The Fabric that Creates Our Stories

Fabric that creates our stories

Let’s talk about the stories that make us! We all have moments in our lives that we sometimes wish hadn’t happened. There may be certain experiences that we wished had gone a different way than they did. Or even just a small rough patch that you wish you could’ve somehow dodged along the way. I know that I have a huge chunk of childhood experiences I’ve wished I could have replaced with better ones and some mistakes that I’ve made in my teenage or young adult years that I would do over again if I could.

The problem with trying to recreate history, however, is that if we were to do that we would completely miss out on the lesson that we were supposed to learn. In addition to that we would also not have the experiences that help to shape and mold us into the people we were meant to become. I was watching an episode of Oprah’s Master Class and the guest was talking about the fact that the stories that we share with others, the wisdom that we tend to draw on from other people’s experiences, come from the rough patches in life.

We wouldn’t have those experiences and those moments that give us teaching tools for life if there were no rough patches to begin with. What I’ve gone through in my life, the issues I’ve had with deep depression, the abuse I suffered in my childhood, even my struggles with my weight throughout most of my life, sure I may wish they hadn’t happened, but they could very well be the inspiration that someone else needs down the line.

I think of all of the inspiration that I’ve gotten from other people’s struggles and the obstacles that they’ve overcome to get to the level of success that they’re at now and it’s amazing. Knowing that when I finally achieve the goals that I’ve set out to accomplish and when I get to that level of success where I can truly influence others, to think that I could possibly provide some inspiration to someone else in the future and possibly give them feelings of hope is extremely comforting to me.

Our struggles that we endure and the obstacles that we battle through become some of the greatest fabric to our story. To ever try and wish that away would more than likely be a costly mistake because so much of our trials and tribulations are woven so intricately into our lives that without them we could be completely different people and not necessarily who we were ever meant to be. So when you start to dwell on the hard times that you’ve experienced, stop and think. If you were to wish those hard times away, those rough patches, then you wouldn’t have a story to tell. Those experiences have built your character and they are the reason that you can inspire the world around you. So make your stories count and let them be a way to heal somebody else.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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The Warrior Within

The Warrior Within

Lets talk American Ninja Warrior! I know, what does the show American Ninja Warrior have to do with writing and taking care of yourself creatively and spiritually. Well that’s the thing about inspiration, it literally can come from anywhere and anyplace and at any time. I am just as surprised as you might be because if you know anything about me, aside from finally implementing a gym workout into my lifestyle, I am not a very athletic person. Other than football, and perhaps the basketball championships, I don’t particularly watch that much in the way of sports.

So when I turned on a rerun episode of American Ninja Warrior one day, it was kind of just on and I wasn’t paying that much attention until this young woAmerican Ninja Warrior 1man came on the screen named Kacy Catanzaro (pictured to the left), and it was the episode where she became, at five foot two (possibly shorter), the first woman to ever make it up the warped wall and from that moment on I was hooked. Now I’m late to the Ninja Warrior game so I’ve been watching the reruns every week of older seasons but they’re all new to me so I am just gaining such a huge appreciation for this show, these athletes, and their stories.

It’s the stories behind these athletes that fearlessly run a course of seemingly impossible obstacles that I think are the most motivating for me. Most of these athletes are coming back from injuries, from others sports careers that were prematurely cut short, and from life altering struggles that would make the average person curl up in a ball and just give up, but not these athletes. They show their grit, and their tenacity, and their strength and it’s just amazing to watch it and I’m usually left in awe of these players.

The struggles that they’ve overcome and the things that they are able to accomplish is just remarkable. They are able to put all of their focus and energy into tackling the task immediately in front of them, being the obstacle course, and finish it, and in some cases not finish it and have to get back up again and prepare for the following year to do it all over again. It takes a hell of an individual to do that and in many cases to fail in completing the course and have to come back the following year to do it all over again, not knowing if they’ll end up failing the course again or if they will finally complete it. Some of these athletes took several years before even being able to complete the course one time and they kept returning with such enthusiasm and vigor. It’s a level of courage that I wished I had and makes me question ‘who am I to be afraid to go after my dreams despite the many stumbles and falls? It just inspires me to be better, and to do better.   What inspires you to do better and gives you courage?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Now That the Fog Has Lifted… Back to the Business of Writing!

 

Fog lifted

It’s been so long since I’ve written to you all! My hiatus was definitely not something that I had planned on but nevertheless I am back now. I suffer from random bouts of depression. I get in this funk and sometimes it takes a longer period of time than others to pull myself out of it. I should probably seek out a therapist but I hate the idea of talking to some random stranger who doesn’t know me or anything that I’ve been through in my life sitting there judging me and writing notes about me. It’s not that I don’t believe that they would be capable of doing their job, I just have a thing about telling total strangers extremely personal things about me which is probably what makes the bouts of depression last longer than they should.

Ordinarily writing would help with that but part of the depression was that my writing career wasn’t exactly going the way that I had envisioned it going. Perhaps it was a midlife crisis and realizing that what I had mapped out for my life many, many, many years ago was totally off track and I couldn’t see a way to get it back on track. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel that I was in. This depression that I was in led me to an unintentional hiatus seeing as though one of the issues I was having was a lack of confidence in my writing. That’s hard for me to admit to because that’s the one thing over the course of my life that I have never had a lack of confidence in was my writing. I’ve always known that no matter what no one could take that away from me but over this last year and a half I’ve been feeling like maybe my writing just isn’t good enough.

Of course now that I can feel the fog lifting and I have recently felt a sense of peace even in the midst of the storms in my life I am starting to regain that confidence in my writing that I once had. I’ve been recently planning out my writing goals again and submitting novels to agents, outlining new novel ideas, planning new content for the Magazine, planning out new posts for this blog, and even mapping out an idea for a television pilot I want to write, and the more that I focus on those writing goals I have, the more I start to get some of my writing confidence back. I’m starting to feel like myself again and I love feeling like me because it took a long time for me to love the person that I have become. Writing is a sort of therapy for me and I hope I never lose that.

Any-who, I’m back and I hope you’ve missed me because I sure have missed writing for you. Here’s to new ideas, new opportunities, and many more words that hold purpose and power!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Getting My Creative House In Order

Creativity 2

The space that you have to create in is very important to a writer, or to an artists’ in general. Sure it is said and has been proven that a writer can pretty much write anywhere, whether it’s just in their head while their driving around, or at a coffee shop in the hustle and bustle of everyday strangers. However, the space that a writer has at home or at wherever they choose to call their office, I’ve come to realize is incredibly important.

Looking over at the corner of my room that is designated as my office I am shocked at how out of order I have let it get. There are so many initiatives that I was supposed to take to spark my creativity on a daily, or at least regular basis but my working are does not depict that. My desk is cluttered, far more than I would like it to be, and my bulletin board contains lists of things to get done that just simply haven’t even been halfway accomplished. My vision board that I was supposed to have created by now, well the items to go on the vision board are scattered across my desk somewhere so clear it’s not displayed as it should be. Maybe that is why I am struggling with keeping my eye on the vision that I have and not veering off into the land of self-doubt.

You know how people get when it comes to Spring cleaning and emptying out their closets and getting their house in shape. Well that is how I feel when Fall rolls around about my writing space. I think that I need to take some time in this month of getting back to reigniting my creativity and refresh my creative space. I think that this is definitely something that I have to tackle during this month in order to truly get my creativity going strong again.

If your mind is already cluttered with ideas then there isn’t really a benefit to having a cluttered space in which you are supposed to create in. In a career such as being a writer where ideas and projects can be all over the place, you need something about your creative process to be focused and organized. So this weekend that is going to be one of the many things that I try to put into perspective. I am feeling the surge of creativity flow again, stronger than it has been in recent months, and I want to guard this surge with everything.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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A Dream Worth Sustaining

Dreams Wroth Sustaining

I will admit that when the going gets tough I want to get going. I don’t mean that I want to push through and hang in there either. I mean I literally just want to say I’ve had enough, I can only try so much, this must not be meant for me. However when my dream of being a writer comes into play, while I have had those feelings of giving up, my heart, my passion won’t let me.

There is nothing more rewarding in a writer’s career then to have business be doing great and everything is going the way that you want it to. The point where it is hard to be a writer, where it’s almost like you want to ask yourself what the point of it is, is when business is not going as great as you want it to be, or as great as you always envisioned it would be. You always get this picture in your mind, especially when you think of yourself as a pretty awesome writer (in which I do) that everything is going to go smoothly and fall into place just the way that it should. You imagine a booming business in which you have to turn work away because you are just so in demand. When the reality doesn’t match the vision it is difficult to deal with.

My reality, lately, has certainly not lived up to the vision that is in my mind and at times it is almost disheartening and quite frankly almost impossible to push through and keep moving forward. Nothing is going quite the way I planned but I guess if it were easy then it wouldn’t be worth it, right? This weekend I have to work out some ways to readjust my strategy and to think of other ways to turn things around. Maybe all the extra sleep I’ve caught up on this week was to allow me to spend my weekend strategizing until I find something that works. I don’t know what that will be but I know that I haven’t come this far to give up now.

No matter how many steps forward I feel I should be, one thing is for sure, I am much further along in my journey than I would be if I had given up a long time ago. I found this inspirational video done by Morris Chestnut on declaring your dreams that I think will help motivate me through my weekend. Hopefully it will help motivate you through yours as well. Take care and hustle hard!

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Don’t Put a Ceiling Where No Roof Should Be

no ceiling 2

I was told once (okay well more than once) that I was inspiring. I was told that my words inspired others. I suppose if I weren’t a person who had become accustomed to believing that everything someone says to me is usually a lie, I might believe them. Or at least maybe it wouldn’t have taken me so long to believe them. I got to thinking this morning, if so many people that society considers ordinary because their names are not up on billboards somewhere (yet) can inspire me and get me motivated, then why isn’t it possible that lil ole ordinary me can do the same for someone else.

It makes me more mindful of the work that I am doing, of the words that I am saying and of the persistence that I am putting into getting my goals accomplished because if I can inspire someone, anyone else, to believe in their dreams and to live by their own standards and not the standards placed on them by society, then I will be making great strides in serving the purpose that God put me here on this earth for.

I grew up being told by the one person who was supposed to always believe in me, that I was never going to be able to accomplish anything, that I was never going to reach my destiny because society was never going to let me, and because I wasn’t good enough. I had to somehow keep myself motivated and inspired, to even have the courage to go after my dreams. It’s a lot harder when you don’t have anyone inspiring you or at the very least, cheering you on. So I am glad if there is anybody that I can be an inspiration to and I embrace that responsibility with open arms.

So for any of you out there who is thinking that what they are doing doesn’t matter to anyone and that no one is watching or paying attention. Trust that there is someone that is being inspired by what you are doing, by the persistence that you are showing, by the dream that you are building up. It might even be someone like me. Never underestimate yourself, or the power of your vision, or the effect that you may be having on others. I have been underestimating myself for far too long and it is time that I stop doing that. It’s time that you stop doing it too. Stay inspired and stop putting a ceiling where no roof should be!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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You’ve Already Created Who You Are In This Moment

Create your best life

How many times have you heard someone say that they have to go and find themselves?  That they have to search for that knowledge of self, for that sense of purpose?  I have heard that saying a lot used by people, some who were truly lost and others who just truly needed an excuse for why they weren’t doing anything.  I actually hear that phrase from writers a lot because they are always so caught up in making up a life for their characters that they sometimes forget to live the life that they already have.

I heard this quote the other day “The self is not something one finds, it is something one creates”, and it just stuck with me.  People who are always trying to find themselves, trying to figure out what it is they want in life, they don’t realize that in their journey to find themselves, all of the decisions they are making, the mistakes that they are enduring, is already creating who they are meant to be.  Some decisions made for us, when we are too young to know any better, they are in a sense out of our hands, but how we deal with the fallout, the end result, that is in ours.

When we choose something, be it right or wrong, little by little it shapes who we are, and eventually who we become.  None of us start off knowing what kind of person we are going to be at the end of our journey.  Growing up I had to learn and teach myself how to love me.  I guess you could say that who I am now, I created that person and had I made a choice to continue not loving myself and to continue to think that because my mother didn’t love me, or at least didn’t express that love to me, that I was somehow unworthy of that love from others, especially from myself, had I continued down that path I suppose I would have created a whole other type of person than I am now.

So before any of you get it in your head that they need to find themselves and discover who they really are, keep in mind that the decisions you have already been making are already creating the person you were meant to be.  Stop searching for who it is that you think you should be, or should have been and embrace the person that you have already created thus far.  Our journey is not done yet but who we are meant to be is already inside of us, we don’t have to find it, we just have to create it.  Stop waiting for some moment of revelation to come, some big moment where suddenly everything you are is so clear to you.  Create the life you want, don’t sit and wait for it to be created for you to find.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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What’s My Motivation?

What's my motivation

I saw a post on Facebook that asked “What motivates YOU to work hard?” and it got me to thinking about the times when I lose my motivation.  Initially the artistically correct response would be that my passion is what motivates me.  In many ways this is true because honestly unless you start off with a lot of connections in the writing world and you could breeze past the whole submit/rejection portion of rising to the top in your field of fellow writers then who would really want to struggle along this particular path if they weren’t passionate about the art of putting words to paper.

However, if I dig deep into the crevices of my brain and my heart, my motivation for being a writer goes beyond that.  Yes it is true that since I was 6 years old this is what I have wanted to do but the reasoning became different as the years went on.  It was first a fun thing to tell stories and dream up these big, sometimes, unrealistic worlds.  Then it evolved into being the only way that I could truly express how I was feeling because no one would ever listen to my words, but they never minded reading them.  Then it became my escape, where I didn’t want to really tell my story as much as I wanted to tell the story that I wished I was living in.  But once I had a child, it became the way that I could do all of that but still be the mom that my mother wasn’t for me.

My mother was cold and unfeeling, I can’t even remember hearing the words I Love You too much in my house growing up, and I’m not sure if her having to work so hard and so much (sometimes 2 jobs which felt more like I was being raised by my sister) was the reason why she felt she had to shut down emotionally from me and my sister but if that was a reason then I was going to make sure that I didn’t have that reason when it came to my child.  I wanted to be home with my daughter, there when she got out of school, there when she needed anything, said I love you for no particular reason, there to tuck her in at night, and there to play when she wanted to just play.  Writing allows me to do that, to be tuned in to my child the way that I couldn’t be if I were working the traditional job.

I tried that when she was younger, in an effort to get that stable, absolute income while still trying to make it as a writer.  Not only did that take away from the time I could have been putting into my dream but it also drained me mentally and emotionally and I couldn’t show up for my child the way that she needed me too.  Now I know there are millions of women who do it, and manage it well, and perhaps they are better suited to be that kind of parent but I just know that I’m not built that way.

Now I’ve been criticized so many times for not just jumping back into the “regular” work force and having that stable income there and been accused of not thinking about my child in that regard but I disagree.  I think that monetary things and possessions cannot provide emotional stability for a child and yes if you can do the “regular” job thing and still provide emotional support and stability for your child then that’s great.  I know that I can’t.  I’ve tried and I saw myself starting to turn into my mother which was the last thing I wanted for my child.

Going this route is difficult, true, but it also will instill in my daughter another thing my mother didn’t instill in me.  It will teach her to go after her dreams, no matter what they are, no matter how many people tell you that you’re never going to get there, no matter how many people are standing against you, go for them in spite of all of that.  In the end she will have her dream and everyone who was against her will be wishing they could have come along for the ride.  I want my daughter to believe in herself the way that I never did until I was well into my adulthood.  I want her to know that when she waivers on what she dreams up for her life that I will be there to remind her not to give up.  That my giving up will help remind her not to give up.

I want everything for my daughter that I didn’t have growing up and none of that comes with having the largest bank accounts.  Don’t get me wrong, of course there are things I want my daughter to have that money is definitely necessary for in order to give her that, but I want her to know that the important things in life cannot be bought.  Things like love, self-esteem, confidence, work-ethic, belief in oneself and their dreams, and the tenacity to go after those dreams.  Those are things that money can’t give or provide for you.  Think about motivates your hustle today.  Take that motivation and use it to fuel your drive.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Friday Motivation- When You Die, Die on “E” and Leave No Dream Behind!

I had no intention of actually posting today because I was supposed to be working on some things for my ebook (release date coming soon).  But when I saw this video on Facebook this morning (I know, that’s not work, so sue me) I was so blown away by the powerful message and it was one that I definitely needed to hear (so much so that I’ve watched the video 3 times already) and I feel like some of my fellow writers, those struggling with their craft and even those who are not, could use it as motivation as well.  I hope that you get as much out of watching it as I did and that you carry the message into your weekend with you and even further, all through your journey.  Stay blessed and have a wonderful weekend!

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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The Lesson I Learned From His Example

“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

~Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

The world has lost a great and powerful influence and the example for how to live life free of anger, and bitterness, and the true meaning behind forgiveness.  Nelson Mandela was undoubtedly strong and brave and showed a great love for his country and a great passion for the rights of people in general.  However, even more remarkable than that was his ability to not only forgive but to let go.

A lot of us can forgive but the letting go, the casting it out of our mind part, is always a little harder of a task to achieve.  That is not to say that Nelson Mandela ever forgot being wrongfully imprisoned for 27 years of his life, but just that he didn’t let it dictate his actions once he was released.  He could have been angry, he could have been bitter and he could have been depressed because he had more than enough reason to be.  But that’s not how he carried himself.  He forgave the people who wronged him and he continued on fighting for the people in his country and the human rights of people in other countries as well.

It puts things in perspective when you look at the man that he was because in all of our lives, while our struggles are not to be minimized or to be treated as if they are not indeed a struggle, they are still nothing that we should let stunt our growth as human beings or our growth in fulfilling our purpose.  This man sat in a prison cell for 27 years of his life and is still leaving behind such a huge legacy.

If anything, it makes me feel a little obligated.  I feel obligated to live this life that we are given, for the undetermined time that we are given it, to the fullest and obligated not to waste the gifts that God has given me.  I feel obligated to not waste this opportunity to fulfill the purpose that I have here on this earth.

None of us knows what tomorrow holds and I am not saying that we should not think about the future that is in store but we still have to concentrate on moving today in order to get there.  I’m saying this as much to myself as I am to all of you out there.  Stop worrying about what you can’t get done today and start focusing on what you can get done.  Don’t waste this day on the negative thoughts running through your mind.  What you do TODAY counts!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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