Are You Living Your Life Or The Life Someone Else Thinks You Should Be Living?

I love my emails that I get from the Tyler Perry mailing list.  I swear it’s as if he knows when I need to hear a specific message and writes them just for me.  Like he was somehow the vessel that God chose (one of the many vessels) to send me a very bold and clear message.  He sent a message that didn’t mince words and didn’t beat around the bush by sugar coating things.  The subject title in this particular email was simple: Don’t let anybody define you!    

His email talked about how when he was a young boy he had so many people tell him that he would never make it, that he would never become a millionaire because he was black or because he was poor.  Among those many people there was actually a teacher and even some of his family.  I understood exactly what he was talking about because I have always been told that I would never amount to anything by the one person who is supposed to think the world of me, my mother.  

Now there are plenty of others who have said things like I dream too big, and I am never going to become successful, and I’m always going to be in a state of struggle, and basically that all of my efforts to become successful and to build my own company doing what I love to do and what I know is meant for me to do are for nothing.  I would like to say that I haven’t listened to those words of discouragement and that I responded to those negative voices in a way that Tyler Perry did, by ignoring them and doing it anyway.  But I can’t say that because I have spent the better part of my life trying to defy what I was told I couldn’t do all the while, deep down, believing in what those voices were saying.  

I have since learned to tune out those voices (for the most part anyway) but every once and a while, mostly when I have a new idea or a new way to develop and produce the ideas I already have, those voices do get deep inside my head and sometimes they even manage to convince me that they are right, but only for a little while.  When I read this message from Tyler Perry, it came after I had just finished brainstorming an idea with Ms. L. on how to bring one of my dreams on my list of accomplishments to fruition and those doubts began to creep in on whether or not I could really do this.  

I shared some brief ideas with another person that I thought could possibly help me in one area of making my idea a reality but they essentially told me every possible thing that could go wrong and that could keep me from being able to do it.  Not what I needed to hear.  I know everything that can go wrong.  I know that I am operating on little to no money most times and that my credit might not be so hot to a bank or possible investors.  So What?  

I am finally starting to realize that if I am constantly waiting for the money fairy to rain some money on my dream then I might never make it happen.  I have to have faith that it will happen, not just because it is a really good idea, but because it was what was meant for me to do.  God didn’t give me this gift for nothing and he sure doesn’t expect me to waste it.  So I’m not going to waste it.  

It’s hard to think that you have to tune out the people who are supposed to be close to you but if they can’t support me in living the life that I want to live then I don’t need to listen to words that aren’t driving me forward.  I’m done living the way everyone else thinks I should.  I can’t live the life other people would rather me live because that wasn’t the life that was meant for me.  Whose life are you living, yours or someone else’s? 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Could Reality TV Be the Next Best Marketing Strategy?

The other night Ms. L. and I were talking about reality television.  You know the usual, what train wrecks are worth watching and what is just simply too much drama even for us.  We both talked about how we are not really ‘Reality TV show watchers’ even though there were some that had managed to reel us in over a period of time.  I’ll give Ms. L. credit in the fact that she hasn’t been as reeled in as I have.  

There was a time that if the caption about the TV show said reality I would instantly turn away and wouldn’t even give it a second look.  But then I realized something that I think some people still have not caught onto yet.  Reality TV is not truly Reality.  I mean think about it, they have writers on Reality TV shows (why if the show is in fact unscripted as they try to convince us).  Not only that but there is a whole lot of editing film to make the show’s end result look just real enough to not look like most other television shows and yet still fake enough to know that this much drama could not possibly happen this often to this person.  

But the reality shows that I truly love the most are the one’s with a purpose at the end of it.  You know, the competition one’s like America’s Next Top Model, Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef, HGTV Design Star, Food Network Star, those types of shows.  However, I have been thinking a lot lately about what a Reality TV show can do for a person who might be trying to make a name for themselves and isn’t having much luck at getting their name out there.  If you think about it, these people (you know, the one’s who are at the center of all the drama) are actually smarter then we give them credit for.  

Let’s take Snookie from Jersey Shore for example.  If she ever decides to stop boozing it up and grows up (hopefully before her child gets here) and she decided that she wanted to start a new business, she doesn’t have to worry about getting her name out there, it already is.  Everyone and anyone knows who she is and like her or hate her, she has made probably millions off of the drama that she is the center of.  She could literally forge any type of career she wants all because of her stints on reality TV.  

It just makes you wonder, just how easy could it be for any one of us to make the name for ourselves that we want.  I’m in no way, shape, or form, interested in ever being a part of a reality show (not that I think anyway) but that is largely in part because I care way too much about what people think of me.  But if I had the nerve, I can’t say that it wouldn’t be a consideration.  Hell these days with the new phenomenon of web series on YouTube you could really start your own.  I mean personally I think that there are way more talented people out here then the Snookies and Kardasians of the world that could stand to make a name for themselves.  Reality could be the next new way that people can market and brand themselves and become the household name that they want to be.  Would you ever consider starting or being a part of a reality show so everyone can know your name? 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

If You Don’t Dream Big You Might As Well Not Dream At All

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” 

~Lawrence J. Peter 

I was reading a blog post by one of the bloggers I subscribe to today (Chersti Nieveen) about daring to dream.  She spoke about a conversation she had with one of her critique friends about allowing yourself to believe whatever you want for five minutes, and then accept the reality of the situation.  Basically allow yourself to dream big, as big as you wish, for five minutes, and then focus on what your reality is.  

At first I was a little confused because it seemed like if you thought about everything you wanted for yourself and then you jolted yourself back to a reality that makes those dreams seem impossible then it would feel like a big let down.  However, after thinking about her post for a while I think I realized what it was that she was trying to advise to her readers.  

If you allow yourself to imagine all that you dream to have for your life, all the things that people will tell you are just not possible, and then tune back into the reality of where things stand, it can give you some focus on what needs to be done to make those visions you had for those five minutes become a reality.  

When I took five minutes to think about what I dream of (to be honest I probably would need a little more than five minutes) it included many things but the main things are to sustain a living solely from my writing, to publish more novels, to have my articles start to appear in national magazines and newspapers, and to start my online magazine (Write 2 Be Magazine).  Allowing myself to dream of the those things as if they were already in existence gave me a clearer focus on how to better go about attaining those things.  

Sometimes I forget that it is okay to let myself think about the big bold dreams that I have for myself.  The one’s that for so long seem so impossible to ever reach.  It’s not crazy to think that you could actually make those dreams come true.  It’s not that far fetched is it?  After all, how can you ever really go after what it is you want without really admitting to yourself all of what it is that you want.  Knowing where you want to end up only enables you to focus on the path you need to take to get there.   

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

I Know It Doesn’t Seem Like I Was Productive Today…

Every day is not going to be the most productive day like I usually imagine it to be when I get out of bed in the morning.  I imagine that after I take my daughter to school, go do my workout at the gym, come home to shower and get dressed that I would be ready to load myself with a cup (or two) of coffee and get straight to work.  However, it does not always work out that way.  

A part of me becoming more focused on my goals and turning my dreams into reality is to make sure that I am more productive everyday.  Sometimes that calls for me to begin to realize that productivity does not just lie in the work that’s being done in a manner that can be always be seen.  

Even if at the end of a day I don’t have a thousand words on my novel written, or I don’t write two or three query letters to be sent out, or I haven’t started that outline for the next novel that I was supposed to start the other day, or I don’t have the most prolific words for my blog post, it doesn’t mean that work is not being done.  

A lot of times a writer’s work begins in their minds first.  An idea formulates and is planned out in extensive detail within the walls of your mind and it takes life all before you even take pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).  Research is also a big part of a writer’s world because that aspect of any project is extremely important and can not be avoided.  

So on days like today, when I start to begin beating myself up for not having a finished query letter to send off, or for not being words closer to completing my novel, I have to remind myself that it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t productive.  I do an enormous amount of my work in my head, and another large part is done in my research efforts.  I can’t allow myself to feel like I’m not getting things done just because I don’t have a finished product.  Some days my mind just needs to do the work within its walls and that’s okay.  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Proceed Without Caution

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”

~Diane Ackerman 

So I am on a mission this week to re-ignite my fire and drive to become more productive in my writing career and I came across this article by Sage Cohen on ways to harness your fear and make that fear fuel your writing.  There was a specific tip about focusing on the process instead of the results and it struck a chord with me.  I am always focused on the end result of any and everything.  I have always been a planner (at least in my adult post-motherhood days) I suppose I am overly cautious that way.  I have this need to know how things are going to turn out primarily because I just can’t stand the not knowing. 

The reality of any situation and of life really, is that there is absolutely no way of knowing how anything is going to turn out.  There’s no predetermined outcome for things (well there is but only God knows what they are), it’s just a game of wait and see.  I don’t exactly know when I became so obsessed with being cautious about everything because I never used to be that way, at least not with my writing.  My writing was always the one thing where I just wrote and whatever came of it when I was done was what became of it.  I wrote and believed that whatever I wanted to make happen with it would become a reality as long as I put in the work.  

Over the years it seemed like I put in more and more work with my writing and nothing grand (the way I dreamt it up in my mind) was happening and I just started to doubt a little bit more and believed that caution was the way to go.  The problem with that is that caution and creativity don’t really mix well together.  I somehow forgot how to just enjoy the process and deal with the results of that process when they needed to be dealt with.  Now of course results do indeed matter, but not at the expense of the sheer joy of working your way through the process.  

Writing is an extremely rewarding, healing, and invigorating process.  However, by constantly agonizing over what the results are going to be when I am done, I have somehow stopped enjoying the actual process of it.  Maybe that means I need to take a step back and just fall in love with the process again, minus all of the cautionary measures.  Old habits are hard to break but I am certainly going to try to get back to that place where I didn’t worry so much about what was on the other side of the bridge I was crossing, just so long as I made it there.  

Caution can be good sometimes on your way to any destination in life but too much apprehension for anything can hinder you from enjoying the journey you are taking to get there.  I think I just have to accept that I can’t know the end to every story, especially when I am not the author of it.  What God has planned for me is what he has planned and the only part that I can control is the lessons I take away from the process.  I think God has been trying to tell me to enjoy the journey and let him worry about where I end up.  It’s about time that I start to listen! 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

What to Do When the Investment Wasn’t Made

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.”

~Henry Ford 

Yesterday I talked about parents needing to make investments in their children’s future and I spoke about the investment that wasn’t made in me by my own mother.  Well today I wanted to speak to those out there who were not supported by the people around them.  I wanted to make clear that just because you were not given the encouragement that you should’ve been when you were starting to realize your gift’s does not mean that your gift should be lost and never developed. 

This is where we now have to remind ourselves not to dwell on what was not given to us and focus on what we have to give of ourselves.  When we are not lifted up by the ones who are supposed to be there for us then it is up to us to be driven enough to enhance our own abilities.  It is up to us to believe in ourselves enough to make our dreams come true anyway, in spite of those who told you that you couldn’t.  

Now that you are at whatever point you are in within your career and your life, you can no longer play the blame game (yes that goes for me too).  Sure there will be days when you will naturally think about what could’ve been and that’s okay for about five seconds.  But then you have to (and this is going to be the hard part to do) get over it and move on.  

If you don’t make the choice now, to do whatever it takes to sustain yourself in your career, the blame falls solely on you.  Once you reach a certain age and point in life, it is no one else’s responsibility to lift you up and help you rise to the level of success that you want but you.  There will still be people along the way that can help you but you have to put yourself in the position to be in contact with those people.  You have to make all of the tough decisions.  You have to stop procrastinating and get moving.  You have to stop complaining about what never was and create what could still be.  Make your dreams count and know that you are worth the investment.  

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Making Investments in Our Future

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.”

~Graham Greene 

I watched the Oscars last night and I thought about all of the awards shows that we as writers and artists’ watch throughout the years and all of the acceptance speeches that we hear.  It is extremely rare not to hear an actress, actor, writer, director, singer, songwriter, or visual artists’ (graphic or otherwise) thank their parents for allowing them to be who they are and for not only encouraging their gifts but for also enhancing it by being supportive of that talent.  

I started thinking about the children whose gifts and talents are not acknowledged, let alone encouraged by their parents.  All of the gifts and blessings for the world that are not being realized because there is no one there to tell them that it’s okay to dream and dream big.  I was one of those children.  

When I watch those awards shows I can’t help but to think of whether I could’ve been one of those artists accepting an award for their brilliant talents if only I had a mother that encouraged or enhanced my gifts, or at the very least, acknowledged that I had any.  I know that I’ve mentioned here before that my mother was (to put it in nice terms) not very nurturing.  She never really believed in me and to this day it still hurts.  

I do feel that when she heard me singing around the house and heard other people who didn’t have to placate me tell her that I was actually good at it, that she perhaps could have invested in some voice lessons, or piano lessons for me.  Maybe when I wrote the class poem for my eighth grade graduation and my teachers all told my her that she had a very gifted writer on her hands, she could have put me in writing workshops that they had for children (and they had them, I checked).  Or maybe when I sent a poem to a songwriting contest and received a letter saying that they wanted to turn my poem into a song, however, they needed to deal with my mother contractually (because I was still a minor), she could’ve done what she needed to do as my mother to make it into a reality.  She could have actually invested in my gifts when I was younger but she didn’t.  

While I know that I can not jet off back into time and change what never was, I am left to constantly wonder what could have been.  Most days I don’t dwell on it.  But on nights like last night when I see people accepting their awards and whose parents clearly believed in them enough for them to get where they are now, I get a little resentful (as much as I hate to admit that) towards my mother.  

But that is when I just turn that resentfulness into a persistent desire to make sure that I am different with my daughter.  I want to make sure that I encourage her creative talents, enhance her gifts by supporting and investing in them, and empower her to believe that she can do and be whatever it is that she dreams she can be.  I want her to know that I believe in her and that I know her future is worth the investment.    

If we as parents do not invest in our children’s future where are they supposed to get the idea that their future is worth investing in to begin with.  It starts with us and if we see brilliance in our children it is our job and our duty to help them develop and cultivate their gifts.  They are our future and we have to make investments, not just in the stock markets and the next big business venture (not that our own careers are not important as well), but we have to invest in them too because their future is worth it.  They are our future Grammy, Golden Globe, or even Oscar winners and we have to help them get there.  Don’t wait until tomorrow to make an investment in your child’s future, do it today!       

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

The Questions We Ask Ourselves, and God (Part 3): When Are Things Going To Change?

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” 

~Mary Engelbreit 

When you get stuck in a period of your life where nothing seems to be going the way that you think it should be you will start to question when things are going to change for you?  The answer to that is simple but we tend to make it much more complicated then it has to be.  Things will change when you make the decision to change them.  

I know how it feels to be in that place where everything is going wrong.  You think that things are going so bad that they can never get better.  You start to wonder what you did to bring this kind of ‘bad luck’ your way.  You even go over in your head things you could have done in a different way so that maybe things wouldn’t feel so impossible.  You start to contemplate whether you will come out of that bad place long enough to make your dreams a reality.  It’s a place that nobody likes to be in.  But you don’t have to stay there.    

Your attitude towards whatever your circumstances are determines the outcome of those circumstances.  If you stay insistent that nothing is going to get better, that nothing is going to change, then why would you be surprised when they don’t.  You attract what it is that you want so if you want to gain control of that situation and you want things to turn around then you have to change your mindset.  Nothing is going to change if you don’t believe that it can. 

Whatever your dreams are, it is never too late for them to come true.  You may be down but you most certainly are not out.  If you know that there are some things in your life that you need to change, all you need to do is take that step to change it.  When you take that step that is when things are going to start to change for you.  You just have to believe that they can, in fact, change.     

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

The Power of Believing

“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” 

~Frank Lloyd Wright  

I was watching The Talk earlier today and they were going around their table asking if anyone believed in psychics.  There was one woman that said she didn’t, two women who were proud to say that they do, and the other two women who said that they believed in psychics but that they would never give into that belief by actually going to see one.  I sat there watching as a person who does believe in them.  I will even admit that I actually got a reading from one a long time ago and it was pretty accurate (for the most part).  I got to thinking why it is that some people don’t believe, some people believe whole heartedly, and some believe but don’t want to give into their belief.  

The power of what you believe in can carry you through many things in life.  Just as well, the power of you not believing can carry a lot of weight too.  When it comes to your life, your goals, and your dreams, you have to believe.  No one else can believe in your dreams for you.  The question is how strong is your belief in you?  I think that people (like me) who believe in psychics, believe because they want to have a road map of how things are going to turn out.  They want to know if what they want out of life is going to become a reality.  They want someone, in this case a psychic, to give them something to believe in, some kind of assurance.  They want that psychic to give them a reason to believe.  But a psychic can’t really do the believing for you.  That’s all up to you.  

You know they say that all you need to do to make your dreams come true is to believe that they can.  No one has a magic crystal ball where they can look and tell you whether or not what you believe in will come to fruition.  There’s no way of knowing whether or not all of your hard work will pay off.  But there is power in believing.  We have to remember that no matter how hard the obstacles may seem to get or how impossible they might seem to overcome, nothing is more powerful then the belief that we have in ourselves and in our dreams.  Until tomorrow…How powerful is your belief in your dreams? 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Someone’s Always Watching You

I was told today that I was a motivating source to someone who I hadn’t even realized was paying attention to me.  This guy in the gym said that every time that he thought about staying in the bed and not dragging himself to the gym he thought about me and my hard work that I put in at the gym, and the fact that I constantly push myself to do more and to push through even when I don’t feel like it.  He said that I motivated him to push through and come to the gym even if he didn’t feel like it.  I was amazed and shocked because this was a guy who was relatively new to the gym and who I would’ve never known was paying attention to anything that I did.  As he was leaving out the door he said that you never know who might be watching so keep up the good work.  

Aside from feeling flattered I felt confused because I never saw myself as motivation for anyone but I suppose that just as there are those that might not realize how much they motivate me, I too, might be recognized by others.  As someone who is naturally an observer I notice people and their actions all the time.  I find myself continually motivated by these ambitious people (unknown to me personally) that I see striving to be successful in everything they do and who are determined to make their dreams a reality.  

I guess if I’m watching others it’s not so far fetched to think that someone could be watching me.  Hopefully someone is watching this blog, and my writing development through the internet world and recognizes that some day as well.  For whoever is watching (or should I say reading) this blog, I write articles on a multitude of topics, I edit manuscripts for a reasonable fee, I am perfectly fine with my blog being turned into a book, and I am always looking for new clients to work with.  Until tomorrow…Work hard and be diligent because you never know who might be watching you!    

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress