When Writing Big Things Isn’t Always Possible

I have a good system for capturing fleeting ideas.

Anna Burgess Yang
2 min readMar 5, 2018


Photo Credit: my own photo

I am constantly compiling writing ideas.

I have a good system for capturing these fleeting ideas in OneNote to revisit later, but sitting down and spending an hour or two with my idea is time I need to find and then fiercely protect. I’m working on that.

This past weekend for example, I had two different topics bubble to the surface. I write in my blog, I write about daily life with my kids (for posterity and the breadth of which future historians will probably cheer), I write here.

Over the course of the weekend, my dad visited from out of state, we took my three kids bowling (including an infant), took my two school-aged children swimming, went out for pizza on Saturday for lunch, and went out to brunch on Sunday. We watched Star Wars with my kids for the first time on Friday evening, a rite of passage to be sure. I made lasagna on Saturday evening. And before dropping my dad off at the airport we played Yahtzee with my kids, which was interesting for about the first ten rolls and then dissolved into a meltdown when mistakes were made in keeping score.

My baby has a double ear infection, I made a trek to a neighboring Chicagoland suburb to look at a stroller being sold through Facebook Marketplace, and I still need to finish and file my taxes. I woke up just early enough today to take a shower before everyone else arose.

The days are busy, to say the least.

I usually manage to dedicate time to writing in the way that I would like about two or three times a week and have to be satisfied with that accomplishment for now. What I do manage to complete every day is recapping the previous day’s events. I do this by hand (gasp!) in a Moleskine notebook. The notes are short, list-style and I limit myself to a single page but it is a commitment to writing something every day. Sometimes I even write the weather on the last line of the page. I write things here either too boring or too personal to be forever captured in a public space.

I know that the furious pace of my days will not always be the case, and I have developed habits that work for me. When writing the Big Things isn’t always possible, recapping my day in my notebook is a good small step.



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur with niche expertise. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. • https://start.annabyang.com/