My Mom: My Inspiration – My Nag

“You’re a writer. You can write our stories.”

I can’t tell you how many times my mother said that to me. It made no difference to her that I was a business writer, not a creative writer. When she got an idea in her head, she didn’t let it go.

Turns out Mom intuitively understood one very important thing about effective communication. Research shows that you have to say something three times for a person to remember they heard it at all. You have to say it an average of seven times before a person will act on what you’ve said. Come to think of it, all moms may come with this knowledge programmed in their DNA.

As a public relations person who told clients that very thing about repetition countless times, I somehow overlooked that it applied to me, too. But Mom got it. She was persistent in the way my mother was always persistent. I could do what she asked sooner or I could do it later, but I was going to do it.

Because of Mom, I wrote my memoir, a collection of stories about growing up on a family farm in the middle of America, in the middle of the 20th Century. Mine was a happy childhood on a farm like the farms people these days like to idolize.

Every time I share ‘growing up country’ stories with a group at a library or conference or book club, I give thanks to my mom who was my inspiration, my communication teacher, and–let’s be honest–my nag.

Thanks, Mom! Because of you, I got a lot of things done!


  1. Mom’s always know, don’t they? And have a way of making sure we do the things we are supposed to do in life. Nagging…encouraging. Same thing, right? Thanks for sharing, Carol!

  2. Your mom’s a dear and she was so right. Thanks for sharing a glimpse and a photo of your mom with us.

  3. Ha, ha, yes, 5-7 times before they act. Thanks for sharing. She was right, of course, and such a dear mom. Love that smile!

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