An Agent of Change

agent of change 3

There’s something about myself that I readily admit to people but that I am not entirely proud of. I absolutely do not like (strongly detest) change. I like things to be a certain way, I have a routine that I follow, pretty much to the tee and I don’t particularly like to deviate from that routine. In my mind it keeps things balanced, it keeps things flowing smoothly and it keeps a sense of order. Well at least that’s what I had convinced myself of.

I’ve been working a lot more over the last couple of years on my spiritual growth and on improving my relationship with God. I’ve been steadily working on following God’s instructions for my life and the direction that he wants it to go in. It’s a path that has brought me so much peace and joy and it has helped me rediscover who I am again. I hadn’t even realized that I had somehow lost who I was and forgotten what it was I was supposed to be doing, my purpose.

Sitting in church the other day as my pastor talked about growth, and that change equals growth so if you hate change than you can’t grow. It was a moment of clarity (one of many I have had recently). He spoke about how if you’re listening to God’s instructions for your life and following the path he wants you to be on, which is not always the path you had intended to take, then you have to be willing to open yourself up to something different, something new. You can’t hear the instructions for your life and then, because they don’t exactly fall in line with your daily routine, just not take action on the instructions that you have been given.

I’m a creature of habit and I had always led myself to believe that it wasn’t entirely a bad thing that I had set plans, set times in which to do things, set days in which to work on this or that, that I knew what I would be doing any given day at any given time because it would be the same. I call it routine but some might call it being stuck and unmoving. They would be right. I had never thought of my growing habitual routines as being afraid of changing but I can see now that it was exactly what I was afraid of doing.

If I changed things what if something bad happened. If I changed my routine what if the outcome was a bad one. I think I had gotten to a point where I had just made it so that nothing would happen that I didn’t already know was going to happen. That way there would be no bad outcomes, there would be no rejection, and no one could say no. I didn’t realize that it also meant that nothing good could happen either, and that no one could say yes. How could I say I was open to new opportunities of any kind if I was unwilling to change?

It’s not going to be easy to dial back my need for having a habitual routine. It’s opening myself up for an outcome that I don’t know and the thought of that is downright frightening. However, if I truly want to grow and reach new goals, and soar to new heights I have to be willing to change.

Change can be scary but it’s critical in order for us to grow. We can’t get so hung up on sticking to what we know and what our routine is that we miss the opportunities that are waiting for us right outside our little box. The box is good at times and we tell ourselves that the box protects us but does it really? Or does that box that we try so hard to keep ourselves in only hinder us from reaching our fullest potential? Our greatest accomplishments and our highest of heights tend to lie beyond the confines of the box of comfort that we trap ourselves in.


Jimmetta Carpenter



What’s Your Habit?


I was reading this article this morning in preparation to get started with my work about the routines and habits of famous writers.  It got me to thinking about how much my routine and habits as a writer have changed over the years.  When I was younger I used to stay up all night to write (I’ve never been a morning person) because that was usually when the inspiration struck, plus I always had a hard time sleeping at night.  As I became a mother I had to adjust that crazy schedule because all-nighters and motherhood just didn’t go well together (at least not for me). So when my daughter was an infant I slept (as long as she was sleeping) at night (even though I still stayed up later than I should have) and during the day I would try to write while she made gurgling noises at the cartoons on TV or when she napped.  

There was even a six month period when I wrote my first novel in which I didn’t talk to anyone for that whole 6 months, to the point where people sent people to check on me because I had to get the novel out.  Now as my daughter is getting older, I still feel more inspired at night and so I stay up late most nights (even though I really shouldn’t) but I also try to work in the morning hours as well (mornings still are not my thing, lol).  

I find it fascinating when reading of others who have somehow managed to keep their routines and habits the exact same (or with very little variance) throughout their writing career because although I have tried to keep things the same (because I hate change) my routine somehow ended up changing regardless.  I guess as we grow as writers, or artists so must the way that we do things but I wonder if a person’s routine has never changed does that mean that they haven’t grown as an artist.  

Does the lack of change symbolize the lack of growth in your work ethic or your writing or art?  Or does it just mean that the person whose habits and routines haven’t changed, that they are the more disciplined ones within their craft?  And what about those of us who waste an exorbitant amount of time procrastinating, or rather productively procrastinating (which makes it a part of their routine as well) and then have spurts in which we are vigilant and pour out a novel or task in a month or two?  Does this mean that the habit of procrastinating can possibly be seen as helpful to some more than others?  I suppose we all have our own vices and rituals of what works and what doesn’t.  

I think it’s fascinating sometimes to see or rather, to read how another person harnesses their talents and to see what kind of discipline they have in getting what they want accomplished.  So what are your habits or routines? How have they changed throughout your writing career? Do you consider yourself the disciplined and diligent writer or the productive procrastinating writer?  Let me know what’s your habit?  I hope to hear from you….stay blessed!     


Jimmetta Carpenter

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