Daphne Depasse

Are You Suffering From Almost Done Syndrome?

I don’t know if I told you yet or not, but I’ve been working on a new eBook for the last few months. It’s an idea that’s been in the works for about a year, and I am finally thisclose to being done with it.

The problem is, I’ve been procrastinating.

My initial launch date was September 24, but September came and, truth be told, I hadn’t even started the rewrites yet.

So I came up with a new launch date–October 22. Which was yesterday.

And the book is still not done.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want to show you that, even though I’m a professional writer and published author, I’m still human. I still struggle with procrastination, just like you do. I still have doubts and fears that overwhelm me, and keep me doing avoidance behaviors.

I am not perfect, and I’m never gonna be.

I used to be afraid of not being perfect. I used to think I had to be, that my writing had to be, if I was gonna put it out there.

But now I see that imperfection is a beautiful part of the human condition. It’s who we are.

If we never made mistakes, then we’d never have opportunities to grow and to better ourselves. The same goes for your writing.

If you never put yourself out there; if you never finish anything; then you’ll never know what it’s like to have success. You’ll never experience the joy of seeing your words in print, and the love you feel when your writing changes someone’s life.

To quote one of my spiritual mentors:

Every masterpiece that’s ever been done, it could’ve been better. Just launch and learn.”–Danielle LaPorte

If you have a project you’ve been working on for awhile–or putting off working on–chances are you’re suffering from what I call “Almost Done” Syndrome.

“Almost Done” Syndrome is when you’re thisclose to being finished with the final version of a writing project, and then suddenly you start procrastinating and put off finishing it.

Been there, done that.

What about you?

We All Suffer From “Almost Done” Syndrome

The good news is that “Almost Done” Syndrome is something all creators suffer with from time-to-time. This is especially true when you’re working on something that is extremely close and personal to you (as this book I’ve been working on for the last year is to me).

The reason you’ve never heard about this syndrome before today is because most people never talk about it. Most people who’ve launched something don’t want to share the truth. They want to cover it up with the false idea that everything is roses.

I call bullshit on that.

I’d be lying if I pretended like everything I’ve created has been amazing and that the process from start to finish was simple.

The truth is, finishing a book is fucking hard! It’s an emotional roller coaster. It’s a process that tests everything you’ve got in you.

I’ve wanted to quit so many times during the process of writing my new book. But I didn’t. I did procrastinate and complain, but I didn’t give up.

Because I know I’m meant to write this book. I know that this book is meant to be one of my gift’s to the world.

And that’s what’s kept me pushing forward, slogging through all the doubt and fear. So I can launch a book that I am proud of; that I want people to read and share with others.

Almost Done Syndrome–What’s Beneath the Surface

On the surface, Almost Done Syndrome looks like:

  • Procrastination
  • Excuses
  • “Reasons”
  • Thoughts of giving up or quitting
  • Doubt

But hiding below these surface symptoms is the true cause of Almost Done Syndrome…

FEAR.

Fear is the underlying cause of all the symptoms you’re experiencing.

Now the good news is fear is perfectly normal. It’s something everyone who has ever created and launched anything has felt.

Again I share words of wisdom from LaPorte:

Respect your fear. It’s part of the creative process,”–Danielle LaPorte

You have to know that anything worth doing in your life is going to first be met with resistance. Resistance is fear’s way of trying to keep you safely in your comfort zone.

It’s your job to bust through that resistance. To feel the fear and do it anyway!

Healing Almost Done Syndrome

Healing Almost Done Syndrome is an inside job, meaning it can only be resolved by looking internally and finding the strength to carry on.

Here’s my process for busting through fear and continuing on with your writing project:

  1. Realize You’ve Got the Bug–the hardest part is finally realizing and accepting that you’ve been suffering from Almost Done Syndrome. Once you do that, the rest is easy.
  2. Feel the Fear–Almost Done Syndrome is a sickness of avoidance. Right now you’re avoiding the fear you’re feeling by not finishing your project. You have to stop resisting and instead just let the fear be there. Wallow in it. Feel it ’til your fingers get pruney and you don’t think you can take anymore.
  3. Acknowledge the Fear--admit that you’re afraid. Tell the fear you see it and you know it’s there. Acknowledging fear takes away its power.
  4. Take A Deep Breath–hold the breath for a few seconds, then let it out slowly. Repeat two or three times.
  5. Let It Go–now that you’ve felt the fear, you can push through and do it anyway. Fear has no power over you or your life if you don’t let it. Choose to rise above the fear.
  6. Remember Your Why–when you’re feeling afraid, doubtful, like you want to quit, just remind yourself why you started this project in the first place. What was your intention? Why did you want to write these words? When your “why” is big enough, there’s no space for fear.
  7. Do It Anyway–take another deep breath if you need to, then move forward and begin working on your project again.

Repeat this process anytime you get stuck and feel like quitting.

Share With Us

What writing project are you suffering from Almost Done Syndrome on? What’s holding you back? 

Image Courtesy of Daphne Depasse

1 reply
  1. Bill Honnold
    Bill Honnold says:

    Boy did I need this post today.

    I’m in the home stretch of finishing my ebook and am suffering from Almost Done syndrome. For the past year, I’ve experienced every symptom that you’ve described in your article. And it’s a lonely feeling this writing stuff. It seems like no one else understands what you’re going through except your fellow writers.

    There’s one other syndrome that I have to confront almost as often as Almost Done. It’s Almost Done’s evil twin that I call “Almost Started”. The symptoms look like this:

    “My project (whatever it is) needs to be perfect. So I can’t start until I know everything there is to know about the subject before I start.”

    “I need to read another book, buy another on-line course or watch another webinar”.

    I think that both of these syndromes are the bastard children of our inner critic.

    So thanks again for the article, Jennifer. But I need to get back to finishing my ebook. Writing this reply is a sneaky way for my Almost Done syndrome to keep me from writing today.

    Reply

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