5 ways my mom made me a writer

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Although my mom isn’t a writer, I owe a lot to her for making me one. She did this in five big ways:

She read to us

My mom reads like a fiend and she read to us all the time when we were little. Narnia, The Hobbit, The Just So Stories, A Wrinkle In Time, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and countless others. She taught us to love stories – I can still remember how excited I was when I got into first grade and found out I was going to learn to read for myself.

She took us to the library

Every two weeks in the summer, she’d drive us to the library – not the tiny one up the street, but the big one that was a little farther off. I’d make a b-line for the YA section and grab anything that looked interesting, and take home a whole stack of books I could only hope would last me two weeks.

She home-schooled us

Most kids spend six hours a day in class and still have homework in the evening. They’re so busy cramming their heads with facts, they don’t have time to experiment with hobbies and figure out what they really want to do. When you’re home-schooled, you have a certain amount of work to do per day or week, and once you’re done with it, you’re free. On a good day, I could get everything done bynoon.

 

She made us amuse ourselves

You’d think with all that free time, we’d get bored. Well, sometimes we did. But every time we complained to Mom about it, she would say “You could always clean out the garage” or something to that effect, which meant we quickly learned not to depend on her for entertainment. Instead, we learned to amuse ourselves – which naturally lead to reading, which itself naturally led to writing (for two out of three of us).

 

She never told us we couldn’t

Although we understood that we had to lead productive lives and make real money, neither she nor my dad ever told us we couldn’t become writers (or a singer, which was what I wanted to be for most of my childhood). However, we also didn’t ask them to spend vast amounts of money to feed our hobbies; we didn’t ask them to buy us fancy computers or send us to expensive writer’s camps. I guess the message behind that is, if your kid really wants to do it, he’ll find a way with or without a big stack of money.

Happy Mother’s Day!

About Stephanie Orges

Stephanie is an award-winning copywriter, aspiring novelist, and barely passable ukulele player. Here, she offers writing prompts, tips, and moderate-to-deep philosophical discussions. You can also find her on and Pinterest.
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20 Comments

  1. What lovely words penned about your Mom. I enjoyed how she influenced who you became. Seems to me like she did a great job! So nice to feel your thankfulness. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. LOVE this post. It totally makes me think of my mom.

    I’ve been home schooled since kindergarten actually, which to my parents meant teaching me to read, then letting me read as much as I want, usually something like 8 hours a day. When I hit high school they got a lot more formal (believe it or not, until then I’d never done any English homework at all!). But I’m still very glad I got the childhood I did. Although I don’t always love home schooling I’m glad my parents have set me up for so much success.

    • Yes! Homeschoolers ROCK!!! Okay…regaining my composure…ditto to a lot of that, but opposite. My parents actually got less formal as we went on. I barely took “real” English in high school – just did a lot of work on my book. I guess it worked! Sounds like it’s working for you, too.

  3. What wonderful memories! It sounds like your Mom was also your muse, and she did a great job! Your post reminds me of the relationship I have with my daughter. Sunday is not only Happy Mother’s Day, it is also…

    Happy Daughter’s Day!!

  4. Great post. I agree – i think my Mum reading to me, taking me to the library to choose books, and encouraging me to be creative has really helped me to become a writer.

  5. Lovely! Mom’s are our first educators. Your mother sounds like she was one of the great ones.

  6. Aw, I love this. My mom also read to me and always took me to the library as a kid. If not for her, I doubt I’d enjoy reading as much as I do now.

    • Me too! A lot of people call Mother’s Day a frou-frou holiday; I disagree. We need to take time every now and then to remind ourselves about all the things our parents have done for us.

  7. Thanks for sharing what your mom did for you. I hope it inspires other moms to do the same.

  8. You’re one of three children and two of you are writers? That is so cool. Do you crit each others work?

    • Yep! My brother and I. We even co-ran a writers group for awhile. We definitely critique each other. He’s helped me fix huge plot problems I-don’t-know how many times.

  9. A fellow home-schooler!

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