The Life of a Non-Writer

What can I accomplish with the time and energy I have?

Anna Burgess Yang
5 min readJan 6, 2019


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

A common “crowdsourcing” question in the writing world is: how do you find time to write? Responses usually fall into the following categories:

  1. I wake up early/stay up late/forego sleep.
  2. I ignore other adult responsibilities, like cleaning.
  3. I give up any other hobbies.
  4. I have a commute or breaks in my regular workday that allow me to write.
  5. I have support from my spouse.

There is typically an undertone of “if it is important to you, you will make it a priority. You will shove off any other demands on your time and you will WRITE.”

The end of the year brought a lot of unease into my writing life, as I looked at how much I have slowed over the past few months. I had been writing every few days into a blog since my oldest son was 3 weeks old and he is now 9. But out of respect for his privacy as he began 3rd grade this year, I made the blog private, only sharing with family. Taking away at 360-view into my daily life also removed the obligation I felt to keep up for “readers” — however few.

I write about grief in my other blog. This too, slowed. Not because I do not have anything to say, but household demands took priority. See #2 in the list above and that is something I simply cannot do. My husband was diagnosed with anxiety earlier this year and while he is managing it with medication and therapy, there are still ups and downs. A “down” time usually means increased reliance on me to handle the day-to-day logistics of our house. On top of that, our house was plagued with illness throughout the month of December.

Sleep? I cannot give that up, nor do I want to. I learned long ago that I do not function well without sleep. I couldn’t write when tired even if I tried, at least not in a way that is productive.

My job doesn’t lend itself well to writing breaks during the day. Or — it could — I have the flexibility in working from home that I could stop, and write, if I wanted. I would certainly be at my most alert. But the nature of my job means that if I stop to write, I will need to still finish my work later. An hour borrowed for writing means…



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur with niche expertise. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. •