What Does the Term “Being A Real Writer” Mean Anyway?

Are you a real writer

Some days I wonder, if I don’t write that day does it make me any less of a writer?  There are those that will tell you that you must write every single day, whether it be one page, one paragraph, or even just one sentence.  For years I felt that the periods of time when I was blocked and when I wasn’t able to write anything (not anything of any merit at least) that I was no longer able to consider myself a real writer.  There was even a period of time, after having my first novel published, that I felt that because it didn’t do well that I wasn’t really a writer.

I often forget about the poetry book that I self-published and don’t even count that, although I should, just because at the time I didn’t really possess the tools that I needed to really be able to promote myself and my work.  So throughout the years I have discounted my work (some of it anyway), and I have considered the times where I slacked off a bit as days when I wasn’t to be considered as a real writer.  But who is to determine what a real writer is except for the writer themselves.

There’s this line in the movie Sister Act 2 where she told the young lady if you wake up every day and all you can think about doing is singing, then you are supposed to be singer.  The same holds true for any chosen profession including writing.  That is all that I think about.  My craft, how I can make my writing better, how I can promote my writing and myself better, what I want my writing and my media company to be able to do for people throughout the world, what I want my words to be able to change, what story comes next, what project comes next, what I want in the bookstore/lounge that I will one day open.

Writing, many different capacities of writing, is what I eat, sleep, and breathe on a daily basis.  Even if I’m not writing I am writing because I am thinking up a story in my head, a new idea for a stage play that I want to write and produce, lyrics to a song that I want to record, articles for my magazine that I might write or want to publish within my magazine, novels that I want to be turned into screenplays someday.  I write in my head a lot so even when it appears that I am not writing, I am in fact writing.

So should someone say to me that because I don’t put words to paper, or type words on a computer, on a daily basis, that I am not a real writer.  Because I get to do what I love to do from the comfort of my own home and make a living at it (as unsteady as it may be right now), does that make me any less of a writer?  I think you are what you say you are, and even more importantly, what you prove you are and what lives in your heart.

So if there are some of you who may be experiencing writer’s block of some sort, or even if you are feeling guilty because you don’t write every single day, stop feeling guilty.  There are no set rules for the profession of writing.  No proven way that it works for every single writer.  What works for you is what works for you and you should never let anyone else tell you that your way is wrong.  It may very well be wrong for that person, but your career path is not theirs.  So write in whatever fashion that you write in, in whatever time frame that you write in, without guilt and without pause.  It’s your journey to travel however you see fit.  Be blessed and carve out your own writer’s path!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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If Only I Could Have All the Answers

Having all the answers

If you are not someone like J.K. Rowling, Terry McMillan, Steven King, or James Patterson, then making a substantial living as a writer can be a somewhat daunting task.  Admittedly there are some writers who are just starting out at trying to make a living as a writer and have it a bit easier than others.  Quite frankly there are some writers whose talent and execution of their words are not nearly good enough (not saying there is no potential for it to be) to have the success that they are having right out the gate, and yet their luck seems to be iron hot.

I don’t think of myself as the best writer out there, and I consider myself to always be working on my craft trying to make my writing better.  However, I do feel like this rise to the middle ground (which for now would suffice for me) is taking quite longer than even I had expected.  I know the sayings and the pep talks that people give, that I myself have given.  That it takes time, you have to be patient, your time will come, you just have to keep putting in the work and everything will work itself out, etc.  I know all of that but I feel like I’ve been putting in the work (I only sleep 4 hours a night), I feel like I have been patient, and I feel like my time should have already been here.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not jealous of anyone else’s success level. They give me someone to study.  It’s more like I’m curious to know or be shown what I’m doing wrong and what I could be doing differently, or more efficiently.  I study and research methods of others who seem to be having the success that I am trying to achieve (not moderate but rather steady stream) and I implement some of their methods (tailor made of course to my style) and still nothing.  I know that no one can have all the answers but right now I sure wish that it was possible.  I just want to know what I am doing wrong.

I’m trying to reach certain goals and achievements in my writing career and I am way off course in terms of the time that it’s going to take me to get there.  Now of course, even with all of this frustration that you are probably gauging from this post, I am never going to give up on my dream and never going to stop working hard at attaining it.  I just wish that I could see some of the fruits of my hard labor thus far.  True I guess things could be worse and I could not be having any level of success at all but is it really wrong to want more.  Is it wrong to want to have met my own expectations of myself by now if not exceeding them?  Well I know that I can’t be the only one feeling this way so hopefully my venting has somehow helped someone else out there to realize that they are not alone in their struggles.  Keep working at it, WE will get there!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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Taking Baby Steps to a Broader Horizon

Baby steps broader horizon 2

I was working on a pitch for a guest post yesterday (cross your finger for me that it gets accepted) and within that post one of the things that I advised readers to do was to think of all of the things that they are afraid to do, or things that they said at one point in time that they would never do and still haven’t done yet, and make it a goal this year to go out and start doing those things.

It dawned on me this morning in talking with a friend about needing to broaden my horizons and experience different places that I needed to do the same thing.  There are quite a few things that I always said that I would never do, or that I thought that I couldn’t do for one reason or another, and I think that I am going to take my own advice and start doing them.  Now they may not be big things (at least not yet, have to work my way up to those) but there is nothing wrong with starting small because even baby steps allow you to move forward.

There are a lot of you out there who have those little things that you always said you wouldn’t do (ex. go on a boat, go hiking, learn how to swim, etc.) but what if you going out and doing those things, even if it was just one time, is the experience you’ve been missing from your life.  I mean if it’s something that you discover you don’t like then you never have to do it again but at least you can say you’ve done it.  However, if it happens to be something that you find out that you love to do then it can open up a whole new world of experiences for you.

When I joined a gym (one thing I said I was never going to feel comfortable doing) a few years ago I said I was not a runner and I would never use the treadmill because I didn’t like to run (mind you I also said I didn’t like to exercise either but I love it) but when I got on it I first discovered that I could run and then, surprise of all surprises, I actually liked to run.  Now how would I have ever known that if I had never just gone ahead and done it.  Now I love to run (still working on the running outside part—maybe that’s something I’ll do this year) and I miss it if I don’t get to.

So take some time and make a list of all of the things that you have been ruling out thus far.  Make some plans to maybe not rule them out just yet.  Allow yourself to be open to the new experiences, especially the ones that scare you.  Those are the ones that you will learn from the most.  Have a blessed and exploratory weekend!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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Can I Really Fit In Reading A Good Book?

lost in a book 2

If being a good reader is what goes into making someone a better writer then I must confess that I am not the writer that I think I am.  Let me just say that I love to read, so much so that when I don’t get a chance to it hurts my heart just a little bit more with each opportunity that slips through my fingers.

After all, reading is what made me want to be a writer in the first place and it is what allowed me to enhance my abilities as a writer, learning more about crafting words, and the proper structure of them, what having the write setting and time period can do to enhance a book.  I read about how important small details are to a book and how to get more in touch with my characters and who they were really portraying.  With reading I even got to learn about certain things that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about and about places that I have always dreamt of going but that are not a guaranteed staple of my journey.

Having said all of that, lately, in the last few years I have not been the best reader that I can be.  That last two years it seems as though I have not read at all (unless you count the fact that it took me almost a whole year to finish one book) and it saddens me.  It is not because I don’t still have the desire to always have a book in my hand and take it with me wherever I go.  It is because once you really thrusts yourself into being a writer, both the creative and the business sides of it, it seems like the time to read is minimal at best.

I feel like I can’t even balance the time to write and market my business, along with taking care of my daughter and making memories with her, so by the time I sit down to read anything I am so tired that I end up in the same place I started with the bookmark lying somewhere on the floor and the pages bent because I have tossed and turned all over my book.

You see it’s not as if I never make the attempt and even squeeze in what I think will be just enough time to read a chapter before I try and get some sleep.  Mind you, that I wake up most mornings at 6am and don’t usually make it to bed until 2am (sometimes later) so I am operating daily on four hours of sleep. Example, I started the book I am currently reading in January with the New Year.  At the most it should have only taken me a month to finish it (used to be less) but here it is March and I am still just halfway through.  So does the fact that I can’t seem to squeeze in reading to my already filled up schedule mean that I am not as good of a writer as I once was?  I sure hope not.

This is a reminder to all of you out there, find the time to read if you’re not already doing it.  It will not only make you a better writer overall, but a better editor for those novels you have to edit, and just a better storyteller in general.  Take it from someone who can’t seem to fit in a good book and who is desperately trying to find the balance so that I can, read almost as much as you write.  It will make a world of a difference.  Stay curious and stay captivating!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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If I Put My All Into It Will it Really Be Enough?

Just not enough

I’m having one of those weeks (yes I know the week isn’t over yet) where it feels like nothing I do will be enough.  I’m not a very patient person and it’s something I’m working on.  When I don’t see the results I want at a decent pace I get anxious about the whole process.  It’s not just in my writing and my finances, but also in the area of romance (or lack thereof).  This blog is not about my romantic woes so I won’t branch off too much into that except to say I feel like I could be described as the perfect person for someone and they still (somehow) wouldn’t even see me standing right in front of them.

But this blog isn’t about that though.  It sort of spills over into other aspects because that love thing can be the emotion that makes you feel alive and ready to jump for joy, or ready to just go hide under the covers somewhere and wake up when someone notices all of the right things that you are doing.  I know that there is always more that I can be doing (talking about writing now) but it seems like no matter how many hours of sleep I don’t get that it will never be enough.  Of course that doesn’t mean that I am going to give up or slack off (okay well there’s a slight chance for slacking off here) but just wish I could see some progress.  I know it’s being made and the baby steps are nice but some gigantic leaps would be a little nicer.  Some major dents in my journey would be gratifying to see.

I couldn’t watch the Oscars the other night but Lupita Nyong’o’s words were posted everywhere throughout social media.  “No matter where you are from your dreams are valid”.  Those words and my friend Ms. L’s blog post about her acceptance speech that she will give when she gets her Oscar one day (probably sooner than even she thinks) made me think about the awards and achievements that I will one day receive (Oscar included) and what I would say and who I would speak my words to.  However, at this particular moment, where I feel a little disheartened, a little discouraged, perhaps even a little less optimistic than usual about my dreams becoming a reality, all I can really think about is when am I going to start to see that light for the tunnel that’s headed that way.

It’s not as if I’m in question as to the possibility of it happening, or the fact that I still want it to happen, it’s just a matter of when.  I know that my patience is probably one of the main things that I need to work on when it comes to pursuing my dream but some days, days like today, I just start to wonder if all that I am doing is good enough.  Is anything I am ever going to do going to be good enough.  Hopefully tomorrow I will feel a lot more definitive and sure about things but for now my lack of knowing what the outcome will be is getting the best of me.  Okay ranting over with for the day, time to get back to working at making all of this happen one way or another.  Stay blessed and keep hustling!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

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Blurring the Lines Always Leaves One Side Lacking

Blurred Lines

As I work to market my brand, my blog, my magazine, my upcoming ebook series (tentatively titled “For the Crazy Makers”), and my writing services, it is hard to actually find time to put into my writing.  I mean I am still finishing up work on the first book in the ebook series and getting ready to start work on the second book but that’s a non-fiction project and has nothing to do with the novel that I still need to finish or the other novel that I need to have edited.

Sometimes the lines between the business of writing and actually creatively writing get a little blurred. They don’t always meet in the middle and more often than not you end up doing one end of the spectrum than the other.  I’m not sure I have come across anyone yet that can give equal amounts of time to both effectively.  So why did I expect it to be any different for me?  I don’t know.  Call it crazy optimism or just plain wishful thinking but I really did think that there was a way I could adequately focus on both without sacrificing time for either one.  That is not the case.

I guess I am doing a disservice by even trying to split my time between the two in half because then it means I can’t give my full attention to either one.  I am still trying to figure out a system to make it work for both sides but so far, my creative writing side is suffering drastically because I felt I needed to get my business side of my writing together.  After all, what good is having large amounts of content with no one caring enough to read it?

I can’t do everything perfectly and that’s something I have to come to terms with as well.  I have to stop trying to do everything perfectly and stop thinking that everything can get done all at once.  All things will happen in their due time.  Right now, I have to hustle to keep getting my name out there or else I’ll have a shelf full of books I’ve written and no one to actually read them.  Did you get your hustle on today?  Stay hungry and Stay Foolish!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

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

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