The Never Ending Balancing Act: Structure versus Spontaneity

Change versus Spontaneity post

I’ve been thinking over the weekend about change. There are a lot of experts that advise you that change is good and that you shouldn’t be resistant to it. Then you have plenty of experts on the opposite end of the spectrum that say that setting deadlines is a good thing and that having structure and routine is something that can help stabilize someone’s life and help them to stay focused on the journey ahead of them.

I tend to lean more to the side of routine and structure, perhaps I lean a little too far in to it. It’s no secret to anyone who truly knows me that no matter how open I appear to be to change and spontaneity, I am extremely resistant to it. I’d like to say that I’ve only recently grown a barrier to the idea of change but I think I’ve always been this way since I was a little girl. I like knowing what’s going to happen, to know the way the day is going to go and precisely what I’ll be doing and when. That kind of structure pretty much guarantees the same outcome and while that may seem boring to some, it’s also safe. I guess the problem is that it may be a little too safe.

The odd thing is that the kind of life I’ve always dreamed of having for myself, since I was ten years old, could never be possible without embracing the idea of change and being spontaneous. There are a lot of things that I would change about my life and one of the things at the top of that list is my resistance to change itself, and my anxiety over the things that I do not know. So what is the right way to go about things?

Do you go with throwing caution to the wind and embracing every change that comes your way or do you plan and set deadlines and stick to a structure that helps keep you on track? I suppose that is what I struggle with because I want to be spontaneous and accept whatever changes may come my way but then I lose my balance and the shifts that begin to happen don’t allow me to stay focused and on track. Where is the middle ground on change versus structure? Is there a good balance between being overtly open to every changing scenario and still keeping enough structure to stay on course?

It’s easy for me to just say that structure is what works for me and leave it at that but if it was truly working then I would be where I want to be by now. Perhaps the very reason I haven’t reached that next level just yet is because I’m too afraid to reach out and grab the ledge above me because that means I would have to actually let go. To let go is scary. That means I have to trust what’s coming next, in an outcome that I can’t see.

Change is necessary to go to the next step on my journey and I know that but it’s hard to not know how things will turn out. So I guess the question is can I have structure and still fully open myself up to change or am I just going to keep holding on to the things that I already know. I don’t know how I truly feel about letting go of the structure that keeps me so grounded but I guess this year (my year of no excuses) will help me see just how open I can be.

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Accountability Measures

Accountability Measures

So I have said this year was going to be the year that I stopped making excuses for why I couldn’t do something. I acknowledge that I can’t just say an automatic yes to every single little thing but that doesn’t mean that I can’t make a substitute solution so that I can still stay on the right path to my end goals. For instance, one of my main goals this year is to stop waiting for a traditional publisher or an agent to say yes to my books and say yes to them myself by self-publishing them with the ISBN #’s I’ve been sitting on for literally over five years now. So I know that my budget is going to be an issue. To say that it is tight would be a gross understatement, but to get around the issue that I can’t exactly afford a professional book cover, I am going to use a special graphic program (as professional as I can get it) and learn how to do one myself (and if you knew how challenged I am in the area of technology you would understand what a huge deal that is for me lol). So my no excuses rule means I can’t focus on the lack of money to get a professional book cover, I just have to make a way to do one on my own.

Now there are some other things that I have been making excuses for and I realize that I am going to actually need to set some deadlines. Deadlines are what keeps people who second-guess themselves at every turn and can what if their way right out of an opportunity, people like me, held accountable for actually following through. I am supposed to start back at a hobby that I love and had to stop because I had gotten injured. I was supposed to had gotten back to it last year but I was feeling a little scared that I would re-injure myself. I told someone that I would finally get back to it this year but I left it open ended with no actual set time. It gave me a way out of it by not having an actual time pinpointed. That same person made me pick a date the other day and now that I have that date in my mind (it’s March 5th by the way), now I feel obligated to stick to it. I don’t have any excuses right?

So with my book, that’s supposed to release soon (I know, very vague right lol) I had made the commitment to publish a book but I just didn’t say when. I suppose I did that as some sort of safety net just in case something went wrong with the whole process. With no deadline, I wouldn’t have to explain to anyone else why it didn’t happen. But that pretty cowardice right? So I’m setting a deadline hear and now that the re-release of my book, The Diary: Succession of Lies, is going to be released on March 1st, 2019. So you heard it hear first and now I have to no choice but to do it because I have no excuses! So deadlines are the thing now! It’s what I need to hold myself accountable—my new accountability measure if you will! Do deadlines work for you? Let me know how deadlines have helped you in your life?

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/ 

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https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

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Getting To the Task At Hand

So adhering to my own words in my post the other day about having deadlines, I have decided to use my calendar for productivity and not just let it sit there waiting to be filled with events that are not yet in the works.  I took out my planner and although I had planned on filling it with events and conferences that I would be headed to this year (which is still not out of the realm of possibility), I decided to begin making those deadlines that I said I needed to set for myself.

The first task on my calendar is to send out those queries and letters of introduction to those publications that I am terrified will say No to my work.  I suppose the reality is that they can’t say yes if I don’t submit anything at all.  Of course the biggest deadlines that I had to set for myself is to finish the one novel that I’ve been working on for a while now (what feels like forever) and outlining and beginning the next one that I am anxious to get working on next.

I’m actually scheduled to start working on accomplishing some of those deadlines this weekend so I am looking forward to getting back to work on my novel.  I’ve actually really missed my character and she’s kind of been wondering why I abandoned her story.  Do all of you have your projects lined up for this weekend yet?  I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!

 

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 Having a Deadline Really Such a Bad Idea?

I don’t have a tight schedule to write on.  I’m not an author who is on the New York Times Bestsellers list (not yet anyway) so I don’t have any major publishing houses breathing down my back for my next novel (they would be quite upset with me right now).  I also don’t currently have any newspaper or magazine editors waiting for my next article and hounding me about when it will be done.  That would sound like heaven to most writers, no stress and worry about being penalized for being late with an assignment.

However, what I have discovered about me over the last several years is that I am one of those writers (hopefully not the only one) who needs a deadline.  I need that invisible ticking clock over my head ticking away the minutes that I am wasting on something that is not going to actually earn me any income as a writer.  I need that editor or major publishing house breathing down my back and constantly checking in with me to see if I have finished that article yet, or that next novel that I would ordinarily be stuck on if not for the fact that I have a time limit.

I have an ebook that I was supposed to have written by now so that I can begin promoting and selling it.  However, despite the fact that I have an outline to get me off to a good start I have yet to produce one single chapter of that ebook.  Perhaps if I had some editor telling me that it needed to be done in a month I could sit down and just crank it out already.

I’ve always known that I worked a little better under pressure.  It seems like the more intense the pressure the faster I work and the better the writing is.  Even with school papers I have always waited until the final moment, even now as I am earning a Master’s degree I will wait until the night before the paper is due to do it.  I wish I was that person who could start things a week or more ahead of time, giving myself ample time to get things done and produce good work but I don’t believe I am wired that way.

So since I don’t have that editor or that publishing house screaming at me through emails I have to be the one dangling that deadline in front of my face.  I have to start setting dates for the production of my work (and actually stick to them instead of just moving the date further up) and either find a computer program (not sure where to even start with that one) to help me keep track of those deadlines or mark the calendar and hold firm to the date I set.  I suppose until I have that editor or publishing house tapping their fingers at me as a signal to hurry up and finish my project, I have to hold myself accountable in other ways.  Otherwise I might never make it to that New York Times Bestsellers list (and on Oprah’s book club list) and that is an outcome that I refuse to let happen.

How do all of you deal with deadlines?  Are deadlines your friend or your enemy?

 

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.