As many of you know, my mom is very important to me. Not only has she provided me with a lifetime of love, guidance, and laughter, but she’s also been my biggest cheerleader as I pursue my writing dreams.
If it wasn’t for my mom, I might still be writing behind a locked door, quiet as a mouse, cautiously saving my stories under names like “Comparative Politics Study Guide 2” (no joke) to make sure nobody ever read them. I was terrified I’d be judged–teased–mocked.
Thankfully, my mom put a kibosh on those fears a couple of years after I graduated college. As I complained to her about my job and explained how unhappy it made me, she asked, “Well, what do you want to do? What will make you happy?”
After a lot of hemming and hawing, I confessed, “I want to be a writer.”
“Then do it!”
Her enthusiastic response gave me the strength I needed to tiptoe out of the “writer’s closet” and embark upon a career I love.
So thank you, Mom, for helping me overcome my fears. And for convincing me my dreams weren’t stupid and I should go after them with all of my might.
My mom has done more than kickstart my writing journey. She’s also stuck by my side throughout it, holding on tight as I’ve hopped, skipped, and crashed down the industry’s rocky path.
In 2008, she celebrated my first completed manuscript…And then comforted me as I received rejection letter after rejection letter for it.
In 2009, she supported my decision to set aside my first novel and begin writing a new one…And then freaked out with me a year later when a Hollywood producer optioned it.
In 2011 and 2012, she helped me rewrite, revise, and edit my optioned work (again and again and again)…And then picked me up and dusted me off in 2013 when my contract expired and I was sent back to square one.
In 2014, she urged me to be brave and take on new challenges, learn and grow, and become a better writer…And then cheered for me when my hard work paid off.
Now, in 2015, she has convinced me it’s okay to let go of the past, embrace new ideas, and begin working on a new project.
So thank you, Mom, for sticking with me through the good, the bad, and the ugly. And for helping me realize nothing is ever over until I give up and quit.
Seriously, my mom is amazing! More than amazing. Special. It takes someone like her–calm, firm, and understanding–to deal with a writer like me–perfectionist, borderline manic, and neurotic.
I mean it. Most people would run out the door if they ever encountered me on a writing day. They wouldn’t know how to deal with my roller coaster temperament, detached demeanor, or crazy hair.
AHHHHHH! Run for your lives!
But my mom has never run away. She has always been willing to brave the Writing Beast I become when I hit the zone, and deal with my wacky behavior: the short fuse, the lack of focus during real-life conversations, the self-deprecation, the fatigue, the obsession…
So thank you, Mom, for remaining patient, compassionate, and calm whenever I go into my crazy writing mode. And for also grounding me when I need it most.
Every writer needs someone who can push them without breaking them. Someone who can read their work and give them 100% honest feedback. Someone who makes them a better writer.
For me, that’s my mom. I can rely on her to read my stories and tell me exactly what she thinks.
“You have a good start, but I think it needs (blank).”
“I like the premise, but I didn’t feel enough (blank).”
“I loved (blank), but I didn’t love (blank).”
As you can see, my mom’s a master at the sandwich technique (good-bad-good). But what makes her advice so valuable is that I trust it. If she thinks a plot is dull, then I won’t use it. If she believes a character is cliche, then I’ll add depth or spin them in a different direction. If she wants more suspense–more drama–more horror–more more, then I’ll give more.
So thank you, Mom, for pushing me to be a better writer. And for always demanding I take my stories to the next level.
I might have a lot of people in my life who support me and my writing ambitions, but it’s my mom who’s there for me the most.
She’s the one who’s always willing to sit and listen to me brainstorm for hours about plots and characters. She’s the one who will read draft one, two, three, four, five, six, seven…She’s the one who will shake sense into me, dust me off, and push me to keep going. She’s the one who believes in me–completely.
And because of that–because of her–I know I’ll reach my dreams someday.
So thank you, Mom. For everything.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!