This week has been the perfect storm to brew change1.

First, I read Emma Gannon’s post “Goodbye, Instagram.” I always enjoy her posts, but this one resonated with me not because of what it said, but how it made me feel. It made me feel angry. She, like many of us, is exhausted from the social media grind that is a necessary evil for a writer to have readers. At the same time, I’ve been reading Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman.

From the book description: Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists… and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient… But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense, and still the most meaningful parts of life seem to lie just beyond the horizon. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks.  

I think it was the line “The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense” that landed this book into my reader.

It should shock no one that I am almost always busy. I generally work at my computer from 1 pm until around 3 am seven days a week for years (I started taking Sundays off since we moved to Brazil). This is not a complaint because I genuinely love what I do. I often think how lucky I am… but I save the best part of my schedule (my own writing) for last. Last never seems to come, or if it does it’s rushed.

“But you just wrote Inujini!” I can hear someone say. Yes, I wrote Inujini in 2021, in a month because I had debilitating COVID and it was the only time I could squeeze in for myself. It took me two years to find the time to edit it. It took me one year to find the time to write “How to Save a Faerie2,” a short story that came in a dream and haunted me until I would finally give it a few hours. Realizing it takes me a literal year to do something important to me is sobering.

In Four Thousand Weeks I’ve had to face some truths:

  • My time is finite.
  • I suffer from crippling Fear Of Missing Out.
  • FOMO = Compulsive Yes Syndrome
  • This is common.

To the surprise of none, FOMO is a social plague fed by social media. But before I go on a rampage against the horrors of the socials, I have much to thank Facebook-Twitter-Instagram and their offspring for. Without the socials, I, and most of us, would have no readers. They have been good. But like a helpful houseguest that that has overstayed their welcome, I can be appreciative and still relish saying goodbye.

In Four Thousand Weeks there is a suggestion attributed to Warren Buffet to make a list of 25 life goals in order of importance, take the top five and toss the rest. I have more than 25 major things I want to do with my life. I get 5.

If you’ve read along this far, you may wonder where is the “here” I’m referring to in the title. You are looking at it. The “here” I mean is this blog, my relationship with you, my writer life as I know it. No, this is not me announcing that I’m checking out. Instead, this is me realizing I need to check in.

I’m here because I chose to be. FOMO makes me say yes to everything. At 55, I need to tabulate my yesses, weigh them against the proverbial feather and decide what 5 things I can keep. This “here” is one of them. So is my writing. So is my family3… but I can’t give 100% to all of them.

Some things really do need to go, and I’m sorry Facebook-Twitter-Instagram+… you may be one of them4.

1 Add to this sick dog emergency, Visa drama, kids moving, dentist and a magazine ToC to process
2Published in Unknown Superheroes vs The Forces of Darkness
3 Family consists of humans and animals.
4 If I do vanish from social media, you will still be able to find me here or at

By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Ryukyuan-American, award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years in newspapers. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year, she shares Authortunities, a free weekly calendar of author opportunities at

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