I’ve made no secret of the fact that much of my inspiration for writing comes from my family. Some of that inspiration comes from observation while some of it comes directly from the lessons they teach me, and some of the best lessons I’ve ever learned came from my mother. She’s one of the wisest people I know, and many of her lessons have made their way as much into my personal life as into my stories. They say “write what you know”, and much of what I know about life comes from her!

So this week, I’d like to dedicate my creative writing post to my amazing role model and share three of my favorite lessons from her that inspire my stories. Enjoy, and thanks for the inspiration, Mom!

1) Marry someone with whom you share mutual love and respect.

every_man_and_woman_quoteAs I’ve mentioned a few times before, my parents are my greatest inspiration for romance. They talk about everything, laugh with each other often, and clearly love and respect each other immensely. That’s why most of the romantic relationships in my stories are between people who start out as friends and who would go to the ends of the Earth for one another. My mom clearly didn’t settle when it came to choosing her life partner because my dad does everything to make her happy and take care of their family. At the same time, he isn’t exactly the easiest person to live with, yet she always seems to know how to talk to him and what to say to keep him content (an art I’m still trying to master myself).

It’s this amazing balance that I try to practice in my personal life, as well as give my characters when I want to convey how much they really care for each other. True love is hard to find, so I’m lucky to have such excellent role models in my parents. One of the best lessons my mom taught me is that a woman should be loving and understanding, and should never settle for a partner who doesn’t appreciate how wonderful she is!

2) Being a mom is the hardest job in the world.

parent_of_a_teenagerOne of the qualities I admire most about my mom is how great she is at being a mother. She always took excellent care of me and my sisters, guiding us through life and protecting us from the dangers of the world while still giving us the freedom to develop our own personalities. Now as an adult taking on my own responsibilities, it’s become clear to me in hindsight how much my mother truly did to give us a happy childhood. Raising three daughters and running a household were definitely challenges in and of themselves, yet she always made them seem effortless. And on top of everything, I didn’t exactly make the job any easier for her when I was growing up. Let’s just say I went through some attitude issues in my early teens and she had to bear the brunt, always handling the situation with a level of patience that I couldn’t even dream of. I can only imagine the challenges that lie ahead if I ever become a mom!

Whenever I write characters who are mothers, I try to keep in mind the difficulty of the job and imagine backstories for them full of the trials of raising children by drawing inspiration from everything my mother has done for her family. And not to speak too highly of how I think I turned out, but I believe she did a pretty great job!

3) There’s no relationship like the bond between and a mother and daughter!

I admit it: every time I watch Pixar’s Brave, it makes me want to hug my mother and tell her I’m sorry for everything I ever put her through. The story of Princess Merida and Queen Elinor is reminiscent of the relationship I had with my mom growing up: she taught me everything she could about being a lady, yet being a stubborn tomboy who mostly took after her father, I didn’t always see eye-to-eye with her. Still, I appreciate all her efforts to raise me into a “princess”, and while I often rebelled as a child, I understand now that she always had my best interests at heart and that she was the only one who could ever have taken on the task. As much as I’ve learned from my father and my sisters over the years, my relationship with my mother will always be special and unique!

brave_merida_and_elinor

Princess Merida and her mother, Queen Elinor (Brave, 2012)

Much like how the story turns out for Merida and Elinor, I like to think my mom’s efforts did pay off in the end and that we have a great friendship today. No matter how many times we’ve argued in the past, my mother is still my greatest role model, and I can only hope that if I ever have a daughter of my own someday, I can be at least half the guardian, mentor, and inspiration to her as my mom is to me. For now, though, I’ll simply have to settle for modeling some of my characters after her and using her lessons as inspiration for my stories, both fictional and real life!

What about you? Have you ever drawn creative inspiration from your mother’s lessons? What sorts of stories or poetry has she inspired?

Today’s post is dedicated to my mother, whose love and lessons have always been a wonderful inspiration to me. Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

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