Tag Archives: Butt in chair

BIC (Butt in chair)


Butt in chair. That’s what Jane Yolen says is the secret to her productive writing. Keep your behind in the chair, hands on the keyboard, get your work done. 

 This is how Jane puts it: “ Want to know my secret? BIC. That’s right. BIC. Butt in chair. There is no other single thing that will help you more to become a writer. 

 William Faulkner said: ‘I write only when I’m inspired. Fortunately I’m inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.’ 


 Jane Yolen has been called the Hans Chistian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the 20th century because of her many fairy tales and storybooks. She is the author of over 300 books the last time I checked. Although, it could be well over a 1,000 by now. She keeps her BIC. 

 I first became acquainted with Jane’s writing in 1988 when my daughter Hayley was born. As a new dad and mum we were on the search to bring some good children’s books into the house and we stumbled on Jane’s book Owl Moon: a beautiful picture book about a dad and daughter heading out on a wintry, moonlit night to listen for owls.Image

Of course, Owl Moon, is a book I should’ve written. And a lot of my nature writing friends say the same. But Jane did. Good for her. 

 Owl Moon won the Caldecott Medal in 1987 for its stunning illustrations by John Schoenherr. 

 I’m so excited to be attending Jane’s first Picture Book Boot Camp next week when 12 children’s book authors gather at her house where Jane will lead a Master Class for published professionals.

 I feel a little like the Beatles when they left England for a retreat to study meditation in Rishikesh, India at the foot of the master Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. South Londonderry, Vermont to Hatfield, MA is not as far as London to India…but enough of me trying to tie in Beatle references. Image


Time to get my game face on and do as Jane says…BIC!


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