Do you like to bake?
I’ve had my share of ups and downs when it comes to the world of cooking. It’s long been a standing joke in my family that all they have to do is follow the smoke to our house and they’d know I was cooking.
And the thing is, I actually
kinda, sorta, enjoy working in the kitchen.
There’s nothing better than the aroma of fresh baked bread, or peanut butter cookies, or chocolate cake, or…well, you get the idea.
I always connect those scents to my childhood. We always walked home from school and never thought twice about seeing my mom busy baking for the family. Often there would be warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies on the counter waiting for our grubby little fingers, a roast in the oven tempting our taste buds, and a welcoming smile on her rosy cheeks.
She always made it look so easy.
Then I grew up and realized just how much work went into those tasty treats we took for granted. My efforts were much more like Lucy’s:
You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this.
I equate baking to writing.
How, you say?
Some people are naturals, anything they put on the page comes out sounding fresh and entertaining—perfect.
But when you cut into the heart of it, the center may seem underdone, lacking in flavor—mediocre.
How do we overcome this to become true culinary chefs in our writing instead of merely cooks?
Maybe if Lucy had admitted to being overwhelmed, her boss might have offered her a few tips and a little guidance.
I’ve found the writing community to be kind and generous with information, so don’t be afraid.
I think one of the things that has helped me the most is critique groups. I belong to a local group of ladies who are invaluable, and a fantastic Romance Writers of America chapter called, Kiss of Death, or KOD for short. One of their programs, Lethal Ladies, is an online critiquing group where a writer turns in a chapter at a time and in return critiques other members work. I can’t imagine what I would have done without their guidance and support. For more information, or if you would like to become a member of Lethal Ladies contact Jacquie Biggar: Jbiggar@jacqbiggar.com
You have to be a little bit brave. Just like when you put the ingredients of your baking together and nourish it to completion, you have to send them out to be consumed. Your book is waiting for hungry minds to give it a taste.
It’s not always easy taking criticism, and yet, it’s so rewarding when that pan comes out of the oven and your family’s eyes light up with joy.
If you never try, how will you know what you can accomplish?
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