The Element of Control

Element of Control

I keep wondering if success has an age attached to it. If there is a certain age that if you haven’t reached a certain level of success by that time then you are doomed to be unsuccessful at everything that you attempt. Is there an expiration date on the possibility of succeeding at what you want in life?

I don’t think that I can recall a time that I didn’t have outrageous and over the top plans for my life. My goals were always (as I was constantly told by the non-believers surrounding me) beyond my physical reach. It never used to matter what other people said I couldn’t achieve because I knew different. However, at some point, when the dreams haven’t happened yet, when you reach a certain point in life, a certain age, you start to wonder (or at least I did) if I haven’t achieved everything I wanted to by now, then isn’t it too late.

I realize that I cannot control when it is that my plans start to fall into place. I can’t help the obstacles that are bound to get in my way as I struggle to get to where it is that I want to be. What I can control is my thinking and my actions.

As you all know, my actions lately haven’t been up to par for a person who wants to achieve big things in their life, largely in part to letting the setbacks, failures, and the feelings of defeat, get the better of me. I wish I could say it’s as simple as me allowing myself to fall into a state of depression but for anyone who suffers with frequent bouts of depression you already know that it doesn’t work quite that way.

While I may not have been able to control the feeling of depression that came over me I sometimes wonder if I could’ve somehow kept it from completely taking over and not just wallowed in it instead of doing everything I could to pull myself out of it. Now that I am finally starting to feel things shift and turn around I notice I am starting to get my drive back and my creativity is beginning to flow again.

I realize that while there are many things that I have to accept are beyond my control and that I just have to let go of, there are still some important aspects of my plans for the future that I can control. I am working on my projects again and I am not giving up on my dreams and my journey to success. I know I’m not getting any younger but as far as I know, success can come at any time as long as I keep pushing and moving forward and that’s exactly what I intend to do.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on July 1, 2015 at 12:44 PM  Comments (1)  
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Trying to Get Unblocked

Trying to get Unblocked

It’s been a long time since I’ve really written anything, well posted anything here at least. I don’t know why I’ve been so blocked lately but I just know that I have not been the writer that I have envisioned myself being. It was certainly not for the lack of ideas, nor the lack of wanting to just sit down and write.

I even made the excuse that for over half of the time that I haven’t written anything was due to the fact that my computer that I had died and I was unable to write anything but when someone got me the early birthday gift of another laptop there was no other technical excuse.

Every time I would sit down to write I would just be suddenly stricken with this intense creative blockage and nothing would come to mind and certainly nothing came out of my fingertips onto the page. I have been documenting the ideas that I’ve had for the last several months but it didn’t help with the blockage. I actually almost talked myself out of writing this blog post today because I was afraid that if I sat down at this keyboard, once again, nothing would come out.

Even though this is not exactly the eloquent blog post I would’ve liked to have written for you today, I guess I have to take comfort in the fact that it is a step in the right direction. I hope that I can get back into the swing of things as far as my writing is concerned because I have way too many things to get accomplished to continue allowing this blockage to get the better of me. Particularly since I’ve been creatively blocked somehow for the better part of this year.

I have half a year’s worth of plans to catch up on and I know I need to get my act together and push past this blockage. I’m crossing my fingers that I can just jump back into this whirlwind of these goals I have for my writing career. So here goes everything!!!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on June 2, 2015 at 12:47 PM  Comments (1)  
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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

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Success Is An Action Word

Success is an action word

So I’ve been thinking a lot lately, not only about what I want to get accomplished in the coming year of 2015, but also about all of the things that I ddin’t get accomplished in 2014. I know that you can not dweel too long on the past and mistakes that were made and I try not to but when I think of how many opportunities and time I let go by without achieving all that I had set out to this year I feel slightly disgusted with myself. It wasn’t even the fact that there was a lack of ideas or even motivation to get them done. It’s simply that there was much more procrastination and fear and not nearly enough action.

I am taking steps to try to put an end to the need to procrastinate and to put some extra motivation into my drive to get the things I want accomplished for my brand completed. I’m starting with taking some steps into getting myself a business/book coach. Someone who can help steer me in the right direction, to correct whatever it is that I am not doing right, and to give me that nudge that I definitely need and hold me accountable to what I say I am going to do. A coach will also help me with my issues in regards to focus because I tend to think of a million ideas at once and actually believe that I can multi-task and work on all of them at the same time but in reality that puts me in the position where I actually get little to nothing done.

I’m trying to map out my plans for the year 2015 and I don’t want to get overwhelmed with the actual process of mapping out my goals that I don’t actually even sit and write them down (which is the point I’m getting to now). I do this at the end of every year, sit down and list my goals and plans to attain those goals, and the task has never been so hard and so daunting, but as I think of how much time I have wasted not putting enough action into my plan for success it fills me with a sense of urgency to cram the last few years of unaccomplishments into one. I know that I don’t have to do that but I feel like time is something that none of us is sure just how much of it we have left to fulfill our dreams.

I have said it before and I am probably going to keep on saying it until it actually proves to be true but this year is going to be the year I get things on track and going in the direction it is meant to go in. Success is not just something you strive for with planning out what you want. With a plan there has to be action to follow, a lot of action, and you can not allow procrastination to settle in because it is hard to get rid of. So how are your plans for the coming year shaping up? Are you prepared for the amount of action it will take to achieve them?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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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

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Fear Will Not Defeat Me

Fear will not defeat me 2

I admittedly was a tad bit naïve to think that this going back to basics challenge was going to allow me to somehow negate the usage of the computer completely. Obviously my research is done using the computer, my social media marketing is done with the use of the computer, and of course eventually even what I write on paper has to be typed up on the computer at some point, perfect example, this blog post. I know my plan was to go paperless for the month but I can’t get away from the computer at all. However, I have been writing more using my paper and pen and writing out ideas and plans and it was has been more than I have worked on in a while.

I am discovering things that maybe subconsciously I already realized but just didn’t want to admit to. I always knew I struggled with my fear. It can be quite paralyzing at times. And while I also knew that confidence was another issue of mine, I didn’t even factor in courage into this journey of mine and whether I have enough of it to reach my destiny. I have always said that I may not be confident in myself in regards to anything else but when it came to writing, I was confident in my ability to write.

What I realize now is that this was a lie I was telling to myself. If in fact I was as confident in my ability to write as I have always claimed to be then why do I always stop short of submitting my work and putting my work out there? As I am finding my creative spark again and having a bit of a creative breakthrough I am getting real with myself and the fact that I have to just let go of all of this fear and embrace some courage and confidence. The courage to put my work out there to as many people as humanly possible, and confidence in the fact that although everyone may not love my work, my writing is still good enough.

I have been defeated by so many people and so many things and I think that all of the defeats stacking up really started getting to me and took the fear that I’ve always had and elevated it to the level of being paralyzed by it. Most of all I am realizing that what I have been defeated by most of all is myself and my own negative thoughts swirling around inside my head. So I am going to let the fear go (it will not happen overnight) and just trust in the talent that God instilled in me and trust the purpose that he gave me and embrace everything that lies in store for the journey to my dreams, good or bad.

Yes I included the bad because I know that without the obstacles that are thrown at you along the way you may never know and tap into just how strong you really are. You can’t have a testimony to share with the world without first being tested. I am tired of letting the fear of these obstacles put me in a state of perpetual stillness and I am ready to get moving towards my destiny. I hope that none of you are stuck standing still but if you are, let’s get moving together.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on September 10, 2014 at 3:51 PM  Leave a Comment  
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What Are You Waiting For

What are you waiting for

I saw this wonderful message that was shared through Cyrus Webb’s Facebook page by Shari Alyse about waiting for things to happen in life. It made me think about how I seem to always find myself waiting for that right moment; the right moment to start my business, the right moment to publish my next book, the right moment to launch the next avenue of my business, the right moment to take my magazine into print form bi-monthly.

I realize that I could have accomplished so many things by now if I weren’t waiting for the right time to do something. We don’t get another life to live, we only have this one, and we can either spend it living or waiting for the perfect lives that we want so we can start living that perfect life. The truth is, there is no perfect life, no perfect time, no perfect situation, no perfect scenario and trying to wait until that perfect moment is just going to waste valuable time.

I’m guilty of being a perfectionist and wanting to wait until everything is aligned just right before I even start the process of trying to accomplish a task and I truly feel like that is the reason why I haven’t managed to get half of the things that I wanted done. If we want to live our best possible life then we have to do exactly that, live it. Sitting around and waiting for something to happen or for something to be right in our eyes is not living your life. It is watching everyone else around you live theirs while you’re still sitting there expecting that perfect sign to show up and let you know that you can go get started now.

What are we losing out on when we are waiting for perfect? We are missing the moment that is here now. So in your daily struggle to achieve what’s on your to-do list for this week, or this month, or this year (well the rest of this year), try not to think so much about that perfect moment that may never come. Just start where you are, right now, right in this moment!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on August 5, 2014 at 1:01 PM  Leave a Comment  
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With a Sense of Urgency

create a sense of urgency

There is nothing like doing work for someone else’s dream, or someone else’s project that will motivate you to get back to tackling yours. In the most recent couple of weeks I have been working on another project that did not allow for me to consistently work on my own projects for that time period. Now what’s funny was that while my projects are very important to me and the need to get them accomplished is great, the sense of urgency did not present itself until I was unable to work on them.

It is funny what becomes urgent and even more important when the ability to do them is not there. I looked at the stacks of work pertaining to my project and longed to jump to work on them but was mindful that in order to finish the task that I had before me, I could not. I looked at my desk and thought of the hundred or so different ways to reorganize it and clear the present clutter from the top of it in order to be more efficient about getting my work done when the opportunity was restored to me. I had so many ideas of what to do with this character and that character once I was able to return to working on my novel(s).

It’s ironic how when we have the time (some of us anyway) for our own work to get accomplished we waste that time on things that in the end don’t really matter to us, television shows that could be recorded and watched another time, outings that are not in line with our goals, or even people who do not get our dream and just how important it is. When that time, that choice is taken out of our hands suddenly everything that we should’ve been focused on becomes so much more important and then we reflect on that wasted time and beat ourselves up for wasting it.

I have wasted quite a bit of time this year, I’ll admit, on things that were just procrastination tactics and ways to keep myself from enduring the worst case scenarios (which I will talk about in my post tomorrow) when in reality, in avoiding the worst case scenario, an even more negative thing happened. So now that the project has concluded, I am going to stop wasting that time and get back to this blog (which I’ve missed so much) and back to finishing my novel(s) and my ebook. Oh and I guess cleaning off my desk wouldn’t be a terrible thing to do either. Well it’s good to be back and remember to plan your time wisely and don’t waste it on things that don’t matter as much to you as your dream does. No one is going to make your dreams come true for you.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on July 21, 2014 at 4:17 PM  Leave a Comment  
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What Does the Term “Being A Real Writer” Mean Anyway?

Are you a real writer

Some days I wonder, if I don’t write that day does it make me any less of a writer?  There are those that will tell you that you must write every single day, whether it be one page, one paragraph, or even just one sentence.  For years I felt that the periods of time when I was blocked and when I wasn’t able to write anything (not anything of any merit at least) that I was no longer able to consider myself a real writer.  There was even a period of time, after having my first novel published, that I felt that because it didn’t do well that I wasn’t really a writer.

I often forget about the poetry book that I self-published and don’t even count that, although I should, just because at the time I didn’t really possess the tools that I needed to really be able to promote myself and my work.  So throughout the years I have discounted my work (some of it anyway), and I have considered the times where I slacked off a bit as days when I wasn’t to be considered as a real writer.  But who is to determine what a real writer is except for the writer themselves.

There’s this line in the movie Sister Act 2 where she told the young lady if you wake up every day and all you can think about doing is singing, then you are supposed to be singer.  The same holds true for any chosen profession including writing.  That is all that I think about.  My craft, how I can make my writing better, how I can promote my writing and myself better, what I want my writing and my media company to be able to do for people throughout the world, what I want my words to be able to change, what story comes next, what project comes next, what I want in the bookstore/lounge that I will one day open.

Writing, many different capacities of writing, is what I eat, sleep, and breathe on a daily basis.  Even if I’m not writing I am writing because I am thinking up a story in my head, a new idea for a stage play that I want to write and produce, lyrics to a song that I want to record, articles for my magazine that I might write or want to publish within my magazine, novels that I want to be turned into screenplays someday.  I write in my head a lot so even when it appears that I am not writing, I am in fact writing.

So should someone say to me that because I don’t put words to paper, or type words on a computer, on a daily basis, that I am not a real writer.  Because I get to do what I love to do from the comfort of my own home and make a living at it (as unsteady as it may be right now), does that make me any less of a writer?  I think you are what you say you are, and even more importantly, what you prove you are and what lives in your heart.

So if there are some of you who may be experiencing writer’s block of some sort, or even if you are feeling guilty because you don’t write every single day, stop feeling guilty.  There are no set rules for the profession of writing.  No proven way that it works for every single writer.  What works for you is what works for you and you should never let anyone else tell you that your way is wrong.  It may very well be wrong for that person, but your career path is not theirs.  So write in whatever fashion that you write in, in whatever time frame that you write in, without guilt and without pause.  It’s your journey to travel however you see fit.  Be blessed and carve out your own writer’s path!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on March 12, 2014 at 8:16 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Can I Really Fit In Reading A Good Book?

lost in a book 2

If being a good reader is what goes into making someone a better writer then I must confess that I am not the writer that I think I am.  Let me just say that I love to read, so much so that when I don’t get a chance to it hurts my heart just a little bit more with each opportunity that slips through my fingers.

After all, reading is what made me want to be a writer in the first place and it is what allowed me to enhance my abilities as a writer, learning more about crafting words, and the proper structure of them, what having the write setting and time period can do to enhance a book.  I read about how important small details are to a book and how to get more in touch with my characters and who they were really portraying.  With reading I even got to learn about certain things that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about and about places that I have always dreamt of going but that are not a guaranteed staple of my journey.

Having said all of that, lately, in the last few years I have not been the best reader that I can be.  That last two years it seems as though I have not read at all (unless you count the fact that it took me almost a whole year to finish one book) and it saddens me.  It is not because I don’t still have the desire to always have a book in my hand and take it with me wherever I go.  It is because once you really thrusts yourself into being a writer, both the creative and the business sides of it, it seems like the time to read is minimal at best.

I feel like I can’t even balance the time to write and market my business, along with taking care of my daughter and making memories with her, so by the time I sit down to read anything I am so tired that I end up in the same place I started with the bookmark lying somewhere on the floor and the pages bent because I have tossed and turned all over my book.

You see it’s not as if I never make the attempt and even squeeze in what I think will be just enough time to read a chapter before I try and get some sleep.  Mind you, that I wake up most mornings at 6am and don’t usually make it to bed until 2am (sometimes later) so I am operating daily on four hours of sleep. Example, I started the book I am currently reading in January with the New Year.  At the most it should have only taken me a month to finish it (used to be less) but here it is March and I am still just halfway through.  So does the fact that I can’t seem to squeeze in reading to my already filled up schedule mean that I am not as good of a writer as I once was?  I sure hope not.

This is a reminder to all of you out there, find the time to read if you’re not already doing it.  It will not only make you a better writer overall, but a better editor for those novels you have to edit, and just a better storyteller in general.  Take it from someone who can’t seem to fit in a good book and who is desperately trying to find the balance so that I can, read almost as much as you write.  It will make a world of a difference.  Stay curious and stay captivating!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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