Saturday, December 3, 2011

3 Tips for Curing "Someday Syndrome"


Have you ever suffered from Someday Syndrome? It's a pesky condition that can attack writers who haven't built up immunity. We may say to ourselves...

Someday I'll perfect my skills
Someday I'll finish a project
Someday I'll submit my work

When I was younger (ahem), I used to say Some day I'll go on a fancy vacation and Some day I'll take my writing seriously. The fancy vacation part hasn't happened yet, but circumstances changed and I had the opportunity and determination to attack my writing goals with gusto. My Someday had arrived.

Oftentimes "someday" seems more reasonable, as if things will get easier in the future. The kids will be grown, we'll have more time, or we'll strike it rich and be able to write while lounging on a Caribbean beach.

But unless we take action, "Someday Syndrome" will weaken us, and leave behind a trail of regret. Our "someday" is now, and here are three ways to put Someday Syndrome in its place:
  1. Surround yourself with writers who are just as, or more, motivated than you are. My writing buddies *waves to Lisa Green and Leslie Rose* are super motivated, and we challenge each other and help push each other toward our goals. If not for these two lovely ladies, I might be cowering under my kitchen table, afraid to chase the dream.
  2. Embrace mistakes. With each project I start, I keep thinking "this will be the one where I stop making mistakes." (Stop laughing! I seriously think this) Sure, I'm making less mistakes, but I've learned to embrace these errors, knowing they can be fixed. Fear of mistakes cannot hold us back.
  3. Dive in and just do it! Having a "what's the worst that can happen?" attitude helps because really, what's the worst that can happen? If a piece is horrible, and we can't salvage it, we can consider it a learning experience. Not bad for a worst case scenario.
Are you still thinking "someday," or have you kicked Someday Syndrome to the curb? Do you have a cure you'd like to add to the list?

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great post, Julie! One thing that helps me stay motivated is to set reasonable goals - a set time to subit, a conference, etc. Obviously, discipline is needed to reach our goals, but without them I really flounder!

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  2. I used to suffer from someday syndrome but as I've gotten older I feel an urgency to get things done faster, like I'm running out of time. I still need to be more organized tho, that's where time slips away from me.

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  3. If we wait for the right and perfect someday, it'll never happen!

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  4. Ah, great points. I get motivated by deadlines, and having critique partners sets up deadlines. Connecting to the writerly blogosphere helps too, seeing what others are doing. I get motivated by their progress. :) I need #3, cuz the further I go on the writing journey, the more I need to remember to relax and enjoy the process of writing (like I used to). Otherwise I take it all to seriously and start feeling everything I write is junky!

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  5. Well, I'm already super motivated so my Someday is a bit different. Someday I'll find an agent who loves my book. That's what makes me keep going. And I do believe it. It will happen. Then my Someday will be something else.

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  6. Excellent tips.

    I'm with Carol on connecting with writers in the blogosphere. So many authors, from all different walks of writing, have motivated me with inspirational posts or helpful tips. Your blog is one of them. Great post, Julie.

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  7. *waves back* WE LOVE YOU TOO, JULIE!!!!!!!! I definitely wouldn't be where I am if it weren't for your support and friendship. *gushes*

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  8. This is such a lovely and inspiring post, Julie. I have a serious case of Someday Syndrome, and these are excellent tips!

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  9. I kicked someday's butt into a deep hole and buried it a few years ago. Since then I've finished two manuscripts, started a new one, and began blogging which connected me with some pretty amazing writers. And because of them and my dedication my writing has vastly improved. I have no doubt in my mind that it won't be long before you see my name on the cover of my first book.

    Thanks for being one of those writer's, Julie :)

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  10. These are excellent tips, Julie. I especially like #2 because sometimes mistakes can lead you to something good.

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  11. Such good advice! I have written a lot more since gaining a writing buddy, and my Someday is now! Yahoo!

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  12. I've been suffering with this a lot lately. This post made me finally admit it! ;) Great tips, great advice.

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  13. I do suffer from Someday Syndrome, but I'm getting better. I'm getting much closer to having a project ready to query. Nano threw me off a bit, but I'll get back on track ... someday... Okay, after the new year! :)

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  14. I'm good at giving things a try, and I do tend to think, "What's the worst that can happen?" If I'm not flat broke and still have all my limbs, it's probably okay;)

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  15. The greatest reward in living this writing life is the people. Julie, you and Lisa are the sisters I never had. You were both worth the wait.

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  16. I love this post Julie. So many of us live in that someday world. But we all know that it never comes. My attitude is just do it. Thanks for the great reminder!

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  17. My someday has arrived. Events in my life made me realize, there may not be a someday so we have to seize the day (sorry for the clique, but it's so true).

    Just for your sanity's sake, you may want to change that to a beach in Hawaii. If you lounge on a Caribbean beach, you're likely to be bugged to death by vendors... ;)

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  18. Guys, thanks for stopping by. It's so nice to share this Someday with all of you!

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  19. Great post! I agree with all of your tips. Having a support system and putting in the work help me make my "Somedays" realities.

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  20. Thanks for the post, Julie. So many frustrated writers need to know that sometimes the only thing standing in their way is themselves.

    -Jimmy

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  21. A lovely and inspirational post, Julie. Thanks.

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  22. I think the Someday Syndrome I'm suffering from is the Someday I Will Clean My House! I don't really have a problem writing ... it's the cleaning part that gets pushed under the rug. hee hee.

    But seriously, I love what you said about asking ourselves, "What's the worst that can happen?" That's a great way to conquer our fears.

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  23. Great post. i find making goals helps too. I mean. we all talk about how many books we'll read a week, month, year, but what about writing how to books? If we embrace our mistakes, we know exactly where to start on our Writing Improvement reading list! :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  24. I had "someday syndrome" until I discovered the blogging community. What a difference its been, you guys all keep me motivated!

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  25. Since I decided to write seriously, I kicked the Someday Syndrome to the curb (at least where writing is concerned). Now if only I felt the same way about cleaning the house....

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  26. Great post! Someday Syndrome reminds me of New Years Resolutions. . . Why wait to take action? I try to stay on track, but I do derail some times. It helps to have writer pals for support.

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