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The Someday Speech

The Someday speech

I promised myself a long time ago that I would never write anything when I was really angry or annoyed. Anything written in those moments sounds like a rant. Well, I am breaking that promise today.

Here is what happened: I was talking to an industry acquaintance this morning.  It was a lovely and pleasant conversation about this that and the other. Mostly food. At the end of the call, she asked if I had started my dream project yet. I had told her about it a year ago. I was quiet and then proceeded to do what I have been telling my students, mentees and kids not to do for years – I gave her my “someday speech”.

I have the “someday speech” perfected. “Oh, I cannot start my project right now. I don’t have the [pick one] – funding/time/brains/talent/clothes/office/chair.”

My acquaintance listened quietly and then said, “Really? You are the one always encouraging me to do try and do new things and you are not starting your dream project because you don’t have time?” (Yes, this conversation, it was time I was lacking or so I thought).

I wanted to hide in a corner after that call. I felt so ashamed. I had been telling everyone for years to walk away from the someday schtick and here I was, selling myself on it.

So let me tell you (and myself) this loud and clear: Someday never comes.

There is always a reason for not doing something. Always. I have used every single one of these reasons. Every one.  And they are darn good reasons:

  1. I have no time.
    1. My take: Yes, I do. I have time. I just have to find it. Otherwise, it is a self fulfilling prophecy.
  2. I don’t have the funds.
    1. Well, this depends. We may not have a million dollars to start the project but since when do we not have the capacity to write a business plan to start planning how to get the million dollar funding? Just saying.
  3. I am not talented enough.
    1. This is my personal favorite and I have had an editor tell me so. So, I can either listen to this person and be miserable or do what my heart says is right.  Talent is very subjective, by the way. I saw a movie and hated it. Hubby saw the same one and loved it. Who is right?
  4. The time is just not right.
    1. Never is. Really. But then Rowlings wrote her book sitting at a coffee table in some coffee shop as she survived on food stamps. Now don’t tell me that it is okay since she was talented. How would she have known that until the book became a smashing blockbuster.  It is now or never, baby.

I can go on. But do you really want me to?

SO – here is the deal. I am making a commitment, right here, right now to start my dream project. As a show of commitment, I finished the executive summary that I needed to write to create the business plan.

I am ready to go.  Are you?

Post your commitment here. I will hold you to it. Call it a buddy system or a kick-in-the-pants. We all need it and we should support each other.

And for the love of God, if you ever hear me say, “I’ll do it someday,” please remind me of this post and then give me a swift kick in the behind.

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Comments

  1. Fabulous!!! Fabulous and I am right at this place too! I have been wanting to start my little project for a while yet have put it off with “It is too soon anyway! I need to be better known and have more experience under my belt!” Or “Gee whiz, where am I to find the time in each busy day or week? I just don’t have the time!” Kick in the pants, indeed! Well, I did just get a huge project thrown into my lap but that same project is the sign that I have what it takes to do my dream project. Okay, I am being cryptic here but I will say that I agree with you. There is no time like the present and if I don’t start today I never will! Thank you, Monica! Thank you! I’m in!

  2. Great post, Monica!

    So, are we about to see that Atomic Curry restaurant? *smile*

    It’s good to be reminded of the fact that most of us are in this business for the love of it (not the cash flow), so we need to go after something we really want, right? You are so right about the bevy of excuses we have all made, and I am guilty of this as well.

    I’m glad you’re going after this project. You are an incredibly talented and special person, so I know you’re going to create something truly great.

    Good luck friend and keep on plugging.
    Kendra

  3. Yup. No time like the present, no day like today.

  4. Today, of all days, I really needed to hear this. Let me share with you my favorite quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

    Thank you for always being an inspiration, Monica!

  5. Monica, love this! The time never really is right, is it? I think it all comes down to priorities: if something is really important to us (and we’re able to break through the fear that holds us back), we’ll make time for it.

  6. Absolutely Monica! Couldn’t agree more.

  7. Vrinda Deval says:

    Great post. I think all of us lead busy lives and get pulled into the present – running around with excuses like no time, not the right time, if only i had the money, the talent……
    You got me thinking very seriously lady…

  8. I love the way you share yourself in a way that gets to the heart of the matter. I’m in.

  9. Wow! Great motivator for a day when I’m feeling unmotivated. Thanks!

  10. Brava. I needed to read this today. Thank you.

  11. Isn’t it always the way? We encourage other people forgetting to do the same for ourselves?
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, even though written under being annoyed—sometimes that help to push the envelope, too :)
    So, NOW of NEVER!

    Thanks again!
    Sharizat

  12. “Find something you love to do, and the most wonderful things will happen”…a quote from the director of Oscar award-winning movie ‘The King’s Speech’. Yes, he is right. You are right, Monica. Now is the right time. I’m in. I am currently working on “the project” I’ve always wanted to do. Thanks for inspiring us to keep moving forward.

  13. All right. All RIGHT! I love your list of can’tBecause’s — I have a few more but you are right. They are hooey. They are as real as I allow them to be. Thank you for this message. I’m in.

  14. I am so happy to see each and every one of you here. I am not going to give up and I am not going to let you all give up either! We have to make our dreams come true. If we don’t, who will? And as someone much wiser than me once said,” If not now, then when?”

    M

    • I am totally in – to stick to do stuff that I really wanted to do for months now. thanks Monica. this sort of wake up call is necessary for me to realise that *someday* will never come and we have to make *today* as that someday.

      Life is short and dreams are big. Start working on them today.

      Thanks again,
      Siri

  15. totally with you Monicaji. I’m in

  16. I do need inspirations like this, once in a while.. I get into that pit and do whine sometimes. and is not really worth it. There is so much to life! The dreams are ours and only we can do it. Thanks Monica.

  17. Can’t wait to see your completed project, Monica. I know you’ll get it done. I’m so excited for you!!

  18. By the end of your post i was ready to cry, my heart was crimped and beating really fast. For so long I have been living day to day awaiting a perfect moment to start, getting more creative with excuses and reasons that “prevented” me from doing anything. Thank you so much for giving me a much needed kick!

  19. Monica,

    I was so excited by this idea of yours that I emailed you back instantly, so I’ll repost here since I know comments are always appreciated on-site :)

    I absolutely love this– I’ve been repeating to myself what you said in one of your lessons: “sit but in chair and write”. Apparently, I need to lock myself in a room to get this to happen, which is my plan for the rest of the week. I absolutely must finish my cookbook, so thank you, thank you!

  20. Fear. Fear. Fear.
    I tried reading your post 3 times and it felt like english wasn’t my 1st language! I have to write something that is freaking me out and I love that you acknowledge #3 “I am not talented enough”.

    OMG just admitting it in writing to you here in this comment has lifted the lead apron from my body. My friends would laugh at me for freaking out over this. The worst thing would be if I didn’t write it at all. So here it is. I begin now.

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve linked to it on my facebook page.

  21. lisa iannucci says:

    I WILL FINALLY write my script!!!!!!! I commit to no more ‘someday’ — it’s TIME.

  22. I’m in. It makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. But I’m in.

    I think I’m going to go hyperventilate now…

  23. Sometimes, indeed, we are able to support and inspire other people in fulfilling their projects instead of making our dreams come true. On the other hand, as long as we know where do we want to go and check our coordinates every day, we could do it for ourselves too. The periods when we are angry with ourselves or unhappy for not advancing are useful because pushing us 2-3 steps ahead. I am convinced you will do it, Monica. Not today, but for sure tomorrow! Good luck!

  24. I love this post of yours and its going to touch a lot of people who read it because it is about them too (me as well). I don’t know why it takes more effort to convince oneself that its not impossible, and easier to just give up! :)

    You’re absolutely right. Someday will never come unless you make that decision that TODAY is someday.

  25. Monica, I needed to hear this today. I was in tears a few days ago thinking about how I’m not really achieving the goals I had thought I would. Someday is TODAY. Thank you thank you thank you.

  26. Dear Monica,

    Your post brings to mind a quote from Marianne Williamson that I’ll pare down here: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

    Your post will give others the permissions to achieve the greatness they envision and that they were meant for. And we will all enjoy watching (and encouraging) you achieve yours (although I think you’re doing a smashing job of embracing your greatness already)!

    Can’t wait to see you inspire all the attendees at Eat Write Retreat with your light and wisdom!

    Best,
    Casey

  27. Thank you Monica. You have no idea how much I needed this today…

  28. Thanks Monica! This was just the kick in the pants I needed today. :-)

    Cheers–

    Kelly

  29. Great post, Monica! It’s so true, one has to stop making excuses and just follow their dreams. I can’t wait to hear about your big project!

  30. You’re always an inspiration. And I wholeheartedly agree with you. This year I decided was going to be THE year. Enough dreaming and planning; it’s time to just do. A little over 4 weeks ago I quit my well-paying fancy-titled full-time job that I hated in order to pursue my dream of writing about food full-time; my last day there was Friday, and this week I began my new life. I decided I’d rather figure things out as I go while learning and doing what I love, than sitting in my office daydreaming about it. Congratulations to you on this step. I can’t wait to see the amazing things that come to pass!

  31. Wow, this is fantastic!!! Great advice…. I’m so excited!

  32. laviza shariff (eclectic gourmet) says:

    inspiring post…now I just need to think, how to start. taking the first step is so difficult, mostly due to fear of failure

  33. Great post Monica. I hope we don’t have to kick our behinds in the future ;)

  34. Wow, your words always seem to arrive at the right time. I have been sitting here, umming and awwing about starting my own website/blog, a whole litany of critiques going on in my head. “What if have have nothing to write about? What if no one reads it? I can’t thing of a good name. I need a better design. What if I just plain suck?!”
    Well as Allison above wrote, the worst thing would be if I didn’t do it at all. So here’s my vow to you and the world. I will get off my substantial backside, pull my thumb out and get cracking, pronto.
    Thanks for this inspiring, and ultimately ass-kicking post.

  35. Thanks, Monica. I love your writing and your perspective. I’ve got a big dream that’s been percolating for a while, and all kinds of excuses right now, but I’ve also had some recent reminders that there’s no time like the present. I’m putting aside some more mundane things today to do some concrete work on my project. And I’m going to plan to spend at least an hour every morning doing one small thing to move it forward. I hope we all do it!

  36. Great! Thank you Monica. I am with you! Gonna get on it.

  37. Julie Lewis says:

    I LOVED this! I just finished directing the musical at my daughter’s school, and am ready to start my next thing (whatever that is, but I have ideas…). This was perfect timing for me because it’s how I’ve been feeling. And with kids getting close to being out of the house, now IS the perfect time!

  38. Oh, Monica–this is WONDERFUL (and how funny/sad/true that we often do better and push harder for our students than we do for ourselves).

    I’m at a writing residency this month and yesterday something caused me to dig out the novel I put aside in 2005. I was surprised by how much I loved it, how good it is (and how often do we think our own writing is good, especially six years later?).

    So it’s a deal: you write your business plan, I’m writing fiction. Looking forward to toasting both of our accomplishments! xox

  39. This post is fantastic! I broke some of my own blog rules today too, something must be in the water… but I think it’s good! I think many people can totally relate to your frustration! I have many life goals (only 21 here!) but the most important commitment that I want to be held accountable for is: loving with abandon, and celebrating each day that I get to be alive on this amazing planet!

  40. A truly wonderful post Monica. You are really an inspiration to me! I agree, never put off your dreams. It is so important to go after them and make them happen for you! Can’t wait to hear what your dream project is all about!

  41. My goal is to pursue an investigative article about a topic that really matters to me before the end of next year.

  42. This is fantastic! I’ve shared this with all my friends. This was the swift kick in the behind that I needed. Today I commit to not one but two projects. I will write my book and I will start a non-profit to help women writers and girls interested in writing.

  43. Thanks for this Monica. You are always such an inspiration to me- I put so many things off on a daily basis…time to stop doing that and work on making those dreams happen :)

  44. Yes! Thank you for this reminder. I fall into this trap far too often … I have a 1/2-finished book proposal moldering in a word document. I need and want to finish it but … Today’s the day, to at least open it up again. Best of luck to you! I know you will do marvelously.

  45. Oh Monica, I love YOUR blog and read it all the time. I should clearly be commenting more often instead of just lurking! :) My goals are still be ironed out. I just handed in the first draft of my manuscript and really want to craft a book that is totally amazing and I think will take a lot of time and energy. I have a clear vision of what i want and it takes a lot to get there. After that I have a few pie-in-the-sky ideas which include multimedia. I also really have always wanted to live in Europe for a year with my family to cook, write and learn another language. We’ll have to chat more offline! :) Are you ever in NYC?

  46. I LOVE THIS!!! Today IS someday!
    Good for you for putting it out there and encouraging others not to fall into this trap… we’ve all done it. I’m still doing it! So many things on the dream project/bucket list and time is just passing me/us by… Thank you for the reminder and you have a new fan! xo – Laura

  47. Thank you for posting this. It reminds me that you can’t put off until tomorrow what you can get done today.

  48. I just want to write. Thanks for the swift kick!

  49. Today is the first day of the rest of your life!

    Bon appetit!

    CCR
    =:~)

  50. Good for you! I have started my 90 day challenge to meet 5 people/day w/commitment to view a short presentation.

  51. Love this, Monica – and it came at the perfect time for me. Just started laying the groundwork for what could (with a little luck) end up being my dream project, allowing me to use my writing skills in a way that can hopefully really help other people (while at the same time being fun for me). There are lots of other things competing for my time, but I don’t want to end up putting this on the backburner – so I am vowing to come back and announce the launch of this endeavor within the next few weeks.

    Also, your post reminded me of the old saying, ‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” To me, that means when we put our dreams on a shelf for “someday,” we get so buried in everyday stuff that we may miss lots of great opportunities to make those dreams come true.

    Thanks for inspiring all of us!

  52. Hi Monica, I read blogs sometimes(usually my older sister recommends me to read a couple) and she sent me this article. I have to admit, God speaks to us all the time and after reading your article, I was only reminded of the many excuses I use daily. I have alot of goals and have not focused on none of them because I’m busy making another one rather than taking on each one by one. As of today, I am going to commit to each goal, one by one, step by step. I will be reading blogs a little more closely. Stay blessed…

  53. This is my first time visiting your site. A good friend, Daniel Koontz of Casual Kitchen linked to you from his blog and I had to check you out! Great, great post! I was living the someday life for years and just last year (May of 2010) I quit my comfy job and started my own photography business. It’s slow moving, but at least it has a pulse. A year ago it wasn’t even on life support! Now that I’ve got things rolling in that area of my life, it’s time to stop putting off eating right and exercising daily. The only person stopping me from doing that is ME. Thanks for the motivational note. Good luck with your own projects! You can do it!!

  54. Just this week I decided to end the meaningless and unfulfilling job hunt and use this time to do what I want. THE TIME IS NOW! I am taking my blog seriously and realizing I love it. I am ordering prints of some of my favorite photos and hanging them in local coffee shops. I am going to make this happen. This is my dream and I want to live it to the fullest. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  55. lord have mercy did i ever need to read this post TODAY . . . i have had the ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ convo w/myself for more years than i can count. so much i want/hope to accomplish before i leave this earth and suddenly i find myself at an age that just doesn’t seem possible. i want to live the rest of the time i have here on this earth with no regrets and i certainly don’t want to take my last breath thinking, ‘gee, i wish i had . . . ‘ so thank you Monica, for this post. i am hell-bent on living my dream!

  56. Good for you. And good for you to write it here. I did this last year, retired early from my job as an inner city high school teacher and lived in San Francisco for 15 months. Had hoped to land a job, but that didn’t happen. Still, it was a year of magical living (especially when you note that it was 15 and not 12 months!) and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Now, I’m trying to figure out my next dream project.

  57. Thanks for the motivational post. I am a victim of the someday speech and planner of the right time…which never seems to come around. I am going to live life to the fullest and make my dreams a reality! Thanks again!

  58. I agree, Life is now!!

  59. I totally agree Monica. Reading your article has inspired me to do the best I can one day at a time and focus on my goals.

  60. Monica — as always — you rock!

    Just a couple of weeks ago, I started working toward my own goal: publishing my YA urban fantasy novel as an ebook, instead of waiting around for someone else (e.g., an agent, a publisher) to give me permission.

    When I saw a certain summer blockbuster movie looming on the horizon — in a similar genre to my book (but no real overlap) — I knew it was time to act.

    So, VALHALLA (by yours truly) will be available on Amazon — and very likely iBookstore and Nook, too — on April 29!

    • What fantastic news!! Congrats!!

      • Thanks! I’ve still lots of work to do between now and then. I noticed that VALHALLA’s release date is the same day as the royal wedding, and I’m not sure if that’s good or bad timing. ;)

        I’ll let you know when it’s successfully launched. In the meantime, wishing you great-guns triumph with your project. :)

  61. I am making a commitment to my blog, and its affiliated group, Bad Ballet. The blog launched today. It’s for women who are “leaping onto their next stage of life — no tutu required.” Your post is inspirational, and I just shared it with the bad ballerinas. Thanks!

  62. This is a brilliant post. It’s simple, it’s honest, it’s needed. Clearly, others feel the same way. I’ll go through and read other posts but I didn’t want to be influenced by my comment. This blog was forwarded to me by my cousin who is a huge supporter of me and has been there from the moment I discontinued the someday speech and began moving toward my dream. I wish you more than the best of luck. I hope you can see how much support you have in whatever you choose to conquer. I know I’ll be taking notice and applauding from the sidelines when your project becomes a reality you call “my life”. Go get ‘em!

  63. I was brought over to this amazing post from Twitter. Thanks for writing it. Although I am knee deep in my dream project, this post still applies because dream projects are full of speed bumps and brick walls and each needs a reminder of a someday speech. Good luck with your project.

  64. Many of us (and I’m no exception) keep letting everyday life bump aside the “dream project.” I can attest to the fact that life speeds by and my own project has sputtered with fits and starts, interrupted by kids, aging parents and my own health or family financial issues at times. Like making time to exercise (guilty there, too), time for dream projects must be put aside on a daily basis in order to make real progress.

    Gosh, that sounded good. Wise even (but I know better). Thanks for the reminder/inspiration to move forward again.

  65. Hi, Monica.Thanks for this post! Today I really needed to see this. I struggle with finding the time, energy and money to put my own dreams into action.Take one small step daily in the direction you wish to go is my mantra. In the end, success is not measured by others or by the accumulation of wealth, but by satisfaction. Good luck with your project. I admire your work and the way you’ve created a life that you love.

  66. Thank you, Monica! You are such an inspiration for me and so many — this is exactley what I needed to hear. Thank you, truly, from the bottom of my heart.

  67. Chandana says:

    I just discovered your site, via the Garam Masala article on NPR. Very nice! I cannot seem to play the videos from your site.

  68. Whenever I have a writer’s block I turn to your website, read some of your essays/posts and in a strange way it lifts me up and helps me with my thought process. I have no idea when this started but it always helps. I am wanting to write an article since yesterday evening whose deadline is in two days. Topic is very simple, “write about myself and my upbringing” how hard can that be? But you know how hard that is! Was blaming my busy life, tight schedule, family problems and what not for me having this writers block. And now just like always, you in your own way shook me and slapped that “blame game” out of me! Thanks Monica!

    • So kind of you! I am so happy that you like my words and that the stories help. Encourages me to keep writing. Be sure to log-on tomorrow for a story on creative rebirth. I think you will like it.

  69. Thank you so much for the post, it was interesting reading.

  70. WOW, that just shook me up! I am awake. I made a lot of plan this year.. not resolution, but solid plans and now it’s lying there. I need to get start on implementing.. right! I need to and I will .. yes! Awsm post Monica.

  71. Starting to blog regularly again today!

  72. Hi Monica,

    Great inspiration. You didn’t tell us about your project. I find that acknowledging your goal in front of others gives me the kick in the pants to take action.

  73. I love this! never put off tomorrow what can be done today! there are always excuses, you just have to close your eyes and jump into it.

  74. Thanks for sharing – while working on big plan, there are many ‘someday’ items pertaining to this, others I’ve started and stalled, but ‘no time’ is no longer an excuse! Thank you.

  75. Very inspiring. Thank you

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