A Proper Mental Health Break Day Can Help Keep the Burnout Away

So I’m not known for knowing when to take a break. I typically push and push and push until I completely am exhausted of all creative, mental, and physical energy. I do this because I have moments when I get in such a bad funk or depression where nothing happens because I simply can’t and then I get frustrated with myself because I feel like I’m wasting so much time (as if it’s that easy to keep depression at bay). Last week was a little off for me because since this Pandemic started I’ve been on the go and more productive than I have been in recent months prior to it.

I’ve been writing more and doing more for my magazine, and even started a YouTube channel. I’ve got books that I’ve set in motion to be released before the end of the year (at least 4 of them) and there’s so much to do in preparation for this and that’s what I’ve been working towards. Even my weekends have been filled with writing related tasks (I used to have a no weekends thing so that’s big for me) and I have actually loved just how creatively inspired I’ve been and just on a constant need to be doing something to further the goal. Last week, however, I just didn’t feel like doing any of that. It wasn’t like my mind wasn’t still brimming with ideas and the need to keep pushing but it seemed the harder I tried to push through the more I felt like I just couldn’t do any of it. It wasn’t a depressed feeling because I know what that feels like.

I wasn’t sure what this was but then I attended the virtual writing retreat this weekend, Evergreen Writing Oasis, via YouTube and the first day of the event they talked about burnout (which is not the same as depression however one can feed into the other). I was beginning to feel burnout and that is not something that I can afford to have right now. In the event they spoke about ways to combat burnout, but also ways to maybe try and head the burnout off when you begin to recognize that’s what’s coming. This made me think of my own advice in one of my videos about filling the creative well and I had decided to go ahead and take the entire weekend and just enjoy the virtual writing retreat and just attend the panels, read, and watch TV.

I thought that would allow me to start this week off right and vibrant and refreshed and ready to hit the ground running. Yeah that’s not what happened because I’m still feeling a little blah and I still feel like I need to refill the well so to speak. So my initial thought was okay so this is going to be a week long thing and I’m just going to make this a mental health week and that may still be what it ends up being but for now I’m just going to play this by ear. So I did not make a schedule for this week (not yet anyway) and I have not yet written a to-do list (I plan on it though—I think) for the things that would need to be done this week. I have a novel outline to finish (for Camp NaNoWriMo) plus a novel and a motivational book to get prepped for release along with two poetry books but I don’t feel like I can produce my best work feeling like this.

All of this is to say that Mental Health breaks are very necessary and we (and by we I mean people in general) should not feel bad, or frustrated with ourselves for needing one. If we are not at our best mentally than how can we be the best version of ourselves that we need to be? I hope you guys don’t mind me working this out with you all and that I’m not rambling too much but I just felt like someone else out there needs to hear that it’s okay to take a break. It does not mean that you are lazy and it does not mean that you are unaware of the need to complete the task and accomplish the goal. It simply means that you are putting your mental health first for a few days, or however long you decide you need that mental break for. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Until next time #BeMindful #BeAware #BeGoodtoYourself

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

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

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJCCarpenter

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv 

https://twitter.com/write2bemag 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPU35EkFSbuxgekCp4LfI5g

It’s Time for Another Writing Event

So this week’s post is going to be a more writerly post, because after all, I am a writer! So Camp NaNoWriMo is upon us and if you don’t yet know what that is, briefly, it is an abbreviated version of the National Novel Writing event that takes place in the month of November. It’s a bit of a warm up if you will, where you get to set your own goals as opposed to having to stick to the goal on the site. I find that these writing events that they have in April, July, and of course November are extremely helpful ways, on the occasions when I get thrown off track for whatever reason, to get myself back on the writing track and to reform the habit of writing on a daily basis. It forces you to dedicate some concentrated time to some area of your writing at least a little part of each day and it’s so good to have that focus.

I have so many projects that I am working on, all in different stages of completion, and a couple that I’m getting ready to start but planning and preparation are key. I am a planner by nature but it doesn’t always seem that way because while I have in the past attempted to delve into the planner world and have a planner for every single project that I am working on (which could get incredibly expensive), I tend to revert back to keeping things spread out on scraps of paper and several blank books spread out all over which I’ll admit doesn’t seem organized but I know where everything is when I need to get to it.

That said, I have bought a few more planners to try and hone my organizational skills a bit better because I hope that it will inevitably make me even more focused and since we’re in the midst of a pandemic what better time to enhance my organization skills and to increase my productivity all the more. I am finding that keeping things in specific planners for different projects and different areas of my business is actually turning out to be a much better system and I have managed not to revert back to the scraps of paper and random unfocused notebooks so I guess it is working.

So for Camp NaNoWriMo, which starts July 1st (yep, that’s Wednesday) I have a brand new novel that I am working on and more specifically I am outlining for Camp. I have a YouTube channel that I will be chronicling the process of that journey on, among other things I discuss on my channel. I also, if you want a little broader description on what Camp NaNoWriMo is, have a video specifically on my Camp goals. So I’m wondering if any of you out there have a particular planning system or an organizational practice that helps you stay focused and on track? If any of you are writers, do you plan to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo or the big event in November? Let me know and until next time… #BeCreative #BeProductive #BeFocused

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

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

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJCCarpenter

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv 

https://twitter.com/write2bemag 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPU35EkFSbuxgekCp4LfI5g

What I Got From My Not So Successful Camp Experience

feel like quitting

Well this is the last day of CampNaNoWriMo and I wish that I could report that I have finished my novel which is what I set out to do.  However, I did not manage to finish the novel.  In fact I wasn’t even able to get nearly as much done as I thought I would be able to.  Granted I did get some work done on it and I reignited the energy to actually finish it, it’s just that I had wanted to be able to move onto the next project soon and I simply can’t now until this one is finished.

Even though I didn’t make it through camp season with a successful outcome it was not completely without its usefulness.  It got me started again when I had been stuck for quite some time.  Sometimes when we attempt to do something and manage to fall short of our expected goals we have to keep ourselves from dwelling on what wasn’t accomplished.  Instead, we have to focus on the accomplishments that were made and how much further we are in the process then we were before we accomplished those particular goals.

Sometimes it’s not about winning the race so much as it is about showing up and putting in every ounce of effort that we can muster up.  So remember when you are pursuing your goals and you are giving it your all that your best is good enough even if you don’t get everything that you were going after.  It’s not the winning that matters the most, it’s the fight that you put into the race.

 

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.

Stuck in the Same Place I Left Off At

I must admit I had anticipated this first week of CampNaNoWriMo was going to go a little better than it has been going.  I picked up my novel and got reacquainted with it that first day like I said I would and it brought the energy back that I had for telling the story and I was ready to pick back up where I left off.  Well almost ready anyway.

When I got to the point where I had left off I remembered what got me stuck at that part to begin with.  I was left with the problem of not really knowing how to write the scene that the next chapter is supposed to start out with.  Well that problem did not vanish with time.  I still don’t really know how to start the chapter.

I am finding myself repeatedly researching information that is necessary for the scene and still not knowing how to write this scene.  It’s an important scene and I want it to be right.  So now I am still stuck at this scene.  I know that it can be worked through with some time but I constantly feel like I have less and less time available to write all of the stories that I imagine can be told.  I guess I just have to buckle down and work harder on that scene so that I can move the rest of the novel forward.  Well I suppose it’s time to get back to work!

 

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.

Camp Season Has Officially Begun

camp nanowrimo

Okay so today is April 1st which means that (in addition to it being April Fool’s day) it is the first day of CampNaNoWriMo.  I have decided that I am going to finish this novel so that I can get it into the editing phase.  Now of course I should’ve started back up today but I opted to, instead, get reacquainted with the novel because honestly I stepped away from it for quite a while and I need to not only remember where I left off but get excited about it again.  So here’s to all of you campers out there who have decided to also take the plunge into novel land for the month of April.  Wish me luck in actually finishing it this time around!

 

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 It Camp Season Already?

So I got an email in my inbox today about CampNaNoWriMo and the date is approaching in April.  I hadn’t actually planned on doing CampNaNoWriMo this year because I didn’t do so well in actually producing anything last year when they did the mid year program.  This year they have one in April and in July and at first glance I want to just say no and wait until the normal time in November.

Throughout the course of the day I have thought about the fact that I never use not doing something well the first time as an excuse to not try again and I don’t want to start now.  Perhaps the CampNaNoWriMo is just what I need to finish up the other novel and get working on outlining the ideas for the other one.

It will not only allow me to finish up a project but also to prepare for the NaNoWriMo in November and if I should choose to do the one in July as well (which knowing me I probably will), it will be a good warm-up for that one as well.  So since April is approaching (quicker than I would like it to) I suppose I had better get my time management skills in check.

Hopefully some of you will join me in the month of April and participate in the CampNaNoWriMo and get warmed up for the November round.  If you do decide to participate please let me know and maybe we can help hold each other accountable.  Let’s go camping!

 

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 a Writer’s Desk Ever Really Free of Clutter?

It’s about that time for the re-organization fairy to come in and clean my office area again.  Okay no really it seems like it needs to be done every three or four months and I don’t know about anyone else but it is hard to work in clutter, especially when it is clutter of your own making.  

My clutter comes from piling the incoming mail into my little inbox trays and letting it all stack up each and every week without ever tossing any of the junk that needs to be trashed out.  It also comes from trying to work on more than a few projects at one time so therefore everything in reference to each project, research, outlines and things of that nature, end up in a pile to the side of my desk and it starts to look a little bit similar to the mail file, accept none of it is junk.  

It is time for me to get my desk back in the order that I would like it to be in and this time devise a plan for it to stay that way.  But am I kidding myself to think that my desk can ever really remain clean and orderly?  Perhaps a writer’s desk is never truly clean of all clutter but when it starts to hinder the progress that you are making (or rather not making) then it becomes a problem.  

It’s so distracting that I have not even really done work at my desk for the last few weeks.  I’ve simply gathered up my laptop, and my notepad and notes on certain projects and toted them out to my dining room table, which is nice and clean, and I work there but I am really starting to miss my desk.  

I miss my chair (well currently it’s broke thanks to my daughter hopping in and out of it like it’s a bean-bag chair) and more importantly I miss feeling like a successful writer/business woman working in her own office (area).  That’s what working at my desk does for me.  I’ve seen pictures of writers working happily in a cluttered space and they genuinely look happy and at peace with the mess.  I just don’t know how they do it.  I suppose I should be happy that I’ve been doing a good job of working on my novel for Camp NaNoWriMo so I can’t say that the dining room table is a bad fix but, I miss my desk.   

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

There is No Comparison To Be Made

So I have begun CampNaNoWriMo as of last Wednesday and I was right that it would help me get focused again on my novel.  I haven’t necessarily written the amount of words I should have written by this point but I have gotten back into the story and my mind has started swirling ideas around regarding the outcome of my character.  

My words are coming along much better then I thought they would but I do still have that feeling every once and a while of wishing that I could write like…well any of the writers who crank out more than three or four novels in a year.  That list would contain some of my favorites like Joyce Carol Oates and James Patterson and Eric Jerome Dickey and Zane.  

I keep thinking to myself I wish I could do whatever it is that they do to produce the amount of work that they produce.  Then I remind myself that I have to stop comparing myself to other writers because I am not them, but rather the best version of myself that I can be.  I do that a lot you know.  Think that so many other people have it better than I do and have so much more than I do or that they seem to be able to be so much better at writing or succeeding in general than I am.  

I try not to compare having the old saying in the back of my mind that the grass is not always greener on the other side, but it’s hard when you see others who just look like they have it all, like they have all the answers to the questions that I keep asking.  But just like other people don’t know my story and my struggles, I do not know theirs either.  I don’t know what they had to go through to get where they are and what they have to continue going through now that they’ve gotten where I seemingly would like to be.   

It is a slow process but I am learning to take stock in what I have and what I can do because the truth is that there is no comparison to be made here.  I am me, not anybody else and what I have is for me to have or for me to struggle with.  I have to keep in mind that I shouldn’t wish for anyone else’s journey.  These struggles and this journey of mine is what was meant for me to travel and I am going to take stock in every bump in the road along the way until I get to the destination that was meant for me.  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Gearing Up For Another Writing Marathon

So a few posts ago I wrote about doing Camp NaNoWriMo this August so that I can not only finish my novel that I started in last November’s NaNoWriMo but also so that I can get my writing groove back.  Although you might think that I wouldn’t have to do the same necessary steps to prepare for this that I did in November because at least this time I am not starting from scratch, that is far from the truth.  

Even though I don’t have to come up with an outline and create character sketches I still have to get a handle on my time management.  Not only am I just getting my bearings within my Master’s in Psychology program and but I am really trying to work on some freelance work and trying to pitch certain magazines and increase the success of my business, throw a novel in the mix along with the everyday fulltime job of being a mom.  Not to mention, I have just thought of another business idea that has some real true potential to make me and my family some money and could launch a lot of things for me, and I have to start putting in the research for that quickly.  

I already know what my issue is that I have to work on during this coming month of August, time management.  I suppose this will mean a lot less TV and telephone (accept for my very necessary conversations with Ms. L. that tend to turn into brainstorming sessions) and a lot more late nights—and by late nights I mean one’s that are productive late nights and not me catching up on my TV.  Thank goodness for my DVR.  Well I have a lot of organizing of my time to go figure out and I hope that some of you out there click on the link in the post for CampNaNoWriMo and join in on the writing challenge with me.  Tomorrow begins the rest of my novel.  Yay!

 

 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Too Many Stories to Juggle, Not Enough Discipline To Keep Them All From Falling

It’s starting to happen again.  All of these different ideas and characters are circling around inside my head and trying to tell me all of their stories, ALL at once.  Now I know what many writers may possibly be thinking.  How could this possibly be a problem?  In fact a lot of writers have the opposite problem, no ideas and no characters speaking to them.  

Well the problem that presents itself is that I have yet to finish the novel that I started writing last November for National Novel Writing Month.  I have no idea why I haven’t because it’s not as if I’ve lost interest in telling the stories of those characters.  In fact I am very intrigued to see if the main character in that novel will end up how I once thought she might end up.  It’s not as if she hasn’t been begging me to finish telling her story either, in fact I think she may just have some adjustments that could change a lot of what was going to happen.  

My problem is that I am a serial story hopper.  It’s not that I have never finished a novel.  In fact I am actually a published author (although you wouldn’t know it due to my inability to do a better job at marketing myself—yet another thing I must work on sooner rather than later).  I actually have another novel that is also completed that is currently in the hands of my editor now.  However, if you had any idea of the novels I have already started and stopped because I had another story enter my head and another character that kept shouting at me to tell it, you would probably laugh at my lack of discipline.  

That’s what it is, a lack of discipline to stick with one story from start to finish.  But how do you silence the characters that come to you in the midst of telling another character’s story that has nothing to do with theirs?  I mean you can’t completely ignore the ideas that come because if you lose them you might never get them back again.  On the other hand feeding into the constantly flowing stream of ideas is the reason why I have at least 5 or 6 novels started but left unfinished.  

I read one article that suggested writing down the ideas as they come and then setting them aside to finish the current project.  The problem I have with that idea is that once I get started writing that idea out, then I start sketching the characters, then I start to outline the story and the setting.  Next thing you know I’ve moved completely from one story to the next.  So what am I going to do about it?  

Well it seems that when I knew I was under the pressure of National Novel Writing Month I had no problem sticking to my one story.  So NaNoWriMo is having this thing they call CampNaNoWriMo where they do the same thing they do in November, just in June and August as well.  Since I’ve already missed June’s, I am going to do the one that they have in August.  

Technically you are supposed to start a new novel from scratch but I think that I am going to use the one in August to finish the one I started last November.  Perhaps that will give me some focus and discipline and then I can finally complete this novel before moving on to the next one.  Who knows, I might just finish this one and move on to another one that I already started earlier and finish that one up too.  Discipline is extremely key to a writer’s work because without it you would just be all over the place with more stories going on than any one person can handle.  Kind of like me! 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress