There Can Be No Victory Without Having Something to Defeat

“Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.”

~Malcolm S. Forbes 

This morning I read Ms. L.’s latest blog post and it got me thinking about how we tend to only want to talk about positive things and spare others from the bad (or at least from so much of the bad).  I myself sometimes feel as if when I post I tend to zero in on the problems and that the positive spin that I try to put on certain struggles I deal with and doubts and fears that I have are just not positive enough.  

In reading Ms. L.’s post it dawned on me that we all love when we hear the feel-good stories but I’m not sure that we realize that the reason we love them so much is because of the struggle that they come from.  We like to hear about the things that people overcome and how hard people have to fight to get where it is that they want to be in life and we applaud the victory on the other side of their struggles.  It gives us a sense of hope for our own situations.  

We can’t always put a positive spin on things that happen in our lives.  Sometimes we just have to tell it like it is and hope that others can take something positive away from whatever it is that we are going through.  There are always lessons to be learned from the experiences that we go through and sometimes the silver lining just doesn’t show up until after the storm clouds are gone. 

However, we still have to fight our way through the storm clouds, and not only that, we have to share our fight.  We have to use our struggles to equip others with the necessary tools that they may not even realize they already have so they can weather the storms too.  There are silver linings to everything, but Ms. L. is right when she points out that those silver linings don’t really mean much without the clouds that you had to go through to get there.     

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

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Time Is Ticking Away From Me

“If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.”

~Anthony J. D’Angelo 

In my battle to become more productive in my writing I am struggling with the fact that I can’t cram more time to write in a single 24 hour day.  I’m just not as young (in either actual age or spirit) as I used to be and I can’t even find a way to force myself to stay up all night like I used to.  

I still go to bed relatively late (around 1 am) but even staying up that late doesn’t prove to make me more productive.  When I was younger I would be up from the time I woke up early in the morning until almost the same hour the next morning, working on only one or two hours of sleep (if that).  And when I was up, I don’t just mean awake and conscious, I mean alert, on the move, and with non-stop energy.  

Now, even though I go to bed late it is no longer because I am able to bounce around with energy beyond my control and channel it into sitting in front of the computer to work on my novel (not that I don’t try).  This is what I am battling to try and change.  I am trying to be able to get more work done in the day so that I have some work to show for the time that is flying by faster than I can blink my eyes.  

I would like to know whatever energy pill that all the famous, over-producing novelist’, and screenplay writers are taking and how I can get my hands on them.  I suppose I just have to discover the key to actually getting the sleep I need and still getting a sufficient (and by sufficient I mean way more than the average person can get done in one day) amount of work accomplished in a normal 24 hour period.  If anyone out there has figured it out please give me a hint to the magic solution. 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

What Do You Say On the Days You Don’t Know What To Say?

I made a promise to myself that I would really focus on writing a blog post on a very regular basis.  At first it was everyday but then I realized that I wanted my weekends to be about reading, or doing research, or marketing myself in some way.  I still have work to do on the marketing part of that equation.  

However, I won’t pretend like it is not a struggle to produce words that will be thought provoking and inspirational (hopefully you guys do consider them inspirational) on a consistent basis.  Some days I really just don’t know what to say.  Some days I go through the whole day and I don’t hear anything that inspires me or gives me an insight into what to write for you guys.  

I tend to feel really inadequate as a writer on those days when I don’t know what to say.  People have this misconception that writers know exactly the right things to say and sometimes we just don’t.  Sometimes our minds are focused on whatever project we are working on and that is what consumes us.  Today is one of those days for me.  

I have thoughts of finishing my novel going through my head and where to go next with it.  I have thoughts of the next novel project that can either be a Young Adult novel or an Adult fiction novel but I haven’t quite decided which way to take it just yet.  I have a non-fiction book that I am trying to figure out what direction I want to go with it because it is a book that will be about my weight loss journey which is more about becoming a healthier and happier version of myself but it will also incorporate details of my childhood so it might actually border on something close to a memoir.  

That is what has been on my mind all day and thus I couldn’t really come up with anything to say today.  So I hope that you will understand my lack of inspiration in my blog post today but I did keep my promise I made to myself to continue posting on a daily basis.  Maybe tomorrow I will know exactly what words to say. 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

I Always Wonder If I Made the Right Choice in Choosing My Dream

“Have the courage to follow your dreams.  It’s the first step towards attaining your destiny.”

~Nikita Koloff 

I was reading a post on a new blog I stumbled on earlier this morning (The Write Life) and it got me thinking about all of the energy and time and money (although not enough of it) and emotions that I have put into my writing and trying to become more successful and get my name out there.  It made me wonder if it has all just been a waste of time and whether or not my time would be better spent working some 9 to 5 job sitting behind some desk typing memos, making copies, and running errands for some boss that I bitch and moan about to my friends as soon as I step foot in my door.  

Perhaps I should have continued to work to build up someone else’s business and continue being frustrated at the lack of time it allowed me to spend with my daughter.  I certainly would have more money to my name than I do now.  I certainly wouldn’t be in a state of perpetual struggle wondering what happens if I don’t have a client, or what happens if I don’t sell my books.  I wouldn’t be in a position where I have to rely on my ability to be fearless (which most days isn’t present) just to be able to put my name out there and get my work seen by the right people (or people who know the right people).  

If I had only chosen some other profession that held a more stable foundation and didn’t provide so much uncertainty, then I might be able to take trips to wherever I want, or throw huge wonderful birthday parties for my daughter, or buy clothes for my daughter as soon as she needs them, or not always be a month behind in paying bills.  I think about the fact that I would be a lot less stressed if I just had a steady stream of income and didn’t choose to go full force at trying to make this thing happen and decide that I wanted to be an at home (or work at home) mother for my daughter.  

A lot of times (more times than I would care to admit) I have those questions run through my head.  Always wondering if I’m a bad mom for choosing my dream over the comfort-ability that lies in always knowing for certain when the next pay check is coming.  But after all of the doubts and fears are swept away, I think about all of the time that I have had with my daughter that I would’ve had to give up and the frustration that I would have continued to feel because I wasn’t able to fully give my writing the attention it needed or deserved when I was working for someone else, and I believe that I have made the right choice, at least the right one for me.  

I know that there are plenty of writers out there who do have a regular9 to 5job in which writing coincides with and I applaud them.  I admire the balance that they are able to have and still maintain their sanity.  I just wasn’t one of those people who could do that.  

Now no one may understand my choice that I made years ago to never go back to working for someone else (at least not in fields and professions that didn’t have anything to do with my passion for writing).  They may see my struggling as proof that it is not the way for them to go about it.  They may (and most likely do) think that I am crazy for not choosing the certainty of knowing when the money is coming in.  They may be right.  

However, when I see the happiness that my daughter feels knowing that I’m going to be the one taking her to school and picking her up and helping her with her homework, I know that I must have done something right.  When I see how proud she is to know her mom is a writer and being able to encourage her to follow her dreams knowing that I followed mine, it makes me feel like its all worth it; all of the uncertainty and the struggle.  There will always be days when I think that I am wasting my time, where I wonder if what I’m doing really makes a difference, but I just have to remember to take a step back and look at what I have already accomplished and know in my heart that I made the best decision, for the both of us.    

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Writers Do More Than Just Write

I think back to the days when I actually thought that being a writer only entailed writing.  But we writers, we do way more than just write.  I am slowly figuring out that among the many things on the list of our duties is being a public speaker.  It is something that most, if not all, writers must adapt to.  It is one thing that I struggle with the most.  

Just the thought of being in front of people and talking about myself or my work makes me nervous and begin to feel my anxiety level rise.  It’s actually funny because most people that know me would say that it is hilarious to think of me not being able to talk in front of people because I seem to be able to hold a conversation so well.  

However, the reality is that being as though writing is my destiny and my purpose and I know that I have to do whatever it takes to be successful at it, I have to learn to get over my consistent state of stage fright.  It’s only going to hold me back, and it’s only going to limit me from the possibilities that lie ahead of me.  My opportunities reside in the extra steps that I take to get where I need to be.  

It is amusing to me when someone dismisses writing as a hobby and not really being a job.  When I tell people I am a writer they usually say something to the effect of, ‘oh so you don’t really have a job’.  My response is (after rolling my eyes at the audacity that they would have to say that) is ‘writing is a job, why don’t you try it and tell me it isn’t work.’  What I don’t think people get is that writing is hard work.  

Writers are many things.  Our lists of duties extend far beyond the realm of putting words on paper.  We are our own promoters and marketers, we are our own accountants (unless you’re making enough to afford one), we are editors, we are researchers, we are public speakers, we are activists, we are musicians, we are directors, we are motivators, and we are entrepreneurs.  A Writer certainly does way more than just write.     

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Where Writing Leaves Off, Music Picks Up

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.”
~Victor Hugo 

I just finished reading Ms. L.’s blog post from last night.  I swear sometimes when she writes a post it’s almost like she tuned into something that I was already thinking about and wanted to say but somehow couldn’t actually find the words to say it.  And then I usually read her post and it helps me put what I wanted to say into perspective.  

She talked about the musician side of her and while I must say I don’t have the songwriting capability that she has, I too, have had dreams of being on the stage singing with the whole shebang, lights, cameras, band, and background singers.  Now it’s usually hard for me to toot my own horn most of the time but there are two things that I have no problem acknowledging that I am good at, my writing (of course) and my singing.  

I can still sing, or at least carry a more decent tune than most, but there was once a time when I really (really) used to be able to sing.  I had a really good range and I could hold a note for a really long time.  I might have had a little too much vibrato at times but it could’ve been managed.  

I miss the times when I used to just pull out my stacks of CDs and just hold my own personal concert in my house.  Sometimes there would even be an occasional group of my friends (of course they could sing too) and we would do group songs, duets, and each would take turns being the soloist.  Those were really fun times.  

Singing was my release, almost as much as writing was.  In fact when I wasn’t writing you would more than likely find me singing.  Even when my daughter was a baby I would sing to my daughter and it would literally lull her right to sleep.  I would still get together with that group of friends and we would sing to entertain her and she loved it.  

I never really thought about the possibility of writing songs until recently, partly because I feel my voice wasn’t what it once was and I realize that I might never get to contribute to the music industry the way I had once intended to, on stage.  I’ve even been told all throughout my time of writing poetry that I had some poems that have the potential of making really good songs.  The problem with that would be that, unlike Ms. L., I can not write or read music, so I’m always left with this melody of something in my head that I can’t for the life of me (because I’m getting old and my memory isn’t what it once was) remember later. 

Sometimes I do feel like I am really missing out on something by not getting some piano lessons and perhaps beginning to actually write my own songs to sing.  But I suppose that if it’s meant to be for me to create music, because it is ingrained inside of me, then it will be present within my journey.  

I do, however, miss the days of gathering up my stacks of CDs and cranking my stereo up, and singing for hours on end.  Music has a way of healing my spirit in ways that sometimes (very rarely) writing can’t.  When I can’t find the words to convey what I am feeling, I can always find the song.  It’s as if it picks up where writing leaves off and then allows my writing to weave its way back in.  

“Where words fail, music speaks.”

~Hans Christian Andersen 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Accidentally but on Purpose

“There are no mistakes, no coincidences.  All events are blessings given to us to learn from.”

~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross 

I always hear the phrase, accidents happen, and for the longest time I believed it to be true.  Things, little coincidences, just happen sometimes.  You run into someone at the store that you haven’t seen in a long time seems like it would be a coincidence.  You meeting someone that you may have more than a few things in common with is just a happy coincidence.  You having some sort of accident happen to you or a family member, perhaps a car accident, is just a terrible accident that should’ve never happened, right?  Wrong.  

I used to believe that but somewhere along this journey of my life I have come to know that there is no such thing as coincidences and accidents.  If you were to believe that things in your life happen by accident, or coincidence, then that is to say that you don’t believe that there is a plan that God has already laid out for you before you were even born into this world.  

I meet different people all of the time but they don’t all stick, they don’t all get invited into my inner circle.  But the ones that do, the ones that have been there no matter what, I know that I did not meet them by accident and there was no coincidence in those meetings.  They were placed before me, by God, because he knew that I needed them in my life, and perhaps that they needed me too.  

I have come to realize over the years that there is a reason for everything that happens in your life, and that they don’t just accidentally happen.  I have been in several car accidents in my life, two in which I could have died in.  I know that technically they are deemed car accidents but I in many ways see them as signs.  Maybe they were to wake me up to the fact that, although for a large part of my life I thought I was just here by mistake (mostly because my mother told me that I was one) and that I had no good to share with the rest of the world, I am in fact here for a reason.  

My best friend, Ms. L. and I met coincidentally, or so I always thought.  We were in college and one night I went into the T.V. lounge and she was sitting there watching T.V.  We struck up a conversation and began to hang out, initially meeting in the lounge almost every night, and then trading time in each other’s dorm rooms.  

Two girls, from two different types of backgrounds, with two totally different levels of self esteem and confidence; one who was (or at least appeared to be) very sure of herself, and one who was still lost trying to figure out what version of herself was the right one to let the rest of the world see (that would be me).  

We couldn’t have been more different, but oddly enough we couldn’t have been more alike either.  Looking back now, on what I thought was a coincidence I see that we were always supposed to meet.  I can’t even imagine my life without her in it and there are so many benefits of having her as my best friend and knowing she will always be in my corner no matter what, and I in hers.    

I don’t believe that I met her by accident, nor any of the other people who I deem to be significant in my life.  Much like Ms. L., they all drive me, to be better, to be more consistent.  They make me want to be a better friend, a better person, and force me to see in myself what they see in me.  

The thing is that you never know what the reason is for any one particular circumstance that you are going through.  And you won’t know until you have seen your way through those circumstances.  There is a reason, or rather, a purpose for every turning point (good or bad) in your life.  And nothing ever happens by accident.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

I Know It Doesn’t Seem Like I Was Productive Today…

Every day is not going to be the most productive day like I usually imagine it to be when I get out of bed in the morning.  I imagine that after I take my daughter to school, go do my workout at the gym, come home to shower and get dressed that I would be ready to load myself with a cup (or two) of coffee and get straight to work.  However, it does not always work out that way.  

A part of me becoming more focused on my goals and turning my dreams into reality is to make sure that I am more productive everyday.  Sometimes that calls for me to begin to realize that productivity does not just lie in the work that’s being done in a manner that can be always be seen.  

Even if at the end of a day I don’t have a thousand words on my novel written, or I don’t write two or three query letters to be sent out, or I haven’t started that outline for the next novel that I was supposed to start the other day, or I don’t have the most prolific words for my blog post, it doesn’t mean that work is not being done.  

A lot of times a writer’s work begins in their minds first.  An idea formulates and is planned out in extensive detail within the walls of your mind and it takes life all before you even take pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).  Research is also a big part of a writer’s world because that aspect of any project is extremely important and can not be avoided.  

So on days like today, when I start to begin beating myself up for not having a finished query letter to send off, or for not being words closer to completing my novel, I have to remind myself that it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t productive.  I do an enormous amount of my work in my head, and another large part is done in my research efforts.  I can’t allow myself to feel like I’m not getting things done just because I don’t have a finished product.  Some days my mind just needs to do the work within its walls and that’s okay.  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Structuring Ourselves In Order to Sustain His Blessings

“Your real strength, your guts, your tenacity, your staying power, your discipline, is in the things God did for you when nobody was looking.”

~Bishop T.D. Jakes 

I realized last night that my post yesterday was a little unfinished.  I don’t think that the message that I was trying to convey was finished yet.  I was reading Ms. L’s blog post this morning and realized that there was more I needed to say.  She spoke of having doubts in her mission and her purpose with what she is trying to do with her company and her new magazine, PIEhole, and in reading her post I thought all of these doubts sounded all too familiar for me.  

I hadn’t realized that she was experiencing this much doubt.  I always see her as so well put together and it just always seems that she is fearless and ready to take on the world.  I started thinking back to the Bishop T.D. Jakes sermon that I listened to yesterday and the particular part that I wanted to convey to Ms. L. in her time of doubt, and what I have to get through to my own mind as well, is that greatness takes time.  

“The best miracles in your life take time; can not be driven by hunger, or need, or necessity.  Sometimes you have to get yourself structured and in order so that you are ready to receive the magnitude of what God has for you.  Just because you have a driving need does not mean that you can disperse with the order and the time and the structure that is necessary to hold the weight of what God is going to do.  Some people are so busy trying to get what God has that they don’t provide the structure that is necessary to sustain what they have been given.”  

This quote struck me when I heard it in his sermon.  It hit me like a ton of bricks because I thought about the fact that I have not necessarily built up a stable structure.  I have not yet gotten the order that I need to have to sustain the kind of structure that I need.  It makes sense that God would want to hold onto the overflow of blessings that he has stored up for me until he sees that I have built up a stable enough structure to hold the weight of those blessings.  

I am still working on the order and my structure and perhaps I should stop rushing God along to give me what he knows that I am not ready to sustain.  “Until you can be thankful for something that is not enough, then what you have can not be multiplied into what is more than enough.”  Perhaps my time would be better spent preparing my structure and being thankful for the things that he has already blessed me with and seen me through instead of just waiting for him to do what he has in his plans to do for me.  

So that’s what I’m going to continue to strive for and work on.  I am going to be building up my structure and getting my ‘house’ in order and enjoy and be thankful for what God has already blessed me with on an everyday basis.  He has blessed me with so many things in my life thus far, among them a purpose, knowledge of how to go after that purpose, and the ability to carry out that purpose.  I know that once he feels I am ready for the overflow, my cup will runneth over.  

*(And Ms. L., your cup is already nearing the edge.)*   

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Somewhere Hidden In the Scraps

“Miracles always begin with recognition of what you have; if you don’t recognize what you have, you can never multiply what you have not recognized.”

~Bishop T.D. Jakes 

There are some writers that will always tell other aspiring writers that they are never supposed to throw anything away.  That whatever you create should be held onto.  There are those scraps of paper that you set to the side whenever your idea doesn’t pan out the way you thought it would.  

There’s that opening scene that you decided that you weren’t crazy about once you had completed it.  Even the novel that you, for some unknown reason, stopped working on halfway through it and have just set to the side never to be seen again for years, possibly decades.  I firmly believe in never throwing things away but not just for the sake of holding onto things and not being able to let go but because you never know what treasures lie in those scraps of paper that you are thinking about throwing away.  

Those scraps of paper may not have been right for what you initially intended it for but they might be perfect for some other project down the line.  That scene may not have fit that particular story but could find a home in the next one.  That unfinished novel that is still sitting and collecting dust may just be waiting for the right time for you to be ready to finish it and it could be the next great novel the world is waiting to read.   

Last week I wrote a post that mentioned some segments from a sermon given by Bishop T.D. Jakes that was featured on a particular episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter.  I had only captured certain pieces of that sermon on the show but this morning I went back and listened to it in its entirety and got so much more out of it then I did before.  His specific message was on saving the scraps (our past burdens) and it was centered around a passage from the bible taken from Mark6:42-52.  

In his sermon he said that “The miracle is not in what you lost, the miracle is not in what you have consumed previously, your best days are not your yesterdays, your miracles are in what you have left.  If you discard it, ignore it, don’t use it, don’t value it, don’t learn from it, don’t understand it, you will lose the battle before you because you did not learn from the battle behind you. – That which remains is more valuable than that which was lost.”  

He talked about us taking our scraps and using them to enable us to power through and forge ahead.  To use them as our learning tools that eventually become our blessings.  “Your power is not in where you are, your power is in where you’ve been” and if you don’t recognize and hold onto the place that you were once at you can not truly appreciate the place where you are now.  

Bishop T.D. Jakes closed his sermon by saying to those who have been broken, that the problem is that you have not considered the scraps that God has given you.  If you had considered the scraps then you would already know and trust that you are safe.  That it is not what you go through, but rather how you perceive what you go through.  

I am very aware of the fact that I need to learn how to appreciate the scraps of my life instead of continuing to try and bury them.   True gratitude comes in the appreciation of the fact that those scraps have been the reason for more than my fair share of blessings. Like it or not those scraps are what makes me who I am.  They’re what make you who you are too.  

When you look back at the things that you have been through and on the lows that you have been in, you have to know that God would not have put you through those things if he did not have a plan to bring you to higher ground.  Your blessings are hidden in what you’ve already experienced and been through, in the lessons that life has already been teaching you.  Your blessings are hidden in the scraps of it all.  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

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