Battle Tested… Still a Work In Progress

I was talking to someone the other night about the battles that we face and how sometimes I feel like I just want to throw in the towel, throw my hands up, and say to hell with everything. Now of course logically, I’m not going to do that because, shit, I’ve got goals and no matter how much I want to give up sometimes I have not ever been, nor will I ever be a quitter. When I get knocked down I may sulk a little bit, and I may even wallow slightly longer than is acceptable, but I do eventually get back up and prepare myself once again for the next battle. Now in the conversation that I was having the other day we were talking about the saying that says God gives the toughest battles to his strongest soldiers and we both reveled in the realization that God must have some really big things in store for us because we have been going through some tough battles lately.

This year has been a nightmare and I have been struggling. I’m in such a financial free fall right now and I am trying to maintain a positive outlook but it is hard. I came dangerously close to eviction the other day and while I have lined up a couple of clients for the next few weeks it’s still not going to be enough to stabilize things just yet and I am sinking. I was supposed to have some books out by now but my self-publishing efforts, as you might imagine given my current financial state, have kind of fallen to the back burner because I have to focus on keeping a roof over me and my daughter’s head. I do have a few things lined up so there is some comfort in that but it’s not enough to stabilize things just yet.

Okay I started going off course there for a moment. The point of this post was to highlight something I got when I watched a sermon from Bishop TD Jakes about fighting your Goliath’s (battles), and that is that no matter what the battle is that you might be facing right now, you should not allow it to discourage you. Your battle was not given to you to discourage you. It was given to you to empower you. Your battle was given to you to reveal who you really are, who you truly are and all of the power that you have inside of you, and all of the purpose that you have been given.

If you are feeling low at the moment, if your battle is getting too hard for you to fight, know that even if you are down you are not out. God is with you. God has already given you the strength to handle whatever it is that comes your way. You only need to believe in yourself and in the power that God has given you within. Until next time… #BeEmpowered #BeVictorious

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

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

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv 

https://twitter.com/write2bemag 

Trying to Strike the Right Balance

striking balance 2

So I’ve been working really hard on getting my online magazine back on track after taking one too many breaks last year and also working on the self-publishing process for my novel that I’ll be releasing soon (pushing back the date to be announced soon) and I am longing to work on my current novel that I have in progress. The last time I worked on it was the end of last year. I know what you’re going to say. Can’t I just work on the novel while I’m simultaneously working on the magazine and self publishing my first two books? The simple answer would be yes but the more long drawn out answer is yes but I shouldn’t because knowing myself the way that I do I will get more and more focused on the current novel and lose focus on the process of getting these first two books out and that can not happen.

I am generally pretty good at multi-tasking but as most of you writers know when you get lost in a story sometimes it can be hard to swap in and out of it to other projects and it would be different if these two books that I’m self-publishing weren’t so long overdo. I am working really hard on trying to hone my focus on the right projects in the right time period but I can’t deny that I miss my writing routine and my story (which is the second book in my new mystery series that I’m writing). I think that once I can get these two books out there into the world I would better be able to handle the multi-tasking of publishing one book while writing another because I will be more accustomed to the self-publishing process and able to (hopefully anyway) move through that process more fluidly so it won’t be such a distraction to write a novel simultaneously.

I think that because this is the very first experience I’m having with self-publishing that it needs my full focus (well most of it anyway) because I still have a lot to learn when it comes to this process. I will share with you guys when the final date for the release of my novel will be (I know it was supposed to be March 1st but—cover issues) and I hope that you will support me on my journey (by buying the book) and for anyone out there who has vast experience in self-publishing, if you have any tips or wise words you want to share, please leave a comment and share your advice with me. I could use all the help I could get because this process is quite overwhelming and a bit more than I anticipated but I know that the reward will be well worth it!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/ 

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

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

https://www.facebook.com/confessionsoftheunpleasantlyplump

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv 

https://twitter.com/write2bemag 

Accountability Measures

Accountability Measures

So I have said this year was going to be the year that I stopped making excuses for why I couldn’t do something. I acknowledge that I can’t just say an automatic yes to every single little thing but that doesn’t mean that I can’t make a substitute solution so that I can still stay on the right path to my end goals. For instance, one of my main goals this year is to stop waiting for a traditional publisher or an agent to say yes to my books and say yes to them myself by self-publishing them with the ISBN #’s I’ve been sitting on for literally over five years now. So I know that my budget is going to be an issue. To say that it is tight would be a gross understatement, but to get around the issue that I can’t exactly afford a professional book cover, I am going to use a special graphic program (as professional as I can get it) and learn how to do one myself (and if you knew how challenged I am in the area of technology you would understand what a huge deal that is for me lol). So my no excuses rule means I can’t focus on the lack of money to get a professional book cover, I just have to make a way to do one on my own.

Now there are some other things that I have been making excuses for and I realize that I am going to actually need to set some deadlines. Deadlines are what keeps people who second-guess themselves at every turn and can what if their way right out of an opportunity, people like me, held accountable for actually following through. I am supposed to start back at a hobby that I love and had to stop because I had gotten injured. I was supposed to had gotten back to it last year but I was feeling a little scared that I would re-injure myself. I told someone that I would finally get back to it this year but I left it open ended with no actual set time. It gave me a way out of it by not having an actual time pinpointed. That same person made me pick a date the other day and now that I have that date in my mind (it’s March 5th by the way), now I feel obligated to stick to it. I don’t have any excuses right?

So with my book, that’s supposed to release soon (I know, very vague right lol) I had made the commitment to publish a book but I just didn’t say when. I suppose I did that as some sort of safety net just in case something went wrong with the whole process. With no deadline, I wouldn’t have to explain to anyone else why it didn’t happen. But that pretty cowardice right? So I’m setting a deadline hear and now that the re-release of my book, The Diary: Succession of Lies, is going to be released on March 1st, 2019. So you heard it hear first and now I have to no choice but to do it because I have no excuses! So deadlines are the thing now! It’s what I need to hold myself accountable—my new accountability measure if you will! Do deadlines work for you? Let me know how deadlines have helped you in your life?

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/ 

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

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

https://www.facebook.com/confessionsoftheunpleasantlyplump

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv 

https://twitter.com/write2bemag 

 

Dreams Don’t Die, They Simply Change, and That’s Okay

dreams don't die 1

One of my first childhood dreams for my future was when I was somewhere between eight and nine and just knew that I was going to be a New York Time’s Best Selling Author by the age of thirty. Needless to say that has not yet come true and I am almost forty. I spent a lot of time last year continuing work on my novels all while submitting other novels to various agents. I got a rejection letter from almost all of them (some still haven’t responded yet, which I suppose is a response in itself) but they weren’t the regular form rejection letters. They were all nice and complimentary of how well my writing is and how the story sounded intriguing yet it was not particularly what they were looking for. There were a few who even made some suggestions of certain areas of the story in which to make it a little stronger but still making sure to let me know that they thought I had great potential of getting traditionally published down the road.

I suppose that the fact that they didn’t send back something generic and formal and actually took time out of their already busy schedules to personalize my rejection a little more means something but in the end a rejection is still just that. I’m not going to lie, I was beginning to doubt myself and my writing ability just a little bit but then I decided that this year was going to be the year of no excuses and I was not going to let someone else’s approval stop me from putting my work out there. Truthfully, that I’m not further along in my career as a published novelist (and not just someone with about four or five novels just sitting completed on a flash drive) is my own fault.

My first time being published was back in 2010, and it was by a small publishing house, and if I look back now I honestly wasn’t ready for the business part of being a published novelist. I was also a little too excited and a little too naïve in thinking that this small publishing house would do the same things as a traditional publishing house, in terms of marketing and publicity. I wasn’t really knowledgeable about social media and how best to use it to market myself and when it came to promoting my own book, well I tended to shy away from putting myself out there. I know more about social media now as opposed to what I knew then and I think I am more ready now then I was then to be published.

You know they say be careful what you ask for because you just might get it and in terms of receiving something that you’re simply not ready for yet, that saying couldn’t be more true. I used to tell people that I regretted my first experience with publishing because I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t know what I had gotten into when I signed with that small publishing house. It wasn’t a very successful experience and I had expected to just be able to write and let someone else handle the rest. That was misguided thinking but now those lessons that that experience taught me are priceless.

Now, because of that experience, as I get ready to reenter the arena as a published author by publishing my own work, I understand all of the work that the process will entail and while I am not yet a marketing or social media genius, I am substantially better at it then I was then and what I don’t know or understand I am prepared to research and learn. I was smart enough then to make sure that I got my rights back to my novel that was published back then in a reasonable time and I plan on republishing that novel (possibly renaming it what I wanted to name it to begin with) because I still believe in the story that lied within those pages.

We tend to waste time trying to control things that are not within our control instead of focusing on what is. We do ourselves a great disservice when we hold onto the notion that we can somehow go back and change the mistakes that we made before. Sometimes we have to learn how to let go of the dream that we started out with and grab on to the dream that has bloomed where the old one once was. Now I’m not saying that I don’t still desire to be published with a traditional publishing house but this is the year of no excuses right, so to waste time waiting for that to happen when I have ISBN #’s waiting to be used for my own novels would be pointless. The things I dreamed for myself ten or fifteen years ago aren’t really gone, they’ve just morphed into newer, bolder dreams that require me to have the courage to let what once was go and grab onto what can be now. Are you ready to let go of the dreams that didn’t survive your past and grab onto the dreams of your future?

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/ 

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

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

https://www.facebook.com/confessionsoftheunpleasantlyplump

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv 

https://twitter.com/write2bemag