Twas the Day Before NaNoWriMo

Okay I know it’s Halloween and most of you are probably busy getting the children ready to go trick-or-treating in their costumes or off to their Halloween parties.  In all of the Halloween candy rush don’t forget what tonight is.  For those of you who have signed up to get lost in the world of words this November (National Novel Writing Month) it is the last night of freedom (in a sense) that you have to not be stressed over whether you met a certain word count requirement for the day.

By now you have hopefully already completed your outline, done your research, gained an intimate knowledge of your characters, and scheduled your time to write to suit your needs and your daily responsibilities.  If you’ve gotten all of that checked off your to do list, then you are practically ready to go come November 1st (that’s tomorrow by the way) but if you haven’t prepared then don’t panic.  You could always do what a lot of writers do during NaNoWriMo anyway, wing it.  Just start from point A and continue from there.

Also an important thing to remember for those who have not put tons of preparation into this, you DO NOT have to start your story from the very beginning.  I must admit that I myself have a hard time starting a story in any other place but the beginning but I’ve tried starting at a different chapter but number one a time or two and, to my surprise, it did not kill my passion for the story or disturb the flow once I went back to the beginning.

If you can’t think of how to start your story off, then begin with chapter two, or three, or why not even start at the end.  No matter where you start your story on November 1st, just start!  I’ll be blogging helpful tips and tricks to get through the crazy event that is NaNoWriMo throughout the month so make sure you check back from time to time.  Until then…Happy NaNoWriMo-ing!

 

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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Waiting Out the Storm…Doing Nothing!

This past weekend everyone awaited Hurricane Sandy with all of its anticipated destruction that was to come with it.  Everyone stocked up at the store, making sure they had enough non-perishable, batteries for their flashlights, sand bags if you happened to live close enough to the water, and most likely people made sure that they had something to keep them busy while they were made to be confined to their homes for about two days or so.

I managed to make it to the store to get a few essentials (and by essentials I mostly mean snacks) but I already had flashlights with batteries, and I have tons to be able to keep me busy because there are tons of things that I have been unable to get done lately.  I also had the impossible task of keeping a child who very much loves being out of the house from being bored.

All of the things I could have chosen to do during my stay indoors for the last two days I chose to do absolutely nothing.  I mean I played with my daughter and I watched TV, I even managed to do some reading that was long overdue.  But I can admit that I was really lazy these last two days.

But tomorrow is a new day, there’s no more Hurricane Sandy, no more mandatory need to stay indoors, no more excuses that I can make.  Tomorrow it is time to put in some much needed work on all of the things I must get done.  But for now, I’m going to go back to reading my book.  Hope all of you are being productive, and if you’re not, I at least hope that you’re enjoying being able to do nothing because I’m sure it doesn’t happen as often as you need it to!

 

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

NaNoWriMo Reminder: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect On the First Draft

I was reading blog posts this morning, catching up on posts from the last couple of days of some of the blogs that I subscribe to.  I came across one by Catherine Ryan Howard discussing National Novel Writing Month and some of the backlash that the yearly event gets from “real writers” who turn down their noses at the idea of creating a novel in 30 days.  Her blog post listed a whole host of reasons why she discarded the notion that NaNoWriMo is just nonsense and somehow belittles the profession of writing.

Until reading her blog post I had never known anyone to say anything bad about NaNoWriMo or that indicated that NaNoWriMo was something that was not for “real writers”.  After all, I’ve done NaNoWriMo for many years and I don’t consider myself anything less than a real writer.  It got me to thinking about just how many people that we don’t realize actually get the novels that they began writing during a National Novel Writing Month event published and just how important something like NaNoWriMo really is.

It also made me think about how many people do themselves in by trying to actually complete a novel (writing, editing, rewriting, and re-editing again many times over) in those 30 days.  Maybe that’s where people get overwhelmed at with the thought of NaNoWriMo.  So many people (myself included) have tried to complete the impossible task of writing and actually finishing a novel in 30 days that they forget to have fun while they are doing it.

Yes writing is (hard) work, but I think that a lot of times what we writers tend to forget during the month of November is that it should still be fun as well.  There should still be passion behind the words we write and not just a continuous rush to get it done no matter what.  If you are striving for a perfect draft the first time out the gate during NaNoWriMo then you may just be disappointed.

Don’t get caught up in exactly what the end product is supposed to be.  After you’ve come up with the plot, you’ve done your outline, and you’ve mapped out your schedule, just sit down and write.

Don’t try and make it perfect, don’t go back and edit while you’re writing, don’t agonize over whether you’re going to be able to get it published once it’s done.  Just sit down, enjoy the characters that are honoring you with telling their story, and write!  I promise you that if you enjoy what you are writing, then people will almost certainly enjoy reading what you have written.

 

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

Does One Mistake Really Erase All of the Good?

FALL FROM GRACE.  These are the three words being used to depict the athlete Lance Armstrong and all that he accomplished throughout his entire career.  Of course we all know that Lance Armstrong has just recently had his seven Tour de France titles stripped away after being found guilty of “doping” during his career and those races.  On top of that he also had major endorsement deals that rescinded their offers due to the controversy.

Now I don’t know whether or not Lance Armstrong is in fact guilty of doping in order to win all of those races that he won or is this just a witch hunt that they are on and pinning the bulk of the blame on him.  Frankly I don’t really care if he did or didn’t because in my eyes what they are doing to him and to his name is a disgrace.  Stripping him of his titles doesn’t change the fact that he did win those races and I don’t know too many people who could have done what he did, on or off drugs.

What is really a shame is that in order to punish him for a mistake that they have absolutely no real tangible proof that he did (only hearsay by his so called ex-teammates and results from blood work that could very easily have been medication from his cancer treatment) they have tainted his name along with all of the good that he has done.  His foundation, the Live Strong Foundation does good work for cancer research and it also goes to great lengths to provide free services to help anyone who is affected by cancer and cannot monetarily take care of those responsibilities, and recently he was forced to appoint someone else as the head of it in order to preserve its integrity.

There are a lot of people who are angry about this and disgusted with Lance Armstrong but let me tell you why I am not one of them.  It is because we are all human and we do not have the right to pass personal judgments on anyone else not knowing what they live through on a daily basis.  I’m not naïve to think that Lance might not have doped up in the latter part of his racing career but I certainly don’t believe that he did in the beginning.  What does stripping him of his titles do, really?  He knows he still won them.  The world knows that he still won them.  When they talk about stripping his titles in the news they still refer to him as the one who won 7 Tour de France races.

What it does do is send a message to others, especially the children of the future, that if you dare to make one mistake, that suddenly means that all the good that you did do means nothing now.  Is that really what we want to communicate to people?  That if, God forbid, you mess up in your life that you don’t deserve another chance and that you have to be beat down for your mistake continuously.

We make mistakes in life.  We do things that we once said we would never ever do in a million years.  People don’t just wake up with the idea of doing something morally and ethically wrong.  People don’t intentionally set out to make their lives a circus.  People do expect that if they make a mistake that it will not erase every good thing about them.  You expect to be given second chances and you expect to not be deemed a bad person simply because you made an error in judgment.  What ever happened to forgiveness and understanding?  How are we supposed to ever learn from the mistakes that we make if no one will ever let us forget them?

 

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

The Writer That Doesn’t Put Themselves Out There Doesn’t Get Seen

It is very hard to put yourself out there in any capacity, be it love or your career.  It stirs up feelings of fear of being rejected, not being good enough, not being accepted, not succeeding at your end goal, and even of how you will handle it if you do succeed.  Being a writer, you find yourself having to put yourself out there quite often, at least until you have put in enough hard work and effort to where the people you want to write for are finally coming to you.

It takes time to get to that point, where you are no longer the cat in the cat and mouse game of becoming successful at earning your income as a writer, and have finally become the mouse being sought after.  I used to wonder when I started trying to make a go at this, just how long do I have to keep putting myself all out there only to continually be rejected time and time again before someone comes looking for me.

I realize now, and frankly way too late, that in order to become and remain a successful writer, you can’t ever stop putting yourself out there.  Even more embarrassing and much to my deep regret, I have realized that I have wasted so much time feeling all of those fears and playing into them, that I haven’t actually been putting myself out there (not nearly as much as I should have been anyway) and I only have myself to blame for not being a household name by now.

The blame doesn’t fall on the editor’s and the people who haven’t accepted my wonderful words and given me that chance that I am dying to have in order to get into all of those national magazines that I want to be featured in.  I only have myself to blame for not completely putting myself out there.  They can’t accept what I am too afraid to submit.

A writer’s only way of becoming published, of becoming that success that we all dream about becoming, is to keep putting themselves out there.  No matter what the outcome, whether it is good or bad, they have to keep going for it, even when it seems impossible; especially when it seems to be impossible.  A fighter never wins the battle if they never fight to begin with.

 

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

7 Ways for You to Get Ready for National Novel Writing Month

So as I stated in my last post I will not be doing NaNoWriMo this year, at least not in the traditional sense, but I thought for all of you out there who are planning on participating in the crazy notion of attempting to complete a novel in 30 days that I would make a few suggestions on getting ready for the month of November.  Obviously the first thing that anyone getting into the novel writing spirit needs to do is to sign up by registering on the National Novel Writing Month website at http://www.nanowrimo.org/.  That’s the easy part.  Other things to better prepare for this month are:

1.)    Brainstorm a clear idea for your novel:  Hopefully you already know what you want to write about but if not that is the first thing that you need to figure out.

2.)    Know the most important details of your novel upfront:  You may or may not be a person that likes to outline.  If you are an outliner, this is what your next move needs to be.  Outline the major points of your novel so that you know where your story is going to start, and where you think it might end up.  If you are more of a detailed person then you will want to detail ALL of the major and somewhat minor parts of the novel in this outline.  If you are not a person who likes to outline, at the very least you will want to know that major plot points in your story.

3.)    Get to know your characters:  Some might consider this to be a part of outlining but I see it as being totally separate but just as complex as creating an outline.  You have to know who your characters because if you don’t know who your characters are your soon to be readers won’t know who they are either.

4.)    Research now rather than later:  Do as much research for your novel that you can do before starting your novel.  Once you get started writing, you are not going to have the time to really go back and do extensive research so get most of your research out of the way now.

5.)    Begin mapping out a workable plan:  Come up with a schedule that works for you to write during the month of November.  If you are a morning person then you will want to make time available so that you can write in the mornings and get your best work done.  Whatever time of day works better for you, you are going to want to maximize to produce your best work.  This is also when you will want to let the people around you know that you may not have as much time as you normally do because you will be busy…Writing.

6.)    When November 1st comes around, be prepared to start writing and be prepared to be very busy for those thirty days.

7.)    One final thing:  If you should happen to get stuck or have a bad day and are not able to write, don’t be too hard on yourself.  Putting extra pressure on yourself to write only makes it harder for you to produce good solid work.

I hope that these tips were somehow helpful to anyone who is getting ready to embark on their 30 day journey into novel-land.  I know that following these steps helped me last year when I participated and all of the years prior to that.  I will be cheering all of you NaNo-er’s on from the sidelines but don’t think I won’t be getting some writing done on my part.  I just have to focus on the business end of things right now, as well as putting my Write 2 Be Magazine together for its launch in January 2013.  I wish all of you well in November!

 

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

No NaNo For Me This Year

Normally around this time of year I would be preparing for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) by getting my outline together and doing the research necessary.  However, I am not participating in NaNoWriMo this year and really I am a bit saddened by it.  I feel in some ways, because I have done it every year since I have heard about it, that I am letting myself down by not doing it but I just don’t think that I can commit to it this year as I do every other year.  I don’t have my outline completed for the novel I want to do and I haven’t even begun the research and on top of that, I am not quite finished with the novel I started last year during NaNoWriMo.

So to make myself feel a little better about not being able to fully commit to NaNo this year I have decided that I will use the time during NaNoWriMo to focus more on a novel that I have completed (a couple of years ago) and pitching it to agents and also pitching article ideas around to various magazines and newspapers and also working on my Write 2 Be magazine that is set to launch in January of 2013.  I guess it would also be a good idea if I finish up the novel from last year’s NaNoWriMo.

With all of that I think that I will be pretty busy during the month of November even without having a new novel to focus on.  If you too are a person who traditionally participates in NaNoWriMo and will also not be able to this year, don’t dwell on what it is you can’t do.  Instead come up with another plan of something else within your writing that needs to get done that you can place your focus on.  I plan on still making the best out of this NaNoWriMo doing a lot of things with my writing that I have been putting off and just can’t put off any more.

 

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

Prayers for a Young Girl Who Never Let Fear Make Her Voice Silent

It is sad to think of the people in this and other countries who are persecuted just for speaking out for what they believe in.  Just using your voice to speak out against something that you feel is unjust and you want to do everything in your power to change should be celebrated, not brutally retaliated against.

When 14 year old Malala Yousufzai began speaking out against the Taliban’s demand that schools for girls be shut down and that education to these girls be halted at the age of 11 she could have never imagined that she would be the target of assassins set to try and kill her.  She had been threatened for years but she never let that stop her from continuing to speak out publicly in favor of children’s rights in her country.  She once told someone in an interview that “if this new generation is not given pens, they will be given guns by terrorists.”

On Tuesday October 9th Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head while she was on her way to school.  She has had successful surgery to remove the bullet but is still in critical danger.  I am sending up many prayers for her and her family and it saddens me deeply that anyone would be harmed for wanting an education and for speaking out for all of the other young children that are too afraid to use their voice.

We take it for granted that we have the freedoms that we have here in the United States and that our children can go to school and we forget that in other countries they aren’t able to speak up for themselves and they don’t have the right to express themselves the way that we can.  What a courageous girl she was for not letting the fear that she felt for her life stop her from using her voice to speak out for what she believed was right.  If only we could all be so brave to never let fear silence 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

Nothing Like a Good Kick When You’re Down to Get You Going Again

I have always known I wanted to be a writer (well obviously not as a baby but from the age of 6 so fairly young) and once I knew that writing was my dream I slowly began guiding myself towards that.  Now at 6 I wasn’t crafting novels or anything (although that is not unheard of today) but I began reading all kinds of different stories and discovering what types of stories interested me.  By the time I turned 10 I began taking the bad experiences that were going on at home and using those emotions that I felt to begin crafting poetry.

I started to envision all of the roads and paths that writing was going to take me down.  I admit I was always a bit of a dreamer and that my dreams of where I was going to go within my writing career were probably a bit exaggerated but I could have sworn that I was going to be somewhere so different by the time I reached my thirties and I always imagined the best of circumstances.

Here I am now, in my early thirties, and I am not even in the vicinity of where I thought I would be at this point in my life.  I feel as if life keeps kicking me when I’m already down and while I know that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, I don’t feel like I am getting any stronger with every struggle that comes my way.  I sit and wonder at times where did things get off track and wonder if I could only go back to that point where the course changed then maybe I could finally get to the point that I want to be at.

The problem with that is that going back and trying to reroute the course changes a lot of the good things that have happened, one of them being my daughter, and I can’t say that I would trade a lot of the experiences that I have had for anything else.  If I dwell on what could’ve been in some dreamed about future from when I was too young to know any better then I will begin to take for granted all of the good things that I do have.  Not only that but I will take for granted all of the lessons that my mistakes have taught me.

I suppose there’s a reason for everything that happens.  Even when you veer off the path that you were meant to travel on, the detours always provide something that you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.  It’s hard when you feel like you are continually being kicked when you are already down.  However, the other side of that coin is that sometimes it takes a good kick to get you headed back in the right direction again.  It’s never too late to change the circumstances that are keeping you down as long as you’re willing to keep getting right back up for the next round.

 

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

Trying to Be Perfect Does Not Always Amount to Perfection

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that fear is something that I struggle with on a consistent basis.  Being afraid of failing has been something that has kept me from doing a lot of things that I have wanted to do.  Too often I have been afraid that I wasn’t good enough to make it, or good enough to even risk trying.

I guess it stems from my childhood being told by my mother on an almost daily basis that I was never going to be good enough.  After a while of hearing the same thing repeatedly from someone who is supposed to shape how you think and feel about yourself, you start to believe that it’s true.  It is that fear of not being good enough that has always made me feel that I couldn’t take certain risks if the preparation wasn’t perfect.

When it comes to query letters for articles, or pitching a novel to publishers or agents, or even sending out a resume to newspapers and magazines I want to work with or for, I have always held back if I didn’t feel that the package that I was sending off was perfect.  A lot of times this resulted in me taking months just to send one thing off.  Trying so hard to make everything perfect only really results in a lot of wasted time and lost opportunities.

It has taken until I was an adult with my own child for me to realize that those voices telling me that I wasn’t good enough were the voices that I needed to tune out.  That the voice that I should have been paying attention to all along was the voice within that whispered that not only was I good enough but that I was going to be greater than even I expected.

In a sense I have failed at being perfect because I’m not ever going to be perfect, and certainly not everything I do or write is going to meet the standards of perfection.  However, if I just continue being the best version of me that I can be, that is good enough.  It’s good enough for me.  It’s not always the loudest voices that deserve all the attention.  Sure they’re loud and extremely difficult to ignore but often times the loudness is just a distraction from the whispers of what we should really be listening to.

 

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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