In a letter to his church at Corinth, the apostle Paul told the people, A little leaven leavens the whole mound of dough. That’s so true, isn’t it?
Every day is made up of hundreds of thousands of moments and experiences, some of them good, some of them not so good. Ever notice that when someone asks how you’re doing, the answer will depend on what kind of leaven is in your bread on that particular day?
Early last week, a co-worker took the time to seek me out first thing in the morning and compliment me on the outcome of a project I’d been struggling with. Her kindness set the tone of the day. It lifted my spirits like yeast to bread and put a positive spin on everything that happened for the rest of the day. I felt appreciated. Life was good.
Three days ago I signed a contract with Black Lyon Publishing for my new contemporary romance, Shadow Lake (coming this spring!!) My publisher was lavish with her praise. I don’t mind telling you, my loaf rose to the top of the oven.
Yesterday one of my books received a horrid customer review on Amazon. I hesitate to even call it a review, because it felt more like an attack. I’m not opposed to criticism. Without it, how would a writer ever learn? But this person went above and beyond, even going so far as to say it was “the worst thing I ever wasted my time on.”
To put another spin on Paul’s words, a little arsenic poisons an entire vat of soup. Though that particular book received rave reviews from pro review sites and customers alike, the woman’s harsh criticism stayed with me. I couldn’t quite shake it off. It colored everything in my day a cold, dark shade of gray.
Have I discouraged someone with my words this week? Have I made a thoughtless comment and darkened someone else’s day? God, I hope not.
Words are like leaven. It is our responsibility to use them wisely. As writers. And as human beings.