A few days ago, I planned to use what I thought was a Mark Twain quote as the subject of a post.

It turned out Twain didn’t say it.

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He did say this one, and It fits today’s prompt, “right” so today we’ll get some advice from a literary giant.


There is a great quote about how good it is to be wise about when you speak and what you say.

It’s a pretty good piece of advice.

It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.

Mark Twain or Abraham Lincoln or somebody else

I think about the quote a lot. I thought Mark Twain said it, and I planned to call this post “Advice from a literary giant,” but it appears he didn’t.

I don’t know who arranged the words the way they appear in the pull quote, but a similar verse is in Proverbs.

It’s right no matter who said it.

I have found it is much wiser for me to choose my words carefully than it is for me to say anything I haven’t taken the time to think about.

When I’m in a hurry to comment and don’t take time to listen, I’ve noticed my comments are far more likely to be stupid.

You can’t get a stupid comment back so I try to take Solomon’s advice (or Mark Twain’s, Abraham Lincoln or somebody else) and shut my mouth more than I open it.

This post is a response to Sue’s prompt, which is “advice.”

Each time I get writer’s block, which is often, I look for writing prompts to make the light bulb come on.
It’s generally a good bet no matter which list of prompts I read, the question of why I write — or some variation of it — will be included.
So I decided to answer it. (more…)