Frustrated Due to Lack of Time to Write

In my opinion, a writer’s greatest source of frustration is not being able to write. I’ve gone through burn-out and writer’s block several times over the past nine years I’ve been seriously writing books, and there is nothing more frustrating to me than wanting to write but not having the time to. I know they say writing is a priority. I’ve read that a real writer makes it a point to write, no matter what.

Well, I’m unable to do that. I do make writing a priority, but sometimes there are other priorities that are more important at the moment. Over the past week, I’ve had the school nurse call about my sick kid (twice), had to take sick kid to the clinic, had my truck almost breakdown in the high school parking lot when I went to get another kid (this truck is now at the repair shop), had to take care of an errand for my husband who was at work and couldn’t do it himself, and had to deal with a writer’s issue that took up a lot of time to research.

I have sat down for 15-20 minutes and have managed to get some stuff down, but it’s not enough to relax me. Writing relaxes me. When I don’t write enough in a week, I get tense. I feel like there’s a build up of pressure in my mind that won’t go away. That probably sounds ridiculous, but it’s the only way I can describe it. I’ve taken a walk and gone to bed early since those things are good for me regardless of what’s happening. This helps to minimize the pressure, but the pressure is still there because, in the back of my mind, I keep thinking, “Your characters are screaming at you to write.” And they are screaming loudly. I love these stories I’m working on. I’m excited about them. But I can’t get to them, and it makes me want to cry in frustration.

So why am I wasting time writing this post? I’m hoping by admitting my frustrations that I’ll clear my head to write tomorrow. Writing my feelings down is therapeutic for me. It helps me focus. And as I write this, some of the pressure is going away.

Today I started to write, but then one kid kept interrupting me and after two hours of this, I gave up. Instead, I’m trying to clear out my inbox. I have left a lot of messages alone because everything going on in my personal life has been so overwhelming. I’m hoping if I can get those answered, then maybe I will have a clear head to focus on writing tomorrow.

At this point, it’s 1:30pm, and the writing day is pretty much over for me. I get up at 4:30am to get the kids out and ready for the bus which comes at 6:40. We live outside of town, so the buses come early. I start writing around 8:30am. Around this time of the day, my brain starts winding down on ideas becuase I have to get ready for the kids to come home. Then I go to bed around 7pm to get a good night’s sleep. I need nine hours. If I get more or less, I’m tired through the next day. I heard some people can get by with six hours of sleep. Sometimes I admire that.

Anyway, for writers who also have a job outside the home, I have no idea how you even do it. You have my admiration and respect.

To those of you reading this, how do you cope when you’re trying to get something done but it seems like everything else keeps getting in the way? I’d love to hear other ways of dealing with this because there might be something I haven’t tried but should. Howver, I should add that I can’t binge on chocolate. I love the stuff and yes, it does help, but it’s not good for my waistline. 🙂

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to other genres, but her first love is historical romance. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and a couple of children. To find out more about her books, go to
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14 Responses to Frustrated Due to Lack of Time to Write

  1. Jamie DeBree says:

    I hear ya, and I empathize. I’ve been “pouting” for the last week or so about not being able to find time to write (aside from 15-20 minutes here and there…it’s not enough). I do work full-time, but stories are screaming in my head to get out, and my “life” is doing whatever it can to block that.

    I have no solution, but just wanted you to know you’re not alone, and hopefully we’ll both be able to make writing more of a priority soon!

    • I agree. 15-20 minutes is not enough time. We need more than that. I hope you’ve been able to get more writing in since then. I finally did, but it was only in the last two days, and I had to skip some things I would have otherwise done to make it work. I honestly don’t know how I’d do it if I had to work, esp. full-time. I admire you!

  2. Good luck, Ruth. Hope the next week is a bit easier.

  3. Mary McCall says:

    Every Author has seasons of writer’s block. You aren’t alone in your frustration. It’s difficult to find another setting to inspire you when you have family obligations. Maybe as it gets warmer, just sitting outside and meditating, when the kids are at school would help. You’ll find your inspiration, I know it. Don’t put yourself on self-imposed time limits, or limitations imposed by others. Let inspiration come to you when it comes, and enjoy the writing when it comes! You are the Best- you already have that!

    • Thanks, Mary! You’re right. Every writer has to go through these seasons. Going through stuff like this may be a reminder that I need to appreciate it when I’m able to sit and write to my heart’s content. It’s easy to take things for granted.

  4. It’s really hard when so many things come up. I work full-time, edit part-time, and visit my mom at the nursing home every day. On Sundays, I go to church twice, then once on Wednesdays. Sometimes I feel like I’m spinning out of control. When I’m feeling anxious, sometimes I pray. Sometimes I read. I also think meditating helps. Different things work for different people. And just remember that a lot of what is going on (like sick kids and unusual errands) is temporary, and it won’t always be like that.

    • My anxiety stems mostly from the quarterly tax payments. Once I pay off the taxes for the year, I’ll be able to take things more in stride. I want to get it all paid off as soon as possible, which is why I feel like I must get books out as quickly as I can. I can’t do a book a month. That’s just too much for me to handle, but I can usually manage a book every two months, and I need to get at least one done very quickly if I want it to come out at the end of June. I’m going to end up rushing through edits on that book at this point, and that’s something I was hoping to avoid. I’ll email you about your schedule next month.

  5. Have you thought about some kind of speech to text thing? I know with kids in the background it might not work, but just a thought. I was going to do that but I have too many people in the house who make too much noise, plus I;d feel silly talking my book out loud in front of them. But, originally the plan was for me to be alone part time, and like I could say do the speech to text while I was doing dishes, or cleaning or things like that.

    • I was using the dictation thing on my iPhone last summer, and it did help me keep writing when my eyes were giving me problems. It was an old iPhone, so when I got a newer model, I didn’t realize that program would no longer be available. It was a great one, too. It pretty much knew everything I was saying. Now I have a new program that messes things up half the time. I’m working on training it to get familiar with my speech, but it doesn’t have the “did you mean this instead?” feature the other one did.

      Yes, it is hard to talk out loud in front of others. That’s why I always went to the park where my kids would play, and I could be off to myself. It’s much easier when you’re alone. Do you use it while doing household chores?

      • I got so aggravated when I upgraded my phone and Dragon no longer worked. I got a message that “this app need to be updated by the developer to work on this version of iOS”. Grrr.

        • I loved my app, and it was heartbreaking to do without it. I had the older version that is not compatible with any iPhone older than #5. I didn’t want to have to sign in to an app to use the newer version of Dragon, but I picked a different app that I could use without having to create a username and yet another password. I have a notebook full of passwords. I am sick of having to do a password for every single thing I do. I create a different password for everything because my Yahoo account was hacked into back in 2013 or 2014. Before then, I did have the same password for almost everything.

  6. Right now I am writing 100 word challenges. These can become seeds for short stories or novels later. After not writing for a decade due to my daughter’s illness and death, this is perfect for me and seems to keep coming.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. That had to be rough. I can’t imagine going through something that awful.

      I like your 100 word challenges. To me, the hard part would be to keep it under 100 words, but I guess that’s the purpose–to get a person to think in terms of a longer story.

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