A Reminder of the Dream, In Case You Forgot

Today we remember the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had all of those years ago when he gave that I Have a Dream speech. While I don’t normally repost old blog posts, I couldn’t get past the fact that what I wrote last year to commemorate this day STILL applies, even more so, today. I want to leave you with those same words today and remind you that we are not finished yet, not until we can see his vision for the dream that he had all the way through. We cannot give up on a fight in which he literally gave his life for. I hope that something in this post inspires you today to keep striving towards the goal of making his dream of a better and more equal America come true.

Is There Still Hope for The Dream?

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say today but I knew that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was going to be the subject of this post. So, I went to pull up the full “I have a Dream” speech on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs) because it’s been a long time since I’ve heard the speech in its entirety. As I sat there listening, it was mind blowing just how relevant and powerful his words still are to this very day.

Now I don’t know if that is telling to the staying power of his words or to the sadness that they still ring true. In essence, we may have come far but within these last few years we seemed to have taken several steps backwards.  I guess you would have to listen for yourself to determine which one it is for you. For me it’s a bit of both. Yes of course those words he spoke that day still matter, even more so now, because before the last four years we were starting to see some of those dreams manifested and brought to fruition. Or were we?

We thought that we had started to see some change with President Obama because he was someone who truly took those words of Dr. King’s to heart and he embodied them and strived, with much opposition, to make those dreams a reality. We thought we had come farther, but within the last four years we have seen certain strides that were taken being walked back immensely. It makes you wonder, had we really even made any change? Was it all surface accomplishments but underneath, the roots, were still very present and had not yet been weeded out enough to allow sustainable growth?

That day on August 28th of 1963, Dr. King said that America needed to pull itself out of the quicksand of racial injustice in where people of color lived on an island of poverty amongst a vast ocean of material prosperity. He points out that America had not kept its promise to us and that it was in for a rude awakening if it expected things to go back to business as usual.  I think that he would be disheartened to see all of his words continually quoted by people who clearly have no deep understanding of what they actually mean because if they did then they would see that we only seek “the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

I think if he were still alive that he would find himself having to repeat those same words he spoke to those gathered around the Lincoln Memorial that day. I think he would feel obligated to remind the entitled groups of people who think the rules don’t apply to them that equality is not wrong, it is not unreasonable, and it is not unattainable.

I think he would also turn to those who have grown weary and tired, and yes complacent amongst those who would like to revert back to a time that our ancestors struggled so hard to lead us out of and tell them to keep moving forward. I think he would tell them that we cannot be satisfied with the status quo, and we most certainly cannot leave this country in the fragmented state that we find ourselves in today. I think that he would remind people who are angry because we’re still explaining that we just want equality that they have to continue to strive for freedom but not by “drinking from a cup of bitterness and hatred”.

The song that plays at the very beginning of the recording of his speech is “We Shall Overcome” and as I listened to the words in that song, and replayed the words of his speech, I have to say that even in the current state of this country, I still have hope that we will be okay. I still think that Dr. King’s Dream is going to come true, someday, but we can’t give up, and we have to keep moving forward, until we are all Free At Last. 

Until next time… #BeFearless #BeBrave #BeRelentless

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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NaNoWriMo Is Right Around the Corner…And I am Not Quite Ready!

It is just about that time of year again! No, not the holiday season (in which the Christmas displays get put up before Halloween can even pass) but rather the NaNoWriMo month long challenge to write a book in 30 days (well 50,000 words of it anyway). This particular NaNoWriMo is going to be even more challenging for me because I am tackling the Middle Grade genre for the first time ever.

I have wanted to write this middle grade book, or series rather, for many, many years now (since my daughter was in middle school and she is now a high school graduate) but I kept letting the words of others influence me. Those who said that you’re not supposed to write in multiple genres using the same name for every genre you write in. Or the whispers of those who say that I don’t know anything about writing middle grade. Well duh, of course I don’t, but how else am I supposed to gain experience in writing in that genre without, you know, actually writing in it.

It is intimidating to write in a genre you’re only read for pleasure and have never written and writing for kids period is just incredibly scary because kids are harsh critics. However, I would be doing myself, and more importantly God, a disservice if I didn’t go after everything that I want to do and that I feel He has put a purpose in my heart to do. I don’t know how good (or bad) I’ll be at writing it until I actually sit down and write it.

So that’s my project for NaNoWriMo this year, the first book in a middle grade series (for more information about my project my video on it will be released on my YouTube channel on Thursday) and I’m pretty excited about. The only thing that has me a bit more anxious this NaNo (well more anxious than I am on a regular basis) is that I am not nearly as prepared as I usually am when I get ready to start a new book.

I’m sure that I will be by the end of this week, I’ll make sure of it, but I’m a bit nervous that I haven’t yet figured out my outline and everything at this point. I am having fun going back and watch shows I watched as a middle school kid, or just shows that I liked that are for middle grade children to try and get in the mindset of writing for a 12 year old. Nevertheless, I will start with what I have because in life that’s what you have to do right. Start where you are!

Until next time… #BeMotivated #Be Productive #BeConsistent

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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The Words We Tell Ourselves

Be Careful what you say to yourself

Let’s talk about self-doubt! I think everyone can admit, if they are being honest with themselves, that they talk to themselves. We tend to debate with our own conscience and question our every move, oftentimes second guessing things that we instinctually believe to be good initial decisions. We are sometimes our biggest champions but we can also tend to be our own worst critics. If something doesn’t go the way we think it should, or the way that we had planned it to go we lose a little bit of hope each time our plans falter. The problem that I don’t think that we realize we are inviting is that we are now speaking negative outcomes to things that we have positive intentions for.

It does no good to speak positively about what we are wishing to accomplish and then turn around and name all of the reasons that we think will cause us to inevitably fail. That negative self-talk that we do to ourselves is precisely what can change the course of things because now we’ve spoken negativity into the goals and dreams that we once had such a positive outlook on. There is no guarantee how anything that we map out will ever go so to talk ourselves down from following through with any idea we have, already assuming that it won’t become a reality, is just us sabotaging ourselves.

We have to be more mindful of how we talk to ourselves. We have to take special care to make sure that we are not talking ourselves out of things simply because we’re afraid that we may not succeed in it. We have to make sure that we are not talking down to our own inner conscience and that the negativity that someone else may be projecting onto you doesn’t get ingrained within our deepest thoughts. We have to make sure that we are our biggest and loudest cheerleaders and that the criticism that we give ourselves isn’t negative but rather constructive. How you talk to yourself matters, probably more than anything anyone could ever say to you. So be kind to yourself and always believe in the power that is within you. You are your greatest champion!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Off To a Rocky Start

NaNoWriMo 3

So as most of you know National Novel Writing Month started this past Saturday and we are already at day 5. I will admit that I thought that since I decided to take on the task of finishing up two projects that had already been started that I would have a bit of an easier time beginning this NaNoWriMo challenge. Sadly, nothing has been further from the truth. I think the first sign of trouble that I had was the fact that NaNoWriMo was beginning during a weekend which is typically the time during the week in which I opt not to write.

The weekend is normally when I like to relax, catch up on TV (which fuels my creativity even more), and do more reading for pleasure then actual writing or research. And while I did manage to write a little on my non-fiction (self-help) book and I tried to re-familiarize myself with my novel, I definitely did not get any real numbers stacked towards my end goal. The second issue is also that with my fiction novel, I haven’t touched it in quite some time and while I have been re-familiarizing myself with it, it’s not that easy to just jump back in it.

Nevertheless I am not going to give up and I am ready to really get underway on these projects. I completely underestimated how hard it is to re-start a project, let alone two. I would almost be willing to say that it is harder to re-start a project then to just start a brand new one. But I went into this NaNoWriMo knowing that my goal was not necessarily the 50,000 word goal that they traditionally set for participants but rather to complete these two projects, or at the very least, be closer to finishing by the end of November. So that does help take some of the pressure off of me because my goal is different than most people doing NaNoWriMo.

I hope that any of you who are participating are having an easier start than I am and hopefully you will leave a comment here and let me know how your project(s) are going. Happy writing everyone!

 

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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Creative Breakthrough

Breakthrough

This month has done exactly what I wanted it to do by focusing more on the actual craft of writing. It has reignited some creativity that I truly was starting to believe I was losing little by little. I had all of these ideas in my head but they just weren’t coming out on paper and they weren’t really coming into focus. These ideas were in bits and pieces trying to formulate themselves and it just wasn’t happening. But somehow when I took this time to focus on the writing itself and not solely on the marketing and the business side of things it seems to have helped those pieces come together.

I have been putting more and more of my ideas down on paper and they are starting to seem like more of a real possibility. I have even started to have a breakthrough on some ideas for my next novel that I have been stuck on up until now. I feel myself coming out of the funk that I was in slowly and even though some of the obstacles that I have right now have not gone away or even clear up, I feel more hopeful about things these days.

I know that with these obstacles, or financial standstills rather, that worrying doesn’t make them go away and it doesn’t display my true faith in God and that he will never allow me to go through anything that I can’t get through. I trust that there is a reason for everything that we go through in this life and that nothing is without purpose. Perhaps I needed this standstill in my creativity to wake me up to the realization that I can’t wait for all of the stars to align perfectly and that I can’t waste any more time.

I’ve been working on not waiting until everything is perfect to begin. I know there are a lot of things that I do imperfectly so a huge part of my problem is that before I submit work anywhere or display an idea I want things to be perfect but when does perfection ever truly happen. I keep putting off doing things because I have convinced myself that unless they’re perfect they just won’t be good enough but that’s just my self-doubt creeping in to my subconscious.

These last couple of weeks of me just concentrating on my creativity within my writing and not stressing so much on the business end have made me remember where the passion I had for writing came from to begin with. Of course I have in no way forgotten that this is my business as well and that I do have to put effort into that but I definitely do not want to forget what made me fall in love with the power of words in the first place. I have to make sure I stay in love with the power of words.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Don’t Put a Ceiling Where No Roof Should Be

no ceiling 2

I was told once (okay well more than once) that I was inspiring. I was told that my words inspired others. I suppose if I weren’t a person who had become accustomed to believing that everything someone says to me is usually a lie, I might believe them. Or at least maybe it wouldn’t have taken me so long to believe them. I got to thinking this morning, if so many people that society considers ordinary because their names are not up on billboards somewhere (yet) can inspire me and get me motivated, then why isn’t it possible that lil ole ordinary me can do the same for someone else.

It makes me more mindful of the work that I am doing, of the words that I am saying and of the persistence that I am putting into getting my goals accomplished because if I can inspire someone, anyone else, to believe in their dreams and to live by their own standards and not the standards placed on them by society, then I will be making great strides in serving the purpose that God put me here on this earth for.

I grew up being told by the one person who was supposed to always believe in me, that I was never going to be able to accomplish anything, that I was never going to reach my destiny because society was never going to let me, and because I wasn’t good enough. I had to somehow keep myself motivated and inspired, to even have the courage to go after my dreams. It’s a lot harder when you don’t have anyone inspiring you or at the very least, cheering you on. So I am glad if there is anybody that I can be an inspiration to and I embrace that responsibility with open arms.

So for any of you out there who is thinking that what they are doing doesn’t matter to anyone and that no one is watching or paying attention. Trust that there is someone that is being inspired by what you are doing, by the persistence that you are showing, by the dream that you are building up. It might even be someone like me. Never underestimate yourself, or the power of your vision, or the effect that you may be having on others. I have been underestimating myself for far too long and it is time that I stop doing that. It’s time that you stop doing it too. Stay inspired and stop putting a ceiling where no roof should be!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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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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There’s No Box I Seem To Fit In

stop trying to fit inI used to always want to be that person who fit in with everyone else.  I wanted to hide in the corner, blend in with the crowd, and make sure that I didn’t stand out in any way possible.  It never really worked because for one reason or another I always stood out.  Whether if it was for going against what everyone else’s opinion was or whether it was for looking different and having a different style from others.  Whether it was being simple when others were outside the box, or being too far outside the box when others wanted to keep things simple.

No matter what I have always gone against the grain but it was never intentional. Truly I would never choose to make myself the target for other to consider me to be difficult because that’s the last thing I want.  But at what point do you say that you’re not going to sacrifice who you are, what you think, or how you feel, just so other people can say that you’re easy going and that you’re not being the difficult one.

I’m not going to lie and try to pretend that I’m one of those people who doesn’t care if others like them or not.  I do want to be liked, what person doesn’t.  But if people are only going to like me because I agree with what they say or because I am going along with the majority opinion just to go along with it, then are they really liking me or the person that they would like to mold me into?

Now I’m not saying that if I express an opinion that everyone else has to agree with it but I certainly don’t like to be attacked personally for having an opinion that’s different from everyone else’s.  I don’t seem to fit in any one box.  I’m not really sure that I want to fit in with just one box.  I like that I am different and think differently.  I like that I don’t just repeat what other’s want to hear for the sake of being easy going.  But it does get hard to always have this label of being the difficult one just because you don’t agree.  I just wish that people who claim to accept everyone no matter what were really true to their statement.  Have a blessed day and just be who you were meant to be!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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It’s All In How You Word Things

I saw this video on Ms. L’s timeline on Facebook and it spoke volumes to me.  Words can be so powerful and you can say things in so many different ways that take on many different meanings to people.  Be mindful of what you say to others, not just the tone in which you say it, but the words that you choose to express yourself.  It’s also a reminder, on the business side of things, that everyone can use a good writer and if words are not your thing, if you don’t always choose the best words for the appropriate situation, then by all means please hire a writer.

Let Write 2 Be Media show you how valuable our professional writing, editing, and social media marketing services will be to you and your business. We offer various writing services such as professional blogging, portfolio creation, company newsletters, ghostwriting, typing services, research, and web content.  Take the pressure off of having to be your own marketer and let us do the work for you.  We’ll create and monitor your Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn accounts, as well as create and maintain a blog or email newsletter for your project.

Simply leave a comment below or email us your request for services and a price quote to Write2BeFreelance@yahoo.com. Upon receiving your request, you will be contacted within 72 hours to assess the next step for your project.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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