Riding Around On a Near Empty Tank

I was reading an article on the Freelance Writer’s Den website that is supposed to help struggling freelance writers figure out how to better market themselves and their business.  There are a total of 21 marketing tips and I have decided to take one at a time and kind of marinate on them and really take them in and process them.  The first one is of course that you have to believe in your product, in this case, me.  

It commented on the obvious fears that freelance writers, or writers in general, experience as they try to build their business and get them off the ground good, especially the one’s that are struggling to even get the wheels of the plane up.  It gave a couple of suggestions about how to fill up your positive-feelings tank and I thought that was a good and interesting way to look at it.  

If my confidence this week were a gas tank I would be really close to empty right now and I have to work on filling that tank up and keeping it damn near full all the time (if not always full).  The list that the article gave on how to re-build your confidence and positive feelings about yourself included many things but the things that stuck out to me were to avoid negative and toxic people and surround yourself with people who think you are great, flipping through your portfolio of work to remind yourself how good you are, and to list your strengths as a writer.  

Now I am working on making sure I surround myself with positive energy and people that exude that, and I have occasionally flipped through my portfolio of work and was astonished at some of the things that I have produced, but one thing that I have never done is make a list of my strengths as a writer and as a person.  Perhaps I will try that this weekend and perhaps that will help to fill my positive-feelings tank (or as I like to refer to it as my confidence tank) up to its highest capacity.  

It’s not that I don’t believe that I am a good writer (most of the time) and that I was meant to communicate with my words.  It’s that I worry way too much about whether everyone else will agree and my confidence as far as other people finding my writing great is wavering, a lot.  I still haven’t worked through all of my fears but I know that I’m going to get there.  

 

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

Even With Good Intentions There Are Still Distractions

Good intention without the action to back it up is just that, intention.  There’s no real follow through involved in the things that you intend to get done, just a lot of wishing you had actually accomplished your task.  I had a plan this morning to get all of this work done on a couple of my projects and I even went to the great lengths of bringing my notebooks and my laptop out into the dining room where the T.V. was not on to distract me (I have a T.V. in the living room but the only one who really watches that one is my daughter).  

I tore myself away from one distraction only to be plagued with a lot of emotions and thoughts running through my mind about some personal stuff that lead to me calling Ms. L. to talk, thus diverting my attention away from all of the work that I had intended to get done.  The conversation that I had was good, don’t get me wrong, and it was something that I needed to talk out with someone (since I can’t really talk them out with the person that I really needed to talk them out with), but it gave me another excuse to use for not getting any writing done.  

I suppose that one could say that talking out what was going on in my head did in some way help me get something done.  If I hadn’t I would still be sitting here, staring at a blank computer screen with a bunch of unnecessary thoughts running through my mind (that have nothing to do with any project I’m working on), and I would become completely blocked.  In addition, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity of writing this particular blog post.  

Sometimes what appears as us being unproductive can help us break through those walls that are blocking us from our greatest potential.  I guess the good intentions that you don’t always manage to follow through on just might lead to something else that was intended to work out better for you in the long run.    

 

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 

Control Issues

I haven’t really been feeling myself lately and it’s started to affect my writing but I suppose the truth is that it’s only been able to affect my writing because I have subconsciously allowed it too.  I got a good lecture from Ms. L. today about how I can not allow myself to get so depressed over the things that I can’t control that it takes away my power to do what it is I can control.  So I have to somehow drag myself out of this funk that I seem to be in and pour my energy into doing what I know I’m supposed to be doing right now.  I can’t control the things that are continuing to go wrong in my life but my writing career is something that I can control (at least the aspects of it that don’t involve investing money right now) so I have to direct my focus on that.  I know what I need to do now I just have to buckle down and do it.  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

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

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

With an Unfocused Mind I Still Showed Up

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

~Woody Allen 

Today I woke up with a lot of things on my mind (more than normal) so I’ve been a little stuck today and I just couldn’t seem to concentrate on anything.  But even though I my mind was too jumbled up to think straight today I knew that I wouldn’t be satisfied with going to bed without writing something.  So here I am, unfocused thoughts and all, showing up to the page (or computer if you will) to essentially check in with the world and say that I will have something more meaningful (hopefully) to share tomorrow.        

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

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

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Knowing is Half the Battle

One of the things I struggle most with when it comes to writing is my consistence in the art of procrastination.  As much as I want other writers out there to buckle down and plant their butts in a chair and as much as I tell myself the same thing, lately it seems like any minor distraction can deter me from writing, mostly the TV.  

I think I might be addicted to television.  I mean even if I turn the sound down on the TV it doesn’t help but if I turn the TV off then it’s too quiet and I can’t focus when it is too quiet, I need some modicum of sound.  And it’s not as if I watch TV for the sheer enjoyment of watching it (at least not most of the shows I watch) but rather I watch it from the standpoint of a writer.  I watch the storylines and pay close attention to the dialogue and analyze it in my head as to what I, as a writer, could bring to that TV show or movie.  

I am going into detail about the distraction of TV because although I have many other distractions that just come with everyday life and being a mom, the TV is basically my kryptonite and sometimes (not all the time) it weakens my desire to write.  Well now that I’ve been honest with myself and you, hopefully I can take the proper steps to resolve the issue of that distraction.  

I think when I used to go to Borders to do my writing it got me away from the TV and I felt inspired sitting in the bookstore surrounded by all of these great writers (I mean of the books on the shelves) and it just made me want to work harder.  Ever since they closed down Borders I haven’t had anywhere to retreat to get away from the distractions of being home with the TV.  I guess I have to find another place now where I can get away and still feel inspired.  

I suppose this means I’m not one of those writers who can do my work 100% from the comfort of my home.  I guess getting out of my home office will also help me to network with other writers as well.  Now that I figured out why I haven’t been writing much lately I know exactly what I need to do to fix it.  Well knowing is half of the battle isn’t it?  Until tomorrow…It’s good to know your flaws and your weaknesses, because if you don’t know what they are you can’t fix them.  

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

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

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

NaNoWriMo Day 18: Every Character Deserves to Have Their Own Voice

Okay so Mackenzie’s best friend, Leah, is beginning to tell me more of her story and she is deciding that she would like to have more of a voice here.  So that leaves me to wonder whether I should give her a voice now or if I should make the second book that will be in this new series more focused on her and the story she is dying to tell.  I think I might have actually figured out how to bring her more to the forefront in the second book but the question is, should I give my readers a glimpse of her now.  I mean it’s not like I can just silence her in my head.  She has gotten tired of sharing the attention with Mackenzie and of all of Mackenzie’s issues taking over and she wants to be heard.  I guess if I promise her more of a feature in the next book she might be a little quieter until then, or at least wait until I finish this book and can capture her story with a little more detail.  Don’t you just hate when the character you least expected to speak up decides they want to distract you from the original plan you started out with.  Okay well if I’m being honest, I was actually waiting for someone else to decide they wanted to tell their story so I can’t really complain.  I guess I have a lot of work ahead of me once I finish this novel because the next one won’t be far behind.  Until next time…Go ahead, let your background characters have their moment too! 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

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

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

NaNoWriMo Day 13: The Harry Potter Distraction

Today was another struggle to write but it wasn’t because Mackenzie wasn’t talking to me or having some kind of dramatic meltdown, but rather it was due to the distractions that life holds, especially on the weekend.  My daughter was quite upset that I couldn’t play with her for the majority of the day because I was writing but what was really distracting me was this movie on T.V.  Actually it was not just one movie, but rather a particular series of movies.  I hope no one laughs when I say this but I was caught up in the Harry Potter movies.  I had tried to read the book several times but I could never really get into them and every time the movie would come on before I had always caught it in the middle and I just couldn’t catch on.  I can usually get hooked to a movie even coming in the middle but for some reason not Harry Potter.  

So I had just dismissed it as maybe it just wasn’t my cup of tea and that even though I am a huge fan of J.K. Rowling and her story, maybe I just could not catch on to it.  But just as I was wrong with dismissing Twilight (which I came to love a lot later on), I was also wrong with dismissing Harry Potter.  There has been a Harry Potter marathon on the ABC Family network all weekend and as soon as I started watching the first one from the absolute beginning I was hooked.  However, it is literally one of those movies where if you miss even one scene you miss a lot and luckily for me I have the feature on my T.V. where I can rewind if I come back from a commercial too late because otherwise I would’ve gotten lost even after finding a love for it.  I started with the first one and am up to the fourth one (although I’m using the DVR for 4 and 5 to watch later).  Needless to say, I’m hooked.  It’s a shame too because now after the last one, there will be no more.  So Harry Potter was my distraction today, but a good one.  

Movies that draw me in like that and keep me on the edge of my seat make me think a lot about my writing and my stories.  Now I’m no science fiction writer (not saying I would ever dismiss the possibility) and I don’t generally watch movies about vampires and werewolves or witches and wizards but what captivated me about Twilight and Harry Potter is the back story, that mixed in with the intrigue of being able to have the ability to come up with a completely different world apart from the real one that already exist.  I watch these movies and think about how I want to (and hope that I do) make stories that draw people in like that and have them sitting on the edge of their seats (or bed in my case) wondering what’s going to happen next and leaving them wanting more of that story.  You empathize with them, and you are scared right along with them.  You want to help them and you want them to be okay (or in the cases of the villains you want them to get what’s coming to them).  I may have been a bit distracted by Harry Potter this weekend but I was also incredibly inspired.  I hope to draw my readers in like that and I’m going to work really hard to do that.  Until next time…What stories or movies inspire you to be a better writer? 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

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

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

For the Busy Writers

I was so engulfed in trying to be productive and finish my goal list for this week that I almost forgot to do this blog post which is also on my list of goals.  So I thought I would share some time management tips that may help those writers out there are that are trying to figure out how to deal with their everyday busy lives and incorporate writing into that mix.  Hope some of these tips are helpful to you. 

  1. Publicize your writing goals- Tell your friends and family, even your kids, what your goals are that you need to accomplish for the week, or for the month.  Put a list of those goals up on the bulletin board in front of your desk (because all writers should have one) or on a post it note and stick it on your computer.  If you have a blog share some of those goals with your readers.  This will help you to hold yourself accountable to the tasks you set out to achieve because if you don’t, now someone else will.
  2. Do the more time consuming tasks first- You may be tempted to check all the smaller things off your list first but none of those smaller things help you to accomplish the few bigger things on that list then you may still get to the end of the week with those things unfinished and it will feel less gratifying.  If you knock the big things out of the way you will feel more accomplished by the end of the week.
  3. Be flexible- You will probably never complete an entire writing project without having something go wrong along the way, or not necessarily wrong, just not as you originally planned them to go.  Make some back up plans for when things get thrown off track.  This will help you to bounce back quicker than you would if you were just left without some sense of knowing what to do next.
  4. Track where your time goes- Often times we don’t even know where the time goes or what we have done with that time.  If this is the case with you, it may be beneficial to chart out your day and make notes of what you do and when.  See where you can cut some things out that may not be so necessary in order for you to implement for time for writing. 
  5. Just Say No- Distractions are just a part of life and for a writer it is often that people will dismiss your need to actually sit down and write.  They expect you to always be available to talk or go out and it’s hard to say no and justify why you’re not spending time with them so you can write.  If you start telling them NO and letting them know that this is something serious for you and that it matters, they will eventually get the message and respect your craft.  But you have to say No first. 

I hope that some of these tips are helpful to you.  I am still working on practicing some of them myself.  Well I better get back to my craft now.  Until next time…be blessed! 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

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

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

It’s All About Accountability

“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.

~Moliere 

So today I had planned on working on so many different things pertaining to my writing and my many other ideas.  I even made a list for the week of the specific goals that I really want to get accomplished this week and my best friend made a list too in which we emailed to each other so that we can hold each other accountable for them.  

Now I know the week’s just gotten started and there is plenty of time during the week to actually accomplish those things but I guess I just thought that as excited as I was to get started this morning, I wouldn’t get stalled as soon as I sat down at the computer.  However, that is exactly what happened.  

So I decided to write this post because it is actually one of the only steps that I have made thus far today towards my goals for this week which include posting here at least 3 times this week.  I suppose you could say I used my lack of focus and concentration to my advantage specifically for this blog post.  That way if I do nothing else today then I have at least posted 1 of my 3 blog posts for the week.  

Now I am not completely giving up hope for producing something else over the course of the rest of the day but I really hope that tomorrow will be more eventful and more productive.  I have a very ambitious list for the week but I have the very best friend and motivator in the world, which happens to be one hell of a writer, with very high standards that will hold me accountable for anything that I do not get accomplished.  

On that note I guess I better go continue staring at the computer hoping that the words will somehow begin to flow and that my mind won’t continue to wonder.  Until next time…..How do you hold yourself accountable? 

 
Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

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

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

The Writer and Their Distractions

“Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short.”
~ Adam Hochschild
 

I have come to realize and accept the fact that writing completely without distractions is essentially impossible.  From the television, to social media, and just life in general, distractions are just a part of anyone’s career path.  I’ve also discovered that there are in fact some distractions that are not really a distraction, simply background material for you next story, or inspiration for your next article.  When writers go to coffee shops to get some work done, most people would wonder how that is conducive to one’s writing because there is so much noise and so many different conversations going on at the same time around you.  What non-writers fail to realize is that those multiple conversations can work their way in to so much of your stories or inspire new one’s.  

Those aren’t the distractions that hinder me when it comes to my productivity.  One of the biggest distractions that can be my downfall, yet can also be my inspiration, is the television.  I try to escape it but there’s always something on it that intrigues me and gets the wheels in my mind turning and thinking of other ideas.  Now this would be good if I was struggling with coming up with ideas but the problem is I have way too many ideas.  But if I turn the television off then the complete silence becomes an even bigger distraction than the TV itself.  

I guess a writer can never really get away from their distractions completely.  There are many ways that they could probably limit or eliminate them in an effort to become more productive but maybe the key is in figuring out how to make the distractions work for you.  I haven’t quite mastered that part yet but I am working on it everyday.  I did manage to come up with a small list of a few things that hopefully will enable those writers who are having the same struggles with distractions that I’m having: 

  1. Write By Hand- This enables you to get away from the computer completely, and all of the distractions that the computer holds.  Also having to actually write out your words allows you to examine them as you go along and sometimes the words flow easier. 
  1. Turn off the Phone- No one can help but to look at their phone when it rings or when you get a text message and of course if you look at the phone when it rings then you are most likely going to answer it.  To avoid this timely distraction turn the cell phone off for the amount of your time that you decide to write. 
  1. Close out the window with the Internet- If you absolutely can not see yourself writing long-hand and must use the computer then be sure to close all other windows besides the one with your project.  While you are typing out your story, or whatever project you are working on, have no other screen up or minimized waiting on you to click on.  If you can see the other window (even minimized) you will want to click on it.  It almost sounds too simple but it really works! 
  1. Write every Morning- Getting up an hour earlier in the morning allows you time when the rest of the world, and your household, is still sleep and you can have complete concentration on your work before your day even really gets started.  Now this one is hard for me to do but I think I am even going to put more effort into making this one work for me. 
  1. Find your Place- Now some writers have certain places where they have to write.  They literally can not write anything if they are not in their special writing place.  So if there is a place that the words just flow easier and naturally then that’s where you should probably try to write all of the time.  I believe I am one of those writers but economically it just isn’t possible for me to go where I need to go everyday to write.  

If any of you writer’s out there has any tips and ideas on how I, or any other writer with this same problem, can minimize their distractions, or make them work for them, please feel free to share.  Until next time…I will be busy fighting off my current distraction, the TV!  

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

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