Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Learning to Zip it!

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"If you don't stop talking, I'm going to stuff you inside your desk!" My fifth grade teacher's face puckered into such a tight, twitching frown, I couldn't help but laugh... 

Which did little to help my cause.

(Obviously, this was before Facebook, Buzzfeed articles, and sue-happy parents. Not that I'd be particularly pleased if a teacher said that to my fifth grader, when she was in fifth grade, that is, but I'm pretty sure I deserved every ounce of exasperation my teacher tossed my way.)

"Can you please be quiet for one minute?" my poor, frazzled mother often pleaded.

Sadly, the answer was always the same--no. It seems if something zips through my brain, it's only a manner of nanoseconds before it zips right back out--through my mouth or keyboard. 

I've always been... wordy, a trait I'm often thankful for, sitting on this side of the computer screen, for really, where would a writer be if they had nothing to say? But even so, I'm learning--still!--that even writers need to keep their big mouths shut on occasion. On many occasions, actually.

"Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions" (Proverbs 18:2 NLT).

Am I the only one that thought of Facebook as I read that verse? Everyone's got an opinion, right? And sadly, everyone has an online platform to air that opinion, often quite loudly, as if a snarky Facebook update will somehow instantly change our world. 

In a way, I suppose it might, although dare I say not in a good way? 

What if, like this verse implies, we spent less time yapping and more time listening (or reading)--more time truly trying to understand one another? How many arguments would be avoided? How many friendships preserved? 

"The mouths of fools are their ruin; they trap themselves with their lips" (Proverbs 18:7 NLT).

Ouch. I've learned the truth of this verse numerous times, from both sides of the issue. Sometimes I've done well, by God's grace alone, and have held my tongue when it would've been easier to
Photo by imagerymajeestic
taken from freedigitalphotos.net
pop something off, but sadly, there have been other times my words have stirred the tension pot. 

So this is my lesson this week--to be, as James put it in James 1:19, "quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry" NLT).

What about you? Are you normally pretty good about thinking before you speak? When does this most tend to be a struggle for you? What about when you feel attacked? How can you keep from popping back in kind and, like James urged, be slow to speak and slow to get angry? 

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. We can all learn from each other!

But, before you go... 

I want to invite you to join my street team! Not sure what that is? Let me tell you. ;) 

A street team is a writer's inner circle of readers. Basically, they're a group of freaders (friends and readers. I just made that word up. Are you impressed? ... Yeah, me, neither.) Anyway, a street team is a group of folks, like you, who enjoy a writers writing enough that they want to tell others about it. (This can be such a huge help to writers!) In return, they get fun perks like free autographed books, first peak at covers, are invited to help name characters that will appear in upcoming novels (if I wrote suspense, that could really be fun, right?? haha!); they'll get to read deleted scenes no one else will get to see, and more! 

Sound fun? It will be, I promise!

Here's what's expected of street team members:

  • Tell your friends, family, co-workers, the random strangers you meet on the street, about the book. (Assuming you like it, of course!) You can do this by:
  • Posting reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnesandnoble.com, etc.
  • Sharing links (and links to reviews) on Facebook and Twitter
  • Sending invites to friends and family for an author's events
  • Inviting friends over for chocolate and skype with an author parties
  • Attaching post-it notes to random vehicles with the phrase, "Please read this book:--" Um... on second thought, don't do that one, please. I'd hate to scare people. 

So, I'm out of ideas now... Your turn! 


  1. It makes me think of one time in early elementary school when I got in trouble for talking (hard to believe I know). The teacher made me sit under her desk! Ha! Must have worked. I don't think I ever got in trouble for talking again. : )

  2. Oh, my! That is so funny! (Now! I imagine it wasn't so funny at the time.