It’s Not How You Start, Or Is It?

It's Not How You Start Or Is It

I can’t believe that January is almost over already. I’m reflecting today on whether or not this has been a productive month so far and I can’t get past how fast the time is already going by. I need the year to slow down just a little bit because while I haven’t been completely lagging in getting things going, I haven’t had the great start that I had hoped with all of the unexpected twists and turns in my schedule.

We all know that saying that it’s not how you start but rather how you finish that counts. I have always thought that to be true but in retrospect, in thinking on the year of 2014, while I started the year with high hopes, I was in a state of deep depression in the beginning of 2014 and did not start that year very well and sadly I finished with virtually nothing to really show for it.

I’m not saying that I did nothing last year because I started to come out of the funk of depression somewhere towards the middle of the year and even before then I managed to do enough to convince people that things weren’t as bad as they truly were so I did something but nowhere near what I know I am capable of doing. The end of the year, while I spent it making plans for this one, I didn’t have the accomplishment that I feel and know I should have had.

Of course that could be me just beating myself up for not being able to complete my always outrageous “to be done” list but I know me and I know when I’m wasted a huge chunk of time and depressed or not, it was still time wasted that I can never get back. I was just listening to a writing video in which the moderator revised that famous quote a little. She said how you start the year is an indication of how you are going to finish and it made me think.

I have (in my own opinion of course) started this year off a hell of a lot better than I started last year off but I know that I could still be doing better. However I acknowledge that this has been a much better start to this year and if this is a slight indication of how I am going to finish the year then I think maybe there is hope for this year to go as well as I want it to go. Hope your first month of this year is going productively!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/confessionsoftheunpleasantlyplump

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv

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

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/confessionsoftheunpleasantlyplump

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv

The Downside of Being a Constant Planner

constant planner 3

So it’s not a secret to anyone who knows me or who reads my blog regularly that I am a notorious planner. I am seriously one of those people who does not like to deviate from the set schedule and due to that I usually miss out on some spontaneous things that could provide me with unplanned on blessings and opportunities. Now last year I had my plans but I tried to be a little more relaxed about sticking to them and perhaps be a tad bit more spontaneous with my time. Well it didn’t really work out so well for me last year because I think I just got too relaxed.

So this year my plan was to not only make my plans for my goals and projects but I read constantly about how important it is to create a schedule for how your day unfolds which of course includes (mainly) my writing time. So I even did that. So here’s the thing with creating a schedule where you follow point by point of what to do at certain times, it doesn’t always quite work out how you plan it. The downside to being someone like me who is a person who has to have things planned out and very routine is that life is very seldom routine nor can it be maticulously planned out.

I will tell you that every time something didn’t go as planned last year it threw me even further off course and got me so off track but it did teach me something. That there is absolutely nothing wrong with someone who wants to plan out everything, or at least everything that is important and on your goal list, but you just have to know how to not be completely thrown off track and devastated when something goes diffrently than how you planned it. I learned that I can’t be so opposed to change or something that’s not routine, that it leaves me completely dumbfounded when life throws change right in my face and says to hell with my routine.

This first full week of the New Year was planned it out. I had it laid out when I was supposed to work on what and how much time would be dedicated to each task and sad to say that the first days of this week have all gone differently then how I planned it out. Between the weather or just simple circumstance, all of my plans got turned into new unexpected ones that wouldn’t have been my choice. But I have not let it derail me or throw me off course and I readjusted, and pretty well if I don’t say so myself.

I do think that it is funny or odd how us creative types who love to be free with our emotions and words and our art are sometimes so in need of the structure of strategic planning and scheduling. I suppose because our art is in many ways a little chaotic, we have to find ways to, in our minds, structure that creative chaos. I suppose even in us trying to structure our creativity we can’t forget that little bit of chaotic freedom that is still necessary.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv

The Writer’s Guilt I Sometimes Feel

Writer's Guilt

There are many things that I have left to learn about being a writer because I don’t think one can ever be done learning when it comes to their craft. One thing mostly is to not feel so guilty when I’m not writing. Truth be told there is never really a moment when I am not writing in some capacity because the thing with writers is that you don’t always have to be physically writing to be working on something that has to do with your writing.

I get this tremendous amount of guilt when I am not physically typing out words to a story or if I don’t have a finished product. I sometimes don’t stop to realize that whenever I am researching something for a project I am writing. When I am thinking through the storyline in my head I’m still writing. Even when I am reading leisurely then I am still in many ways nurturing my craft because you can’t be a great writer without first being a great reader. My problem is that I tend to follow a lot of writers on Facebook and Twitter and I read about their amazing rates of production and the way they are able to put out work and the way they always seem to be posting that they are currently writing and working on some huge project and I start to think about why I’m not putting out work at that rate.

True enough I have had far too many moments of what I call “creative blocks” because it was a little more than just writer’s block because the words were always there, but with all of the ideas that I have had and stories that have been formed in my head I should have been better at my own production rate. However, I believe that when I do sit down to put those words to paper that it will flow more fluidly because I’ve researched what needed to be researched, I’ve thought through the storyline and even outlined what needed to be outlined, I’ve been reading other writers so I’ve got a good sense of different styles of writing and different writer’s voices and tones.

I have to remember not to feel so guilty for not producing words because there is so much more that goes into the craft of writing than just the actual writing. It’s just another way of sabotaging myself and my own creative efforts because if I somehow convince myself that I’m not a good writer because I am not actually producing what I should be then I will be giving myself an excuse not to try and a reason to just give up altogether.

In life we always can seem to find the things that we did wrong or that weren’t quite done to perfection but so rarely do we stop and revel in the good that we did and the things that we get right. I have to stop focusing on the imperfections that I have within my craft and zero in on what I am doing to further my craft and my career in writing. Guilt can be a very dangerous thing in many aspects of our lives and truly as long as we are continually trying, as long as we never give up on our dreams and our goals then we don’t have any reason to feel guilty.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv

The Challenge Ahead: Getting Mentally Prepared for National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo1

The good thing about working on two unfinished projects for National Novel Writing Month is that I don’t have to complete the task of writing an outline like I would normally do for a new project. However the challenging thing about it, aside from the fact that I will be working on two books at the same time, is that they are two different types of books. One book is my novel that I started about two years ago and the other book, which I started working on about nine months ago, is non-fiction, more of a self-help/motivational book for writers. The two projects couldn’t be more opposite of each other so I’m not sure how the contrast is going to affect my production.

While National Novel Writing Month will not be new to me, trying to complete two different projects at the same time that are not in the same genres. I am a little more confident about the non-fiction project because I started it more recently and it will be fairly easy to jump back into it. The fiction book, I’m afraid I might have taken too much of a break from that one to just jump back in. Either way I am determined to make the best of the month of November and to attack these projects as if my life depends on it (they really do, lol). Once November is over and I (hopefully) have my two finished projects I plan to immediately get them into the editing phase so I can get the ball rolling on getting these books published.

I have my work cut out for me and for any of you who have participated in NaNoWriMo, you already know it is not an easy task to accomplish. I will share the process with you as it goes along and I hope if any of you are doing NaNoWriMo this month please feel free to share with me your process and how you’re achieving the task. I guess November will be a pretty busy and productive month!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv

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

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv

Creative Breakthrough

Breakthrough

This month has done exactly what I wanted it to do by focusing more on the actual craft of writing. It has reignited some creativity that I truly was starting to believe I was losing little by little. I had all of these ideas in my head but they just weren’t coming out on paper and they weren’t really coming into focus. These ideas were in bits and pieces trying to formulate themselves and it just wasn’t happening. But somehow when I took this time to focus on the writing itself and not solely on the marketing and the business side of things it seems to have helped those pieces come together.

I have been putting more and more of my ideas down on paper and they are starting to seem like more of a real possibility. I have even started to have a breakthrough on some ideas for my next novel that I have been stuck on up until now. I feel myself coming out of the funk that I was in slowly and even though some of the obstacles that I have right now have not gone away or even clear up, I feel more hopeful about things these days.

I know that with these obstacles, or financial standstills rather, that worrying doesn’t make them go away and it doesn’t display my true faith in God and that he will never allow me to go through anything that I can’t get through. I trust that there is a reason for everything that we go through in this life and that nothing is without purpose. Perhaps I needed this standstill in my creativity to wake me up to the realization that I can’t wait for all of the stars to align perfectly and that I can’t waste any more time.

I’ve been working on not waiting until everything is perfect to begin. I know there are a lot of things that I do imperfectly so a huge part of my problem is that before I submit work anywhere or display an idea I want things to be perfect but when does perfection ever truly happen. I keep putting off doing things because I have convinced myself that unless they’re perfect they just won’t be good enough but that’s just my self-doubt creeping in to my subconscious.

These last couple of weeks of me just concentrating on my creativity within my writing and not stressing so much on the business end have made me remember where the passion I had for writing came from to begin with. Of course I have in no way forgotten that this is my business as well and that I do have to put effort into that but I definitely do not want to forget what made me fall in love with the power of words in the first place. I have to make sure I stay in love with the power of words.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv

Like-Minded Creative Types

like minded creative types

They say birds of a feather flock together and as a child that saying doesn’t appear to hold a lot of meaning. When you are a kid you think that just because the person that you have dubbed as your new best friend does things that you don’t necessarily agree with and have a few personality traits that you might learn to overlook, that it doesn’t say anything about you and the person that you are. In theory it sounds nice, and perhaps it should be that way, but the reality is that it’s not.

You don’t realize it when you’re that young because you don’t, or rather, you can’t see what other people see and you don’t have that kind of clarity when you’re younger. However, as you get older, the birds of a feather phrase starts to reveal its relevance in your life and it is more stated as place yourself around like-minded people.

As you all know I have been struggling with my creativity lately, not necessarily with coming up with ideas but mostly with the follow through of those ideas, the productivity. After a conversation the other day with a friend who I hadn’t talked to in a while, I realized that one of the problems that I might have brought on myself when it comes to my creativity issues is that that I hadn’t done a good enough job of managing the people around me.

In that conversation the other day we bounced ideas back and forth and mainly I got to discuss a lot of my ideas to someone who hadn’t really heard them before. In many ways it reinvigorated my motivation to follow through with and produce those ideas because obviously I want to see those ideas come to fruition. I felt like that conversation helped a little to pull me up out of the funk that I have been in. It was a conversation about creative ideas with another creative individual who has creative ambitions just like I do.

It also reinforced just how important it is to place yourself around people who want the same things that you do and have the same manner of ambition that you have. Of course I don’t mean the same exact ideas and goals but someone that understands where you’re coming from and that you can bounce off ideas and aspirations off of that’s not going to look at you with a blank clueless stare because they simply don’t get it, not because they aren’t capable of comprehending what you’re saying but because it’s not where their head is at so they don’t get you.

I have met some wonderful people recently, in the last year and a half or so, and they are fun people who have, admittedly helped me open up a little and somewhat come out of my hibernation shell (lol), but their ideas of what’s important aren’t my ideas of what’s important. Their idea of fun is not the same thing as my idea of fun, and their priorities are not in line with what my priorities are. They don’t get my creative side and it’s okay because that’s not their thing but it is mine.

I get tired of explaining myself and my goals and ambitions to people who frankly can’t understand those things. It makes me yearn even more for a creative network around me and I only really have a couple of people that I can express my creative self to. The number one person that I could always express those creative ideas to moved further away to North Carolina and frankly doesn’t seem to have time for me anymore, almost as if she’s forgotten our friendship. This leaves me wanting more creative people in my circle.

I am trying to make steps to interact more with creative people who can enhance my creativity even further and bring out in me things that I may be reluctant to display. That is something that I have already discovered as my month of going back to the basics in my writing has just started. It’s going to be interesting to see what else I discover in this month of simply putting pen to paper and letting the words flow.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv

Can a Change of Environment Spark My Creative Productivity?

change of environment

I’ve always wanted to go on some kind of writing retreat one of these days. When I was younger I had plans to move to New York and there was a plan somewhere in those years to take a trip to travel around Europe for a year and write.

Then of course life happened and obstacles appeared, circumstances changed, and needless to say I never made it to New York and haven’t even made a trip around the United States let alone to Europe. I have a child to think about now and trips outside the country just aren’t in the near future for me, particularly since I am sending her to private school in about a year.

Now I don’t presume to have all the answers as to how I am going to make the plans that I dreamt up decades ago come to fruition but I am definitely not giving up on my European writing trip that I would love to make happen. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to plan for a trip that’s uncertain.

I don’t have the means to do any writing retreats at this particular moment in my life but I know that there have to be some ways to develop a different writing environment to boost my creativity. I haven’t quite figured out what they are yet but I am definitely searching for answers.

I would love to hear your ideas for getting away without actually being able to get away. What are some creative ways you have managed to spark your creative juices and get them flowing? How can you get away to write without really being able to get away?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv

Not All At Once: Multitasking Does Not Always Equal Productivity

multitasking

I am one of those people that feels like they should be doing about twenty different things at one time. We all know that multitasking is something that writers have to have a handle on if they want to get an extraordinary amount of things accomplished. However, there does come a point in working on various different projects in your writing career, or any career really, where you are going to have to make one thing the focal point and everything else is going to have to fade to the background, just a little bit.

My problem is that I still want to believe that I am as excellent at multitasking as I once used to be (in my teens and twenties) when I could balance four or five different projects at the same time and devote equal time to them. Now it feels as if the more I try to balance different projects the more I end up slacking on something. I think that I am being productive to work on several things at once and try to give equal time to all but it just isn’t possible (not for me anyway).

Now I am in no way saying that multitasking is not in some ways productive. What I’m saying is thinking that you can devote an equal amount of time to all of the projects that you are working on isn’t. I think that if you are working on about three projects at a time (and I think that it should be kept to three) you have to know which project to place the priority on and let the other two be the secondary concern. That way the most important project gets accomplished.

This is a lesson that I am learning now and am going to start trying implement myself because trying to place priority on every project equally has caused me to fall behind on a project that should’ve been done already. So for all you multitasking writers out there remember that you can’t accomplish everything at once. Some things are going to have to wait so don’t end up accomplishing nothing by trying to accomplish everything.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv