Getting Your Story Published Overcoming The “Someday” Syndrome
By: Lynn B. Sanders
Did you ever imagine getting your stories published, but you’ve just been too busy to get them done? It’s that sneaky word called procrastination. Procrastination can become a habit. We can get comfortable waiting for the right day, the right mood, the right feeling to rise up in our heart.
We sabotage ourselves by putting dreams on the back burner for a “someday.” But you know, “Someday” isn’t a real day. It’s just a way of tucking our dreams in a bottom drawer, until they gather dust and crumble away. Don’t let that happen!
I was guilty of the “Someday syndrome.” My children’s story came into my life unexpectedly, just as stories can do. There was a reason this story stayed with me for so long. I wanted to get published, but I also had to build my own inner strength first. My goal of raising environmental awareness and inspiring children to follow their dreams had to be bigger than my fears.
I confess I’ve been a procrastinator for too long. But I learned I had to set aside my perfectionistic tendencies, set a date, and take whatever steps were needed to publish. I finally got published this summer. HOORAY! You can do it too. Here are the “behind the scenes” events that inspired my journey.
Inspiration For A Children’s Story…
In 1995, little did I know what would happen as the writer for a video project at The International Crane Foundation (ICF) in Baraboo, Wisconsin. It’s the only place in the world harboring all fifteen species of cranes. I was thrilled to go for a visit.
Imagine stepping back in time. Cranes are prehistoric birds, and many stand as tall as people. From their large open pens, they look at you with beady eyes. Their heads lean back and their giant beaks open wide as they sing in a bugling voice, “Ker-LOO! Ker-LOO!” Their calls can be heard a mile away!
There are over 200 acres of nature trails. Just walking around the pathways against a backdrop of tall grasses, you feel a deep connection with nature. Cranes have been a symbol of long life and good luck. They are beautiful creatures and prized across the world.
To educate their International Marketing Managers about their environmental contributions at ICF, Amoco (now BP) sponsored this video project. It was a special day. Amoco was donating an outdoor Whooping Crane exhibit and many people were invited to the dedication ceremony. I was asked to interview the Amoco executives and Dr. George Archibald, a world-famous ornithologist and co-founder of ICF.
Off-camera, George shared a personal story with me.
“A number of years ago, I danced with a rare Whooping Crane.”
“What?” I asked. “You’re kidding…”
“No, I’m not.” Archibald said with a smile. “The bird believed she belonged with people.”
And with that, I was hooked.
Discovering The Story Of “Dancing With Tex”
It was a real friendship story between a man and bird. Tex, the rare Whooping Crane loved only people, and George, the scientist loved birds.
Tex had been raised by Fred, the zookeeper at the San Antonio Zoo. Since Fred wanted to keep Tex safe, he brought her home and cared for Tex during her first 16 days of life, not realizing the impact on Tex’s brain.
Without seeing other cranes, Tex’s brain was imprinted on people, especially men. That meant Tex believed people were her family, not birds. She shunned other birds. Scientists across the world knew that Whooping Cranes were on the verge of extinction. Every egg mattered! No one knew what to do to help Tex lay a fertile egg. That egg could help save her species.
Since all cranes do a mating dance before laying an egg, George wondered if Tex would accept him as her dancing partner. After all, she loved men. George also arranged to get help from scientists who could give Tex injections to help produce an egg. In order to get Tex to like him, George moved his bed, desk and chair into Tex’s shed, and lived with her during the spring.
A Story of Faith, Belief & Perseverance…
Tex immediately bonded with George, and the dancing started the next morning. But it wasn’t so easy for Tex to produce a fertile egg. Many challenges came up, year after year. Still, George never gave up. It took six spring seasons until a baby chick finally hatched. The rest is history.
The resulting offspring helped save the Whooping Cranes from extinction. The story was so momentous that Johnny Carson invited Archibald to be a guest on his program. (http://www.DancingWithTex.com)
It was such a compelling story. I knew it belonged in a children’s book. Did I know how to write a children’s book? No! Did I have many challenges? Of course! But did I quit? NO!
Now, I’d like to help you move forward. If you’ve got a story that needs to be written and published, these tips will propel you forward. Be prepared to leap over the inevitable challenges. Be aware that when you tell the universe your intentions, obstacles will happen. And please know that your thoughts are the compass towards bringing your stories to life.
THE FIVE KEYS: BRINGING YOUR STORY TO LIFE
- Believe In Yourself – This is crucial! No matter what others say, or how long it takes, if your dream is big enough, you CAN do it. We all carry stories in our heart that need to be shared for a higher purpose. So, HOW do you believe in yourself? Consider doing daily affirmations in the morning and evening. Allow yourself from five to twenty minutes. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and speak to a Higher Source. Think of positive statements in the present tense, and repeat them to yourself as you breathe in and out. Examples: ”I’m having a productive day today…” Or, “I’m grateful my book is being published this year.” Or simply, ”Thank you for guiding me forward.” You can also speak these words aloud. Repetition of positive messages reinforces your belief that you’re successful.
- Keep the Faith – Even though obstacles are inevitable, they also make you stronger. It’s up to you to know there is no turning back. I love the saying, “Winners don’t quit, and quitters never win.” The dream is never over unless you quit on yourself. I should know. It took me almost twenty years to publish my children’s story.
- Never Give Up! I can’t say this enough… Never, never, NEVER give up! Keep your dreams alive. Dreams are the stuff we are all made of. No one can control your thoughts. You choose what you think. So please, choose thoughts that make you feel good about yourself.
- Ask For Help – No one knows everything. You’ll want to get expert advice from those who have already traveled on the same path that you’re about to take. If you’re writing in a new genre, talk to someone who has written in that style before. If you’re new to writing, find a writing coach. If you’re jumping into children’s writing, I’d recommend joining the national group SCBWI, Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. (http://www.scbwi.org)
- Take Responsibility For Your Actions! It all comes down to consistent, persistent effort. Action is the final key. You’ve got to set your goals and go after them. No one can do that for you. If you don’t meet a goal, so what? Set it again. And again. Ultimately, if you’ve followed each of these steps, you will accomplish your objective. You need to believe, have faith, persevere, get help and keep taking action.
Your success is waiting… just around the corner!
I believe in you. Now, it’s time for YOU to believe in you! Let your brain be imprinted on positive thoughts. Create a vision board. Cut out images of what you want to accomplish. Write down your intentions for your published book. Remember what Napolean Hill once said, “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Ready to go for it? Then set aside time every week to work on your own writing.
Now, let’s change that “Someday” into a different word. Let’s make it start “Today!”
To Your Success,
P.S. News Flash! I’ve just set an audacious goal, and would be most grateful for your help! My next dream is to be a best-selling author on Amazon. If I don’t try, I’ll never know if it can happen.
I’m told it takes about 2000 people to buy your book on the same day. I’ve targeted CyberMonday, November 28th. My ebook will be $.99, and there are also paperback and hardcover books available on Amazon. Would you consider supporting this story in any way to raise environmental awareness among our youth? The book is also a great holiday gift for children of ages 6-9. (See: http://bit.ly/DancingTex)
To make a positive impact, I’m giving away half of my proceeds to the nonprofit, The Center For Biological Diversity,a leader in helping save endangered species globally. I’m also happy to give you an ethical bribe of free digital gifts through my book’s website. (http://www.DancingWithTex.com)
Thanks for considering to buy my children’s book, “Dancing With Tex” on November 28th. Together, we all achieve more!