What My Book Shelves Might Say About Me

These are just 2 of my book shelves
These are just 2 of my book shelves

I was reading one of the blogs that I follow this morning and in her post today she posted a picture of her bookshelves and posed the question of what your bookshelf says about you.  I never really thought of the books on my bookshelves as somehow being clues to a deeper knowledge of the reader which is odd given that I am a writer who has always been curious of what some famous author’s house on their own bookshelves.  I got to thinking about my bookshelves and what on earth they could possibly capture about me and my personality or my writing style.

So naturally I journeyed into the living room where my main three bookshelves are (although I have bookshelves located in other locations of the house) to take a look at my books.  I have the one bookshelf that is just dedicated to all of my writing style or instruction books as well as dictionaries, travel books, and business books.  Then the other two bookshelves are for the fiction (mostly anyway) books but what surprised me about those was just how eclectic my fiction collection actually is.  I’m not saying that as a bad thing, I always think that it is good for people to read an array of different styles of books, I just didn’t realize I had branched out into one of those people that actually did.

When I really started to get into my love of reading I was younger so naturally I read things like the Babysitter’s club, Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High, and those real girly girl types of books.  As I got older I was introduced to Eric Jerome Dickey, Mary B. Morrison, Terry McMillan, and more books considered to be urban fiction.  As I have evolved into an even better, more matured writer I have historical fiction novels, mysteries (James Patterson, Sue Grafton, J.D. Robb, Dan Brown) and of course some of the classics.

My collection of books says that I have evolved in my selection and also that my yearning for the knowledge of different styles of writing has grown as well.  I noticed something else too.  Even when I wasn’t really reading mystery books in my younger adulthood I was still buying them and stocking my shelves with books on writing mystery which is odd given the fact that at that time I had no interest in mysteries or writing them.  Something had told me to buy them anyway and what’s ironic is now I think that that may be the direction that I want to take my writing in.

I’m not saying that I now only want to write mysteries because there are many ideas for books that I have that are of different genres, but the novel that I am working on finishing up now and that I want to develop into a series is a mystery and I also have decided down the road that I want to write a mystery book series for young adult as well. I guess I just find it interesting that even when I had no idea that I would end up desiring to write mysteries as well as loving to read them I was preparing for this change of direction.

It is interesting when we take a look at the things around us what they can say about us.  As we evolve over time so does our interests and our tastes in the materials that we buy as well as the importance of those material things.  Sometimes it can be really nice to look at old writings, and old pictures, and even the books on our bookshelves and see just how far we have come and what an interesting (whether wonderful or troublesome) the journey has been.  What does your book shelf say about you?

 

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

 

Write 2 Be Magazine is now out so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/.  Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine.  Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.

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The Road to Success Is Filled With Bumps and Potholes

As I was watching the Oscars the other night and looking at little Quvenzhane Wallis who is 9 years old and the youngest actress to ever be nominated for an Oscar, I thought for a moment if only someone had taken my passion for the arts seriously when I was younger I could be in such a different place right now.  I often wonder about the people who are starting out on their dreams at such younger ages now and could it possibly be that it is just too late for mine to come true.  Of course this moment was a slight lapse in sanity (lol) because I hardly believe it is ever too late for anyone who has a dream to make it come true.

I remembered a quote that I heard when I watched L.L. Cool J’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, “dreams don’t have deadlines.”  Then I thought about all of those people who have reached their goals and have accomplished their dreams and who are now deemed successful by the rest of the world, but who didn’t get there quickly, or who didn’t get there without their own share of personal failures, and even some of who were told that they would never get there.

I wanted to share with you some names of some really influential and inspiring people throughout history.  Maybe some of the names on this list will give you the hope that they give me that your dreams are not unattainable and that no matter how many people tell you that you can’t, there are people out there proving that you can.

  1. Bill Gates—He was a Harvard drop out whose first business failed.  He didn’t give up and tried again and the rest was history.
  2. Steven Spielberg—He was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film, and Television three times.  He attended school somewhere else only to drop out before finishing.
  3. J.K. Rowling—Before publishing her Harry Potter Series, she was homeless, virtually penniless, severely depressed, divorced and a single mom while attending school.  She went from having to rely on welfare to being one of the richest women in the world in a five year span but her fairytale story did not come without its share of rock bottoms.
  4. Abraham Lincoln—While he may be considered to be one of the world’s greatest leaders to date, he did not have an easy life without failures.  He went to the war as a Captain and came back a private which is the lowest rank in the military.  He started several businesses that failed and had been defeated numerous times in running for public office.  If he had let any of that stop him who knows how different the world might be right now.
  5. Laura Ingalls Wilder—This author of the famous “Little House series” which eventually led to the show Little House on the Prairie, along with several other well known young adult series, did not become a success at a young age.  Her first book of her Little house series was not published until she was in her mid-sixties.  She attributed the years of struggle and hardship to her eventual success.
  6. Albert Einstein—While he is now revered as a genius Einstein was thought to be mentally handicapped, slow , and anti-social by both his teachers and his parents because he did not speak until the age of 4 and could not read until he was 7.  He was eventually expelled from one school and refused entrance to another.  In the end he faired rather well winning the Nobel Prize and changing the world of physics.
  7. Lucille Ball—She was widely regarded as a failed actress and a B movie star.  Her drama instructors even told her that she would never make it and told her to try a different profession.  It wasn’t until her staring role in I Love Lucy, at the age of 40, where she finally achieved the level of success that she was looking for and proved all of her drama instructors wrong.
  8. Sidney Poitier—Poitier was told by the casting director after his first audition that he should just stop wasting people’s time and go back to being a dishwasher.  It took him four years from his first audition in 1943 to even begin getting roles in film and TV and it would take another 20 years from that first audition until he became the first African-American actor to win an academy award (Oscar) for best actor in 1963 for his role in Lilies of the Field.
  9. Steven King—Before his first book, Carrie, was published in 1973, he received 30 rejections and he actually threw the book in the trash.  It was his wife who retrieved it out of the trash and nudged him to try again.  His career has only skyrocketed from there but it didn’t come to him on the first try, or even the first dozen tries.  But he eventually got there.
  10. Walt Disney—Was once fired by a newspaper editor due to the fact that he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”  Afterwards Disney started several businesses that did not last long and he ended up in bankruptcy and considered himself a failure.  Obviously he didn’t stay knocked down for long because he came up with a brilliant world inside of his mind and thus we have Disney.

What if they had actually believed that there was an expiration date on when they got to achieve their success?  Some of the most influential people in this world’s history and the most influential people of our present and our future did not start off having all of the answers and they did not get it right on the first, second, or even third tries.  What would this world be like if any of them just threw in the towel and said “it didn’t happen by now, must not be meant to be”.  I have been one to tell myself that this or that should’ve happened by now but that’s not really for me to say.  Have you been putting a time limit on your success lately?  Time is never up when it comes to accomplishing your dreams.  Try and remember that.  I will be trying right along with you.

 

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

 

Write 2 Be Magazine is now out so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/.  Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine.  Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.

Is Having a Deadline Really Such a Bad Idea?

I don’t have a tight schedule to write on.  I’m not an author who is on the New York Times Bestsellers list (not yet anyway) so I don’t have any major publishing houses breathing down my back for my next novel (they would be quite upset with me right now).  I also don’t currently have any newspaper or magazine editors waiting for my next article and hounding me about when it will be done.  That would sound like heaven to most writers, no stress and worry about being penalized for being late with an assignment.

However, what I have discovered about me over the last several years is that I am one of those writers (hopefully not the only one) who needs a deadline.  I need that invisible ticking clock over my head ticking away the minutes that I am wasting on something that is not going to actually earn me any income as a writer.  I need that editor or major publishing house breathing down my back and constantly checking in with me to see if I have finished that article yet, or that next novel that I would ordinarily be stuck on if not for the fact that I have a time limit.

I have an ebook that I was supposed to have written by now so that I can begin promoting and selling it.  However, despite the fact that I have an outline to get me off to a good start I have yet to produce one single chapter of that ebook.  Perhaps if I had some editor telling me that it needed to be done in a month I could sit down and just crank it out already.

I’ve always known that I worked a little better under pressure.  It seems like the more intense the pressure the faster I work and the better the writing is.  Even with school papers I have always waited until the final moment, even now as I am earning a Master’s degree I will wait until the night before the paper is due to do it.  I wish I was that person who could start things a week or more ahead of time, giving myself ample time to get things done and produce good work but I don’t believe I am wired that way.

So since I don’t have that editor or that publishing house screaming at me through emails I have to be the one dangling that deadline in front of my face.  I have to start setting dates for the production of my work (and actually stick to them instead of just moving the date further up) and either find a computer program (not sure where to even start with that one) to help me keep track of those deadlines or mark the calendar and hold firm to the date I set.  I suppose until I have that editor or publishing house tapping their fingers at me as a signal to hurry up and finish my project, I have to hold myself accountable in other ways.  Otherwise I might never make it to that New York Times Bestsellers list (and on Oprah’s book club list) and that is an outcome that I refuse to let happen.

How do all of you deal with deadlines?  Are deadlines your friend or your enemy?

 

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

 

Write 2 Be Magazine is now out so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/.  Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine.  Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.

Feeling Grateful

This week I had a lot of different emotions going on.  I felt really excited for my well received second issue of Write 2 Be magazine.  Then I felt anxious about the novel that I have yet to finish as well as the novel that I am also anxious to get started on.  I also felt full of doubt and I still had to wonder is my writing really good enough to start going after those freelance positions at the newspapers and magazines that I want.  However, despite all of that, I woke up today just feeling grateful.

Looking at the news and seeing all of the tragedy that there is out there and all of the problems that people are dealing with that are so much bigger than mine, I can’t really complain.  I mean sure my struggles, to me, are going to always feel like they are mountains that grew out of molehills, and for me the issues that I am struggling with are difficult but whose issues aren’t.  There are people, who just this past week in my area, have lost their children and all around the world there are people who are homeless, who are hungry, whose lives are cut short for one reason or another.

I woke up today, seemingly healthy, my child is healthy, and I am making it (miraculously) and I just had to tell God thank you.  Not just for all that he has pulled me through, but also for all that he shields me from, and also for the potential of my opportunities both in the present and in the future to come.  We all have to remind ourselves to be grateful for the things we have and sometimes for the things we don’t have as well because when we think about the things that we want and don’t have it gives us drive and fuels us with determination to be able to make those things happen.

Just remember, before you rest your head tonight, to make sure to take in what you do have around you and make sure that you cherish it.  Another thing I am grateful for (among so many other things) is that I have this blog to share my thoughts and my life with all of you out there and I am grateful to those of you are interested enough to tune in.  Have a great weekend everyone!

 

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

 

Write 2 Be Magazine is now out so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/.  Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine.  Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.

Beware of the False Negatives

I think that sometimes people, particularly artists, have a hard time trusting ourselves.  I’ve noticed that with myself at least.  I know I’ve shared with all of you in the past that I constantly second guess myself and then when I decide on something, I rethink it and wonder if I made the right choice.  I wonder if I’m good enough.  Sometimes I even think that when I have confidence in something that I might be getting too far ahead of myself because maybe, just maybe, I shouldn’t be nearly as confident as I am.

I tend to give advice to others about trusting their gut and doing what they know if right for them and trust that God will not steer them wrong or allow them to get too far off course.  I give good advice that I never seem to be able to take myself.  I seem to have no problem filling my head with all of these false negatives, I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not strong enough, I didn’t work hard enough, I didn’t try enough, but the odd thing is that deep down inside I know those to be false statements and yet they are so much easier to believe then the truth.  Why do we do that?

We tell ourselves the worst, perhaps trying to not allow ourselves to get big headed or to get overly confident or to get our hopes up, but why shouldn’t we be all of those things?  Why shouldn’t we be confident and why shouldn’t our hopes be raised?  Joel Osteen said something in one of his sermons that stuck with me.  He said “you can’t have faith if you don’t first have hope”.  We’re always so worried about the other shoe dropping from somewhere out of the sky to make everything around us crumble.

The fact is that so many things can go wrong that we don’t need to add to it by standing by and waiting for what we presume might be the inevitable.  Instead of worrying about this invisible shoe from some unknown place and filling our heads with all of these false negatives that we like to tell ourselves about our own abilities, why don’t we just chose to act now.  Act on those instincts, don’t second guess, don’t over think, don’t wonder if you’re good enough, don’t question all that might go wrong, just take action.

Think of all of the opportunities you’re walking right pass while you are worrying and waiting for that other shoe that just might never drop.  It’s a false expectation that helps to foster all of those false negatives that you have come to rely on to be true.  Sometimes the lies we tell ourselves can end up being the death of all of our dreams.

 

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

 

Write 2 Be Magazine is now out so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/.  Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine.  Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.

How Do I Get this Thing Off of Repeat?

We sometimes tend to get into cycles that are not good for us to be in and they often seem to be a cycle that we subconsciously repeat.  I have many cycles that I personally would like to never repeat again but today I started to notice a professional cycle beginning to repeat itself and it is one that has been on repeat for quite some time now and I am working my hardest to not hit the repeat button again.

I have this cycle with my writing (as I touched on briefly in yesterday’s post) where I get excited about my projects to the point where I can’t stop talking about it (and drive my friends crazy with these characters who are not real to them).  Then I get stuck on how to miraculously work on all of my projects at precisely the same time (yes I tend to be drawn to the impossible).  And when that doesn’t happen the way that I want to I just stop producing altogether.

I mean sure I am watching T.V. or a movie and calling it inspiration (which sometimes it does inspire), or I’m reading a book that I suddenly can’t seem to put down (which in and of itself is not a bad thing), or I’m staring at the blank computer screen willing the words to just somehow leap from my brain onto the screen without me having to lift a finger (too bad there’s no real technology for that—or is there).  All of these are quite possibly valid and relaxing time wasters, but they are also great procrastination techniques as well.

I have a plan for this year, to focus mainly on moving my writing career forward and promoting myself and my brand and heading towards success.  I promised myself that I would get away from the major distractions and really purposely direct my focus to what needs to get done to not only reach that level of success but to also remain on that level.  I started to notice that I was doing it again.  I was getting hung up on trying to work on all of my writing projects at one time and getting frustrated because it just isn’t possible to get an effective amount of work done trying to do it all at once, and lately I have found myself constructively procrastinating.

Constructive or not, procrastination is just that, procrastination.  I have to stop repeating the cycle of trying to do too much at one time and instead, designate the appropriate amount of time to each project at different times and not getting discouraged if it’s not getting done as quickly as I would like it to get done.  Truthfully, I would like my ideas to be able to write themselves because if that was possible I would have over a dozen novels by now, but good quality, thought provoking writing, takes time and can not be rushed.  Expecting perfection in my writing is one cycle that I can’t wait to stop repeating itself, but it’s all a work in progress.

 

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

 

Write 2 Be Magazine is now out so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/.  Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine.  Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.

The Reasons Why My Novel Might Not Be Finished Yet

I started my current novel some time ago (I’m embarrassed to even say how long ago it was) and it should’ve been finished by now.  In fact I should’ve not only finished that novel but have already been well into the next one.  Nevertheless, I am still not finished yet.  I think that these are some of the reasons that I haven’t finished my novel yet:

  1. Too many ideas
  2. Can’t balance my time effectively
  3. Too ambitious with the projects that I want to accomplish
  4. Too much time spent not writing

In the end they all boil down to excuses that just aren’t good enough but I thought identifying with them would possibly help me finally get to the point where I could perhaps finish the novel.  I believe the biggest reason I can’t seem to finish is the fact that I just have one too many ideas running around in my head; too many characters; too many plots.  I did what I seem to always do.  I get to that point where I am almost at the end (literally, I’m on Chapter 22 of a novel that is supposed to go to chapter 29—of course that could change) and then another idea that I’ve had in my head for sometime starts to become a stronger presence in my subconscious and then it’s the only idea I can concentrate on.

It’s a terrible habit that I have and it almost makes me wish that my problem was having a lack of ideas so the ones I have won’t take over every other project that I am working on.  Perhaps this is another form of writer’s block.  I always thought that it pertained to not having any ideas or inspiration to write at all but I think it might be just as bad to have so many ideas that you can’t focus on just one.  Maybe I can’t seem to finish because it is my first attempt at writing a mystery and I’m nervous it won’t turn out as good as I am hoping.  This is the point where I chuckle at people who seem to think that writing is easy and that all writers do is come up with stories.  It’s so much harder then people think it is.

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

Write 2 Be Magazine is now out so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/.  Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine.  Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.