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

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Note to Self

I have been seeing a lot of Facebook posts and news stories about people making notes to their younger selves, asking what they would warn their younger selves about if they could.  It got me to thinking about what I would say to the younger version of me if I could somehow warn her or prepare her for the journey she will have to endure to get where it is she wants to go.  I would definitely clue her in on the difficulty that she would have along the way.

If I could go back and talk to my younger self I think that I would start by telling her that her childhood and how her mother treated her did not have to be a defining factor for how her life would end up.  I would tell her that while she didn’t get the love and support from her mother that she deserved and longed for, that she was still worthy of being loved and deserving of being supported in all her endeavors.  I would tell her that her mother was wrong about her never having anyone that would love her or care deeply about her and that she was wrong about her not having a good future.

I think I would make sure to tell her that if no one else ever told her that she was beautiful that she needed to look in that mirror every day and let herself know that she was because in the end her opinion and God’s were the only two that mattered.  I probably would tell her that she was a unique and special person and unlike any other and that she needed to carry the knowledge of that with her throughout her journey because there will be people who will make her feel like her uniqueness is somehow wrong.

I would tell my younger self to not waste so much time planning everything out and trying to force everything to go by a specific routine because the best things in her life are going to be unplanned.  I would tell her that her plans for her life are nothing compared to the plans that God has for her so don’t get too upset when what she planned didn’t pan out.  I would tell her that her journey is going to be full of hurdles and obstacles along the way that even though these obstacles seem like signs for you to give up, they’re just the opposite.  I would let her know the that the harder the struggle the more rewarding the payoff will be.

I would open her eyes to the reality that the things that she wants out of life are not just going to happen just like that and that life is going to throw more curveballs than she believes she can handle.  Then I would tell her how strong she is to have already survived the childhood that she has been through and that that is only the beginning of her story.  I will get it through to her that she cannot live in her past pain because if she does she will never experience the joy she has yet to come.

When I was younger I was so in fantasy land about how my life was supposed to turn out.  I thought that if I just set a plan in motion that everything would work out EXACTLY the way that I said they would.  I made no room in my plans for error and mistakes.  I made no allowances for curveballs and mountains that would be placed directly in my path.  I gave no thought to the fact that my plans were not as big as God’s plans for me and the fact that God’s plans, whatever they are, were always going to prevail.  So I guess the most important thing I would have to say I would tell my younger self is to enjoy life, enjoy the journey, embrace the struggle, and to just let go and LET GOD!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

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Write 2 Be Media Writing, Editing, and Social Media Marketing Services

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Let us show you how valuable our professional writing, editing, and social media marketing services will be to you and your business.

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Write 2 Be Media Writing Services…your source for professional & quality writing, editing, and social media marketing.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://twitter.com/write2bemag

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

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Weekend Motivation

get things done

I will admit that I have not been as productive as I would like to be lately. I could have been doing so much work that I haven’t been getting accomplished. I could blame it on this Master’s program that I am finishing up which is draining a lot more out of me than I had anticipated it would. I could blame it on the fact that I have been feeling more blocked lately. I could accurately blame it on trying to be an active and aware mother who pours so much of her focus into her child that she sometimes forgets about herself (which is actually truer than I would like it to be).

But won’t do that, I won’t blame things or circumstances in which I have control over. Truthfully I just haven’t been effective at carving out the time for what I should have never let myself lose time doing. So this weekend I will be planning certain projects and figuring out a way to schedule the things that I need to get accomplished. What are your weekend goals?

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

There are new things to be found in Write 2 Be Magazine so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/. Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine. Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.

Are You Nurturing Your Writing Craft?

nurture the gift

So I’ve been sitting here thinking about all of the novels that I have started and not finished in the past.  I love when I go back and read something that I’ve written and I start to think “I wrote this” in amazement that it actually reads like something other than mess that I thought it would read like.  But there are the works that I have almost, but never completed that I will read over again and see that the person that wrote that specific piece of writing definitely needed some work and to study her craft.

Over the years I have done just that.  I have picked up and read any book that I could get my hands on about specific genres that I wanted to learn about writing, or books on technique and point of view.  There are so many ways that I feel I can nurture my craft and make myself an even better, and a more confident writer.  I consider my writing to always be a work in progress.  I think that when you are a writer, you are never really finished learning when it comes to your craft.  I wanted to share with you some ways that you can work on nurturing your craft as a writer.

1)      Of course read books on your craft or the craft that you want to direct yourself towards writing.  Whether it is mystery, young adult, science fiction, suspense, drama, or even plays, study it.

2)      Make sure to read the kinds of books that you are trying to write.  If you want to be a mystery writer, then read as many mystery books as you can get your hands on.  If you want to write young adult novels then read plenty of young adult books.  No matter what you do, just read!

3)      Research other writers.  Not just their writing, but research their lives, their philosophies, their values.  Research how they achieved and maintained their success.

4)      Attend writing conferences and workshops to learn things about your craft from a different perspective.  There is only so much that you can learn from a book without visibly seeing someone who has put these techniques into practice.

5)      Pay attention to the work that is being produced that is along the lines of what you want to do.  If writing movies is your thing, watch the movies that inspire you and that have made you want to write films in the first place.  If it is plays, then go see as many plays as you can feasibly manage to go and see.  You have to be able to see that what you want to create is possible and a reality that you can make happen if you want to badly enough.

Writing, despite what some people might think, is something that is not easy to do.  It’s not as if you can just pick up a pen (or open up a computer) and just start writing seamlessly.  It takes research, and preparation, and a lot of time and writing is certainly not for people who want to make a quick dollar (that’s not to say that you can’t make money writing).

It is easy to get comfortable within our writing and our own style of writing and sometimes we forget that to grow we have to keep nurturing our skills as a writer, keep sharpening them, so to speak.  You don’t want to get stuck writing the same thing every time you work on a new project.  You don’t want readers to read book after book of yours and start to think that your writing is predictable and like they are reading the same type of book every time they pick yours up.  Don’t stay in that comfortable spot within your writing.

 

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

 

Write 2 Be Magazine is now out so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/.  Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine.  Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.

6 Ways to Get More Organized in Your Writing Habits and Increase Productivity

organized writer_1

Sometimes it’s hard to get your writing habits in check and maintain some discipline when it comes to working on your project(s).  I am working on implementing some ways to get more organized in my writing that I wanted to share with you guys today because I know that this is something that a lot of writers struggle with.  In particular writers who have not yet found their groove, so to speak.

I do have to admit that I have yet to master a couple of these (at least not for extended period of time) and I am still working on some of these suggestions myself.  However, I thought that we writers all need to stick together so I hope that some of these suggestions can not only be good for me but that they can help some of you out there as well.

  1. Hold Regular Meetings with Yourself—Your writing is a business and you are the CEO of that business.  You may not have the office, with the proper support staff (or you may) but you still have to hold the meetings and check in with yourself on where you are in reaching those goals that you are hopefully setting periodically.  They can be weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly, but they do need to happen.
  2. Work on Multi-Tasking with Your Writing Projects— It used to be frowned upon to work on more than one project at a time.  It was looked at as if you were throwing in the towel on the one project just to go start (and probably not finish) another one.  However, times have changed and sometime when the inspiration is going dry on one project, rather than continuing at something that isn’t working in that moment, there is no reason to let the other ideas that might be filling up your brain (and your notepad) go to waste.  Start another project and perhaps getting fired up for the new project can reignite some old inspiration for the other one.
  3. Prepare Your Writing Projects in Detail— Another way to not get stuck in that “how do I start this” rut or that “I’ve got one chapter down but I don’t know where else to go with this” dilemma, is to outline your project or at least jot down the important story plots that you want to cover within your book.  Having a guide map of where to go in your story doesn’t mean that you have to absolutely stick to that guide but it does help you to not get stuck wondering what will come next in the story and it will keep you from having to backtrack and try to recount minor details that you’ve already written when you forget what they are because chances are your readers will know when one detail doesn’t match the other.
  4. Evaluate All of Your Time Wasters— You don’t have to give up all of your T.V. time, and you don’t have to never see another movie again but you do have to make your writing time matter more than that television show that you think you just can’t miss.  Most people have cable now, and with that they typically have a DVR, so record the T.V. shows that you can’t miss and watch them later in your down time.  But your writing time is precious and should not have to compete with the T.V. or the internet, or that phone call that you know you can make later. Don’t let your writing time go to waste.
  5. Keep All of Your Eggs in Their Own Baskets— Now while it is perfectly okay to work on multiple projects at a time (not too many though) you do want to make sure that you don’t blur the lines between the projects.  You can’t work on two projects at the exact same time period because the back and forth between the two projects would drive you crazy.  Set a time to work on each project individually and separate from the others. (For example, in the morning time you work on project A, a little time in the afternoon for project B, and if you have a third project then perhaps you can devote some time in the evening for project C.)
  6. Schedule the Down Time that You Know You Are Going to Need— Writing is not easy and if you are working on something personal to you it can be extremely emotional.  If you are working on the business side of your writing career it can become quite taxing so you have to remember to take some time to do something for yourself that has absolutely nothing to do with writing. Go see a movie, get your nails done, take a spa day, go work out at the gym, take a mini-vacation or even a long one if you’ve just finished up a big project.  Do something that you enjoy and that is going to give you a sense of calm so that your mind can be refreshed when it’s time to jump back into your writing project(s).

Hopefully some of the writers out there can put this into practice for yourselves and perhaps you have even more suggestions that you can add to this list that you can share with me and the rest of the readers here.  Happy writing everyone!

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

Write 2 Be Magazine is now out so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/.  Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine.  Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.

I Figured Out the Real Reason I Can’t Finish My Novel

finishing that novelI was reading an article in the Writer’s Magazine about how hard it is when you are writing something that is personal and that closely mirrors your own experiences somehow, even if it was a piece of fiction that was loosely based on your own truth.  It occurred to me after reading this article that this could definitely be the reason that I can not seem to finish my current novel that I am working on.

When I think about it, I haven’t lost the passion for my current novel, I haven’t become bored with the story, I haven’t become tired of the characters, in fact it is quite frustrating that I have so much passion for this unfinished novel and yet I can not seem to actually finish it.  Now granted I have many things that legitimately take up my time like being a mother, being back in school and working on my master’s degree, working on writing articles and this blog as well as publishing my magazine.  However, having other responsibilities has never stopped me before in finishing something.

Sitting and thinking about it, what is really holding up the process, I am now almost convinced that it has more so to do with my next novel that I am planning to write then the actual novel I am trying to finish.  My next novel (not revealing the title just yet), while fictionally written, will not just be loosely based on my own personal life, but it will actually touch on a large part of my childhood and the tumultuous relationship that I have with my mother and the emotional baggage that I have when it comes to her.  Even though I am fictionalizing the story quite a bit, the premise is going to touch on a lot of emotions that I am ambiguous about dealing with.

I feel like it is a novel that I need to write to work through some things and it is one that it took me a long time to even be ready to write and I have to wonder if this stalling tactic is somehow a sign that I am not as ready to write it as I thought I was.  But when I think about it, I am ready but then I’m still not sure if I really am.  My first novel, The Diary: Succession of Lies, took a lot out of me to write because it was extremely personal to me as well and it also took some time for me to get through writing it because I was writing through a painful time.

One would think that to write your pain out on the page it would be simple and that it would flow like a river of water.  I think that there is this myth that writing the personal stories takes less time and that it is somehow easier to do.  While this may in fact be true for some there are countless stories that I have read of other writers who struggled the most on the work that was more closely related to their personal experiences.  Ironically, the personal stories, or the fiction stories that are based in truth, are usually the best ones.  There is heart in those stories and they become more relatable to others because someone else may be experiencing the same things that you have already gone through.

I write for many reasons but in large part because I know I can’t be the only one experiencing some of the things that I have gone through.  If I can touch even just one person then I have served a purpose with my words and that is all I really want to do.  In fixing what is wrong you have to first understand what the problem truly is.  Now that I have identified the problem in why I am stuck in this novel and held back from starting the next, I think I can do something to change.  If you are stuck maybe it’s time that you stop to figure out the real reason that has you stalled.

 

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

 

Write 2 Be Magazine is now out so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/.  Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine.  Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.