Springing Into Overdrive

Spring into overdrive

While Spring is the time of year where everyone seems to have that sudden bursts of creative energy it seems to be that time of year when I start to reflect on what I haven’t gotten done yet. I know, it seems like a negative thing, it really does. However, if you think about it, it could be the swift kick in the pants that some of us procrastinators (at least me anyway) need to get into higher gear.

I have a lot of things to carry out this year and because I set unbelievably high goals for myself on a yearly basis that even the most brilliant and best-selling novelists might not be able to get achieved in one year, I am realistic enough to know that every single item on that list will most likely not be carried out. However, I do know that over half of the things are able to be completed if I just stop my procrastinating ways and do what I know needs to be done.

What needs to be done is a lot less sleep and a lot of early rising mornings. This is hard for me to fathom because I barely sleep as it is but I remember the days when I used to pull all-nighters and slept even less than I do now and stuff got done then. But I have come to the realization, as May approaches and almost half the year has flown by, that if I don’t start sleeping a lot less in order to work a lot more than I might not even get half the things on my list accomplished. I can’t accept that.

So springing into action is what I will be focusing on and getting into overdrive. Just hope I don’t burn myself out in the process. But all sacrifices will be worth it in the end, right? Well I hope that your creativity has sprung into high gear and that you are getting all that you need to get done. If not, then let’s get moving, the year is only going to move faster from here on out. So stay driven and keep that butt in the chair, writing!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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Maybe Things Would Have Been Better If…

Often times I wonder (too often to actually count) if I made the right decision by choosing not to go back into the traditional work force as most single parents do and make that steady and stable income every other week.  I mean let’s face it, it’s not as if I have hit it big or anything and if I want to get real honest I am not doing as well in my writing career as I thought I would be by now, or that I know I should be doing.  

I think of all the things I want to buy for my daughter and the activities that I would like to put her in to enhance her creative nature that I just can’t afford right now and I wonder what the hell am I doing and I constantly wonder am I completely screwing her life up by not just accepting the fact that this just isn’t working and maybe it’s just not for me.  I mean it’s not like it wouldn’t be nice to have a steady and predictable stream of income coming in that I know I can count on.  

But then yesterday morning as I was getting my daughter ready for daycare (it acts as a camp during the summer) she said ‘thank you mommy’.  I asked her what she was thanking me for and she replied ‘for taking such good care of me’.  She said that I am always there when she needs me.  She almost brought me to tears and I was so touched.  She made me feel like the choice not to go back to a traditional job and stay home with her, all while still pursuing my dreams of making what I love to do my career, was totally worth it.  Yesterday, just her appreciation of me, let me know that it was the right decision, for me anyway.  

It is all the more motivation to let me know that I have to have less moments of procrastination and more moments of productivity because I have to make this work, I have to do what I know in my heart I was meant to do.  Not just because I love doing it and it is my passion, but because being able to write and become more successful at it makes moments like yesterday with my daughter even more possible.  

It would make it more of a certainty that I will continue to always be here when she needs me and that I will always take very good care of her.  More importantly it will show her that you can go after your dreams and make it work even though everyone else around you may be telling you that you’re crazy for ever thinking this could work and to be more realistic.  I want her to not be afraid to go after her dreams and to not have to think that going after her dreams is going to do more harm then good.  

So in an effort to procrastinate less and produce more, I am going to make it a point to accomplish at least three things every week (3 is a nice workable number) to get me further along in my writing career.  Whether it is actually working on my novel (which is still not finished) or just getting those query letters that I keep trying to make perfect sent out so someone can actually see them.  Even if it is just gathering research for a particular project, that is still working towards the end goal of finishing that project.  I think that is a goal that I can work with and actually stick to.  

Until I do make things happen the way that I want them to, I have to work on tuning that voice in the back of my mind that questions if things would’ve been better if I had made another choice.  Fact of the matter is that I will never know the answer to that because I chose to do me and not what someone else might have thought I should do.  I’m certainly not going to become the success that I want to be by doing what everyone else thinks I should.       

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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If It’s What You Love To Do, Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

~Steve Jobs 

When Steve Jobs died on October 5 he left behind so much more than just his extensive contribution to the technological world.  In my opinion, what’s worth far more than his Apple Company is the determination that it took for him to reach his level of success and the words that he expressed in his 2005 commencement speech at StanfordUniversity.  I must admit that I had not actually took the time to watch the speech until after his death but there was so much that I got out of those fifteen minutes.  One thing he said that stuck with me was to not let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.  

Another memorable thing that I took away from his speech was his last four words; Stay hungry, stay foolish.  It seemed to be words that he lived by until his dying day and I found these words to be both intriguing and inspiring.  When you stay hungry you never really lose sight of what is at stake for your dreams.  You stay focused and steady.  You stay driven and determined.  You never settle if you have not gotten to where it is you want to be.  When you allow yourself to stay foolish you give yourself permission to have the courage to do the things that everybody else might think of as stupid or crazy.  Those that remain foolish have the ability to ignore the logic that might be telling them that something will be too difficult or impossible to make happen.  

In the last few weeks I have been continually told, in so many words, that what I want for my life is not going to happen and that I am wasting my time with it.  I should just go make a career out of working behind a desk and be content with that because it’s a good living.  They say writing is not practical, writing will never make me rich or even provide enough money to live off, writing is a great hobby but it’s not realistically possible to make it, especially in the current economy.  Well I say to hell with anyone who tells me that doing what I love to do, what I was born to do, is a waste of my time.  It’s who I am and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. 

It’s not as if I just woke up a year or two ago and said hey, I think I want to be a writer now.  I have known since I was six years old that this was what my purpose in life was and I have never, in 25 years, wavered from that belief.  Honestly, at this point I’ve put in so much time and sacrificed so much in the effort of making this work that I can’t go back now.  Sure I’m not where I would like to be within my career at this point, nor where I thought I would be, but I know it’s coming because I know it’s meant for me. 

So many times I hear about or see people who have spent their lives doing something that is practical and might have garnered them success but it wasn’t what they wanted for themselves.  It wasn’t the way that they wanted to achieve their success and they weren’t very happy.  They spent their lives living up to others’ standards and other people’s ideas of normal and practical.  They lived a life, but it wasn’t theirs. 

I’ve already wasted too much of my limited time on this earth living the way someone else thought I should, doing what was practical all the while longing to follow my heart.  I am not going to leave this world feeling like I didn’t at least try to live the life I was meant to live.  As Steve Jobs also said in his brilliant speech, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose…”  What good is living if I am not going to go for it all, come hell or high water?  I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to really throw caution to the wind and just jump feet first without worrying what will go wrong.  I think that I’m going to start finding out.  I thank you Steve Jobs for being brave enough to Stay hungry and Stay foolish.  Until next time…Imagine all of what you can do if you were just a little more foolish and a lot less logical.  

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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An Ambitious Nature

“If a woman is sufficiently ambitious, determined and gifted – there is practically nothing she can’t do.”

~Helen Lawrenson 

I would like to think that I have an ambitious nature.  Whether it is a low level of ambition or I am overly ambitious varies depending upon what day it is.  I think that might just be my problem.  With the things that I want out of this life and what I would like to accomplish as far as my career goals, I can not afford to have too many of days of underachievement where I don’t even reach the standard that I have set for myself.  

On my accountability list that I emailed to my best friend last night of the goals that I need to accomplish this week I actually added to the number of things to get done this week.  The first week my list had 8 items, the second it had 9, and this week it has 12.  The way I see it, the more I expect of myself, the more I am likely to get accomplished.  

Now I realize this method might not work every week but I am trying to get myself to that level where I don’t have weeks of underachievement, just weeks where I have tackled all of my ambitions head on and achieved them without fail.  Now I am not so unrealistic as to think that every single week I am going to be able to actually check off everything on that list but nothing beats a failure but a try.  

My message to those out there that might think that they are being a bit too ambitious (or unrealistic), don’t listen to that voice in your mind that is telling you that.  Having higher expectations of yourself enables you to keep yourself on your toes and to raise your own bar.  So how high are you willing to set your bar?  Leave me a comment and tell me, what are some of the ways you make sure to hold yourself accountable for you goals?  Well I guess I better go get started on that long list I have for this week.  Until next time…stay on your toes!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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No More Negative Nancy’s

“Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.”

~Shirley MacLaine 

In life you tend to get back what you give out.  At least that is what most people will say about how a person should perceive things.  I was watching the news this morning and they have these motivational minutes where the guy will give a tip for success for the day.  Today’s tip, in so many words, was that in order to have and attract success in your life that you have to wipe out the negativity surrounding you and get rid of those thoughts of what you can’t do and what you don’t have and just focus on what you can do and what you do have.  

This ties into getting back what you give out because I suppose if all you hear is people around you telling you that you can’t do something, or that what you want to happen for yourself can’t happen, you start to believe it then you are putting out that negative energy.  In turn all you are going to get back is negative results.  This struck a nerve with me because it seems that the more positive I try to be about my circumstances, and about my dreams and what I want out of life, the more I get negative backlash from other people, one of whom happens to be my mother, who I should get the most support from.  

When people say that you have to cut out the negativity from your life in order to really make your way towards success you never want that to include family.  I am sadly realizing, or should I say accepting, that my mother is one of those people.  When I make the mistake of sharing my ambitions with her she never fails to tell me that she thinks my dreams are impossible and that I am not living in reality.  But if I only focus on what isn’t going right and what I have not managed to accomplish just yet then I would never move forward and enjoy all that I do have and the things that I have managed to achieve.  

It’s true that lately everything has not fallen in line the way that I wanted them to, especially within this last year.  However, no matter what, I will always keep pushing through and propelling myself towards accomplishing what it is I want.  A person’s dreams are not just going to magically come true overnight but complaining about the bumps along the road is not going to change things one way or the other, so why waste that time that could be better spent.  

There is always going to be that one person around you that will make sure to run down the list of the things that you can’t get done and rub in your face what you don’t have.  But instead of listening to them you have to ask yourself why it is that they feel the need to tear you down and what is it that they don’t have that they are trying so hard to take away from you.  Until the next time…try to enjoy the things that you have accomplished and keep building on those accomplishments!  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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Who Needs A Plan B?

“God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow into them.” 

~Author Unknown 

Was it unrealistic for me to think that I could have a successful and fulfilling life as a writer?  Just doing what I love to do full time and not having to make it a side job that I only get to do whenever I am not completely exhausted from working a job that I hate just to pay the bills.  Maybe I was crazy to think that that would be possible in the beginning stages of my writing career and not have a plan B for just in case things went downhill quickly.  

Well the other day I stumbled upon this clip from Youtube of a compilation of comments by actor Will Smith on success and fulfilling your dreams, and his philosophy about different aspects of achieving that success.  One of the most standout statements that he made in the clip was that “the first step, before anybody else in the world believes it, is you have to believe it.  There’s no reason to have a plan B because it just distracts from plan A.” 

When I heard that it made so much sense to me.  Why would I spend all of this time doing something that I hate doing, that keeps me from doing what I really love and really want to be doing, for the sake of just in case.  The time spent on putting together a plan B does two things; it distracts me from the original plan, and it creates doubt as to whether or not plan A was really the right one to begin with.  

Yes it may be unrealistic to bank all of my hopes and dreams and livelihood on plan A without a safety net but why be realistic when it comes to your dreams.  Another thing Will Smith said in this clip was that “being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity”, and I believe that to be true.  I’ve never been one to just settle for only what seems possible and within reach.  I’ve always wanted way more than what was within my grasp and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

We should never settle in life.  You have a dream, you make a plan to attain that dream, and you go for it.  You protect that dream at any and all cost.  It’s really just that simple.  Yes there are times where you are going to have to include things in that plan that you are not thrilled about doing, but in the end it has to be included simply to attain that plan A, and not just in case plan A doesn’t work.  

I think that once you set a plan in motion towards what it is you want, and you decide that you are going to stick to it, everything else will fall into place.  I am glad that I stumbled on that clip because it reminded me that I should never lose faith in myself, and what I believe is possible for me, and more importantly, in what I have decided I want for my life.  To, once again, quote Will Smith, “I know who I am, I know what I believe, and that’s all I need to know.”     

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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It’s Get Organized Monday

I don’t know about most of you but Monday is the day that I set my goals that I want to achieve for the week (well really, it’s Sunday night but it’s in preparation for Monday).  Putting together a to-do list for the week gives me motivation to really be proactive and achieve the things on that list.  Here are some tips that maybe you could use to jump start your week.

 

  • Set realistic goals for yourself– Your goals must be realistic for you to achieve for long term sustainability. Clarify what has the highest priority and what are the things that absolutely must get accomplished in order to make your goals attainable (and by attainable I mean you know that if you make a two page list of things to do, more than likely everything will not get done).
  • Break it down– Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you expect things to happen overnight then you are setting yourself up for failure. Focus on breaking down your goals and take the small but important steps to achieve them. You’ll be amazed at how much motivation can come from doing such a simple action.
  • Monitor your progress– Be open and aware to what is happening. Always keep your goals in sight and monitor your progress toward them. Regular monitoring provides you with the guideposts to keep you on track.
  • Learn from your experiences– Always approach your goals with the aim of learning and developing. If you can learn from your experiences then your results will be much more rewarding and sustainable. Keep asking yourself what works for you and align your actions with the answer.
  • Reflect and Reward– When you achieve your goals, or even the little milestones on the way, make sure you reflect on your experiences and draw out the positive aspects you learned from them. Plan your rewards when you set your goals and go for it and if by the end of the week you have achieved even just half of your list celebrate the accomplishments instead of dwelling on what tasks didn’t get accomplished.  It doesn’t mean that the goals you set were not attainable, just sometimes life happens and things don’t get done.  Whatever you didn’t get to this week can just be placed on next week’s list.