that the most went home fairly early.
Sometimes it's a minor adjustment. Others it takes starting over. Not everyone listens to Mr. Gunn's suggestions. The last strategy has worked on rare occasions. Usually, the critiques of the judges echo what the mentor already said.
Do you listen to the Tim Gunn's in your life? When your critique group makes suggestions, do you really listen? Are you lucky enough to have a mentor who has "made it" in some capacity in the business? A friend who is a published author? An agent? An editor?
I'm slowly learning how to take the advice my Tim Gunns give and "make it work"* for me.
*The parting advice Tim Gunn usually gives as he leaves the workroom.