Are We Going To Just Stare At the Wall or Find A Way To Climb Over It?

I’ve been staring at a wall lately and that wall has time written all over it. Time is not my friend. There is never enough of it and yet it feels like the time I do have can’t be adequately balanced in a satisfactory manner. I’ve been struggling lately with this balancing time thing with taking on something non-creative in order to pay the bills and having the creative side of me, that being writing which is like air to me, suffer drastically.

I mean I won’t say that I’m not able to write ever, but it’s a far cry from the amount of time I was once able to put into my writing and as I said, writing is like air to me so right now I quite literally feel like I am not able to breathe. I feel like I’m suffocating and all I can think about is writing but it’s the one thing I’m unable to do as freely as I need to. But I think that I’m looking at this the wrong way.

I’m staring at the wall and instead of figuring out a way over or around that wall I am just stuck, looking up at this massive road block, and wondering what the hell am I going to do. I’m not going to pretend I have the answer for this problem at this exact moment but I do know that giving up is not an option. We spend so much time staring at the wall rather than climbing over that wall and that is tantamount to giving up. I say we because I can’t be the only one who gets stuck at the road blocks that you come across.

Your wall may not be writing. It could be whatever you’re most passionate about and have been struggling to weave it into your schedule. If you are struggling too then I want you to know that you’re not alone and that we are going to climb this wall together because quitting is never an option when your dreams are waiting for you beyond that wall. We may need some time to assess the wall, to make a plan of action on how we are going to get over or around that wall, but one way or another, we will overcome the wall that is blocking our way.

Until next time… #BePatient #BePersistent #BeDetermined

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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We Can’t Always Be In Bloom

It is impossible to be continually productive, every single minute, of every single day, in every single year. With that knowledge, I’m wondering why I keep beating myself up when a few minutes go by without me being productive on something. I haven’t been doing so great with my writing these last few weeks, mostly because my schedule changed due to taking on things to better provide financially for me and my daughter who has just entered college. The problem with doing things you have to do to survive is that the things that feed your soul (in my case, writing) fall by the wayside and that is literally killing me.

I’ve said it here many times before, but writing is like breathing for me. If I can’t write, then I am not a very happy person and probably not pleasant to be around. Writing makes me happy; it helps me think, it allows me to expel emotions that I would otherwise hold onto, and it just centers me. I have not found the balance yet and it is making me depressed and anxious and extremely overwhelmed and unhappy.

I shared some more about these struggles in a video I posted on my YouTube channel last week for Mental Health Awareness Month and I go more in detail about what I’ve been struggling with and just how much it’s been affecting me. It did make me realize (along with a really good friend of mine) that I am not a machine, and I cannot always be in the doing phase. Sometimes I just have to be in the phase of simply being and I have to be okay with that. It’s hard for me because so much of my identity is tied into my writing. I mean I’ve been writing since I was little (like 8 or 9) to get all of the emotions I could never verbalize out so to not be able to find the balance to do what I love is hurting.

I am going to try and work out a schedule to see if I can figure out a way to balance it all out without losing sleep (which was my initial plan) and have even crafted a schedule that I am crossing my fingers and praying it works but even in saying that I know that to protect my mental health I am going to have to be okay even if I don’t figure it out. It’s okay if everything I want doesn’t happen all at once.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeReflective #BePatient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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The Struggle to Find the Balance

What is balance these days? I’d like to think that I know how to balance things pretty well but then I have to remind myself that multi-tasking is not really the same thing as balance. Then again, I guess that depends on what I mean by balance. I don’t mean balance in the sense of juggling all of the many tasks that you have to do on any given day. I mean knowing when you’ve taken on too much and you need to just sit out a few rounds and pick up where you left off later. That is the type of balancing act that I struggle to conquer.

I am an all or nothing type of person most of the time. I don’t like to do anything half-way, it’s either I throw my whole self into whatever task it is, or I would just rather not do it at all and wait until I can give it my full effort. The problem with that way of thinking sometimes is that you can very easily end up with a lot of things not getting done or burning the candle at both ends trying to make sure that everything does get done.

Last week I got really lazy (at least it was lazy in my mind) and while I didn’t just throw all of my projects and work to the side, I certainly was not nearly as productive as I know that I could have, or should have been, if I were giving it my full effort. I was just tired. I was mentally tired. I was definitely physically tired (given quite a few physical issues that have been aggravated over the last few weeks) and quite honestly, I was emotionally tired.

I’ve been stressed about a couple of different things, not just creatively (or should I say writing business wise) but financially as well. I hadn’t even realized just how stressed the financial thing had me until it looked like there was finally going to be some resolution on that front last week and I just breathed a heavy sigh of relief and the realization of just how stressed that had me hit. I just didn’t feel like doing much of anything last week and I allowed myself to lean into that feeling.

Now going into this week, I know that I can’t be the same amount of unproductive as I was last week and frankly, I feel a little more refreshed, so I am ready to get back to the creating of things. But I think that having that balance of allowing myself to lean into the “lazy” feeling last week helped. I think every once in a while, it would be okay to just not put quite as much pressure on myself to get everything done. It was just far too much.

We have to know when to stop juggling all of the things in the air and to just let a few of those tasks fall by the wayside. It’s not as if putting off one or two things is going to completely throw everything off course (and if it would then those are the tasks you absolutely should not drop) and you won’t be able to get back to them the next day. We have to find the balance between being able to do it all and not draining ourselves physically and mentally actually trying to do it all. You’re not alone in trying to manage everything because I haven’t got it all figured out just yet either. We can learn how to balance together.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeMindful #BeKindtoYourself

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Note to Self

I saw this picture this morning when I was trying to figure out exactly what words of inspiration I was going to bring you today. This made me think about all of the days (which to be honest is almost every day) when I feel like I’m just not doing enough. I hear people tell me a lot that I’m doing so many things or they will comment on my writing vlogs (on my YouTube channel, you should go check it out lol) that they don’t know how I manage to do so much and I swear sometimes I think they’re just being nice because I constantly struggle with feeling that I’m not doing enough. I can’t multi-task as well as I was once able to so that definitely makes me feel like my pace has slowed down when there is still so much I need to get done.

However, when I go back and look at the vlogs or look at my checked off to-do lists I can see, in physical form, that I have in fact done a lot. So why, I wonder, is it that it seems most days like I’m just not accomplishing anything at all? It’s on those days where messages like the one pictured above come in handy because it reminds me that even if I’m not doing everything that I think I should be doing, that even if I’m not moving fast enough (according to the internal time table that I set for myself), that even if I never accomplish everything that’s on my life goals list, that I’m doing the very best that I can and that’s just going to have to be enough.

I am an overachiever that continuously feels like I am underachieving. I haven’t mastered how to be okay with not completing tasks on my to-do lists yet. I can’t seem to stop beating myself up over not being a person with the ability to do about twelve things all at once. Even though I know that I would tell someone else to go easy on themselves and to have grace with themselves and to celebrate every single little (or big) thing that they have been able to accomplish I can’t seem to heed my own advice. It’s a problem I wish I could fix with the snap of a finger, but I know I can’t.

I think it’s a thing with people who want a lot out of life and not just simple things either but rather, very complex things. If the dreams were smaller I suppose they would be more manageable and attainable even. I don’t dream small though, and there in lies my desire to get so much done in what I consider to be a reasonable time frame. I have to start remembering to have joy in what I do achieve. There are some moments that I need to just take the time to celebrate and revel in instead of completely dismissing them as not being productive enough. Productivity isn’t all that matters. Sometimes doing the best you can, putting forth your best version of yourself, is truly all that matters. I’ll try and remember that the next time I’m feeling like I’m not doing enough if you will.

Until next time… #BeMindful BeFocused #BeGrateful

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Are You Watering Your Past or Your Future?

I saw a post on social media that posed this very question and it made me really think and start to mentally check off some boxes in my head. I spent a good portion of the beginning of my adult years (really into my early thirties) regretting things I didn’t get right as I grew into my adulthood. There were so many things that I would’ve gone back and changed and done again if only I could have. At the time I didn’t see anything wrong with playing the “what if” game, but now I think I was really doing myself a disservice.

Now I can see, that while I will admit that I have made some mistakes and some moves in my life that took me off track a lot and some decisions that changed the entire trajectory of my journey, they have also made me who I am today. I’m not perfect but I think that I’m a pretty good person who has done some good things with my life and those things from my past helped me get here. Now I have a lot more good things I would like to do in this world for lots of people as I’m sure we all do which is precisely why we can’t keep reaching back in our past for the things we didn’t get right. Our past is the history that made us but definitely not where we should live in.

We have to remain focused on the here and now so that we can steadily move forward towards the future we are making for ourselves. I know that it’s easier said than done to not live in regret and constantly wonder but to do so would be watering the seeds of the past and not the seeds of the future that we are journeying towards. Yesterday has already happened so today and the future, are really all that we have.

As we are going forward on our own paths to the purpose that we are striving to fulfill we have to be careful that we don’t start to nurture resentment for things that have already taken place. It’s true that those are the things that shaped us into the versions of ourselves that we are now. However watering the seeds of the future is going to shape and mold us into the versions of ourselves that we have yet to become, most likely the best versions of ourselves. In a garden it would be meaningless to continue watering dead plants, dead things don’t grow. We water the seeds that have yet to sprout because that is where new life breathes. Don’t keep watering the dead things in your life when there are new seeds just waiting for you to tend to them so that they can grow.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BePresent #BeFocused

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Are We the Mistakes We Make?


Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.”

~Matthew 7: 1-3

I swore I was not going to write about this issue and yet here I am getting ready to do just that. We all know (unless you are living under a rock) about the slap heard around the world that happened at the Oscars roughly two weeks ago. Well, I’m not going to say that I believe that Will Smith was right for responding to a tasteless and crass joke about his wife’s medical condition in the manner in which he did, or even that Jada Pinkett-Smith needed to be protected in that way. What I will say is that if you read Will Smith’s book or know anything about his childhood then you can understand why HE felt that he needed to be protective in that way.

Violence is never the answer, and he could have, and should have, handled it differently. However, I will not sit here in judgment of this man who has had a 30 plus year career without nary a blemish and who has been beyond an extraordinary example to all who are watching, over the one time he dared to show that he is in fact a human being and that he does make mistakes just like the rest of us mere mortals. He made a mistake. He is aware of that mistake, and he has since apologized multiple times for said mistake. There is no time machine, and he can’t go back and erase the mistake he made so what more is it that people want him to do?

We cannot keep throwing people away because they display that they are human beings. We get so caught up in the idea of perfection and in us admiring people who have maybe reached the level in their lives that we are seeking to get to that we tend to put them on this unrealistic pedestal. We hold them up as a model (which is fine until you take it too far) of the dreams and levels of success that we strive for and then we act shocked when they make a mistake. It’s almost as if we somehow forgot that just because they are a celebrity or someone in a position much higher than us that they are also human beings just like the rest of us.

I don’t know anyone who has not made a mistake and honestly far worse mistakes than Will Smith made that night. I don’t think that any of us are in a position to judge another man (or woman) by their worst mistakes because Lord help us if we are judged by ours. We don’t (or we shouldn’t) just toss someone aside simply because they disappointed us. We should instead show that person some humility, show that person some grace, show that person some forgiveness and do for them what we want other people to do for us when we mess up. I mean even Jesus got angry and flipped over a few tables (Matthew 21: 12-13) and if Jesus can be imperfect than who are any of us to expect perfection from any ordinary or even extraordinary human being. Be careful who you are tossing aside and make sure that you can measure up to the judgment that you are casting onto them.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeHumble #BeGracious

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Give Up What is Weighing You Down

It is not easy being a creative entrepreneur. Yes, I know being an entrepreneur period is hard work but when you are a creative individual you are not only expelling all of your emotional and mental energy into what you are passionate about. You are also having to tap into a business mindset that, if you’re anything like me, just isn’t something that is second nature to you. I think for creative individuals what stands in our way more than anything is our own self-doubt and lack of confidence in our ability to conquer the things that don’t come natural for us (like business know how and anything related to math in general lol). We get so hung up on what we think we can’t do that we lose sight and focus of what we can do.

So much of what holds us back from living up to our full potential can typically be relegated to an extension of one thing, fear. Whether it’s a fear of failure, a fear of success, a fear of change, fears of financial ambiguity, fears of disappointing either the people in our lives or ourselves, or just a fear of what is unknown. We come up on these boulders (obstacles) sitting there in the road, standing in the way of us getting to our destination. It seems immovable at first because we’re just seeing this obstacle that is taking up the entire space of the road and that instant feeling of defeat sets in. We spend so much time focusing on the boulder (obstacle) itself that we don’t even realize that if we just give it everything we have inside of us to move it, if we just physically push it off to the side of the road, then we can continue on the journey to reaching our goal.

Fear is that boulder in the space of our minds. It can take up so much space in our head, forcing us to lose focus on whatever particular thing we are fearful of in that moment. It can overwhelm us so much that we don’t even realize that if we just tackle that fear head on, just give it everything we have and push past it, then we can move that fear aside (at least for that moment anyway) and continue pushing through to accomplish our dreams. 

Fear is a heavy burden to carry. It weighs on us like that immovable boulder. It starts to seep into our everyday lives until we are afraid to do just about anything that will move us forward. Fear likes it when we are comfortable because when we get comfortable then we never truly grow and we stay stuck right where the fear wants us to stay. Still. So if we want to succeed at all of those dreams we’re so passionate about,  then we have to give up all of those fears that keep us weighed down and tethered to that box we get so comfortable staying in. In order to fly, to really soar beyond our wildest dreams and imaginations, we have to be willing to let go of all of that dead weight.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCourageous #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Are You Willing to Be Corrected?

I remember saying to a friend a long time ago that if I could continue to go to college indefinitely and earn as many degrees as I could stand, I would definitely do that. I would be, what she called, a forever student. She laughed at the thought and assumed that I was joking but truly if money were not an issue, I don’t think there is enough information out there that I could immerse myself in that I wouldn’t choose to do so. I like to learn, and I am a person who never feels like I know enough of anything. That’s not to say that I’m not smart and I don’t already know a lot, but I’d like to think that we are never really done learning, at least not until we are dead and gone.

Two times last week I was reminded that we have to be willing to be corrected, to admit we have to do something better than we thought we were doing, in order to stay on or get back on track. Not only did my Pastor on Sunday preach about whether we are willing to stop what we think we are doing right in order to learn what we’re doing wrong and remain open to being corrected. Days before that I had sought out a consultant regarding my business and the social media marketing part of it to see what I was doing wrong so I can do it better. The consultant was hesitant to tell me everything I was doing wrong because I can be pretty stubborn and set in my ways at times so they weren’t sure I could handle hearing that even the one thing I thought I was actually doing right, I was not. I told him I’m here to learn so whatever it was I wanted to know because I can’t fix it if I don’t know the problem.

How many times are you aware that a problem exists but unwilling to allow anyone who might be willing to help you correct the problem actually do so? Are you unable to be taught when you think you’ve learned all there is to learn? You will never be able to know everything about everything and even if you know a lot, there is always someone out there that will know more and that can help you do more, but only if you are open to learning.

There’s this saying that I love that says you should never be the smartest person in the room. That the moment you become the one in the room who knows the most information then you need to move on to the next room. Not only would that allow you to be in more rooms with a broader spectrum of people. It would also ensure that you are always learning and that you are always correcting what needs to be corrected. You can’t get to where it is you want to go thinking that you know everything, that you’ve somehow learned all there is for you to learn. So be open to the things that you need to be corrected on, and when you’ve learned what you needed to learn then move on to the next room and keep learning.

Until next time… #BeOpen #BeMindful #BeTeachable

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Are You Willing to Play the Long Game?

 

For any individual who decides to become a creative entrepreneur, the phrase consistency is key will be one you will often hear. That’s because as a creative, unless you get super lucky or you know all of the right people you are most likely playing the long game. It will also not be an easy journey as you make your way along either. There will be a lot of no’s and not nearly enough yeses to balance out the scales. Some days your passion for whatever artistic gift you have decided is going to be what you do with your life is going to be the only thing keeping you going.  Hold on to that passion because you are definitely going to need it.

I don’t say any of that to be discouraging. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. I say that because on the really hard days, the days when it just seems like no matter what you do nothing is working, it will be your passion that carries you through and whispers to you to keep going. For me and my writing career it has been a really long road and while it has been fruitful at parts, it hasn’t moved nearly as quickly as I thought it would or would have liked for it to. Honestly, if it wasn’t for my passion for the words themselves, I probably would have thrown in the towel a long time ago.

I recently took David Baldacci’s Master Class and one of the things he said was that if you really want to make it as a writer with longevity you can’t just see writing as a hobby or even just a job. Rather you have to see writing as a lifestyle. For me that’s exactly what it’s always been. I’ve known that writing was what I wanted to do with my life since I was 10 years old (really and truly it was 6 but I started producing actual material at 10) so my heart has always been in this. I have at times wanted to quit because it’s hard seeing the potential outcome and never being able to achieve that reality. However, when passion is the driving force it’s kind of hard to quit because the passion won’t let you.

So, I’ll leave you with this. If you are struggling and you’re having more and more days where you want to just quit, don’t. Anything worth having is never going to be easy to attain and if the life of an artist is the one you want, you’re going to have to be prepared to work really hard for it and stay consistent. Consistency really is the only guarantee that you won’t fail because one thing is for sure, if you don’t keep trying and working at it then you won’t ever get there. If this is something you are passionate about, something that is really in your heart to do for the rest of your career and your life, then you can’t give up now.

Until next time… #BeConsistent #BePassionate #BePatient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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It’s Not in How You Failed, It’s in the Way You Keep Trying

“My greatest concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

~Abraham Lincoln

Feeling like a failure is inevitable. At some stage in your life, depending on how ambitious your goals truly are, you will repeatedly try new things and while some of them will work out brilliantly, some of them won’t. Trial and error is a very normal part of life but sometimes those errors just seem like they keep coming, one after another, after another. To put it plain and simple, failure can be, at times, relentless and exhausting. Last week I felt like I was failing at life in general but specifically in the area of my writing business.

However, I was reminded last night when I was watching the History Channel’s Documentary on Abraham Lincoln just how much failure is ultimately a part of eventual success. After all, Abraham Lincoln had a lot of losses and he suffered from severe depression after a lot of those losses. But what he never did was give up. He never gave in to those losses and he kept trying.  In the end he still won the ultimate goal he was going after, being the office of the Presidency.

I suppose I keep thinking about failure in the wrong manner. I tend to think of failure as this immovable boulder that just abruptly landed right on my path to my goals and me not being strong enough to lift it out of my way or to even work around it.  Therefore, it leaves me stuck right where I am, most likely feeling weak and incapable. Of course, that’s not the way that failure should be looked at.

What failure really amounts to are mistakes that can and should be used as lessons to navigate us through the rest of the journey forward so that we, provided we actually learn from those particular failures, can avoid making the same mistakes again. Failures allow us to know what we are doing wrong so that we can course correct and get things right. I know I’ve written this before and perhaps I repeat it because I need to keep reminding myself as well (because on the really hard days I tend to forget) but if you are failing it generally means that you at the very least, tried to do something in the first place and as long as you are trying you are not failing.

It’s all about mindset and the ability we have to change ours. Instead of seeing the obstacle on the road, we need to see the multiple paths that lead us around that obstacle. They are detours from what you originally had planned but they are alternate paths that still can lead you to where you want to go with knowledge you didn’t have before. You will still have that lesson that you learned to carry with you into the next stage of the journey and with each mistake you may make, you will pick up even more knowledge. The key is seeing the mini failures along the way as opportunities and not necessarily as obstacles that need to be dodged. Just remember, when you are feeling like everything is going wrong and you aren’t getting anywhere, that you are not alone and that trying is what matters most.

Until next time… #BePersistent #BeResilient #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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