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  Issue #63

Free Writers' Newsletter

   May 24, 2008  


Motherhood and Writing
By Marcella Simmons

When I first started writing professionally, there was little time to pursue my career because of family demands and pressures beyond my control. There was laundry, teacher/parent conferences, parties, homework, meals every day, one baby in diapers, one in training panties and the other into everything they could get their little two or three year old hands on. It was hard finding time to write, or anything else for that matter. Writing Contests - Click Here

But now, with my last nearing her nineteenth birthday, and her finally moving to a place of her own, I still have trouble getting anything accomplished. Just about the time I sit down at the computer, here comes baby number one who is now twenty-eight with her three little ones in tow, and she wants to know if I’ll babysit a few hours while she goes in for a job interview. Their daddy’s at work, other Grandma is out of town and all the aunts and uncles are not at home. So that leaves me. Where does that leave my writing time? Today was a good day too! I had the house spotless, hubby dearest is working a long day at his job, and I had the house to myself for a full eight hours with nothing to do but write.

Now, with one three year old underfoot, and two other kids fighting over the remote, I decide it’s time to join them in the living room.

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The day passes. Five hours pass by. I fix lunch, wash the lunch dishes, get the kids down for a nap, and I hear a knock at the door. I think, oh boy, she’s back to pick up the kids. Wrong. It’s my youngest daughter with her baby, and a neighbour’s girl who is two. “I am babysitting till six,” she said. “I need diaper money or otherwise I wouldn’t keep other people’s kids,” she explained.

“Be quiet, I just got Tina’s three down for an afternoon nap. What is it?” I ask, noticing that she wanted to ask me but only fidgeted for a few minutes.

“I hate to ask you, but I needed to go to the unemployment office before two today – I had an appointment for next week, but they called and rescheduled. I have to be there today. Can you watch these two until I get back? Please, Mom. I’m sorry but Tina wasn’t home and I have to be there or I won't get an unemployment check next week.”

So that wraps it up. Just because my children are grown doesn’t stop there. They still need me and that’s just the way it is. My entire day was spent looking after five kids. I picked up after them after their mothers’ came and I looked at the clock. It was time for supper. By the time I was finished cleaning the kitchen that evening, I was beat. I went to bed at nine-thirty – my entire day – the only day I had off and had a little time for myself – was over and done with. Maybe next week will be better.

With my last child finally taking on a few responsibilities of her own, I have to dedicate at least two hours per day to write. If it means getting up two hours earlier, I guess that’s what I’ll have to do. It would be a crying shame to see seventeen years of professional writing go to waste.

Several years ago, I was raising six children on my own and I worked for a local newspaper. During the three and a half years I spent writing front-page news, features, fillers and classifieds, little did I know it at the time that I was paving a way for my writing career. With several hundred published credits in several newspapers and various other publications, I have gained a lot of experience and also data to put on my resume.

Being on the newspaper payroll was okay but I got paid minimum wage for writing and at the time, it seemed fair enough. But better paying jobs came along and you bet this single mother of six took them. We were one step away from being on the welfare chain and I had to find better ways of making a living. Tired and exhausted at the end of the day, I didn’t feel much like sitting in an easy chair and watching a good movie with my kids let alone sitting down and working at my computer.

Motherhood has its moments and believe me, I’ve seen times I wanted to run away from it all. There were times I almost packed up my computer and chucked it up as a bad business venture. But something inside me kept me from doing either. I loved my children and dedicated many long years to raising them the best I could on a single parents’ income. I loved writing too and barely kept it going by writing in my journal and writing occasional fillers from time to time.

Now with my children all gone and I have much more free time than before (I still operate a part-time home business which pays my few bills, and yes, I remarried three years ago!). I quit working for the newspaper many years ago but it was an experience that helped shape my writing career today.

I try and dedicate at least three to five hours a day writing when I can afford to spare the time, and good has come from it. I’ve gotten one book of poetry published, three children’s books written and being marketed, a romance/suspense novel on the market, another Christian/romance/suspense novel in the works, and I am working on a reference guide for beginning writers and poets. I am a busy lady, needless to say!

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I now have four beautiful granddaughters and three handsome grandsons and believe me, I love being with them as much as possible. When they come over, I dedicate as much free time as I can and enjoy every moment of it. Being a mother was a wonderful experience but being a grandmother is the grandest experience I’ve known yet. When I tire out, I can send them home. That’s the beauty of it! Besides, I have plenty more good things to write about!

Many years have passed since I started my writing career, and many changes have come my way. But if I had it to do over again, you bet I would! Being a writer has been one of the most full-filling experiences I’ve ever known!

About the author
Marcella Simmons has been writing professionally since 1988 – she has over 650 published credits in over 350 small press publications nationwide. In 2005, Simmons had her first book of poetry published, and is working on several book projects at this time. She continues to write a regular weekly column for a local newspaper in her hometown, as well as many other writing projects. "Writing is a way of life for me," she says. Simmons is the mother of eight children (all are grown now) and she has seven grandchildren with another on the way. "My family is also a way of life for me, and my inspiration."

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In this issue:

Spelling conventions

fwn uses English spelling conventions. Spellings such as "realise" "colour", "theatre", "cancelled", etc. differ from other spelling conventions but are nonetheless correct. 


Competition for novels and novellas
Roastbooks is looking for brilliant new writers to submit entries for their first series of short novels and novellas. The deadline is June 1, 2008.

Winners will be published and distributed this autumn. Entry is free.

For more information go to, or send submissions to submissions@

For over 150 other contests, click here

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Do you have an abandoned novel?
Teton River Productions, Inc., of Round Rock, Texas, are planning to publish a book of opening chapters to novels that have never been finished in summer 2009.

Almost all genres are accepted, but no erotic fiction, romance novels or children's books. The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2008, and ten winning authors will receive royalty contracts.

For more details, go to

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Put your poems to the public
Chapter One Promotions invites submissions to its annual poetry competition.

Award winning poet, Linda Lee Welch, will select the top twenty entries and the public votes for their favourite. Top prizes: £1000, £500 and £250.

Poems up to 30 lines will be accepted until June 1, 2008. Voting will be open between July 1 and July 15, 2008, and one voter picked at random will receive £100.

For more information, go to www.chapterone

For over 60 poetry contests, click here 

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© 2008
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