What’s Wrong With Seeing the Glass as Half Full?

Glass half full

I have been called unrealistic at times. I have been called the consummate optimist. I go through things just like anyone else. I have my own personal struggles and things that seem to be working against me. I won’t lie and say that my faith doesn’t get shaken when the whole world seems to be caving in on me and yes on occasion I have fallen into depression because things got too hard for me to really deal with. However, overall, I am a person who sees that glass half full rather then choose to see the glass half empty.

But when there are people in your life who are hell bent on seeing the despair in every single situation what do you do about that? Of course the short and easy answer would be to cut them out of your lives or keep the contact with that person limited. But it’s not so easy when that person is in your family or worse, if that person is your parent. I will never understand how people in your own family can seemingly work against everything that you are trying to accomplish and I have seen people whose families are a true piece of work. A friend of mine once told me some words of advice they received from their pastor that your kin is not always your kind.

Often times the biggest obstacles that we have when we are trying to reach our goals are the very people that we are surrounded by and when it is your family it is not always so easy to separate yourself from them. I believe that in order to be successful you are eventually going to have to remove any toxic people from your life that are not for you and what you are trying to do but the process of removal is extremely difficult when it is family, particularly your parent.

My struggles are not few and they’re not even far between but I choose to see them (most days anyway) as building blocks and stepping stones towards the brightest future that’s possible for me, brighter than even I could ever imagine. Anyone who would rather see my struggles as the beginning of a downward spiral that I am not going to be able to come back from, well they can just keep their distance from me. I don’t need that kind of negative thinking to corrupt me. I battle with my own negative thoughts that pop in my mind from time to time and I don’t need to add anyone else’s.

Where is the harm in me seeing the bright side of things? Why is it that because I don’t view every setback as a complete and total failure that I am suddenly not in touch with reality. One way or the other you have to go after your dreams, even when everything seems like it’s all going down the drain. Even if that means that you can’t include the people closest to you in on that journey. If they are not for you then they are against you. There is no in between. So if you are a glass half full type of person, you are not alone. Take care and stay optimistic!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on April 30, 2014 at 11:47 AM  Comments (1)  
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That Inner Voice Is Telling Me Something Different

Inner voice

I stumbled upon a Joel Osteen sermon the other day and he talked about listening to that little voice or that little feeling inside us that is guiding us to what we should be doing. You know that voice. The voice that tells you when something isn’t right or the one that tells you when you should be leery of someone or a certain situation. Sometimes we ignore that voice because we think we’re just being paranoid or we just don’t want to listen to is. Well often times we don’t even realize that that little voice we hear or that feeling of uneasiness that we get that can’t be explained is God guiding us to where he wants us to go.

When I watched this message it came a day or two after a friend of mine advising me that I should basically go against what I know to be right for me so that I can be comfortable for the moment and not be in so much struggle. It came from a place of love (I hope) and not wanting to see me struggle but I keep getting this subtle feeling that that advice just isn’t what is best for me.

Yes it would make things much easier right now. It would give me some solid footing while I still tackled my end goal but in all honestly I think that comfortableness that I would then settle myself into would eventually distract me from my end game. I would get comfortable with being in that ease and that steadiness and then little by little my end goal would get further and further away. It wouldn’t disappear because it is my purpose in this world but it would become faint and a bit of a whisper.

I know myself and while I hate to struggle and would love to get to that place where I can see where all my efforts have gone to, where I can see the fruits of my labor, I need the discomfort to push me the end goal. If I were comfortable in some day to day my dreams would be pushed to the side. I know that they would because it has happened before. It was almost to the point where I never even worked on my dream because I was just trying to stay in that place of being comfortable. I can’t do that again. If I did I am almost positive that my dreams would die and I refuse to let that happen.

That little voice, that little feeling, is what is telling me that the answer to my problems is not to take the easy route, but to tough it out and persevere because the reward for my perseverance is coming. Too many times I have ignored that voice, and the consequences were great. I’m not going to ignore that voice this time. I’m toughing it out and I’m going all in. What has your inner voice been telling you? Are you listening?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on April 29, 2014 at 11:44 AM  Comments (2)  
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A Dream Worth Sustaining

Dreams Wroth Sustaining

I will admit that when the going gets tough I want to get going. I don’t mean that I want to push through and hang in there either. I mean I literally just want to say I’ve had enough, I can only try so much, this must not be meant for me. However when my dream of being a writer comes into play, while I have had those feelings of giving up, my heart, my passion won’t let me.

There is nothing more rewarding in a writer’s career then to have business be doing great and everything is going the way that you want it to. The point where it is hard to be a writer, where it’s almost like you want to ask yourself what the point of it is, is when business is not going as great as you want it to be, or as great as you always envisioned it would be. You always get this picture in your mind, especially when you think of yourself as a pretty awesome writer (in which I do) that everything is going to go smoothly and fall into place just the way that it should. You imagine a booming business in which you have to turn work away because you are just so in demand. When the reality doesn’t match the vision it is difficult to deal with.

My reality, lately, has certainly not lived up to the vision that is in my mind and at times it is almost disheartening and quite frankly almost impossible to push through and keep moving forward. Nothing is going quite the way I planned but I guess if it were easy then it wouldn’t be worth it, right? This weekend I have to work out some ways to readjust my strategy and to think of other ways to turn things around. Maybe all the extra sleep I’ve caught up on this week was to allow me to spend my weekend strategizing until I find something that works. I don’t know what that will be but I know that I haven’t come this far to give up now.

No matter how many steps forward I feel I should be, one thing is for sure, I am much further along in my journey than I would be if I had given up a long time ago. I found this inspirational video done by Morris Chestnut on declaring your dreams that I think will help motivate me through my weekend. Hopefully it will help motivate you through yours as well. Take care and hustle hard!

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Is a Cluttered Mind a Bad Thing?

cluttered mind

I feel the ideas racing through my mind again. The problem is that they are not all for the same story or project. I have about 3 different books that I am currently working on (of course at different times) but I also have 2 more books in my mind in which the characters are coming to me but I am not totally sure what story they are trying to tell me yet. One is a historical fiction novel I know, set in a time period in which I have always been fascinated with, World War II. The other is something of the paranormal genre and would be totally new for me but the character keeps appearing.

My problem has never been lack of ideas for stories or that I couldn’t hear the characters as they spoke to me. It’s always been that there were just way too many ideas and way too many people speaking all at once and not from the same story. My problem has also always been that characters seem to appear when I am in the middle of telling a different character’s story and the new one, like a new baby, wants all of my attention, so I tend to leave some novels in the middle to go start a new story. That is something that I am working heavily on correcting because with that method, no one’s story gets told.

Today I have to admit that my productivity isn’t as great as it has been the last two days because all I want to do is read and research and listen to the characters and the stories that they are trying to tell me. I haven’t even played my music like I normally do while trying to get work done because I just wanted to listen to the characters. But I am trying not to feel guilty for not working on the many things I know I need to be working on right now. I can’t help that I just woke up feeling like today I just needed to do more listening and thinking, and reading.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on April 24, 2014 at 3:52 PM  Leave a Comment  
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There Are Some Habits That Need to Be Broken

Some habits meant to break

This morning I woke up before my alarm clock even went off. I woke up refreshed and feeling like I had to get busy writing. Of course my morning routine must first require me to get my daughter dressed and ready for school and eating a good breakfast so those immediate desires to write had to be held off for a little while. Now yesterday I posted about 5 things that I needed to work on doing in order to make myself a better writer and I really think that acknowledging those things and putting a plan in motion to work on those things made a big difference.

Yesterday was the most productive day I have had in my writing in a very long time and it felt good. Of course another thing that wasn’t on the list but that I noted needed to be changed was my sleeping habits. I went to bed before midnight last night (which if you know me, you know is damn near a miracle) and that was really early for me. Just in that one day of going to bed at a decent hour (when I actually got tired instead of pushing past my sleepiness and working anyway) I was refreshed and woke up before a clock told me it was time to get up. I don’t feel tired (yet) and I feel energized.

Sometimes we try to resist change thinking that our old patterns will always work for us. My late night hours and all-nighters might have been what I needed to do at one point in time, a long time ago, and they may not have seemed harmful then but I was doing more harm than good trying to maintain those old habits. It is true that old habits do die hard but in order to make progress sometimes they do need to die. I am steadily working on changing some of those habits that just weren’t working for me anymore and I am intrigued to see what making those changes will do to enhance my creativity and my writing career.

Take some time today and evaluate what habits you are holding onto that you may possibly need to break. Are you holding back your own progress by holding onto those habits that you think are still working for you? Make sure that you are forming new habits to match the new levels that you are reaching in your life and in your career. Take care and don’t get stuck on those old habits!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on April 23, 2014 at 6:08 PM  Comments (1)  
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5 Things to Help Me Become a Better Writer

5 things become a better writer

I read an article the other day on Writer’s Relief detailing five things that a writer can do this week to become a better writer. It was a very interesting read and got me thinking about my own improvement that needs to be done as a writer. I believe that I am a very good writer (at least I hope so) and that I have a lot to offer the literary world but I am not naïve or bold enough in my confidence to think that there isn’t always some way that I can become even better. In fact I think that I can stand to get a lot better, if in no other area but the sheer discipline of writing.

My routine has suffered dramatically in the last few years, due to many things, one of them being overcome with deep depression. I am trying to get back to some normalcy of a routine as far as writing because I know if I don’t produce work then I might as well not call myself a writer. In reading this article, I didn’t necessarily feel that all of the points could be applied to me personally but I did write out the five things that I feel I could do to make me become better at my craft.

1)      Pledge to write at least 15 minutes every day. (Seems easy enough but harder than one might think)

2)      Divide each project to having their own separate time to be worked on instead of trying to work on several different points of each    project at the same time (Multi-tasking)

3)      Take one day a week to focus on the social media marketing/networking aspect of my writing business. (obviously marketing needs to be continuous but I need to at least devote 1 day to the planning of how that marketing needs to go)

4)      Take one day to specifically dedicate towards submitting pitches and articles and querying agents and local publications. (Again needs to be ongoing but one day to make sure to get those submissions out there)

5)      Take one day specifically for reading and researching. (Reading is so important to the craft of writing and I need to make sure I don’t neglect that)

I think these are the things that I really struggle with maintaining as a writer so I am going to be working on these things. A personal thing I want to work on that’s not on this list is a health thing that I think would work in favor of my writing career as well. I need to make sure to get the proper amount of sleep because I haven’t been and my level of energy has diminished which is affecting my rate of production.

As writers we tend to keep late hours, often times even pulling all-nighters, and sometimes don’t realize the long term damage all of those late nights can do to our energy levels, and health overall. So writers take some time this week and think of at least five things you can be doing differently to improve your craft and the amount of writing you produce. If you have any suggestions please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Take care of yourself and take care of your craft!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on April 22, 2014 at 3:42 PM  Comments (1)  
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Divine Delays

Divine Delays

There are a lot of things that have been holding me back from taking my writing career to that next level but the biggest thing has been fear. I hadn’t even realized until recently some of the things that I was failing to go after because I was scared that I wouldn’t get it or I wouldn’t accomplish it. It’s funny because without the opportunity falling through that I spoke of the other day I may not have been pushed to begin to do some of these things for the betterment of my writing career that I had been failing to achieve. The reason that I hadn’t achieved them wasn’t due to me being incapable but just me being fearful.

It’s hard to look at a crushing blow as something that may be able to help you in the long run but perhaps that is exactly what that missed opportunity was able to do for me. Perhaps missing out on that one thing helped me open my eyes to the other things that I have been failing to do because of that damaging thing called fear. So perhaps this was a divine delay from God. Not one to hinder me and break me down completely (although that could still be in his plan) but rather to open my eyes to what I was failing to allow myself to achieve.

I suppose that there are some delays in life that are necessary and have to take place in order for you to continue to progress and to grow. We get stagnant sometimes when things are working out well and when things always turn the corner at just the right times. I guess every now and then God has to give us a jolt and a mountain of struggle to remind us that the journey is not over yet and that while we are to enjoy every moment of achievement, we can’t let ourselves get comfortable in the moment we are in because in comfortableness there is no growth. When you get comfortable you don’t want to move, you want to revel in the stage that you are in.

Being uncomfortable makes us move forward, it makes us grow stronger. It makes us press on to our destination instead of standing still. While it is easier said than done to be thankful for the hardships I am in a sense blessed for these divine delays. In some ways they protected me and in others they made me move forward even when all I wanted to do was stand still. So if you are being delayed in your blessing take a good look at whether you are really being delayed or are you actually being propelled forward. Stay uncomfortable and keep moving!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on April 17, 2014 at 9:26 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Reminding Myself of Whose Plan This Is

God's plan my plan 2

The last couple of weeks have been a struggle and a true test of my will to stick to my purpose and hang in there for the long haul. I had a wonderful opportunity lined up through a friend and to make a long story short the opportunity fell through and it would have been a huge stepping stone towards greater things. My first thoughts were to just give up. I wanted to quit because it just seems that lately nothing is going the way that it is supposed to and everything is completely falling apart. It seems like the walls are caving in all around me to the point where I won’t be able to climb out from underneath the rubble.

I sat and wondered why would God give me this purpose, afford me the ability to obtain the tools to carry out this purpose, and then keep removing every opportunity that could bring me closer to achieving that purpose. I don’t want to make it seem as though I would ever question God and his plan or the way that his plans come to fruition but when you are trying to do everything that you think is right but nothing seems to be working (at least not as well as you would like it to) you start to wonder a little.

I keep coming across quotes and inspirational messages that seem to be screaming at me the answers to my questions, in particular “you may not like where you are but you wouldn’t be there if God didn’t have a purpose for it” and of course my favorite “without tests there are no testimonies”. These sayings keep being brought to my attention in this period of struggle and I am reminded that my plans and Gods plans are not necessarily the same. Even if they were the same as far as the destination, he may have a completely different route planned on how I get to that end result.

What God is doing, I may not even begin to understand it until it all starts to fall into place but the toughest part is having the patience (which I strongly lack) and the faith to wait out God’s plan and not get so frustrated that I give up altogether. Now I’ve never been a quitter so I don’t think that I am going to start now but I sure would not mind seeing some sort of light (even a peek) at the end of the tunnel. However, I understand that as long as God knows where the light is at the end of that tunnel and is guiding me towards it then it doesn’t matter the path that he uses to get me there. I just have to trust that he will get me there.

I won’t lie and say that I completely understand the methods. I won’t even lie and say that I don’t wish that they could be a lot less stressful on me. While I don’t like to be in a position of struggle I understand that for some people, the struggle is a part of the journey in order for them to be a blueprint to others. So today, and every day, embrace your struggles and be proud of the tribulations that you have endured and will endure because you never know who your story is going to be a blueprint for. Stay strong and hang in there, the struggle will be worth it.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on April 16, 2014 at 9:35 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Springing Into Overdrive

Spring into overdrive

While Spring is the time of year where everyone seems to have that sudden bursts of creative energy it seems to be that time of year when I start to reflect on what I haven’t gotten done yet. I know, it seems like a negative thing, it really does. However, if you think about it, it could be the swift kick in the pants that some of us procrastinators (at least me anyway) need to get into higher gear.

I have a lot of things to carry out this year and because I set unbelievably high goals for myself on a yearly basis that even the most brilliant and best-selling novelists might not be able to get achieved in one year, I am realistic enough to know that every single item on that list will most likely not be carried out. However, I do know that over half of the things are able to be completed if I just stop my procrastinating ways and do what I know needs to be done.

What needs to be done is a lot less sleep and a lot of early rising mornings. This is hard for me to fathom because I barely sleep as it is but I remember the days when I used to pull all-nighters and slept even less than I do now and stuff got done then. But I have come to the realization, as May approaches and almost half the year has flown by, that if I don’t start sleeping a lot less in order to work a lot more than I might not even get half the things on my list accomplished. I can’t accept that.

So springing into action is what I will be focusing on and getting into overdrive. Just hope I don’t burn myself out in the process. But all sacrifices will be worth it in the end, right? Well I hope that your creativity has sprung into high gear and that you are getting all that you need to get done. If not, then let’s get moving, the year is only going to move faster from here on out. So stay driven and keep that butt in the chair, writing!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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I Was This Close To Just Giving Up

Was going to give up 2

I want to give up. I want to just throw my hands up as I am knocked down by life yet again and admit that I’m just plain tired and that I don’t have any fight left in me anymore. I want to just succumb to being average and stop trying to fulfill this extraordinary shit that I thought was my damn purpose in this world. I want to just stop having faith in the future that I can’t see ahead of me because how do I even know that any of that shit is going to happen anyway, just because I believe that is what is meant for me. I want to just say my mother was right and I am never going to amount to anything. I want to just say the hell with everything because I just can’t keep trying anymore and keep continually being disappointed every time I think everything is about to turn the corner and it doesn’t.

But I was reminded by a friend yesterday (we’ll just call him Mr. J) that I can’t think that way. I can’t have a defeatist mind set. I have to just accept what has happened, or the changes that are occurring, especially the changes that aren’t good, determine the solution, and then fix the problem the best way that I can, the best way that I know how. He reminded me that you can’t just let life knock you down and then lay there and not get back up. If I were to do that, then the devil wins and he is smiling because he knows that he overpowered my will to serve out my purpose.

The devil has been extremely busy with me these past few weeks, hell months, and I’ve been told that when the devil is really busy with you, that not only means that you are doing something right but that you have a hell of a victory coming your way. If that is in fact true then my victory is going to be unbelievably sweet. It’s hard when you fall to not just want to stay down because getting back up is hard, particularly when you keep getting knocked back down before you can even catch your breath and get all the way back up.

I couldn’t have wrote this post yesterday because I felt completely defeated and everything in the first paragraph of this post was what I was feeling and what I was going to accept. However I reminded myself this morning that I am not average, nor am I meant to live anything but an extraordinary life. I am not a quitter, I am a fighter by nature and I could never look at myself in the mirror if I didn’t give this absolutely everything that I’ve got and nothing less. My mother is most certainly not right about me because I will amount to everything that God has predestined for me. And I may not have complete and total faith in mankind and the man-made obstacles that are going to fall in my path but I do have absolute faith in God and his power to remove those obstacles when he sees fit.

I would say that I picked a profession that lends nothing but struggle and rejection (at least in the beginning) to it but it was what I truly believe I was placed on this earth to do. It picked me, or should I say God picked it for me. I just had an opportunity that I felt would’ve been changed a lot of things for me, for the better, pretty much snatched away from me. It was made even worse by the fact that the friend who came to me with the project (admittedly because she knew it could possibly be a game changer for me) didn’t fight for me to stay on the project, as I felt she should have. Everyone wants to say that perhaps that was God’s way of saying that opportunity wasn’t meant for me and I’m still very far off from believing that this opportunity wasn’t meant for me but I will say that I am not going to let this new fall keep me down. It is their loss, not mine.

So if you too have been thinking about giving up this week, or this month, I am here to say I understand exactly how you feel. I also know that if you do, you will never forgive yourself and you will always be left with this feeling of what if. The wondering will end up crippling you because you will forever live in the past trying to guess what would’ve happened if you had just hung in there a little longer. Just don’t quit. Don’t give up. Keep fighting because it won’t always be this hard (I have to believe that) and on the day when everything starts to fall in place you will look back on this time period where you had the crazy notion to give up and be thankful that you didn’t. So just hang in there, the victory is coming!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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