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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Things Your Mother Told You about Writing by DiAnn Mills

Things Your Mother Told You about Writing
By DiAnn Mills

Our mothers are notorious for passing out advice about life. Sometimes their guidelines are appreciated and sometimes not so much. The older we grow, the smarter our mothers become. Quotes from mothers play an inspiring role in the lives of writers.

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” Mark Twain

How much of Mark Twain was in Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn? Did he attempt to take a raft down the Mississippi? Escape from painting a fence? Fall in love with a pretty little girl named Becky?

Mark Twain? He got into trouble?
“I got to grow up with a mother who taught me to believe in me.”
Antonio Villaraigosa

Mothers desire their children to become a productive member of society. When they believe in us and our aspirations, we become superheroes—at least in their eyes. Thanks, Mom!
Thanks, Mom, for believing in me.

“Mothers are all slightly insane."
J.D. Salinger

That’s probably 90% spot-on for mothers of writers. Where else would we inherit the genes that lead to creativity?  We look at life a little skewed, and then we’re thrilled with the words to describe it. Sprinkle sensory perception onto the page with strong nouns and verbs, and the writer has penned a crazy adventure.

“That strong mother doesn't tell her cub, Son, stay weak so the wolves can get you. She says, Toughen up, this is reality we are living in.”
Lauryn Hill

A wise mother provides guidance for her children to accept the hard knocks of life, like rejections, bad reviews, low advances, and publishing house changes. Toughen up! Hey Mom, no wolf is going to eat me!

“My mother taught me about the power of inspiration and courage, and she did it with a strength and a passion that I wish could be bottled.”
Carly Fiorina

Every writer needs a cheerleader, and who does it best but a mother? Writers need self-confidence to stand up under the pressures of an often hectic writing scheduled. When a writer slips in the confidence arena, her work suffers until she snatches courage and gains her momentum. Go Mom!

“My mother used to spank me for lying. Now I get paid for it. “
DiAnn Mills

Yep, this is mine, and it’s true. Of course she purchased a new bookcase and challenged me to fill it up. And I have. My stories aren’t driven by filling up Mom’s shelves, but it does offer a good chuckle.

Mothers are an asset to writers. They take up for us at family reunions when well-meaning relatives ask why we don’t have a day job. They read our stories and tell everyone about our incredible talent. They pass our books among their friends and offer bookmarks. But most of all, mothers love us and that’s the best news of all.

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at


  1. Love your quote the best! Ha! Thanks for sharing, DiAnn.

  2. Ah, yes. I used to get spanked for lying, too. Love getting paid to do it. When church people turn their noses up at fiction, and then someone asks me what I do, I calmly tell them, "I'm a professional liar."

  3. Um... I challenge the quote about lying.

    If you're writing fiction, you're not lying. Your telling truths through fiction (at least I hope you are!).

    "They read our stories and tell everyone about our incredible talent."

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. My mother used to pick things out of the trash that I'd thrown away. She still has them! Yikes!

  4. Carrie Lynn, I know what you're saying, and I'm embedding truths, but it's fiction. My characters aren't real. The story isn't real. Only the Biblical truths people can learn from what my characters do are real. :)

  5. Ane,

    Your points are taken and acknowledged. Nothing outside the Truths of the Bible are true.

    Perhaps I'm straining at gnats, but I've heard the argument too often that the opposite of fact (read truth) is fiction. In fact, I wrestled with that idea to such an extent that I turned my back on writing for many years. I wanted nothing to do with telling lies, even though I loved to write stories.

    Then, somehow, I realized that the opposite of truth is not fiction; it's lie. That led to the realization that the opposite of fiction is not truth; its nonfiction.

    It's from that viewpoint that I responded. I don't want other new writers to fall into the same trap into which I fell.

    So no offense taken and none given, I hope.



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