Be True to You

This is a guest post by Merrilee Browne Boyack.Boyack, is a crazed woman who loves eating and taking naps when she can. She is an estate-planning attorney who conducts her law practice from home. She graduated with High Honors from Brigham Young University with a degree in Business Management””Finance and was a summa cum laude graduate from University of Santa Clara Law School. Boyack is also a professional lecturer, a very popular speaker at BYU Education Week and Time Out for Women. She authored “The Parenting Breakthrough”, “Strangling Your Husband Is NOT an Option”, “Toss the Guilt and Catch the Joy” and “In Trying Times, Just Keep Trying”, published by The Deseret Book Company. And she’s written “Waterfall Memories: A Parable of Motherhood” and “Book of Mormon Children” published by Cedar Fort Book Publishing.

Merrilee and her husband, Steve, have four sons ages 21-30, and two perfect grandchildren. She is a Poway City Councilwoman. Boy Scout volunteer and a community activist. She has received many awards for leadership and community service. Her favorite kitchen appliance is a telephone. Her interests include reading, camping, talking, eating out and helping children in Africa. She has lectured throughout the country, combining lots of humor with an informative style.

My son is a writer. That just seems so incredible for me to say. You see, in high school, Connor hated English class with a passion and most especially hated the writing assignments. He had been a voracious reader until he turned 14 when he quit, cold turkey. Strangest thing.

But something happened to him on his mission. He began to read again and to study. He came home a writer. Since then, he has published his first book on his 30th birthday (Latter-day Liberty by Connor Boyack, published by Cedar Fort). He writes a blog ( that is read by thousands. He regularly publishes op-ed articles in the newspaper. It’s incredible.

His writing style is highly cerebral and very deep. You have to get out your dictionary and crank up your brain cells to read his stuff. He mostly writes about political themes and is passionate, very opinionated, and serious.

I am a speaker who writes. So my books are funny, practical, and read like a conversation. They are completely different from my son’s in every way.I, too, am a writer. I have been speaking and writing for decades. My first book, The Parenting Breakthrough, was published when Connor was an adult and chronicles raising him and his brothers to be independent adults. My 7th book will be coming out in May entitled Book ofMormon Children: A Collection of Stories Set in Book of Mormon Times. My 8th book will be coming out in July. I have written on parenting, marriage, self-help, inspirational themes, and fiction.

I had to admit, I had a little crisis over it. Should I increase the intellectual level of my writing? Should I make it more cerebral?

But now I have relaxed a bit. I realized that we both have a gift. We both can express ourselves well. But our gift is very different. We write to different audiences and reach them in different ways. And that is to be celebrated.And then I began to try to change his writing. I kept telling him to be more practical, use more stories, lighten up.

As a writer and as a speaker, it is critical to be authentic. You must be true to you. As you are true to your own experience and your own gift, that will ring true to your audience as well.

Of course, sometimes I still think Connor should take a chill pill. I’m still his mom, after all.

One thought on “Be True to You

  • April 3, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    ah, i know how you feel…i had a little crisis when my brother published a book, but now i’ve taken that chill pill and grateful for his success.

    all the best to the boyacks too!

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