Lesson One

Lesson One: No Biscuiting. 


I once belonged to a writer’s group who had one very rigid rule: No Biscuiting. This term actually derives from Mark Twain’s tale of Huckleberry Finn. Huck was being fed a very good meal but the hostess couldn’t say a kind word about her own cooking, She instead began to tell her guests how horrible the biscuits were going to be. This is also known as lowering expectations. I do not want to hear about how bad your writing is, I want to hear how bad you want to write!


You have to have a positive attitude about what you’re creating. There isn’t a marathon runner alive who was running their first step. This is not a sprint, this is a long term relationship with your talent, and it’s better if from the very beginning the two of you become close friends. Nurture your creativity as if it were a puppy. Laugh at the stumbling, bumbling, and comic first attempts that always come with beginnings and learn from them what they are there to teach you.  Each time you improve upon what you’ve done, you’re one step closer to understanding the process of evolving your own talent.


So, no more telling me how poorly you write because that is against the rules. Instead, I want to tell me something good about this piece. Why did you write it? What inspired you to choose the words that you used? In the opening, the very first words, where were you leading the reader and to what end?


No matter what you wrote, or why you wrote it, or what you think of it, this has all the earmarks of an adventure, an adventure of your mind, and an adventure of your own creating. It is a puppy, wagging away and wanting to play! Now, pick the ball up and throw it as hard as you can!


Take Care,


Sojourner   Sojourner wrote
on 6/20/2010 7:46:28 PM
Wow, I am totally digging Lesson one, I wish I had read this before I sent you my comment!!!

Henrietta   Henrietta wrote
on 4/22/2010 11:32:07 AM
I'd like to submit a short story for your critique. I write because I have to write, much as I have to eat. It's part of me. This is a story I wrote a while back, but I don't think it's dated. How do I submit it for your critique?

Michele   Michele wrote
on 6/24/2009 5:42:31 PM
When I first began writing in the early 1980's, and prior to the internet, my mother would send me every encouraging magazine or newspaper clipping she could find. I kept them all. The one that stands out to this day is the columnist who gave some simple advice to the would-be working writer: write every day! Do you critique anything besides novels? As much as I try to 'tell stories', I am much more apt to write a poem instead! I'm looking for some freelance article work, in case you hear of anything.

Dee   Dee wrote
on 5/30/2009 4:51:46 PM
Mike, I'm impressed that you have no formal education and were able to reach such a high level of writing ability on your own. I love hearing stories like yours, it's encouraging and inspirational. I recently decided to begin writing my first novel and submitted the first chapter of "Deep, Dark" today. I would very much appreciate your feedback. Thank you, Dee

jedieh04   jedieh04 wrote
on 1/29/2009 9:28:02 PM
i really love your quote, "only you makes you a writer," I thought of it that way, but I haven't really thought of it that way in that context, now seeing it on the blank page made me express so much emotion that I made myself a writher by pushing myself to be a writer. Well I don't know it just gives a reader insight and care towards writing. Well have a good day.

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