Focus on What is Meant for You

Focus on what is meant for you

Let’s talk about focus! We all have our own loads to bare. Some of us have heavier loads to carry than others and we tend to compare our loads to what others are carrying. Or maybe that’s just me. I sometimes reflect on the way that I wanted things to go in my life, in my career, on the timetable that I wanted them to go by and I start thinking maybe it’s just too late. I look at people who have somewhat the career success that I thought I would have by now, people I admire and look at as a road map so to speak, and I start to think about where they’re at and why I’m not there yet. I suppose I start to feel envious but not in a vengeful sort of way but just in a way of how can I emulate what they’re doing so I can get to where they are.

However, lately, more and more, I am realizing that what they have is not for me to have. The level of success they have, at the trajectory in which they achieved it is their journey and there is a reason that it wasn’t mine. Granted I don’t know what that reason is at this particular moment and I don’t have any answers as to the why not of it all but I know that there is nothing that happens that God doesn’t have a reason for, even the obstacles that I come up against, are put on my journey for a reason.

As I’m getting my drive back and letting go of all the fear that has been paralyzing me, especially within this last year and a half, I am steering my focus back on track to where it needs to be. I am also keeping my focus on my own lane and trying hard not to worry about what’s going on in the next person’s lane. Not that there’s anything wrong with getting advice and mentorship and taking cues from people who are where you want to be but not so much to the point where it allows you to get stuck and defeated on your own course.

So when you get frustrated seeing others get to where you feel you should be, try to remember that your lane may end up surpassing theirs. Try and focus on where your stretch of the road is propelling you to. If you’re so focused on the lane next to you how can you really get to where your lane is taking you. I plan on remaining focused on my own lane, my own grass, my own journey, so that I can get to where I am meant to be and keep moving forward. The journey may be rough but I know that it will be worth it when I get to where I’m meant to be!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 2:52 PM  Comments (1)  
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Your Vision Is Not for Everybody to Understand

Not everyone sees your vision

I once was one of those people who got so excited about their dreams and their vision that I would tell any and everyone who would listen. I thought that if I was excited then surely the people that I hold near and dear to my heart would love to hear what goes on in my cluttered mind of ideas. Now I’m not saying that I didn’t have supportive friends who understood that I had a vision and I’m not even saying that they wished me any type of failure or anything but as I’ve gotten older I slowly (and I mean really slowly) have realized that everyone cannot see what it is that you see.

They’re not going to express the same level of excitement, or have the same ambitious drive to stand by you while you struggle to achieve that dream. However, I do think that there should be a certain level of support that is there whether they understand or not and that the people around you shouldn’t constantly try their hand at talking you out of your dream or worse, trying to shape your dream for you into something that they can accept. I don’t really reach out to people like I used to anymore. I have some select people in my life who I hold very dear to me but still, even to these very important people I will not ever go into detail about my dreams or my vision because I’ve grown tired of people giving me the what if’s and trying to either talk me down from my dreams or shape my dreams for their own comfort.

I read a quote once that said to stop letting people who weren’t given your dream and your vision talk you out of yours because they were never meant to see what you see. God gave the vision and purpose that you have for your life to you, not them and sometimes you have to protect that vision. Granted I didn’t adhere to that quote when I first read it, I certainly do now. It can be a little lonely at times, keeping all of these visions for my future to myself and I did have a friend I was very close to who I was able to share those things with because she got it, she really understood, but life happened and she got married and her journey began to really propel forward while mine stayed stagnant and we drifted apart, but I wish her well and I am still cheering her on from the sidelines.

All of this was to say that if you are feeling down because you feel like no one understands you or your goals, don’t let it get you down, let it make you work harder. Your goals and your dreams aren’t meant for others to understand because they’re not for them, they are for you. Sometimes you have to go after your dreams quietly so you don’t lose the focus and the drive that you need to make things happen the way you want, or rather, the way that God intended for things to unfold for you because truly, God’s plans for you will always be bigger than yours are. Don’t feed into what others think you can’t do, or how people may think your dreams are too big to be possible. Be quiet about your moves and let your results speak volumes!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Published in: on January 8, 2018 at 9:48 PM  Leave a Comment  
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I May Have Been Down but I was Never Out

Down but Not Out

So let’s talk about failure! I hate to fail and what’s ironic is that though I hate to fail I seem to be doing a lot of it. Granted, I don’t view everything that has happened in my life as failures but I have failed enough times to make anyone want to just lie down and give up. In fact, I think that a lot of this past year and half long bout with depression was pretty much just that, me being so tired of failing that I just wanted to lie down and accept defeat.

Writing is definitely not for the faint of heart and rejection is a part of the package that comes with this career but sometimes it can feel so jarring to one’s self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities. I’ve been shopping my novels around to different agents and while I’ve had some of them ask to see the whole novel, which in itself can be cause to celebrate, in the end I have not been received with the kind of acceptance that I crave and truly thought I was talented enough to get. Logically I know that being rejected by a publisher or an agent is not a personal attack on my abilities but as most of you writers know, your novels tend to feel like your babies and my work is personal for me because I always add a touch of myself into my characters (well my main characters anyway).

But I’m learning, or rather remembering that my failures are not what is going to define my eventual success. In reality, my failures are what is going to propel me forward into my destined prosperity. These are the moments that will build me up and make me stronger so that I can be better and excel further than even I thought possible. I’ve always heard that when we plan, God laughs and he must be really laughing it up at me because since the age of ten I’ve had some pretty big plans for my life and career. I had milestones, in my mind, that I just knew that I was going to hit at just the time I envisioned hitting them, some I even thought I would hit earlier than I expected. I couldn’t have been more wrong and being that wrong is just plain hurtful.

However, if some of those plans had come to pass there would be a lot of other wonderful moments that I wouldn’t have had happen, mainly my daughter being born, and I could never regret her. Failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It can be, in many cases, what protects us from a disaster right around the corner. In other cases it can just be the sign to let you know that while you may be going in the right direction, you’re not quite ready just yet. There are lessons in the failures that we go through but sometimes what matters is not the actual act of failing itself but rather what those failures can add to our overall story.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Now That the Fog Has Lifted… Back to the Business of Writing!

 

Fog lifted

It’s been so long since I’ve written to you all! My hiatus was definitely not something that I had planned on but nevertheless I am back now. I suffer from random bouts of depression. I get in this funk and sometimes it takes a longer period of time than others to pull myself out of it. I should probably seek out a therapist but I hate the idea of talking to some random stranger who doesn’t know me or anything that I’ve been through in my life sitting there judging me and writing notes about me. It’s not that I don’t believe that they would be capable of doing their job, I just have a thing about telling total strangers extremely personal things about me which is probably what makes the bouts of depression last longer than they should.

Ordinarily writing would help with that but part of the depression was that my writing career wasn’t exactly going the way that I had envisioned it going. Perhaps it was a midlife crisis and realizing that what I had mapped out for my life many, many, many years ago was totally off track and I couldn’t see a way to get it back on track. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel that I was in. This depression that I was in led me to an unintentional hiatus seeing as though one of the issues I was having was a lack of confidence in my writing. That’s hard for me to admit to because that’s the one thing over the course of my life that I have never had a lack of confidence in was my writing. I’ve always known that no matter what no one could take that away from me but over this last year and a half I’ve been feeling like maybe my writing just isn’t good enough.

Of course now that I can feel the fog lifting and I have recently felt a sense of peace even in the midst of the storms in my life I am starting to regain that confidence in my writing that I once had. I’ve been recently planning out my writing goals again and submitting novels to agents, outlining new novel ideas, planning new content for the Magazine, planning out new posts for this blog, and even mapping out an idea for a television pilot I want to write, and the more that I focus on those writing goals I have, the more I start to get some of my writing confidence back. I’m starting to feel like myself again and I love feeling like me because it took a long time for me to love the person that I have become. Writing is a sort of therapy for me and I hope I never lose that.

Any-who, I’m back and I hope you’ve missed me because I sure have missed writing for you. Here’s to new ideas, new opportunities, and many more words that hold purpose and power!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Don’t Over Plan Your Way Out of Opportunities

Missed Opportunities

I woke up today and realized something. I waste entirely too much time planning. I have always been a planner, one who has to have a list for everything and everything in its place before I go for the end goal. When I was younger it worked for me and my love for being the list maker and the consistent planner grew. But as I got older the plans and the lists began to hinder me because what I never accounted for in all my planning and goal setting was life just unfolding as it was going to, as it was inevitably meant to.

I have a tendency to plan so thoroughly that by the time I am done with the plan the opportunity to actually follow through with any of those plans has long passed me by. I will think of something, have a vision for something if you will, and by the time I have worked through all the lists and plans it ends up being too late and someone else has presented something to the world far too similar to mine for me to move ahead with it.

It’s like the story where the man is waiting to be rescued from the sinking boat he’s on and every person that is sent to rescue him he tells them that he is waiting on God to rescue him and to take someone else. When he drowns he asks God why didn’t he save him and God tells him that he sent three different people to rescue him and he refused them. Essentially he sent the opportunity that he needed and he missed it. I feel like I might have missed far too many opportunities that were sent my way because it didn’t fit with the plan, or undoubtedly because I hadn’t finished planning for that opportunity and I was blinded to what was presenting itself right in front of me.

For example, quite a long time ago I had an idea for a show about women living their lives behind prison bars and about what they go through, how they get treated, how they maneuver their new lives. I started making plans and lists but it was never quite as perfect as I needed it to be and before I knew it I was hearing about this new show on Netflix, “Orange is the New Black” and (No, no one stole my idea, I never communicated it to anyone else) I watched it and felt deflated as I saw what I had been planning for unfold from someone else’s imagination. It was my own fault and my own neurosis that kept me from what could’ve been a breakthrough opportunity had I only not wasted so much time trying to make it perfect.

I say all this to say that if you too are like I was, like I have been, stop wasting so much time trying to make everything just right, and planning everything through to a tee. I’m not saying don’t plan at all, or don’t have your lists. I’m saying don’t focus so much on the lists and the plans that you forget the goal, the vision, and so you don’t miss the opportunities that can come your way while you’re busy planning. Sometimes the opportunities can be so small that if you blink you’ll miss it so pay attention to what’s in front of you before your lists and plans are all that you end up with. Until next time… plan less, live more!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Published in: on March 16, 2016 at 11:02 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Here’s to a New Year, Sky’s the Limit

New Year 2016

Happy New Year everyone! I know I haven’t posted here in a while. Truthfully, 2015, particularly the end of it, was not the greatest year for me. I won’t say it was a bad year because with everything that went on in the world last year and with the continued suffering of many who have far greater worries than I do, I can’t really complain. It wasn’t the year that I had mapped out and that I wanted it to be and that was largely in part to the depression that I sunk into, but I am heading into 2016 ready to leave 2015 right in the past where it should stay.

I do have plans to release quite a few things this year but I won’t discuss them in detail until the dates get closer. I also have some new things I’m planning on doing with the magazine, Write 2 Be Magazine, that I hope everyone will like and appreciate. I don’t plan on posting everyday here but I do plan on posting often enough for you to be kept in the loop. I hope you all have your plans in order and will challenge yourselves this year to do amazing and new things. Here’s a figurative toast to the New Year, New Goals, New Drive, and to saying YES to anything being possible. Happy New Year Everyone! Until next time…

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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Are You Ready for National Novel Writing Month?

Are You Ready for National Novel Writing Month

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.

After you sign up for the challenge of doing NaNoWriMo on the website (this is the website by the way http://www.nanowrimo.org/) there are still a few other things that you can do to be better prepared to go into National Novel Writing Month and I’ve listed a few helpful tips below:

  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.Another 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. 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 try to blog during NaNoWriMo and I’ll also be sharing tips and tricks on the Write 2 Be Magazine at www.write2bemagazine.com throughout the entire month of November. I wish all of you well this month and happy NaNoWriMo-ing!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Published in: on October 31, 2015 at 5:13 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Weighing the Odds

weighing the odds 2

I spend way too much time weighing the odds. I worry about things that haven’t happened yet and things that have happened in the past. I worry about things going wrong that haven’t even been attempted yet. I worry about rejections that have yet to come to a reality. In worrying about these things I end up stacking the odds against me (in my mind anyway) and then I play the odds game and talk myself right out of what it is that I wanted to get accomplished.

I sit and wonder, what are the odds that someone is going to accept my article? What are the odds that they will like my novel? What are the odds that the message I have, no one will want to hear? What are the odds that my words will make a difference to anyone?

The truth is that there are a lot of odds against everyone in this life but if you waste time playing the odds game every time you meet a new challenge you’re likely to talk yourself right out of going for what it is that you want most. So let’s just all (myself included of course) make a vow that we will stop playing the odds game and stop counting the many ways that things can go wrong. The odds are in your favor if you just believe that they are!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Published in: on September 24, 2015 at 1:07 PM  Comments (2)  
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I Have To Move Out of My Way

I have to get out of my own way 2

So I have been trying to figure out what it is that I have been doing wrong all this time to still not be where I should be in my career. It’s very disheartening when you realize that the person who has been standing in your way the most is you. I’ve posted here before that throughout my adult years I have suffered with bouts of depression, some worse than others, and one just recently in the beginning part of this year. I’m getting better and I’m starting to feel that drive and ambition come back but even still I think I have become somewhat lazy and I have no idea where that came from cause that has never been me.

In the past I was always that person who you couldn’t pull away from the computer or that notepad because I was always writing and working on something to further my dream but even then I think I’ve always been afraid of the submission part of things. Part of it is being scared to put myself out there but a larger part is being afraid that my work wouldn’t be seen as good enough, that I wouldn’t be good enough. And the times I do get rejected I take it really personal because I consider myself to be an extremely talented writer (which makes me wonder why I’m so scared to submit my work) and I suppose I still get offended that talent these days doesn’t seem to be enough.

I think another part of it is that when I dreamed of being a writer when I was younger and I dreamt up all the books and television shows and plays I would write I only thought of the artistry of it all. The business side of it was the part that I just completely ignored and that is the part of it that confronts me now. I have plenty of ideas and I have the words just lying dormant inside of me but what makes me anxious, what makes me fearful, what makes me downright panicked is the business side of writing.

When I think about it really, the submission process of writing is also the business side because I have to think about marketing and my numbers and stats and I have to create packets to present myself in just the right way, and sometimes I just want to write but when I think about the business of it my writing ceases up.

Sometimes it feels like an outer body experience. I can see all the potential, I can see the end game of what I want and I know the things I need to be doing to get there and I’m watching myself paralyzed by fear and sheer lack of confidence just standing there not moving. I want to scream at myself “what are you doing just standing there?” but nothing comes out and I remain still. I have to get out of this cycle because it’s the only way that I am going to see what I want become a reality. I swear I don’t mean to get in my own way.

I’m in a self-evaluation process because I know that I can’t fix the problem without analyzing and figuring out what all there is that I need to work on. I have to really evaluate where I went off track at to begin with. I am a work in progress but I have to be real with myself and truthful with myself if I expect to get myself back on track. So this is not a post excusing myself, in fact this is me realizing that I have no excuses and I can’t keep allowing myself to stand in my own way.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Published in: on August 21, 2015 at 12:23 PM  Comments (3)  
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The Better Version of Ourselves

The Best Version of Ourselves

I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose and how to fulfill our purpose in life, what God put us on this earth to do. In order for us to truly fulfill that purpose we have to be the best version of ourselves. The problem is that we waste a lot of time trying to be some version of what others want us to be, or what we think others want us to be, or what we sometimes feel we should be, that we lose a sense of who we really are.

If our purpose in this life is to contribute something to this world before we leave it then can we really do that by trying to pretend we’re something that we’re not. We would like to be flawless but do we really want to be that person that appears perfect with no weaknesses and no oddities about us? It takes a lot of time to pretend you are someone you are not and to have to put on a show for this person or that person so that they can think that you have it all together when in reality you don’t.

In truth what feels like our biggest weaknesses can sometimes become our greatest strengths but if we waste so much time fighting those weaknesses then we often don’t figure that out as soon as we should. There’s this saying that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest warriors and when you put life’s challenges in that perspective then it almost makes you want to tell the world to “bring it on”. It is the challenges that God throws at us that show us what we are really made of but he uses those weaknesses that we try so hard to cover up or ignore that we have to shape us into the very best versions of who we are meant to be.

I was struggling in the beginning of this year and I am finally starting to get my focus back and my writing is getting back on track. I’ve been working really hard on being that better version of myself. Not perfect or flawless, just better. I think that because I have been focusing on how to be the best version of myself I can better see and focus on the purpose that I have been given.

You can’t contribute all that you have to offer this world if you are trying too hard to be someone you are not. Think about what you were put here to do and what only you can bring to this world to make it better and be the best version of yourself and make that happen!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Published in: on August 13, 2015 at 11:43 AM  Leave a Comment  
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