Cultivating Urgency

Today was busy. Besides my usual writing, I laid out an article and graphics for a magazine and then wrote up a business spotlight for another magazine. I’m not doing it for the bylines or freelance fees (though I appreciate both). I’m doing it for the deadlines.

Working from home it’s too easy to let life crowd in and steal my writing time. I need to start working at 8 a.m. Yesterday I had a phone conversation that lasted until 8:46 before I noticed the time. I said I was late for work and excused myself.

I can crowd a lot of activity in an hour, and it’s one of my biggest flaws. To stay disciplined, and focused, I need to treat my writing with a corporate mindset. I have a schedule, a lunch hour and a break. If there are dishes in my sink, they stay there until after 5.

I hope doing some freelance work on the side will help me stay in that deadlines mindset. All week I had the magazine layout worrying at me. I had to download and learn a new software program. I haven’t laid out anything but a few books since I stopped publishing the Panhandle Focus. I was nervous.

And it worked wonders. All week I’ve worked my schedule. I had to make a plan to fit my deadlines. I stayed on track, except for the 46 minutes when I was distracted on the phone. Don’t tell my boss!

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit or
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