There’s No Lid on the Box that is Your Comfort Zone

No lid on the box

So let’s talk about our comfort zones! No one understands needing to have a routine more than I do. I am that person that annoyingly has to have a plan, a plan to map out the plan, and have all of the plans organized in a very particular way (I also have OCD issues but that’s a story for another blog post). I don’t say this as if I believe this to necessarily be a great thing, but rather, it is one of my many flaws that I wish I could do away with.

Obviously it’s good to have some organization when you are prioritizing your goals. However, sometimes I feel hindered by my obsessive need to over-plan and excessively organize things. It’s all done in an effort to stay within my comfort zone and admittedly it has held me back from doing a lot of things and it has in many ways perpetuated the fear that I’ve always carried along with me for most of my adult life.

My fear has stopped me so many times from taking chances and seizing opportunities but that need to remain in my comfort zone and sticking with my routine has only enhanced those fears. I suppose you could say that I had found a sense of security within my comfort zone and that being safe was far more enticing than living in the unknown realities of what it means to take risks.

I don’t advocate to anyone that they stay inside the box that they’ve created for themselves. I have been trying to get out of my own box for many years now but there’s always that invisible lid that I imagine will hit me on the head and knock me back down. I have been diligently working to change that about myself and I’m going to be open and welcoming to all opportunities that may come my way. If you haven’t already, start knocking down those walls of comfort that have been surrounding you. The only lid that is on the box that you have confined yourself to is the lid that you imagined is real.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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5 Things to Help Me Become a Better Writer

5 things become a better writer

I read an article the other day on Writer’s Relief detailing five things that a writer can do this week to become a better writer. It was a very interesting read and got me thinking about my own improvement that needs to be done as a writer. I believe that I am a very good writer (at least I hope so) and that I have a lot to offer the literary world but I am not naïve or bold enough in my confidence to think that there isn’t always some way that I can become even better. In fact I think that I can stand to get a lot better, if in no other area but the sheer discipline of writing.

My routine has suffered dramatically in the last few years, due to many things, one of them being overcome with deep depression. I am trying to get back to some normalcy of a routine as far as writing because I know if I don’t produce work then I might as well not call myself a writer. In reading this article, I didn’t necessarily feel that all of the points could be applied to me personally but I did write out the five things that I feel I could do to make me become better at my craft.

1)      Pledge to write at least 15 minutes every day. (Seems easy enough but harder than one might think)

2)      Divide each project to having their own separate time to be worked on instead of trying to work on several different points of each    project at the same time (Multi-tasking)

3)      Take one day a week to focus on the social media marketing/networking aspect of my writing business. (obviously marketing needs to be continuous but I need to at least devote 1 day to the planning of how that marketing needs to go)

4)      Take one day to specifically dedicate towards submitting pitches and articles and querying agents and local publications. (Again needs to be ongoing but one day to make sure to get those submissions out there)

5)      Take one day specifically for reading and researching. (Reading is so important to the craft of writing and I need to make sure I don’t neglect that)

I think these are the things that I really struggle with maintaining as a writer so I am going to be working on these things. A personal thing I want to work on that’s not on this list is a health thing that I think would work in favor of my writing career as well. I need to make sure to get the proper amount of sleep because I haven’t been and my level of energy has diminished which is affecting my rate of production.

As writers we tend to keep late hours, often times even pulling all-nighters, and sometimes don’t realize the long term damage all of those late nights can do to our energy levels, and health overall. So writers take some time this week and think of at least five things you can be doing differently to improve your craft and the amount of writing you produce. If you have any suggestions please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Take care of yourself and take care of your craft!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Published in: on April 22, 2014 at 3:42 PM  Comments (1)  
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What’s Your Habit?

Habits

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Published in: on March 20, 2014 at 6:14 PM  Leave a Comment  
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NaNoWriMo Day # 17: Breaking the Routine, Just For One Day

Saturday’s are a hard day to keep up with your writing routine for NaNoWriMo.  You have so many other things to do on these two little days of the weekend to make up for all that you don’t get done during the week when you’re working and being super-mom (or dad) and cramming in your writing of your novel.  It’s not completely out of the ordinary for you to want to take a day away from NaNoWriMo.  

Although I strongly suggest that you find a way to write every day of this month (even if it is only a paragraph), there is nothing worse then forcing something that just isn’t there.  It isn’t good for your creativity, it isn’t good for story and your characters, and it isn’t good for your sanity.  

If you absolutely need a break from your story and all things NaNoWriMo, it will not completely hurt anything to miss one day.  After all, you can always make it up in the days to come.  Either you can double your word count the next day or you can split up the words you missed and add them into the next few days.  

If you are going to plan on missing one of your days I would actually suggest that it be on Thanksgiving because it’s going to be a hectic day and sometimes it pays to have one less thing to worry about doing on a holiday.   

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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