Emerge Unstoppable in 2011!

Emerge Unstoppable in 2011! That's my mission this year. Join me as I blog about life during divorce, raising a three year old, and the fight to live one's dream of being a writer, a graphic designer, a prayerfully a success at it all.

Monday, March 21, 2011

ABCs for New Writers - "C" is for Closed Mouth

In the beginning I did say that Malleable Monday is what you make it and these ABCs are for NEW writers, right? Well, some of us who have been at it for a while need this same gentle reminder: In order to learn about anything you must close your mouth and open your mind. In essence, no matter how good you think you are, you still have more to learn. We all do!

Seriously, don’t pay good money to attend a conference, class or workshop unless you are going to listen. Don’t monopolize a conversation with your tidbits of wisdom unless they are called for. Stop and think if what you want to contribute is truly relevant. I’m not preachin’ I’m just sayin’.

Look, I don’t share these things because I know best. I offer my tidbits to save you a little time, frustration and money. Be it a class that is boasted as one thing and turns out to be another, or a conference you have high expectations for only to be let down, a blog post or a conversation with a dear friend, there is always (ALWAYS) something to sink your teeth into – to learn.

Take today’s Petit Fours and Hot Tamales post by fellow writer, Sally Kilpatrick. She paid attention in church and found comparison between storytelling and accompaniment. She discussed how beautiful words can often mask a poor storyline and how instead the writing should be an accompanist, like a good organist, not to overshadow an intriguing plot. I was listening recently when fellow author C.L. Wilson spoke about the most touching review she ever received. Her tearful confession was one I needed to hear. She said that many people will read your works, some will be happy and some won’t, but those who you are privileged enough to touch are the ones that truly matter.

Writer or human, if you are going to be privy to impacting someone’s life, their soul or spirit, don’t you want to be as well informed as possible? Balanced? I’m not saying don’t contribute. And, if you know me, you know I’m not saying don’t stand up for what you believe. What I am trying to convey is the importance of paying attention, listening to what others and your surroundings have to offer, because ultimately, it will be what you share too. Everything comes and goes full circle. Gain wisdom that you’ll be proud to extend some day.

It’s time for you to join the conversation. Is there something you’ve picked up on recently in a place or situation that you weren’t otherwise happy with? Have you found yourself offering unwarranted advice to others instead of just listening to what they have to say? Leave a comment for your peers.

Until Wisdom Wednesday, I remain tight-lipped and Unstoppable.


  1. Good advice for all of us, not just new writers!!!

  2. Tanya, this was a hard lesson for me. I can't imagine why (fingers crossed, blaming parents who are currently reading this comment, wink-wink). I came to my first GRW meeting thinking I knew it all and found out in the first 10 minutes that I was such a newbie. OMG! So grateful now for the direction and support of friends like you and my two wonderful crit partners Pam Asberry and Pamela Mason. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I guess I'm lucky, because I came to my first GRW meeting knowing I knew NOTHING! Seriously, this is sage advice. It doesn't matter where I am or who I'm with, I can always learn something if I be still and pay attention. Of course, in my old age I have to write it down or I will probably forget it... ;-) Great post, Lindy!

  4. LOL Pam. No joke about writing it down. Otherwise its in one ear and out the other. May be cliche, but very, very true. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Thank you for the "write it down" comment, Pam! When I have an idea these days and I'm away from my computer, I have to text myself a reminder. Sad, sad, sad... Great advice, Lindy! I was asked by a marketing student recently what is the most important skill in marketing; I told him it was the ability to listen. Not sure he believed me.

  6. Megan, we come from the same old school. Communications 101, Day 1, Lesson 1 - Listen. Of course, that was back in 1987 when 5-1/2" floppys were powering our 256 bit computers. Now, my remote external drive has a memory capacity I've never even heard of. I applaud you for becomming a teacher and hope this is a lesson you will teach often. I also hope you will be heard. Thanks for sharing.