Getting Back into the Writer’s Flow of Things

Back in the writing flow of things (27)

So I know that I’ve been missing in action and it has been quite a while since I last wrote and I didn’t mean for it to take me so long to get back in the rhythm of things but you know how creativity strikes, or rather in some cases doesn’t strike. I had hit a creative wall and it wasn’t necessarily a lack of ideas, but a lack of knowing how to focus my ideas in a productive manner. I actually think that a part of my issue is that I have too many ideas and in a perfect world I would be able to do the work of ten people all at once and be able to get all of my ideas off the ground and running all at the same time. Alas, this is most certainly not a perfect world, and I am only one person with only two hands and I can not multiply myself the way I need to in order to get a lifetime worth of accomplishments done in a short period of time. I suppose if I hadn’t spent a large amount of wasted time second guessing every idea I’ve had, and every dream I’ve wanted to go after then I could have produced more of my ideas by now.

I got a boost of writing motivation when I participated in this writing challenge in September. It was Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 10 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders (you can find out more about by looking it up through Facebook) and it was a very cathartic experience doing this challenge and left me feeling surprisingly vulnerable, but in a good way, because that was the reason I did the challenge. It’s not like I haven’t been a part of writing groups in the past (albeit not for long) or have done challenges such as this one but I never really allowed myself to really be vulnerable in them and I was more of an observer in those and less of a sharer. With this challenge I actually shared a bit of myself, and while I admit I could’ve shared a lot more (something I have to work on) for me it was still a huge step. I got to interact with some extremely talented individuals who allowed themselves to be equally as vulnerable.

I feel like I’ve been missing that interaction with other creative minded people because at one point in my life I was consistently in the orbit of a couple of select people who were creative like me and we bounced ideas off each other and gave each other feedback. Then suddenly the few select creative minded people had vanished. I mean they were still around but their lives blossomed into a different direction and they moved away and got busy and their careers bloomed and they went on to find groups of other creative minded people where they were now at and I was still stuck. It was no one’s fault or anything, just that it was their turn to bloom and grow and it wasn’t mine (yet). I still love them and I root for them but I had lost that outlet and I haven’t found a new one yet.

The recent challenge I did got my creative brain really flowing again and I loved every day of it and the people that I connected with there. Now I’m in the right mind-set to prepare for National Novel Writing Month and that excites me so much because I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to participate this year for lack of creative inspiration. Now if I don’t write here anymore this month it’s not because I’m not writing at all because I’ll be outlining my novel for NaNoWriMo. I will also be blogging at least three times a week in the month of November as I go through the NaNoWriMo experience and hopefully a few of you will join me in doing NaNoWriMo as well. Until next time…. Keep Writing!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Staring in the Rearview Mirror Won’t Move You Forward

Rearview Mirror 5

So let’s talk about living in the past! Most people would say that your past is what has inevitably shaped you into who you are. A lot of our defining moments have happened already, long ago, before we ever had a chance to realize that we were being shaped by them. So if you had an ideal childhood with virtually no turmoil whatsoever (which for most people is highly unlikely) then you had one hell of a smooth transition into adulthood and you are lucky. However, if you are like the vast majority of the world then you have had a bumpy road on this journey that we call life and your past is most certainly providing you with so much grit and tough skin.

The past is the past and should always remain there but sometimes it seems easier said than done to leave your past hurts behind too. I struggled with a lot of self-esteem and confidence issues that stemmed from my childhood and while I have made great strides to move past all of it there are still days that literally come out of nowhere, that remind me I’m not completely past it yet. Those are the days where feelings of self-doubt linger and grab hold of me and I start to replay the words my mother would say about me never becoming anything, about me not being smart enough, about me not being good enough replaying in my head. I start to feel the way I felt then and it takes me a minute to get out of that head space.

The past has affected me and had such a hold over my life for much longer than it ever should have and I do believe that it is a major reason why I have not been quite as successful as I should be at this point in my life. But I have resolved that I will no longer be crippled by the living in the past syndrome that had plagued me for so much of my adulthood. I have to consistently remind myself that the past is just that and that what I have built myself up to become is what my focus should be from this point on.

We all have a past that has impacted us but we don’t have to let it dictate how our future unfolds. We can use our past as a tool, a lesson, to learn from and to be motivated by. Our past doesn’t have to hold us back from the success that we are destined for. You couldn’t control your childhood, and your past mistakes have already been made and can’t be changed, but you don’t have to continue to allow your past to control your future. So leave the past where it belongs, in the rearview mirror, behind you!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Focus on What is Meant for You

Focus on what is meant for you

Let’s talk about focus! We all have our own loads to bare. Some of us have heavier loads to carry than others and we tend to compare our loads to what others are carrying. Or maybe that’s just me. I sometimes reflect on the way that I wanted things to go in my life, in my career, on the timetable that I wanted them to go by and I start thinking maybe it’s just too late. I look at people who have somewhat the career success that I thought I would have by now, people I admire and look at as a road map so to speak, and I start to think about where they’re at and why I’m not there yet. I suppose I start to feel envious but not in a vengeful sort of way but just in a way of how can I emulate what they’re doing so I can get to where they are.

However, lately, more and more, I am realizing that what they have is not for me to have. The level of success they have, at the trajectory in which they achieved it is their journey and there is a reason that it wasn’t mine. Granted I don’t know what that reason is at this particular moment and I don’t have any answers as to the why not of it all but I know that there is nothing that happens that God doesn’t have a reason for, even the obstacles that I come up against, are put on my journey for a reason.

As I’m getting my drive back and letting go of all the fear that has been paralyzing me, especially within this last year and a half, I am steering my focus back on track to where it needs to be. I am also keeping my focus on my own lane and trying hard not to worry about what’s going on in the next person’s lane. Not that there’s anything wrong with getting advice and mentorship and taking cues from people who are where you want to be but not so much to the point where it allows you to get stuck and defeated on your own course.

So when you get frustrated seeing others get to where you feel you should be, try to remember that your lane may end up surpassing theirs. Try and focus on where your stretch of the road is propelling you to. If you’re so focused on the lane next to you how can you really get to where your lane is taking you. I plan on remaining focused on my own lane, my own grass, my own journey, so that I can get to where I am meant to be and keep moving forward. The journey may be rough but I know that it will be worth it when I get to where I’m meant to be!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 2:52 PM  Comments (1)  
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Ask and You Shall Receive, Just Maybe Not In the Way You Might Think

Ask and You Shall Receive

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

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

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

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

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on July 23, 2015 at 12:34 PM  Comments (4)  
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Stuck In the Place That Is Nowhere

Stuck in nowhere 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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

Days off 2

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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The Creativity Is Not So Lost Anymore

Creativity was lost now found

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

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

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

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

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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Published in: on February 2, 2015 at 3:39 PM  Comments (1)  
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My Balance Is Still Off

Finding Balance 1

This week is almost over and while I have accomplished some things on my to do list for this week (okay maybe only one thing really), I have not done nearly enough towards what needs to be done. When I think about the fact that January is almost over and my novel hasn’t even been touched yet this month I shake my head at myself. True enough I had some things I needed to get out of the way promotion wise before working on my novel but then when I think about it, is that just an excuse.

I said that this was going to be the year that I probably sleep a lot less to achieve my tasks but I’m torn between my drive to succeed in my writing and my drive to get healthier and get my weight loss journey back on track which includes getting more sleep so that my body can be in the best position possible in order to lose the weight that I need to lose and gain more self-confidence and self-acceptance. It’s hard when I put it out there in writing like that because it’s either my dreams and my vision or my health and prolonging my life.

It seems like it would be an easy choice but it’s really not. I do find that when I’m healthier (and that includes getting the proper, or close to proper, amount of sleep) I do produce more in my writing and my creativity is at its best. However, then I see the people that I admire and look to for knowledge and know-how producing massive amount of product and their projects coming one, after another and you see the number one thing they practice is working into the wee hours of the night and getting a very minimal amount of sleep.

That is not me comparing myself to others (not really) because I know that I am not them but that is me acknowledging that to put out more work requires more time and that more time means less of something, typically sleep. I am still working out the balance to get the ball rolling here but I have yet to feel like I’m getting off to a good start. I almost feel like I didn’t start preparing for this year soon enough at the end of the last one. But how much preparation can you do before you should actually begin doing instead of just planning to do.

Balance and focus seem to be a continuing issue and it has to be figured out and quickly if I want this year to go the way that I want it to go. I’m still learning and while I know that there should never really a point in life that you stop learning, I feel like I’m too old to still be trying to figure it out. And yet, I still press on!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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New Year, New Drive, No More Fear

New Year New Goals

Well it’s a New Year and I can’t say that I am not glad (ecstatic) to see 2014 go away. Last year was not my year and it was a pretty bad one, especially financially, and I think I was pretty much depressed for most of it. I had even let my health goals get totally off track and let the fear of the unknown take control. I can’t sit here and say that it’s someone else’s fault or that because someone else didn’t hold true to their word to me that this was the reason why things went wrong and just continued to spiral down a bad path.

Life is a bumpy road in which every test is going to be thrown at you that you could possibly imagine and your success is determined on how well, or how poorly, you respond to those setbacks. Last year I let all the setbacks get the better of me and I let them win. That’s not normally what I would do but it’s what I did. That is my fault and mine alone. I can’t say that I am any more prepared for this year than I was for the last one but I can say that I am prepared to not just lie down and get run over by every setback that comes my way.

I can say that no matter how many curveballs that I get thrown this year that I am going to throw them right back because I am not a quitter and I am certainly too close to all of my dreams to start being one now. I have set my goals for this year, put together a list of the projects that I plan (or hope) to finish and/or start this year, and even a list of the books I plan on reading this year. I also got me two planners, one as my editorial calendar for my blog, my magazine, and my Confessions blog about my weight loss journey, and the other calendar is for the projects that I will be working on. I hope this will help me get even more organized but better yet, to get more focused which will allow me to be more productive.

I am determined to make this year a much better one, not perfect, but better. I am still a believer that everything happens for a reason, if for no other reason than to teach you something, and last year taught me that I can be put through hell and then some and I still won’t break. Even in the first week of this new, and supposedly brighter, year the devil has already tested me with (you guessed it) some financial issues, and I was down about it but I am not going to let the devil win this year. I am not just going to lie down and let him win.

I am feeling more driven and more determined and I am going to do my best to make the best of any and all situations and I am not going to let them defeat me. I hope that your year is getting off to a great and productive start and that you all have a plan to put into action this year.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on January 5, 2015 at 12:17 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Focusing on the End Goal

Focusing on the end goal

Well National Novel writing month is more than over and I have had a whole week to decompress from the event that went more than a little off track from me. From my technical difficulties to the distractions of life and (if I’m being completely honest) just sheer procrastination the month of November was definitely disappointing in terms of actually completing my projects.

Nevertheless I am not going to use that as an excuse to stop working on finishing these projects. I have done that in the past, get so upset with myself for not completing something that I just sink into a dark whole of depression and end up not doing anything. Well 2014 was a year full of promise and it was all wasted and it was the fault of no other person than myself. Setback after setback I allowed that negative voice in my head to get louder and louder.

With each setback I gave myself even more reasons of why I couldn’t get what I wanted accomplished. I focused so much on the things that I didn’t have at my disposal instead of using what I do have to my advantage. If you focus too much on the things that you don’t have then you can’t sufficiently notice all of the blessings around you that you have seemed to overlooked.

So I am going into the year 2015 with real hope and with faith that can’t be shaken and with the knowledge that whatever God wants me to have will be mine and that he will make a way for all of the plans that he has for me to come to fruition. I have to stop counting myself out before I even truly get into the race. I’m not doing myself any good by doubting God and his belief in me. So no more excuses for why something didn’t get accomplished. Nothing but results from here on out.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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