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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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!
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
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