How Do I Get this Thing Off of Repeat?

We sometimes tend to get into cycles that are not good for us to be in and they often seem to be a cycle that we subconsciously repeat.  I have many cycles that I personally would like to never repeat again but today I started to notice a professional cycle beginning to repeat itself and it is one that has been on repeat for quite some time now and I am working my hardest to not hit the repeat button again.

I have this cycle with my writing (as I touched on briefly in yesterday’s post) where I get excited about my projects to the point where I can’t stop talking about it (and drive my friends crazy with these characters who are not real to them).  Then I get stuck on how to miraculously work on all of my projects at precisely the same time (yes I tend to be drawn to the impossible).  And when that doesn’t happen the way that I want to I just stop producing altogether.

I mean sure I am watching T.V. or a movie and calling it inspiration (which sometimes it does inspire), or I’m reading a book that I suddenly can’t seem to put down (which in and of itself is not a bad thing), or I’m staring at the blank computer screen willing the words to just somehow leap from my brain onto the screen without me having to lift a finger (too bad there’s no real technology for that—or is there).  All of these are quite possibly valid and relaxing time wasters, but they are also great procrastination techniques as well.

I have a plan for this year, to focus mainly on moving my writing career forward and promoting myself and my brand and heading towards success.  I promised myself that I would get away from the major distractions and really purposely direct my focus to what needs to get done to not only reach that level of success but to also remain on that level.  I started to notice that I was doing it again.  I was getting hung up on trying to work on all of my writing projects at one time and getting frustrated because it just isn’t possible to get an effective amount of work done trying to do it all at once, and lately I have found myself constructively procrastinating.

Constructive or not, procrastination is just that, procrastination.  I have to stop repeating the cycle of trying to do too much at one time and instead, designate the appropriate amount of time to each project at different times and not getting discouraged if it’s not getting done as quickly as I would like it to get done.  Truthfully, I would like my ideas to be able to write themselves because if that was possible I would have over a dozen novels by now, but good quality, thought provoking writing, takes time and can not be rushed.  Expecting perfection in my writing is one cycle that I can’t wait to stop repeating itself, but it’s all a work in progress.

 

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.

The Reasons Why My Novel Might Not Be Finished Yet

I started my current novel some time ago (I’m embarrassed to even say how long ago it was) and it should’ve been finished by now.  In fact I should’ve not only finished that novel but have already been well into the next one.  Nevertheless, I am still not finished yet.  I think that these are some of the reasons that I haven’t finished my novel yet:

  1. Too many ideas
  2. Can’t balance my time effectively
  3. Too ambitious with the projects that I want to accomplish
  4. Too much time spent not writing

In the end they all boil down to excuses that just aren’t good enough but I thought identifying with them would possibly help me finally get to the point where I could perhaps finish the novel.  I believe the biggest reason I can’t seem to finish is the fact that I just have one too many ideas running around in my head; too many characters; too many plots.  I did what I seem to always do.  I get to that point where I am almost at the end (literally, I’m on Chapter 22 of a novel that is supposed to go to chapter 29—of course that could change) and then another idea that I’ve had in my head for sometime starts to become a stronger presence in my subconscious and then it’s the only idea I can concentrate on.

It’s a terrible habit that I have and it almost makes me wish that my problem was having a lack of ideas so the ones I have won’t take over every other project that I am working on.  Perhaps this is another form of writer’s block.  I always thought that it pertained to not having any ideas or inspiration to write at all but I think it might be just as bad to have so many ideas that you can’t focus on just one.  Maybe I can’t seem to finish because it is my first attempt at writing a mystery and I’m nervous it won’t turn out as good as I am hoping.  This is the point where I chuckle at people who seem to think that writing is easy and that all writers do is come up with stories.  It’s so much harder then people think it is.

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.

If Only I Could Have It All…Time That Is

I don’t think this is the first time I’ve mentioned this but I have extreme issues with time management.  With me and my writing there isn’t a problem with having enough ideas, I have plenty of those (too many in fact).  There isn’t necessarily a problem with drive and determination, I have tons of that.  There is, however, a serious mismanagement of time.  It isn’t always that I don’t have enough time either (although it certainly feels that way), but rather that I don’t think that I am doing the right things with my time.

I know what you’re thinking.  If you know that then it should be easy to fix, right.  Well you know what they say.  Some things are just easier said then done.  I get trapped by the normal time traps that I’m sure trap everyone from time to time; checking emails, checking facebook (both my personal page and the Write 2 Be fan page-seriously for networking purposes mostly), watching TV (especially the shows that inspire further creativity), and just the everyday mom stuff.

It’s not that I don’t get any work done, I do, but I haven’t gotten back to my novel in months and I miss it.  I miss that side of my writing and it’s not as if I don’t want to finish my novel, I just can’t seem to find the time.  At least it always feels that way.  I know it should be a simple solution but rarely will the things that seem simple ever actually be simple.  So I thought of a few things that I could possibly do to improve my time issues as it pertains to my writing.

1.)    Cut out some of my TV time— Okay not necessarily just completely ignore all of the shows I love and can’t stand to miss.  But perhaps I could block out a chunk of time for my writing that can not be interrupted by the television and just DVR those shows that I can’t miss (after all what else do I have DVR for).  That way I can also have that set time where I’m relaxing and catching up on all of the TV that I missed while writing.

2.)    Not check my emails every thirty minutes— Seriously, what am I really going to miss in thirty minutes.  I just need to set three times in a day that I can check my emails.  There probably won’t be a crucially urgent email in there that can’t wait to be read.

3.)    Not try to make everything perfect—Nothing is perfect and you would think that I would have realized this already.  A large part of what takes up the time that I do spend writing is stressing about whether everything that I produced is perfect or not.  Nothing comes of trying to make things 100% perfect except for a lot of wasted time and missed writing assignments.  Perfection is, after all, overrated.

4.)    Map out a schedule—I know all of the projects that I need to work on, and I know all of the marketing that I need to do to further promote myself, now I just need to set certain time periods to work on certain projects.  That way, if I set a specific timeline to work on a project then I know I have that allotted amount of time to work on that project and that project only.  This way I can make absolute sure that something gets worked on.  It’s more efficient then what I am doing now which is just working in whatever I can whenever I can.

Hopefully if I begin practicing some of these tips I will be able to finish my novel and move and perhaps even start the next one.  Maybe some of these tips can also work for someone else out there who is struggling with actually producing the amount of work they know they should be getting out.  After all, time doesn’t stand still and we can’t keep wasting it by not having a plan of how best to use it.

 

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.

Self-Promotion Monday

The second issue of the Write 2 Be Magazine will be available on Friday and it is just as nerve-racking as when I put together the first issue.  However, nerve-racking it may be, it is still the most purposeful I have felt in a long time.  I am still busy putting together the issue so I don’t have much to say today but I did want to take this time to post a few announcements concerning the magazine.  I guess I am making today self-promotion Monday.  So below are a few things that pertain to the magazine and to all of the fellow writers who may want to join the magazine and who would like to write for the magazine.

Always Looking for Writers and Artists’

Write 2 Be Magazine is looking for writers to share their words through poetry, short story, personal essays, or articles on and about writing.  We are also accepting artwork or photography, book reviews, as well as video clips of spoken word performances.  If you are interested in joining the community of writers that make up Write 2 Be Magazine please feel free to e-mail any submissions and/or inquiries to write2bemagazine@yahoo.com.   

Seeking Authors to Interview

Write 2 Be Magazine is looking for authors to interview and who would like to bring attention to their published work and discuss their journey within their writing career.  Please submit all requests for an email interview to write2bemagazine@yahoo.com and for those who live in the DMV area, you can request a face to face interview if you would prefer.  I look forward to being able to help bring attention to the work of more talented writers and poets, in particular those who are just getting started on their journey.  

February’s Magazine Giveaway

Last month Write 2 Be Magazine was giving away a Starbucks gift card for anyone who liked the Write 2 Be Magazine facebook fan page.  This month I am giving away a FREE copy of my book, The Diary: Succession of Lies.  For more information on how you can be entered to win a free copy of my book tune into the magazine on Friday.  

I hope to see what wonderful artists’ you are soon!

 

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.

Right Where I Belong

I’ve felt a little unsure of myself this week.  I guess you could say I’ve been doing a lot of second guessing (and I know that I shouldn’t) which is a bad habit I am trying to get rid of.  It’s been a week of feeling uncertain but I was watching a program this morning where the focus was the film director James Cameron and how he became such a visionary.  He said a lot of things that struck a chord with me and it kind of put things into perspective.

I get asked so many times by people who don’t consider writing an actual job (at least not a very viable one) why, when my reward thus far has been so little and the struggle has been so hard, why do I continue to pull my hair out over it.  Why don’t I just get a regular 9 to 5 job and settle with the joy of having a steady paycheck will do for my life.  They tell me it would make me so much happier, steadier, and that I would be able to do so much more for myself and my daughter.  Some days I don’t know the answer to those questions.  Not any that would make sense anyway.  But most days, the answers are simple, maybe not easy for others to understand, but they make sense for me.

For a large part of my childhood, all of my adolescence, and the vast majority of my adulthood I have doubted everything, and I had believed what my mother always made sure to remind me of which was that I was never going to be anybody and I was never going to get anywhere.  I let her words carry over into too many aspects of my life and while it was her lack of support that fueled my own doubts, it was my mistake for not recognizing that she was one of those negative people that I needed to steer clear of.  However, the one thing that I have never been uncertain of was my writing.

Sure there have been times that I have wondered if my writing could measure up to others, and if it was really truly about who you know rather then your actual talent, but I’ve always known that writing was what I was supposed to be doing with my life.  I never really had to be one of those people who had to search for what God’s purpose was for me because I’ve known from a very early age that it was my writing.  Not necessarily writing just in the form of novels, or poetry, or even launching my own magazine and eventually my publishing company.  But my words, they mean something and what I have to say matters.  My vision for where I want to go within my writing career has the potential to really change things and that is something I am not doubtful of.

I made a decision years ago that I could no longer do the 9 to 5 thing.  I couldn’t work towards building someone else’s dream while mine continued to sit on the back burner indefinitely, and on top of that, miss the most important moments of my daughters life because of it.  It’s not that I think that there is anything wrong with that, there are plenty of people who do it and I admire their ability to make that work, it just isn’t something that was working so well for me.  I wasn’t happy, in fact I was miserable, and I feel like my daughter could sense how miserable I was and that it weighed on her too.

I had always felt like I didn’t fit in at those places I worked at, like I wasn’t where I was supposed to be.  Now, I may not have as steady a stream of income coming in as I would like (for now anyway), and I may be seen to those people who don’t consider writing to be a job as always struggling (which may not be far from accurate) and doing nothing, but I am actually a lot happier then I was when I was working a regular full time job and trying to cram in my dream a few hours every night.  I feel as though, as uncertain as where the journey I am on is going to lead me, what isn’t uncertain is that I am in deed on the right journey, for me.

What is the meaning of going through this life if what you are doing, on a day to day basis, pushing towards your future, is not what you want to be doing, if it’s not your purpose?  I feel as though being among other artists; other creative people, other people who are considered to be weird and strange; other people whose broad and elaborate imaginations are considered to be eccentric and unrealistic; this is where I belong.

I Have the Write 2 Be Where I Feel I Belong…What is Your Write 2 Be?

 

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.

 

Nervous But Ready (I Think)

It is only the second week of the New Year and already (or should I say once again) I am feeling like I’m having twinges of doubt about being successful.  I am sure it is only because I am literally a week away (6 days to be more exact) from the debut of my new online magazine and I am nervous on many different levels about it.  I am sure that it is just the devil trying to get in my ear and discourage me from actually releasing it because of all of my uncertainty but I have put it off long enough already (in large part due to the devil whispering to my subconscious) and I don’t intend to do that any longer.

When I talked to Ms. L. last night about it I told her that it was far from the perfection that I want it to be and that I wasn’t sure I could get it to be perfect by next Tuesday, she reminded me that it probably won’t be when it’s released and that there may be kinks that still need to be worked out but that I just have to do it and make the adjustments as I continue along.  She reminded me of what I already know and continually have to remind myself which is that shooting for perfection is what tends to keep me from just getting things done.

We all get a little nervous when venturing out into some new territory and even though writing isn’t new to me, having a magazine all my own to manage and having to make sure everyone (or at least the vast majority) will love it is new and it’s fun, but most of all it’s nerve wracking.  I think I would bite my nails off if I had any left to bite off.  I do have a strong feeling that this is the right direction for me and that this is the right time for me to be doing it.

 

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 will be debuting on January 15th, 2013 so please go join the magazine on twitter before it debuts on https://twitter.com/write2bemag and join the email listing for the magazine at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com.  Also please feel free to like my 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.

NaNoWriMo Day # 30: We’re Finally Here!

The day has come.  This is the last and final day for National Novel Writing Month.  For the most part it is over but for the few stragglers out there that are hovering just at that 50,000 word benchmark, this is your last opportunity to get there.  These are the last few hours that you will have so if you are really aiming for that goal of completion then you might want to sit down now and finish it up.

Congratulations to everyone, not only those who finished but also to those of you who simply signed up and got into the ring for the fight.  Reward yourself for your efforts and for your tenacity and, for the vast majority of you, for completing the task.  Go out and do something for yourself and give your fingers and your story a break for a little while or a couple of days.

Celebrate, You Just Finished A Novel… Yay!!!!

 

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

NaNoWriMo Day # 5: Resist the Urge You Have to Edit What You Have Done So Far

You’ve spotted a scene at the beginning of the story that you are dying to change.  You notice some things that you didn’t include that need to be in there that will enhance the view the readers get of your character and you may have even seen a couple of unnecessary things that you need to take out.  As tempting as it is for you to go back and edit that scene (or those couple of scenes), DON’T DO IT!

NaNoWriMo is a month for the first draft, the first imperfect draft.  There is no editing in this month.  If you start editing things now, you won’t be able to stop and you will end up losing momentum and falling behind in your word count.  I know what you’re thinking.  “Wouldn’t that add more words to my word count overall?”

Yes, true enough it would do that, but it would also throw your word count off.  Suddenly you would have to figure out what words you counted are now deleted and what words you added should now be counted towards your overall word count tally.  I know that in your mind you see all kinds of improvements that need to be made already but resist the urge.  Trust me, you will have plenty of time to edit later.  That’s what December is for!

 

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

NaNoWriMo Day # 1: Don’t Turn and Run, You Can Actually Do This!

Okay so it’s Day 1 of National Novel Writing Month.  Even though it’s only the first day you are already thinking “what in the world did I get myself into here?”  You are re-thinking the whole idea and pondering what the point of it all is.

Thoughts of doubt are starting to seep in and you are beginning to realize just how many words 50,000 is and the time you will have to invest to get it done.  For those of you who have never done this before you may be starting to realize just how hard it really is to write a novel.

Coming from someone who has had all of these thoughts racing through their head before, and all at once, from the times I have done NaNoWriMo before, I’m here to tell you DON’T LISTEN TO THOSE VOICES!  Those are the voices that are trying to get you to give up before you even begin.  I know it seems like it can’t be done and like there is no point to all of this but it just isn’t true.  The point is that your novel is closer to being done then it was before you started.

No matter what you’re inner critic is telling you, you can’t listen.  You Can Do This.  Hang in there, it does get easier.  Soon (maybe even tomorrow) you will start to fall in love with your story as well as your characters and the plot will be all you can think about.  Don’t run away from your story now, it needs you to convey it to the rest of the world!

 

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

NaNoWriMo Reminder: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect On the First Draft

I was reading blog posts this morning, catching up on posts from the last couple of days of some of the blogs that I subscribe to.  I came across one by Catherine Ryan Howard discussing National Novel Writing Month and some of the backlash that the yearly event gets from “real writers” who turn down their noses at the idea of creating a novel in 30 days.  Her blog post listed a whole host of reasons why she discarded the notion that NaNoWriMo is just nonsense and somehow belittles the profession of writing.

Until reading her blog post I had never known anyone to say anything bad about NaNoWriMo or that indicated that NaNoWriMo was something that was not for “real writers”.  After all, I’ve done NaNoWriMo for many years and I don’t consider myself anything less than a real writer.  It got me to thinking about just how many people that we don’t realize actually get the novels that they began writing during a National Novel Writing Month event published and just how important something like NaNoWriMo really is.

It also made me think about how many people do themselves in by trying to actually complete a novel (writing, editing, rewriting, and re-editing again many times over) in those 30 days.  Maybe that’s where people get overwhelmed at with the thought of NaNoWriMo.  So many people (myself included) have tried to complete the impossible task of writing and actually finishing a novel in 30 days that they forget to have fun while they are doing it.

Yes writing is (hard) work, but I think that a lot of times what we writers tend to forget during the month of November is that it should still be fun as well.  There should still be passion behind the words we write and not just a continuous rush to get it done no matter what.  If you are striving for a perfect draft the first time out the gate during NaNoWriMo then you may just be disappointed.

Don’t get caught up in exactly what the end product is supposed to be.  After you’ve come up with the plot, you’ve done your outline, and you’ve mapped out your schedule, just sit down and write.

Don’t try and make it perfect, don’t go back and edit while you’re writing, don’t agonize over whether you’re going to be able to get it published once it’s done.  Just sit down, enjoy the characters that are honoring you with telling their story, and write!  I promise you that if you enjoy what you are writing, then people will almost certainly enjoy reading what you have written.

 

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

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress