The Challenge Ahead: Getting Mentally Prepared for National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo1

The good thing about working on two unfinished projects for National Novel Writing Month is that I don’t have to complete the task of writing an outline like I would normally do for a new project. However the challenging thing about it, aside from the fact that I will be working on two books at the same time, is that they are two different types of books. One book is my novel that I started about two years ago and the other book, which I started working on about nine months ago, is non-fiction, more of a self-help/motivational book for writers. The two projects couldn’t be more opposite of each other so I’m not sure how the contrast is going to affect my production.

While National Novel Writing Month will not be new to me, trying to complete two different projects at the same time that are not in the same genres. I am a little more confident about the non-fiction project because I started it more recently and it will be fairly easy to jump back into it. The fiction book, I’m afraid I might have taken too much of a break from that one to just jump back in. Either way I am determined to make the best of the month of November and to attack these projects as if my life depends on it (they really do, lol). Once November is over and I (hopefully) have my two finished projects I plan to immediately get them into the editing phase so I can get the ball rolling on getting these books published.

I have my work cut out for me and for any of you who have participated in NaNoWriMo, you already know it is not an easy task to accomplish. I will share the process with you as it goes along and I hope if any of you are doing NaNoWriMo this month please feel free to share with me your process and how you’re achieving the task. I guess November will be a pretty busy and productive month!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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Even If It Takes a Dozen Coffee Cans I Will Get There

Coffee Can with money

Another nugget of inspiration that I took away from the Elizabeth Gilbert sit down she had with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday was when she talked about everyone needing to make a plan to go on their own quest similar to the one she went on in her Eat, Pray, Love. She expressed that everyone’s quest is naturally going to be different but that if you have a desire to go on your own quest you should not let any manner of obstacle stop you from doing so.

She told a story of a woman whose mother saved $1.00 a day in a coffee can every day for twenty years until all of her children were grown and on their way and she finally could take the trip around the world that she had been looking forward to taking. Elizabeth Gilbert spoke of getting our coffee cans together and even if life prevents us from going on our quest now, we should still start preparing for the moment when we can go on our quest.

I immediately went to my closet and got my coffee can and put a few dollars in there. I have a quest that I definitely want to go on. It was once my plan to have gone on a trip around Europe around my 30th birthday but circumstances and life and motherhood prevented that from happening and four years later I still have not made it to Europe. What Elizabeth Gilbert reminded me of was that just because my trip didn’t happen the way I wanted it, or in the time that I wanted it to, doesn’t mean that it can’t still happen.

I still want my writing vacation trip around Europe so I am putting my plan into place and I have already started my coffee can savings. I think that this gives me even more to look forward to in my life and it fuels me with even more motivation to accomplish all of the dreams that I have in mind to reach in order to be able to allow things like this writing European trip to happen. The journey is always worth taking, even if you have to save a dozen coffee cans to get to your destination.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

http://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

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Becoming a Vehicle for the Message

Delivering the message 3

I love to watch Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday for that extra sense of creative inspiration. Oprah always seems to have guests who are truly inspiring and motivate me that much more towards my goals and my destiny. The past two Sunday’s she had Elizabeth Gilbert, the Author of Eat, Pray, Love, on her show and while I didn’t watch them the precise moment that they were on, I recorded them on my DVR to be watched later (I love being able to forward through the commercials). So this morning to get my creative juices flowing and get some inspiration for my blog posts this week I sat down and watched both episodes (only intending to watch one today). While I admittedly have not read the book Eat, Pray, Love (although I fully intend to, I promise) every time I watch Elizabeth Gilbert speak or do an interview I feel like she always makes me realize something new that I had never realized before.

This morning as I watched the clips from her speaking at Oprah’s “Live the life you want tour” (which I so desperately wanted to attend but could not afford) and her interview with Oprah I found myself hoping that I could inspire people someday the way she does to the millions of people that she inspires. Now I have a lot of things that I want to do with this Write 2 Be brand, and the message that I want to share with this blog, my magazine, my books, this company in general, I feel, is so vital and important, and the way in which I want to deliver this message is steadily growing. As I put all of the parts of this vehicle together I realize more and more each day that the vehicle seemed to have always been missing a little something and I could never usually put my finger on it until today.

I have never been one for public speaking. In fact in grade school I used to take F’s as grades for not doing oral reports in front of the class until the teachers realized just how real my stage fright was and started letting me just do longer written reports. However, over the years I have become much better at voicing myself in front of people and more importantly speaking to people about my message of being authentic and being imperfectly perfect in whoever you were meant to be. My message is beginning to fall even more in line with the message of anti-bullying and in making sure that children are encouraged to be themselves despite whatever people have to say about them. I am beginning to realize that that message needs to be voiced even more and that there can never be enough people (because I ruled out my becoming active about it because there are already so many “important” people doing so) to get this message across to the world.

Now of course I am realistic enough to know that I can’t just miraculously become a public speaker and activist for anti-bullying and self-acceptance overnight.  But I know that I want to expressly make sure that I am promoting the message of individualism and authenticity and of people being okay with who they are and more importantly of being okay to not fit in. I want to make sure that what I am doing with my company and with the direction that I want the Write 2 Be brand to go in compliments that message in every single facet possible.

I admittedly have my work cut out for me. I have a lot of excuses I’ve been making that I need to stop making. I have a lot of work on my current books that should’ve been done that I haven’t been doing for one reason or another. I have a few projects that don’t necessarily involve me writing anything that I have to get the ball rolling on (one’s that tie into this message by the way) and haven’t even the first idea of where to begin. I have some research to do on some things I am trying to put together. But I know that the icing on the cake of all that I have to do and all that I am determined to get accomplished is this message that I must deliver.

It’s in me and it’s something I have dealt with personally as a child (the bullying and lack of self-acceptance) and it’s something I see my child and so many other children that I currently interact with struggling with now, and I know that I bring something special and experienced to this platform. I bring something worth sharing with the world to this message and I want to add my vehicle to the many other vehicles that are out there driving this message home. My vehicle is different but it is definitely worth the ride.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

http://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

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It’s Time to Start Preparing for National Novel Writing Month

Preparing for NaNoWriMo

It is October now and I typically take the month of October to prepare for whatever project I will be working on in the month of November for National Novel Writing Month. With me being so unable to really focus on my writing this year (and producing the work I should have) I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to even attempt to do NaNoWriMo this year. However, I have gotten so used to at least making the attempt that I think that I would feel like I would have failed at yet another task if I didn’t at least give it a shot. Last year’s attempt did not actually manage to bring about completion but it did give me quite a bit of blog material in my frustration for not being inspired last year.

So this year for NaNaWriMo I am literally going to double my efforts. I am going to finish up the novel I started two years ago that remains unfinished and I am going to finish up my ebook that I have been working on for the better part of this year. Yes I know that for someone who has been considerably off her writing A game this year it may seem like a daunting task and a possibly heart-wrenching one should I, once again, not be able to finish. But I am a glass half full type of woman who would rather look at the feeling that I will likely feel once the month of November is over and I have not one, but two finished products.

I think that it will fully reignite my creative spark that has been slowly inching its way back to me. I am excited to see what November will bring for my writing and of course I will be blogging about it but I would love to know what your plans are for National Novel Writing month so please feel free to share. Hopefully all of you will join in the challenge for NaNoWriMo with me!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

http://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

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At Times the Horizon Seems So Distant

Horizon in the distance

“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the world tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up, it’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon’.”

~From “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

 

I saw the above quote on a friend’s timeline in my seemingly constant Facebook surfing (which is really great for inspiration by the way) and it struck a chord with me. It’s kind of like those quotes that say don’t give up because success is right around the corner except in this quote it is much more profound and hard hitting. I won’t say that I am a person who gives up a lot because I am still not where I thought I would be, and long after the period in which I thought I would be there, and I still get people who tell me to just go back to working a regular job so I could live a much more comfortable lifestyle. Yet here I am, still going for it and pursuing it, one crushing blow after another.

But I’m not going to say that I haven’t had constant moments of doubt and wonder about whether I should give up. That quote hits home with me because I feel like I am constantly being tested, and not to sound too melodramatic, but I feel like the tests come at least every other day and they don’t ever stop. It is said that the bigger the battle the bigger the victory that God has in store for you and I just keep thinking that God must have one (excuse my language) hell of a victory waiting for me at the end of this part of my journey.

I suppose one would think that the constant testing is to make sure that you are absolutely certain about what it is that you say you want, what you say your dream is. We as a society tend to expect immediate results a lot. We want what we want, when we want it, and exactly the way we want it to happen. I suppose it is natural to have a plan and to actually expect that plan to go accordingly but in such an unpredictable world with surprises at every turn, we can’t allow ourselves to be so thrown off course that we simply stop moving.

I sometimes feel like this journey for me is like a trek through the desert. I keep seeing mirages of what I think is about to be my breakthrough. I see glimpses in the distance of what my future will look like but those glimpses seem like they will take forever to reach. Oftentimes it seems like I am standing in some figurative form of quicksand where I am sinking faster than I can find some far away branch to grab ahold of. And even when some spiritually appearing hand pulls me out of that quicksand the well of water sitting underneath the shady palm trees (my dream) still seems so far off in the distance that I feel like just giving up and succumbing to dehydration and heat exhaustion.

But I am still here. Through every test that the Soul of the world seems to be giving me, I am still making my way through that desert. I may still be seeing mirages far off in the distance but I know that the well of water and the shady palm trees are there and I will get there, eventually. I don’t want to be one of those that collapses along the way and finds the well and palm trees right at the edge of their fingertips at the point that they gave up. I plan on being the one who survives every tests and who makes it to the well. And if that well is dry, I plan on being the one who treks on until I find the well that is full, of all my dreams and all that God has in store for me. I am told that I am stronger than I give myself credit for and looking back on just how far I have come in this journey of mine, without giving up even once, I am starting to realize that maybe they are right.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

http://write-2-be.com/

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No More Excuses, I Have to Do Better

No More Excuses

I need to do better. I was watching a video online the other day dealing with how to become more successful and attain your goals and one of the things the person in the video said to do was to write a new list of what your current goals are. Not look at your old list and revise according to your current circumstances but rather to look at where you are now, who you are now, and what you want in this moment, and write down what your goals are moving forward.

When I wrote down my list I realized that some of my old goals had fallen off of that list and there had also been some new additions that I didn’t even see as something that I would ever want but surprisingly found myself being called to it. Some things were on my old list but the idea has grown into something more than what it was before. It was a little eye opening to make this new list but also made me a little disappointed in myself.

I can’t count how many excuses I have made to not write or do something towards any of those goals on that list and at the time they felt like legitimate reasons (tired, sleep deprived, depressed, no energy, etc.) but in retrospect they were just excuses for one overall fact that I wasn’t feeling inspired and was riddled with self-doubt and fear.  I used to have a daily routine in which I at least wrote 1,000 words of whatever novel I was working on and then still wrote my blog and a couple of articles and that was in one day. I was so productive and it seems like that time was so long ago when it really wasn’t. I don’t know what happened in the last two years that made me somehow stall on everything but I have seemingly found myself stalled on everything that I want to accomplish and create.

I am not going to make excuses anymore because they don’t get me anywhere and they only result in me wishing for something that I can just change now before too much time has been wasted and too many things have gone undone. I feel like I might have been on some type of writing sabbatical that was neither planned for nor wanted and I am ready to get back into a normal rhythm of writing again. It’s time to throw away the excuses and put down some results. What excuses have you been making for yourself in your writing career?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

http://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

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That Nurturing Presence

Nurturing Presence

I was talking to someone the other day about my brand and my company, Write 2 Be, and I was explaining the message to her and she responded so positively to it. She conveyed some issues that her daughter has in school with bullying and with feeling that she doesn’t fit it because she’s not quite like the other kids, she’s unique and has an artistic mind, which most people who are not artistic cannot identify with. I could relate to her daughter’s issues because my daughter had been having the same and I too had those issues when I was younger in grade school.

Her mother shared excitement in the mentoring program that I am working on putting together, which centers around the premise of using the arts (which are sadly slowly being removed from our schools) as a way to foster courage and self-love, self-acceptance, and confidence in an individual’s uniqueness. She asked me what was taking so long because the kids growing up need a program like that (specifically in my area). I really could only respond with the fact that I would need a grant for that sort of program and the excuse that I still haven’t gathered up everything to put a grant proposal together for that yet.

It was nice and motivating to hear someone else so excited about what I am doing and what I want my brand to stand for. It got me to thinking about the fact that if more kids had this sort of mentoring program, one telling kids all the things that they can do versus telling them all of the things that they can’t do, or even worse, telling them all of the road blocks that will stand in their way, then maybe we would have more kids confident that they can be somebody and that they can be much more than their current circumstances or possibly more than their current environment (if they are not in a nurturing environment).

I think that if I had someone like that when I was growing up I wouldn’t have done so many stupid things to try and conform and fit in to what everyone else wanted me to be. I think that if someone had told me that I was special and that I was talented and that I could be anything that I wanted to be that it may not have taken so long for me to grasp that fact. I think that I definitely would have had a lot more confidence in myself and in the purpose that God gave me. I might have realized that it was my purpose a lot sooner.

There is nothing better for a child than for them to know that there is someone that believes in them. Even if it is only that one person, their parent(s), their sibling, their friend, that one teacher, or that one person who doesn’t have to, but that takes the time to nurture their gift, it matters. While I know that I am supposed to only be focused on living in the moment, I can’t help but wonder sometimes what would be different if my gifts were nurtured growing up. I know I can’t go back and change what I didn’t have growing up but I can make a difference for other children growing up today by creating that nurturing environment for their talents and gifts, for them to discover their purpose and tell them that they should do nothing less than go for it.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

http://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

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Staying Focused on My Own Journey

My own Journey

An old friend of mine posted some words of wisdom on his Facebook page today that resonated with me. His post started off with these words “Ignore the comparisons and expectations knocking at your door. The only person that you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Prove yourself to yourself, not others.” It went on to say more but I stopped there because it dawned on me that while I have gotten out of the practice of trying to impress and prove something to other people around me, I haven’t quite managed to prove the things to myself that I need to. I haven’t quite lived up to my own expectations, both of others and myself.

I have a huge amount of goals for a huge, damn near impossible dream that I have had since I was younger, and where I am now at this exact point in time is not where I imagined I would be right now. My own expectations have not been met and the terrible realization is that I only have myself to blame for that. I have something to prove to myself about my real intentions towards my dreams and about my true ability to be able to get what I need to get done to accomplish those goals.

I make comparisons all the time (subconsciously) about how far someone else has come and about the life some others around me may have. It’s not that I want their life per say, but rather that I see that they are where they want to be in their life and I am not quite there yet. But there’s this quote that reminds me that I can’t drive myself crazy with where someone else stands in their life. It says “don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20” and I am guilty of doing that a lot. I take someone else who is in their home stretch of their journey and compare it to me being in the middle of mine.

I have to keep in mind that I’m just in the middle of my journey and I haven’t even begun to realize the blessings that are going to come my way. When that frustration starts to set in and I look around at everyone’s seemingly perfect circumstances I have to be reminded that I don’t know what is going on behind their side of the fence. Their grass might not be as green on their side as it appears and as long as I continue to water my side of the fence my grass has the potential to be just as green, if not brighter.

So I’m going to stop looking over on other people’s paths and stay focused on mine. I can’t afford to be forced into a detour because I simply wasn’t focused on where I was going. I’m going to work hard on staying in my lane and looking straight ahead. What’s for me is on my side of the fence, not over in someone else’s yard.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

http://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

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Published in: on September 24, 2014 at 3:34 PM  Comments (1)  
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Getting My Creative House In Order

Creativity 2

The space that you have to create in is very important to a writer, or to an artists’ in general. Sure it is said and has been proven that a writer can pretty much write anywhere, whether it’s just in their head while their driving around, or at a coffee shop in the hustle and bustle of everyday strangers. However, the space that a writer has at home or at wherever they choose to call their office, I’ve come to realize is incredibly important.

Looking over at the corner of my room that is designated as my office I am shocked at how out of order I have let it get. There are so many initiatives that I was supposed to take to spark my creativity on a daily, or at least regular basis but my working are does not depict that. My desk is cluttered, far more than I would like it to be, and my bulletin board contains lists of things to get done that just simply haven’t even been halfway accomplished. My vision board that I was supposed to have created by now, well the items to go on the vision board are scattered across my desk somewhere so clear it’s not displayed as it should be. Maybe that is why I am struggling with keeping my eye on the vision that I have and not veering off into the land of self-doubt.

You know how people get when it comes to Spring cleaning and emptying out their closets and getting their house in shape. Well that is how I feel when Fall rolls around about my writing space. I think that I need to take some time in this month of getting back to reigniting my creativity and refresh my creative space. I think that this is definitely something that I have to tackle during this month in order to truly get my creativity going strong again.

If your mind is already cluttered with ideas then there isn’t really a benefit to having a cluttered space in which you are supposed to create in. In a career such as being a writer where ideas and projects can be all over the place, you need something about your creative process to be focused and organized. So this weekend that is going to be one of the many things that I try to put into perspective. I am feeling the surge of creativity flow again, stronger than it has been in recent months, and I want to guard this surge with everything.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

http://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

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Creative Breakthrough

Breakthrough

This month has done exactly what I wanted it to do by focusing more on the actual craft of writing. It has reignited some creativity that I truly was starting to believe I was losing little by little. I had all of these ideas in my head but they just weren’t coming out on paper and they weren’t really coming into focus. These ideas were in bits and pieces trying to formulate themselves and it just wasn’t happening. But somehow when I took this time to focus on the writing itself and not solely on the marketing and the business side of things it seems to have helped those pieces come together.

I have been putting more and more of my ideas down on paper and they are starting to seem like more of a real possibility. I have even started to have a breakthrough on some ideas for my next novel that I have been stuck on up until now. I feel myself coming out of the funk that I was in slowly and even though some of the obstacles that I have right now have not gone away or even clear up, I feel more hopeful about things these days.

I know that with these obstacles, or financial standstills rather, that worrying doesn’t make them go away and it doesn’t display my true faith in God and that he will never allow me to go through anything that I can’t get through. I trust that there is a reason for everything that we go through in this life and that nothing is without purpose. Perhaps I needed this standstill in my creativity to wake me up to the realization that I can’t wait for all of the stars to align perfectly and that I can’t waste any more time.

I’ve been working on not waiting until everything is perfect to begin. I know there are a lot of things that I do imperfectly so a huge part of my problem is that before I submit work anywhere or display an idea I want things to be perfect but when does perfection ever truly happen. I keep putting off doing things because I have convinced myself that unless they’re perfect they just won’t be good enough but that’s just my self-doubt creeping in to my subconscious.

These last couple of weeks of me just concentrating on my creativity within my writing and not stressing so much on the business end have made me remember where the passion I had for writing came from to begin with. Of course I have in no way forgotten that this is my business as well and that I do have to put effort into that but I definitely do not want to forget what made me fall in love with the power of words in the first place. I have to make sure I stay in love with the power of words.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

http://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv

Published in: on September 17, 2014 at 5:58 PM  Leave a Comment  
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