Whatever Will Be Will Be

I am an extremely anxious person. I worry about the little things about as much as I worry about the big things. Even when there is nothing to worry about, I still worry that I should be worrying. It’s something I’m working on and believe it or not I have actually gotten better about it over the years, and I have my spiritual growth journey that I’ve been on these last several years to credit for that. As anxious as I can sometimes still get, I do now understand and enjoy the peace that I feel when I just accept things as they are and don’t stress over everything that a situation is not.

At some point we have to accept things, not just as they are, but also as they come. Life is hard and if it were easy would it really be worth living. I think that it’s ingrained in us from when we are young to always be worried about something. If you think about it, unless you have been fortunate enough to have lived the ultimate privileged life where everything is just made easy for you, then you have seen your parents struggle and worry about nearly everything. Your parents more than likely saw their parents do the same. It is instilled in us that somehow if you’re not worried about it then you must not be concerned with whether things will work out okay or not. 

We have to train ourselves to not over think every single little thing because it’s not something that we inherently do. We are not accustomed to just letting things be whatever they are and trusting that however they work out is the way that it is intended. I mean sure if you grew up in church then yes you have that faith but you still worried. You’re human and you don’t have a crystal ball and clearly, you’re not God, so you still worried. However, when we let our worries consume us to the point where we make ourselves sick (which I used to do) that is not a habit that we should maintain.

We have to learn, even in slight worry (emphasis on slight), to let our Faith comfort us and provide us with the knowledge that things will be okay, in whatever way they turn out. What is meant to happen is going to happen, with or without our worry, so why waste the energy and time that we put into worrying when we could be using that time and energy to buckle down and push through those rough times and move toward the goal. We may not get to the goal line on a straight road. There may be curves and detours, and even some U-turns along the journey, but ultimately you will get there. There’s a saying that says it will all be okay in the end and that if it is not okay then it is not the end.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeFearless #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Is Fear Something We Ever Get Over Or Just Something We Learn To Manage?

There are a lot of things that I most likely could have accomplished by now if it weren’t for the fear that rises up whenever I am getting ready to take that metaphorical leap of faith. Sometimes I manage to nudge myself off of that ledge and just go for it anyway. More often than those times where I take the risk, are the ones in which I am frozen, paralyzed with fear. I wish there was a way to explain the anxiety I feel any time I try to go after something that I’ve been dreaming of. Or the anxiety I feel when I actually go for it.                                                          

Logically, I know that the best chance I have at succeeding in achieving my dreams is to actually go after them. But crippling fear is not logical. There are opportunities that I have had, that I have turned down, because I was just too afraid to deal with the anxiety I would experience had I taken those opportunities. I will say with absolute certainty that I have had many moments where I have tried things and stepped out on faith and have failed but those aren’t the moments that I regret the most. I regret the moments that I just didn’t step out there and try period.

Last year I was supposed to have a Year of Yes after reading Shonda Rhimes book of that same title in which she detailed how much her life turned around an d changed for the better just by saying yes. She promised herself that she would say yes to absolutely everything for an entire year. Some things she ended up wishing she hadn’t but for the most part she was forever changed for the better just by saying YES. I wanted to be that person. That did not happen. It also didn’t happen the year after that. I had modified the statement and said that I was just going to say yes more, which I did but I think that defeated the purpose behind the whole premise. I will admit I have gotten a lot better at ignoring my fear in the last few years with doing things I am terrified of but I also know I need to do better.

I haven’t gotten rid of my fear. I’m not really sure that I ever will. There was a time when I thought that I could. Now I just try the best I can to manage that fear. To not let it keep me from everything I desire to do. We all have things that make us take a beat before doing them. We have those moments where we wonder, are we doing the right thing, is this really going to work. We question whether or not we should really be going after the dream that everyone else thinks is ridiculous. We wonder if the fear is really just that gut instinct telling us that we shouldn’t do something, or us talking ourselves out of what we know we need to do. I guess fear can be tricky that way.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCouragous #BeMotivated

 Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Side note:  I have a new Author Newsletter that I would love it if you signed up for http://www.tinyletter.com/Author_JCCarpenter

Another Side Note: If any of you would like to buy me a coffee and donate to my creative endeavors then please feel free to https://ko-fi.com/authorjccarpenter

NaNoWriMo Is Right Around the Corner…And I am Not Quite Ready!

It is just about that time of year again! No, not the holiday season (in which the Christmas displays get put up before Halloween can even pass) but rather the NaNoWriMo month long challenge to write a book in 30 days (well 50,000 words of it anyway). This particular NaNoWriMo is going to be even more challenging for me because I am tackling the Middle Grade genre for the first time ever.

I have wanted to write this middle grade book, or series rather, for many, many years now (since my daughter was in middle school and she is now a high school graduate) but I kept letting the words of others influence me. Those who said that you’re not supposed to write in multiple genres using the same name for every genre you write in. Or the whispers of those who say that I don’t know anything about writing middle grade. Well duh, of course I don’t, but how else am I supposed to gain experience in writing in that genre without, you know, actually writing in it.

It is intimidating to write in a genre you’re only read for pleasure and have never written and writing for kids period is just incredibly scary because kids are harsh critics. However, I would be doing myself, and more importantly God, a disservice if I didn’t go after everything that I want to do and that I feel He has put a purpose in my heart to do. I don’t know how good (or bad) I’ll be at writing it until I actually sit down and write it.

So that’s my project for NaNoWriMo this year, the first book in a middle grade series (for more information about my project my video on it will be released on my YouTube channel on Thursday) and I’m pretty excited about. The only thing that has me a bit more anxious this NaNo (well more anxious than I am on a regular basis) is that I am not nearly as prepared as I usually am when I get ready to start a new book.

I’m sure that I will be by the end of this week, I’ll make sure of it, but I’m a bit nervous that I haven’t yet figured out my outline and everything at this point. I am having fun going back and watch shows I watched as a middle school kid, or just shows that I liked that are for middle grade children to try and get in the mindset of writing for a 12 year old. Nevertheless, I will start with what I have because in life that’s what you have to do right. Start where you are!

Until next time… #BeMotivated #Be Productive #BeConsistent

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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

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Side note:  I have a new Author Newsletter that I would love it if you signed up for http://www.tinyletter.com/Author_JCCarpenter

Another Side Note: If any of you would like to buy me a coffee and donate to my creative endeavors then please feel free to https://ko-fi.com/authorjccarpenter

The Numbers Don’t Always Tell the Full Story

They say that numbers don’t lie and I think to a degree that is certainly true but I don’t believe you get the full picture of anything when you are solely looking at the numbers. I released my novel out into the world last Friday (https://www.amazon.com/author/jccarpenter) (yes on the 13th, I know) and I was asked by a couple of different people if I had checked out the numbers yet to see how many people purchased my book on the first weekend of its release. I simply said ‘no, it’s not the most important thing so I’ll look at it later.’

Now I don’t mean that to suggest that I don’t care whether or not people buy my book because I absolutely want people to not only buy the book, but to like or even love the book. When I say that it’s not important I mostly meant that I had to manage my expectations and to do so I had to see the bigger picture of what mattered.  What mattered the most to me was getting it out there, for starting to ball rolling on what I intend to be a very lengthy publishing career where I roll out at least two books a year if not more.

What matters is that I can say that I am a published author and people can go and look at what I produced and what I am very proud of. What matters, maybe more than even those things, is the people who may have been afraid to put their work out there, who actually read my blogs or watch my YouTube channel and see that I’ve done it and feel motivated and inspired to do the same. If I can be a light on someone else’ dark journey, that to me matters more than just about anything. There is so much that I want to do with my writing career but above anything else is to be an inspiration to others.

I am not going to lie and say that I don’t want to sell a ton of books and have people love them as much as or even more than I do but my purpose is always to affect someone else’ life in some way, even if it’s just in a tiny, miniscule way. Don’t we all just want to make a difference? Isn’t that what we are all walking this earth for, to make an impact on other people’s lives?  Just in releasing my book I have been sent messages on Twitter, through email, and Facebook about how inspired people were that I just didn’t give up, or how proud they were of me. That means more than any analytics report.

In this life we can’t always rely on the numbers to convey the impact we have on one another. The numbers don’t calculate the fire you may light under someone else simply because you didn’t give up on your dreams. The numbers don’t take into consideration that person who reads something you wrote and came acroos just the right words that they needed to get the help they’ve been too proud to ask for. The numbers are just that, numbers. They don’t determine the heart of a person or the impact one leaves behind on another.  So don’t focus so much on the numbers that you forget about the purpose of why you’re doing everything that you’re doing in the first place.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeMindful #BeMotivated

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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

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Side note:  I have a new Author Newsletter that I would love it if you signed up for http://www.tinyletter.com/Author_JCCarpenter

Another Side Note: If any of you would like to buy me a coffee and donate to my creative endeavors then please feel free to https://ko-fi.com/authorjccarpenter

Pushing the Boundaries

So I did it! I did my first live stream this past weekend and I’m going to be honest, I did not hit it out of the park. I wasn’t necessarily planning to hit a home run here because if you know anything about me then you know I am terrified when it comes to doing something new, in particular something new that terrifies me in the first place. I’m never eager to fail at anything but I have been doing some growing these past few years, both spiritually and mentally, so I get that in order to succeed at anything there are going to be a few failures along the way because perfect is not a realistic goal. Could it have gone better? Yes! Do I regret doing it even though I feel I could’ve done much better? No! Just in the way that I felt terrified when I started my YouTube channel about being on camera to begin with but then gradually adapted to it and even liking it.

Sometimes doing things that we don’t necessarily want to do can end up being the best thing that we’ve ever done and if we just focused on the fact that it scares us then we would never much of anything.  It’s scary to grow past the box that you have learned to maneuver yourself in. You get accustomed to things being just the way you like them and in a way that doesn’t require you to have to learn anything new or do something you’re not used to doing and in my case, someone who has extreme anxiety and OCD and a nearly paralyzing fear of change, it can feel pretty good to know what to expect out of every day.  But then you never end up growing if it stays that way and to succeed in life with anything there has to be growth.

It’s something that I’m learning along this journey and something that definitely makes me feel uncomfortable. I suppose we all have two choices in the ladder of success. We can hold on to the rung that we’re on with the knowledge that as long as we hold on tight we won’t fall, we’ll stay right where we are. Or, we can have faith that if you just carefully move forward and grab one rung at a time, even knowing that there is a possibility of falling, that God will always be your safety net, thus remaining cautious yet still in motion. 

We can’t hold on at the same level forever, not if we ever expect to get anywhere. Success lies in the ability to reach for the next rung of the ladder and having faith that you won’t fall and if you do that God will be there to catch you and get you back on track. We can’t live in our comfort zones forever, and I’m not sure we should really want to even if we could.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCourageous #BeBrave

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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

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Side note:  I have a new Author Newsletter that I would love it if you signed up for http://www.tinyletter.com/Author_JCCarpenter

And if any of you would like to buy me a coffee and donate to my creative endeavors then please feel free to https://ko-fi.com/authorjccarpenter

Stepping Out of Fear’s Shadow

I’m doing something that terrifies me this weekend and I am partly excited because it’s new and nervous as hell because I don’t know if I’m going to do well at it. As you guys know I have a YouTube channel in which I share my writing life (and sometimes other stuff going on in my life) with the world and whoever cares to watch. Live streams are big in the AuthorTube community (basically the writing community in YouTube) and just about everyone already does them and it’s not a big deal but I have yet to do one.

Frankly the idea of being live on camera without the ability to edit myself and cut out the parts where I mess up is just panic inducing.  Now I’m just doing a one year YouTube anniversary celebration so there won’t be writing sprints this time because I just want to get my bearings in this new pool that I’m dipping my toe into but it’s scary.

Doing new things is always scary. I have a few other new things on the horizon and products that I’m getting ready to launch and there’s a fear there as well.  When you put things out there, or put yourself out there, you want people to be receptive and you want people to like and even love what you’re putting out. I think of all of the things that I want to do with my company and my brand and everything that I am working on and towards are things that I hope and pray will inspire and motivate others and something that can help others to be their best creative and authentic selves. So if I put something out there I’ve put time and love into that creation and I want people out there to get something out of it. 

All of this is to say that we all have fears and things that terrify us and that keep us from just jumping out there with the things that we want to create.  We have to learn to not give into those fears and it’s not something that comes natural. It’s not a natural inclination for most people to just throw caution to wind and go for something without the thought of failing. It’s hard to not think about all of the things that could go wrong.

I have been working on training myself to only think about the things that can go right. That is what is keeping me in the forward moving direction. That is what I hope you will start to put into practice to keep yourself moving forward towards accomplishing your goals.  I want all of us to move out of a constant state of fear and into a persistent state of expectation. You get what you expect out of life and I expect all good things, and I expect them in abundance. 

Until next time… #BeBold #BeFearless #BeMotivated

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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

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Exploring Every Inch of the Road in the Journey

The day we cease to explore is the day we begin to wilt. ~Cicely Tyson

Good or bad, life is nothing but a bunch of experiences. We have really good moments and we have really bad moments, and oftentimes the bad moments start to feel like they are more present than the good.  Where am I going with this you ask? Well, just that mistakes and hard times are simply apart of the exploration that we do throughout our journey. We can’t avoid them and in all honesty we should probably be welcoming them.

This thought process came to my mind because of a zoom call that I had with some wonderfully creative girlfriends of mine. We were getting together (virtually) to discuss Cicely Tyson’s book and other extraordinarily talented black creative artists. Of course the conversation ventured over to discussing our own creative endeavors and what our vision was for the things we were working on. I was singled out, and rightfully so (because they know me so very well), for often being afraid of stepping outside the box and exploring things, mainly for fear of making mistakes.

I have expressed here many times over the years this really tiresome dance that I do with my fear and how I strive to move past that and I’ve made strides and every now and then I realize I hadn’t let go of all of these fears as much as I would like to believe.  Don’t get me wrong, I am way better than I was years ago in terms of dealing with my constant fears and the obstacle the fear itself presents itself to be. I just have a ways more to go. On that zoom call I was reminded of advice from other successful people throughout history which is that the more you fail or rather make mistakes, the more life experience you have to put into your work and the better you can make the next attempt.

Not exploring things, not exploring life, is in many ways not allowing yourself to experience both successes and failures in various magnitudes and to use those learning experiences to fuel your drive and motivation to power forward.  Without exploration we don’t really learn what works and what doesn’t work, what we like and what we don’t like, and we simply don’t learn much of anything about who we are. 

If you are letting fear hold you back or keep you in that place of comfort, stop holding yourself back from experiencing every aspect there is of success, and that includes the moments in which you will undoubtedly making mistakes. It is not failing to get things wrong and to mess up. You only become a failure when you cease to explore at all. Never stop exploring every inch of the road you will walk on your journey.

Until next time… #BeCourageous #BeInspired #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Can’t Move Forward While Standing Still

“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are” ~Max Depree

I saw this quote and it made me think of how much I’ve grown in certain ways over the last couple of years. It also makes me think of the ways that I still have yet to grow.  There are still risks that I haven’t been willing to take because, simply put, I can’t predict where taking those risks will lead. However, I can’t help but think that perhaps not taking some of those risks costs me way more time than the sheer anxiety of wondering where it would lead. 

Some of us are really good at jumping into the next phase of the dream and taking things head on and I admire that. Then there are those of us who often are hesitant to reach out and grab the next opportunity that comes our way because we don’t know if we’re going to actually be able to reach the level we’re striving for.

It’s true that you can’t move forward while standing still so if you are anything like me and your anxiety or self-doubt is holding you back from something, don’t allow it to continue keeping you stuck.  Let’s make a pact that we’ll reach for that next opportunity together. We will keep moving forward, even if the steps that we are taking are small little baby steps.

Until next time… #BeBrave #BeFearless #BeReady

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Don’t Stay Rooted In Your Brokenness

This past month or so the series at church has been about rebuilding yourself in order to begin moving forward. More specifically in the last two weeks it’s been tailored to the subject of healing the past hurts and repairing the broken places. Oddly enough it made me also think about a line I heard on a television show before where the one character was telling the other that it’s a choice to stay broken and that while you can’t change the things that have happened to you, you can choose to work past it and move forward.

When I began this spiritual journey that I’m on a few years ago as a way to work on myself and fixing the things that are broken in me I didn’t have a clue that there would be a specific message one day that would literally speak to that journey. Listening to the message the past two weeks it made me think about the fact that while I still have a lot about myself that I want to continue working on because I’m still not quite where I want or need to be yet, I have actually come a lot further than I had even realized.

There was a moment a few years ago where I would still talk about the trauma that my mother put me through in my childhood with anger and resentment still residing on the inside of me. Back then I hadn’t yet reached the point of true forgiveness because while the words that came out my mouth were that I forgave her, when I spoke about my childhood I could still feel the heat of the anger rising on the inside of me and tears would flow every time because I was still hurting and I had not healed from that. That is different now. I don’t completely explode in tears and I don’t feel the heat and anger rising when I think about it and I have truly forgiven her.

Until this message that I heard these past two Sunday’s I hadn’t realized that all of that time I was choosing to stay broken. I wasn’t doing it intentionally but subconsciously I lived in that hurt and I allowed myself to wallow in that hurt for so much longer than I should have and not forgiving my mother for all of those years wasn’t hurting her because she didn’t care, it was hurting me, repeatedly. The messages of the past two weeks also made me come to the realization that somewhere along the way, while working on my spiritual relationship with God and working on loving myself on a deeper level, I had actually began to heal. I just had to make the choice to get out of the broken place.

We tend to dwell on the things and people that hurt us far longer than we really need to. Now I’m not saying that the pain wasn’t real and that you shouldn’t allow yourself to feel it for a little while but you have to be able to move on from that place of hurt. There is a lesson to be learned through the pain and hurt but you may miss the lesson because you’re too focused on wallowing in it. My pastor said something else that was a powerful statement to me. He said there’s no use dwelling on what hurt you in the past because you can’t go back and change it and you can’t go into the future to make sure it doesn’t happen again, all you can do it live in the present and where you are right now. Just remember that by residing in that hurt from the past you are then making the choice to remain in that broken place and you can’t heal from what broke you while you’re still there. Until next time… #BeVulnerable #BeForgiving #BeinFaith

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

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Just a quick reminder…

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Doing More than Just Enough

“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”

~Deuteronomy 5:33

So this Sunday’s message was about restoration of one’s soul, healing from all of the hurts in order to be in the position where God can use you for his greater purpose. One thing that the pastor mentioned was being obedient to God’s word and the direction that he gives you for your life. I don’t necessarily struggle with wanting to be obedient to God’s word. My struggle comes in the form of my inherent nature to question and second guess literally everything.

It’s not that I don’t trust whatever God would have me do. I guess the thing I tend to question most is whether or not the direction that I am hearing is from God or just subconsciously something I want to do myself. They say sometimes that the way you can tell the two apart is because when God instructs you it is usually going to be something you don’t want to do and something that will put you out of your comfort zone.

Another thing that I am working with that my pastor touched on was that we tend to obey the parts of God’s word that we want to and pretend not to hear the parts that we don’t agree with God about because we can’t see the bigger picture. We cherry pick the way we’re going to adhere to God’s will but that’s not what the Bible says that we are supposed to do. There is a difference between doing ALL and doing JUST ENOUGH.

When my pastor said that I had to rethink a lot of things regarding that statement because there are times when God will tell me to do something, or to ask someone for help with something and because of my doubts, or fears and anxiety, or because it might make me extremely uncomfortable, or even worse, because of my pride, I only half way do what he has told me to do. I convince myself that it’s okay because I’ve almost done everything God wanted me to do and I rationalize that he would understand because he knows me better than anyone right.

The thing is when we are asking God for ALL that he has in this life for us and we are walking in faith that he can do exceedingly and abundantly for our lives, we can’t then say well I’m just going to do half of what I was told to do. We are supposed to be doing God’s will, not ours, because his plans are always going to be better for us than the one’s we have for ourselves. It’s about having trust in God knowing what is best for us and not relying on our own interpretation of his word and his direction for us.  

The thing is that I hate being uncomfortable. I have a routine and a list for nearly everything. I don’t like surprises (unless they are good one’s of course lol) and I always question whether I’ve made the right decision or not, often times second guessing myself out of something good. A lot of the things that God instructs me to do, things regarding all of my dreams and the purpose I feel I was put here to achieve, are things that make me very uncomfortable and anxious and I try to skirt my way around them doing the parts that I feel okay with and leaving out the parts of the instruction that make me almost have a full blown panic attack. However, that is not what God said for me to do. He didn’t say do things halfway. I know that I don’t want just half of his blessings that he has for me. I can’t ask God to do all he can for me if I’m not willing to do all he asks of me. That means ALL, not JUST ENOUGH. Until next time… #BeObedient #BeFaithful #BeUncomfortable

Jimmetta Carpenter

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