Ask and You Shall Receive, Just Maybe Not In the Way You Might Think

Ask and You Shall Receive

About a month and a half ago I posted about trying to get unblocked and trying to get my focus back on track with my writing. I even sat down and asked God to help me get my focus and ambition back and to get back to making progress in my writing career. Slowly but steadily I have been feeling more and more in tune with my creative flow and the inspiration is coming back. More importantly, the desire to write even when I don’t feel inspired is coming back. Also I think I am becoming even clearer about my purpose and getting that kind of clarity is a wonderful thing.

Someone gave me a book called the purpose driven life by Rick Warren which is all about a person’s spiritual journey and helping you discover, or in my case re-discover, your purpose. Both, in reading the book and in refocusing on myself and my writing career, I have gained quite a bit of clarity about even the most recent of situations. Just recently a person in my life was removed from my atmosphere (not by death, don’t worry) and I couldn’t understand why this was taking place and I resisted it at first but I had to really sit and process what God was doing for me. I asked him to help me get my focus back and I am starting to realize that the removal of that person has allowed me to really get my focus back on track.

Sometimes we fight the signs that show us that God is listening and we do our own thing and are so resistant. We have to learn that when we ask him for help and for answers we have to be prepared for the fact that the answer may not be at all what we envisioned it to be and may not even be something that we like or wish to go through but stepping out on faith is a process and it’s about listening and not questioning.

If we could just remember that wherever our destiny lies, God already knows the end result so we have to trust that whatever path we are on is the right one and the one he directed us to. I’m just thankful that he doesn’t give up on us even when we sometimes give up on ourselves. Welcome back focus and creativity!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on July 23, 2015 at 12:34 PM  Comments (4)  
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Can’t Watch the Scoreboard and Play the Game

watching the scoreboard 3

I was watching a motivational video a few months ago, still in the fog of my depression and very much still creatively blocked, and they were talking about getting to that place of success that you want to get to in life. He had a lot to say about his journey to success and about the sheer work ethic that it takes to accomplish the goals that you set for yourself but I think the most profound statement he made was that you can’t play the game that you are in (because succeeding in life is very much like playing a game) and watch the scoreboard at the same time.

It’s something that sounds really obvious if we are actually talking about playing some type of sport but in the game that is life and success overall we don’t think about that. We’re always so busy checking to see what progress we’ve made, watching the scoreboard so to speak, that we don’t realize that all the time that we waste checking to see where we’re at in life is time that could be spent making more progress.

I do that a lot. I watch the scoreboard, waiting for my side to be in the lead, showing me that I am making progress and that I’m doing something. When I’m not in the lead, when my score is not reflecting my effort, I get defeated and then my effort starts to change. I think that if I weren’t so busy keeping score of my hits and my misses then I wouldn’t have time to get defeated or to feel the sting of the setback.

If I just kept my focus on what I want and know that that is what I am aiming for without continuously watching to see how far I’ve come in my journey, or sometimes how far I still have to go in my journey, I think I could actually get to where it is that I’m going. It’s like that watched pot that takes so long to boil when you are watching it. If you just walk away and let it be, stop hovering over it and trying to watch the water come to a rolling boil, it would happen a lot sooner than you might expect. So I’m going to work on not looking at the scoreboard as I travel on this journey and just trust that as long as I’m moving forward, and never backward, that I am winning!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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What Happened to That Girl?

What happened to that girl

I do not recognize the writer that I have become. I think back to my productivity and the ability to just sit down and write endlessly when I was in my teens and early twenties and I wonder what the hell happened. I used to write practically every moment of the day. If it was just moments in between moments that I could somehow grab or steal, I would write. You hardly ever saw me without a pen or pencil in my hand and as soon as I could get to a computer I would type until it was all transferred to the computer and my fingers were partially crippled from typing so much.

I know that things change when you get older have children, get a little more settled in life, but I never envisioned that the way I work, the way I write, would change. I suppose that I somehow thought that I would always be able to pull all-nighters or that my energy levels wouldn’t change (particularly when I developed anemia during pregnancy that never seemed to go away). I equate all night working with writing and getting work done but now I struggle just to keep my eyes open, let alone staying up all night long.

I feel like I’ve lost that girl somehow. That girl who was just so driven to get the words out that I sacrificed my sleep. I feel like I’ve lost a part of myself because I feel like I can’t seem to get it together and I know that I should be doing better than what I am doing, I know that I should be getting ready to publish my 10th book (at least) not still working on getting my 2nd out there. I dwell in things for far too long and I don’t really know how to pull myself out of the funk that I sometimes fall into. I don’t do well with change and when things change I don’t know how to cope.

Perhaps that is where I start to get a little piece of that girl back again. Maybe realizing that not only is change inevitable but rather necessary. I have to figure out how to make the changes that come along work for me instead of letting them go against me. I have to figure out a time that works for my productivity because clearly me trying to force writing to happen at night is not working and I am resisting the change in routine and that amounts to zero productivity. I want to find that girl again but perhaps introduce her to a new way of coping and doing things. But I’d like to keep her fire and her drive. That is one thing I don’t want to change.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on June 4, 2015 at 12:35 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Stuck In the Place That Is Nowhere

Stuck in nowhere 3

I’m staring at my list of projects that I am supposed to get done over the course of this year and wondering what is wrong with me. It seemed like I had finally come out my fog of depression and gotten my motivation back at the end of last year and I had made a plan for this year and literally created steps on how I ca go about carrying out those plans. So I am completely both surprised and disappointed in myself that here we are about to go into the third month of this year and I still can not get my shit together.

I don’t feel depressed anymore (seriously I don’t). I started back working out at the beginning of January and with that I am starting to feel good about myself again and feel my confidence coming back and I’m feeling my energy coming back as well. So why can’t I seem to get motivated when it comes to sitting my ass down and tackle these projects? It certainly isn’t that I don’t want to get these things accomplished. It isn’t even lack of ideas because I have an overwhelming amount of those.

I feel these bursts of creativity and motivation to sit down and get working on these projects and then something will come up, my daughter will need me for something, projects for other people that need to be done (what pays the bills), there will be housework that needs to get done, and sadly sometimes I’m just tired (from working out) and in need of sleep. I can’t pull the all-nighters that I used to do anymore, I just don’t have the energy and there is not enough coffee in the word that can keep me up ALL night.

As I type this now I am trying to keep myself from falling asleep because I am really tired from my workout this morning, and of course later I have homework to do with my daughter, housework to be done, dinner to be cooked, and of course there is mother daughter time to be had and then it will be time to go to bed because I have to get a decent nights sleep in order to have a good workout in the morning. I want to stay up until 2 and 3 in the morning working on this stuff but it just never works out like that because I literally collapse in my bed.

I feel like I am still acting as if I am in a depressed state but I know that I don’t feel depressed anymore (at least not in this moment). I guess I’m really just trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I’m not one of those people who have no idea what it is they want out of their life and I have ambitions, and I have purpose. I saw a quote from Steve Harvey’s Facebook page “If you’re going somewhere, why don’t you stop playing, commit yourself and get there?” and it made me think of all of this and of course I had to write it out here and voice to all of you.

I need to get it together because I have way too much to do and I have wasted far too much time already just thinking of where I’m headed instead of putting the action into getting there. I feel like in this moment I am not doing my best for my career and I hate that and I don’t feel like I’m doing it on purpose but in the same sense I don’t know that I am doing enough to get over this rut I seem to be perpetually stuck in.

You guys are my sounding board and I thank you for that because honestly sometimes talking it out here allows me to work through it. Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for any words of encouragement you have for me. I hope your projects are coming along and I have faith that I will get this together.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on February 18, 2015 at 6:35 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Are There Really No Days Off?

Days off 2

So I’ve been wondering lately if I have been putting in enough work on this dream of mine. I mean I have things planned and enough ideas to fill up several notebooks but is planning enough if you don’t throw every single second you have into it. I was under the impression that there are moments where I should be allowed for little breaks, moments of free time, moments of me time, in which I focus on taking care of me. After all I have realized that in taking care of myself a lot better I am able to open myself up more creatively.

I was listening to The Steve Harvey Morning Show today and he was speaking about how those who want to truly be successful can make sure that they get to where they want to be and one of the main points that he stressed was that there are no days off when you are striving to be successful. There is, or shouldn’t be, any time for anything that doesn’t have to do with furthering your goal and your purpose. Now I normally can agree with most of what Steve Harvey says, after all, look where he is and how much he has accomplished, he would know right. But I suppose every situation is different for everyone.

I don’t know that I agree with not having moments to step back and get some clarity, or to step away and take a slight break, have some time that is not all about the dream, because I would imagine it would be good for your mind if that wasn’t all that consumed it. Then again, I could be wrong because I have not yet reached my goals and I don’t believe that I am even close and maybe that is because of my “days off”. Maybe my “days off” somehow suggest I don’t want it bad enough.

I have to ponder this one for a while because while I am certainly willing to dedicate 90%, maybe 95% of my focus to this dream of mine because I definitely want it. It’s all I think about sometimes, being successful that is. However I don’t know if I’m prepared to say that I want to give up this newfound me time that I am just now learning how to take. I can’t say that I regret the time that I carve out to spend time with my daughter. I can’t even say that the very minimal time that I make for a few close friends is a mistake either.

I think that you need to step away sometimes and enjoy the life you are trying to provide for because that allows you to see what it’s all for. I think days off are necessary. After all, the dream isn’t going anywhere while you are taking some time for yourself or loved ones. It will be right where it always was when you get back to it. Just because I believe in a day off, or two, doesn’t make my dream any less important. Sometime I like to step away from it so I can get an even clearer view of what I want.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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The Creativity Is Not So Lost Anymore

Creativity was lost now found

So over the weekend I started to get such a flood of ideas going through my mind. New ideas, old ideas in a renewed form, even ideas that made me realize that they should be let go. It was almost like every hour or so I would think of a novel that I was previously working on and just stopped and I would remember how excited I was about that idea when it first came to me and the excitement came rushing back. Or I would get this new idea for a novel or for the television series idea that I am conjuring up, and that would excite me.

I feel like the creativity that I thought I was slowly losing is rapidly coming back or maybe it was just a little lost because I was starting to feel a little lost. I truly think this has a lot to do with my going back to the gym at the beginning of this year and my remaining consistent with that and also with my promise that I would do something, at least one thing, each month that is solely for me and me alone. I feel like my confidence is coming back, my energy is coming back, and I’m taking care of me and I can’t lie and say that it doesn’t feel good to do that.

Now all I want to do is create more time to write and work on these wonderful ideas that I have. I have been under-producing for way too long and I am just ready to get back at it and get these ideas out of my head and onto paper. I haven’t felt this rush of creativity in quite a long time and it feels really good. I only hope that I don’t get so bogged down by all of the ideas that I get discouraged by the time that it is going to take to put towards actually seeing them through.

Writing is about balance, juggling the ideas, with the actual production, to the follow through as it pertains to publishing. This is a balance I have yet to figure out yet but I know that I don’t want to lose this surge of creativity that I feel right now, at this moment. It feels good!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on February 2, 2015 at 3:39 PM  Comments (1)  
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Nurturing My Creativity By Remembering To Nurture Myself

Nurture your creativity

Since I have been working on getting my health back on track and started working out again I have started to feel the change, not just physically, but also emotionally. This emotional and mental change is allowing me to, in a sense, regain the energy and motivation that I was beginning to lose and that in turn is allowing me to, once again, feel more creative and inspired.

It’s amazing what taking care of yourself and your body can do for your creative endeavors. I’m not really good at knowing how to take good care of myself and I don’t normally put myself first, well definitely not before my daughter, so it’s hard for me to get used to. Having said that, I really want to maintain this nurturing of my craft and my creativity and I understand that in order to do that I need to continue to nurture myself.

I sometimes have a really hard time to remember to take care of myself. I will literally get to the end of a month in which I planned to do one special that I wanted to do just for me and me only and realize that I forgot to do that one thing for me. I want to break this habit, and not just because it’s good for my overall growth and progress, but just because I deserve it.

I have been progressively more creative lately and motivated and driven to become just as creative as I once was before getting off track and dealing with several back to back episodes of depression and I want it to stay this way. I don’t want to lose this gift that God has given me simply because I didn’t nurture it. I even made myself a vision board this year to help keep me focused and to have a steady reminder of what taking care of myself can enable me to do for my career. So don’t forget to take care of yourself because it allows you to be in a better position to take care of everything else.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on January 29, 2015 at 5:45 PM  Comments (1)  
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Getting My Creative House In Order

Creativity 2

The space that you have to create in is very important to a writer, or to an artists’ in general. Sure it is said and has been proven that a writer can pretty much write anywhere, whether it’s just in their head while their driving around, or at a coffee shop in the hustle and bustle of everyday strangers. However, the space that a writer has at home or at wherever they choose to call their office, I’ve come to realize is incredibly important.

Looking over at the corner of my room that is designated as my office I am shocked at how out of order I have let it get. There are so many initiatives that I was supposed to take to spark my creativity on a daily, or at least regular basis but my working are does not depict that. My desk is cluttered, far more than I would like it to be, and my bulletin board contains lists of things to get done that just simply haven’t even been halfway accomplished. My vision board that I was supposed to have created by now, well the items to go on the vision board are scattered across my desk somewhere so clear it’s not displayed as it should be. Maybe that is why I am struggling with keeping my eye on the vision that I have and not veering off into the land of self-doubt.

You know how people get when it comes to Spring cleaning and emptying out their closets and getting their house in shape. Well that is how I feel when Fall rolls around about my writing space. I think that I need to take some time in this month of getting back to reigniting my creativity and refresh my creative space. I think that this is definitely something that I have to tackle during this month in order to truly get my creativity going strong again.

If your mind is already cluttered with ideas then there isn’t really a benefit to having a cluttered space in which you are supposed to create in. In a career such as being a writer where ideas and projects can be all over the place, you need something about your creative process to be focused and organized. So this weekend that is going to be one of the many things that I try to put into perspective. I am feeling the surge of creativity flow again, stronger than it has been in recent months, and I want to guard this surge with everything.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Creative Breakthrough

Breakthrough

This month has done exactly what I wanted it to do by focusing more on the actual craft of writing. It has reignited some creativity that I truly was starting to believe I was losing little by little. I had all of these ideas in my head but they just weren’t coming out on paper and they weren’t really coming into focus. These ideas were in bits and pieces trying to formulate themselves and it just wasn’t happening. But somehow when I took this time to focus on the writing itself and not solely on the marketing and the business side of things it seems to have helped those pieces come together.

I have been putting more and more of my ideas down on paper and they are starting to seem like more of a real possibility. I have even started to have a breakthrough on some ideas for my next novel that I have been stuck on up until now. I feel myself coming out of the funk that I was in slowly and even though some of the obstacles that I have right now have not gone away or even clear up, I feel more hopeful about things these days.

I know that with these obstacles, or financial standstills rather, that worrying doesn’t make them go away and it doesn’t display my true faith in God and that he will never allow me to go through anything that I can’t get through. I trust that there is a reason for everything that we go through in this life and that nothing is without purpose. Perhaps I needed this standstill in my creativity to wake me up to the realization that I can’t wait for all of the stars to align perfectly and that I can’t waste any more time.

I’ve been working on not waiting until everything is perfect to begin. I know there are a lot of things that I do imperfectly so a huge part of my problem is that before I submit work anywhere or display an idea I want things to be perfect but when does perfection ever truly happen. I keep putting off doing things because I have convinced myself that unless they’re perfect they just won’t be good enough but that’s just my self-doubt creeping in to my subconscious.

These last couple of weeks of me just concentrating on my creativity within my writing and not stressing so much on the business end have made me remember where the passion I had for writing came from to begin with. Of course I have in no way forgotten that this is my business as well and that I do have to put effort into that but I definitely do not want to forget what made me fall in love with the power of words in the first place. I have to make sure I stay in love with the power of words.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on September 17, 2014 at 5:58 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Like-Minded Creative Types

like minded creative types

They say birds of a feather flock together and as a child that saying doesn’t appear to hold a lot of meaning. When you are a kid you think that just because the person that you have dubbed as your new best friend does things that you don’t necessarily agree with and have a few personality traits that you might learn to overlook, that it doesn’t say anything about you and the person that you are. In theory it sounds nice, and perhaps it should be that way, but the reality is that it’s not.

You don’t realize it when you’re that young because you don’t, or rather, you can’t see what other people see and you don’t have that kind of clarity when you’re younger. However, as you get older, the birds of a feather phrase starts to reveal its relevance in your life and it is more stated as place yourself around like-minded people.

As you all know I have been struggling with my creativity lately, not necessarily with coming up with ideas but mostly with the follow through of those ideas, the productivity. After a conversation the other day with a friend who I hadn’t talked to in a while, I realized that one of the problems that I might have brought on myself when it comes to my creativity issues is that that I hadn’t done a good enough job of managing the people around me.

In that conversation the other day we bounced ideas back and forth and mainly I got to discuss a lot of my ideas to someone who hadn’t really heard them before. In many ways it reinvigorated my motivation to follow through with and produce those ideas because obviously I want to see those ideas come to fruition. I felt like that conversation helped a little to pull me up out of the funk that I have been in. It was a conversation about creative ideas with another creative individual who has creative ambitions just like I do.

It also reinforced just how important it is to place yourself around people who want the same things that you do and have the same manner of ambition that you have. Of course I don’t mean the same exact ideas and goals but someone that understands where you’re coming from and that you can bounce off ideas and aspirations off of that’s not going to look at you with a blank clueless stare because they simply don’t get it, not because they aren’t capable of comprehending what you’re saying but because it’s not where their head is at so they don’t get you.

I have met some wonderful people recently, in the last year and a half or so, and they are fun people who have, admittedly helped me open up a little and somewhat come out of my hibernation shell (lol), but their ideas of what’s important aren’t my ideas of what’s important. Their idea of fun is not the same thing as my idea of fun, and their priorities are not in line with what my priorities are. They don’t get my creative side and it’s okay because that’s not their thing but it is mine.

I get tired of explaining myself and my goals and ambitions to people who frankly can’t understand those things. It makes me yearn even more for a creative network around me and I only really have a couple of people that I can express my creative self to. The number one person that I could always express those creative ideas to moved further away to North Carolina and frankly doesn’t seem to have time for me anymore, almost as if she’s forgotten our friendship. This leaves me wanting more creative people in my circle.

I am trying to make steps to interact more with creative people who can enhance my creativity even further and bring out in me things that I may be reluctant to display. That is something that I have already discovered as my month of going back to the basics in my writing has just started. It’s going to be interesting to see what else I discover in this month of simply putting pen to paper and letting the words flow.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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