NaNoWriMo Day 2

Just for those of you who might be wondering what the point of doing this month long writing event because you somehow think that it can’t possibly result in a published book, you are wrong! Just to give you a little boost of encouragement here is a list I came across, of at least 10 books that were written or at least started during NaNoWriMo that have been published. Some of these books have even made it to the New York Time’s Best Seller’s list. There are many more out there and perhaps I’ll do another list in the middle of the month but this is just to give you a little incentive. Now go write something because your book could be next on this list!

1) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

2) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

3) The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

4) Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trimble

5) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

6) Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

7) Take the Reins by Jessica Burkhart

8) Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

9) The Hungry Season by T. Greenwood

10) Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

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NaNoWriMo is HERE!!!!

It’s the first day of NaNoWriMo!!!! Yay!!!! Okay perhaps I’m a little overly excited but today I am getting started on a brand new book, the second in my mystery series (the first one is being edited in December). I have been working on the outline for months now, and finalizing it during the course of Preptober. I actually have done tons of research for this book (I may have to do some more research throughout but hey) and it centers around solving a cold case (not a real cold case though). I can not promise to post every day of NaNoWriMo, although that is the goal, but I will post as often as possible with tips, video clips to some Author Tubers with really good writing advice. Also, while I wasn’t able to pull everything together for this year’s NaNoWriMo but for next year I will be creating NaNoWriMo Prep materials and of course materials to also get you through the actual month of the event but more about that in the beginning of next year. Well that’s it for day 1. I’ve got the link for you below for the National Novel Writing Month website so that you can go over and sign up.

https://www.nanowrimo.org/

Happy Writing everyone!!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

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Mistakes Don’t Make Us Who We Are

I need to get something off of my chest so this post may be a bit of a rant but it may also be something that you can relate to as well. A few months ago I was talking to a friend and we were talking about my current financial crisis that I’m in the midst of and she was giving me some advice on ways to start trying to dig myself out of this hole (because nothing I have been doing has been working thus far) and I started to point out a few mistakes that I have made in the earlier part of my writing career and basically my earlier adult years and she promptly stopped me and told me that there was no point in regretting those things because if I changed even one of those things it could’ve altered where I am now and that perhaps this is where I am supposed to be at this point in time.

Now I get that and I understand the whole not living in regret thing because it’s essentially pointless but I feel like I just needed to get some things off my chest at that time and I wasn’t allowed to. Granted saying those things out loud won’t change them but I feel as though saying them, acknowledging where my missteps were, will allow me to see where I may have taken a left when I should’ve went right and where I may have gotten off track at. So since I couldn’t say these things that day I am sharing them with you guys because I need to acknowledge them so that I can begin to correct certain things.

The very first mistake I made, not counting all of the dumb teenage stuff I did when I thought I was grown like getting a credit card at 18 with no job and no way to pay the bill (yeah, don’t do that), was flunking out of the first college that I attended and not working my way to get back in there immediately. Now note that I’m not saying that flunking out was the mistake (I mean it was but I digress) because that came with trying to adjust to college campus life and living on my own, being my own keeper, and trying to fit in and get my work done (obviously the school work part did not win out in that scenario).

However, I should have never just let time keep passing by without working my way back into that school, and finishing up my dual degree program when I was initially supposed to because then I would have had internships lined up and been able to get right into my field of work straight out of college. Now I did eventually go back to school and get my degree (well two degrees), but it was much later and I was definitely not a spring chicken and they don’t give internships to people who aren’t still in their early twenties.

The second and arguably the more damaging mistake I made that I now regret is when I left the “regular” work force and thought that I was somehow ready to do freelance writing full time without a proper safety net and financial cushion to fall back on. I mean I did well at first but as any of you freelance writers know there are pitfalls that are just inevitable with doing writing full time and not only did I not have enough multiple streams of income set up to make this work but honestly I didn’t know enough about what I was doing on the marketing end of things and that naiveté cost me.

Okay now that I have acknowledged those two major mistakes I feel better. I can see where I went wrong and what I should’ve been doing in those areas and I can make any adjustments that I need to make to change the trajectory of the course I am on. I don’t think that we should dwell in the mistakes we make and on the regrets that we have but that doesn’t mean that we can’t acknowledge those mistakes and regrets so that we can actually move pass them. If we never say where things went off track at, how are we truly supposed to correct the problem and get back on track? If you have a friend or just someone that wants to vent to you about some things that they need to express, just let them. It may be exactly what they need to do to get themselves going back in the right direction. Until next time… #BeEncouraging #BeaListeningEar

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Celebrating the Success of Others

So I wanted to talk about the nature of celebrating other people’s success. This comes to mind because a couple of weekends ago Tyler Perry had a history making moment with the grand opening of his very own studio company. Now for those of you who may have been living under a rock the last few weeks (lol) and do not understand why this was historic for him and for people of color in general, it’s because he didn’t just open a new studio with some investors and some private backing from someone here or there, he owns that entire 330 acre lot, 100% outright, with HIS OWN money and not owing anyone else any favors or money at all for this achievement. It was monumental to the African American community to have him accomplish this in a time where it seemed damn near impossible.

Now I was ecstatic for Mr. Perry and emotional, so much so that you would’ve thought I knew that man (sadly, I don’t, at least not yet anyway) and I was thrilled to see the outpouring of love and celebration for the hard work he has put in and what he has accomplished. Now while I know that everyone is not a Tyler Perry fan, I didn’t expect all of the hatred towards him either. You don’t have to like his body of work (although I absolutely love every single thing he’s ever done) in order to be able to appreciate his business savvy and work ethic and the fact that he didn’t just wait for a seat at the table, he literally went out and built his own.

It made me think about how much further we could get in this life if we stop begrudging everyone the success that they’ve achieved and celebrate them and appreciate the path that they are laying for the people that will come behind them. Everyone that achieves anything, it is due to someone that went ahead of them and broke down a few barriers first, and busted down some doors so that it wouldn’t be so hard for the next person.  When I was younger I used to have the why them and not me thoughts but I realized a long time ago that what may be one person’s time is not necessarily meant to be my time, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that I give up and it certainly doesn’t mean that I wish for someone else to fail.

God’s plan for someone else is never going to be the same plan that he has for you because their purpose is different from yours. It doesn’t mean that we can’t be happy for someone else having their dreams come true and appreciate the work that went into making those dreams come to fruition. We have to be each other’s cheering section and root each other on because honestly a win for one person is essentially a win for all of us because the world can only become a better, more prosperous (and I don’t mean only monetarily) place when we all love one another and come together to make each other better. So the next time you start wishing that someone else’s success was yours, try readjusting your way of seeing things. Remember that the success that is theirs is going to be on a different level than the success that is meant for you. Until next time… #BeGrateful #BeDiligent

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

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Writers and Self-Care (A Preptober Post)

During NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writing Month in case you’ve been living under a rock lol) writers tend to kick it into overdrive and get so lost in their story that they start to forget to do some of the simplest and most basic things. We tend to start to neglect ourselves for the sake of the art. So this NaNoWriMo

1) Don’t forget your hygiene – I know that this sounds obvious, but how many of you writers get so immersed in your story that you look up at the clock and suddenly the whole day could be gone. There are some writers who even get so engulfed in their characters and the story that they forget to eat and just work straight through the day without taking any kind of break. On one hand if you are that writer I almost want to congratulate you because that’s a lot of writing but on the other hand it’s not good to neglect things like showering and brushing your teeth and doing your basic daily maintenance. The story will be there if you step away for a minute.

2) Remember to eat – As I mentioned in the above tip, forgetting to eat is a common thing that people do when they become engrossed in their story. This is not healthy for you or your writing. How clear is your mind in terms of creating story and developing characters if you are not nourishing your body properly?

3) Take a break when you start to feel stalled – There will inevitably come a time that you will find yourself stuck and at some kind of standstill (and if not I would really like to know your secret). You will stare at the page or computer screen and find yourself rereading over the last few lines or scenes that you’ve written and end up in a place where you may not know where to go from there. The urge to press on and try to write anyway is strong and I know that this is what a lot of writers tell you to do, to keep going and work through it. That method does not work all the time and it may not work for everyone and that is when you just need to push your chair away from the desk and computer, get up, and take a break from your project. Go take a walk, go sit in the park and take in your surroundings, sit in a coffee shop or bookstore and listen to your surroundings (and the conversations taking place around you lol). You never know what could jog your creativity back into place!

4) Keep your health in tact – NaNoWriMo is not the time to abandon your healthy habits. If you consistently workout, do not use NaNoWriMo as an excuse to ‘take a break’ from the gym (I speak from experience, trust me). This is not a good idea, in fact it is a terrible idea because if your body is used to feeling a certain way from the continuity of working out then you will only be confusing your brain by the drastic shift. Working out triggers the endorphins in your brain in a way that nothing else can (not even coffee, as much as it pains me to say that) and if anything it will actually help you in your story writing and in achieving your writing goal for the month of November. Now if you have to change your time around then do that!

5) Read – This one is simple. Stephen King has said thousands of times and I’m sure many other writers have said it as well, and it’s because it’s true. You CAN NOT be a good writer if you are not first a good reader. To write well you must read A LOT. When I say read, I don’t just mean the genre that you are writing in either. Read a little of everything. Broaden your scope of the things that you read because if you do it will definitely broaden the scope of your writing. So READ! Enough said.

6) Don’t forget to stay connected – I know it’s kind of against the grain for NaNoWriMo and coming from a person like myself who likes to stay to myself for the most part it will sound strange but don’t distance yourself too much during NaNoWriMo. Writing is a solitary act (although it doesn’t have to be) for sure but remaining connected to people and remaining in tune with the people and things going on around you could also be critical to keeping your writing fresh and interesting.

7) Sleep is important – Lastly, but absolutely one of the most important things on this list, is sleep. If you are sleep-deprived your brain can’t come up with anything usable. That is not to say that you have to get a full eight hours of sleep (but if you can then go for it), I haven’t gotten anything over six hours at any one given time (unless I was sick) since back when I was in high school, but a decent amount of sleep is critical.

Okay so that’s it for today. I hope that all of you are prepping and planning your novels for NaNoWriMo and that when November gets here you don’t forget to take care of yourself. Until next time…Happy Writing!!! #BeMindful #BeCaringtoYourself

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

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Creativity Interrupted

There’s something I have to talk about and it’s not a subject I like to really talk to most people about. This is usually the only place I can be truly vulnerable about it and that’s writing and depression. I don’t know how many of you out there have to figure out how to write while you are battling through a depression episode but I feel like we as writers don’t talk about this enough. There’s this inherent notion that writers, well artists’ in general, are constantly suffering through some sort of emotional crisis and that emotional turmoil is what then fuels their writing and I really used to think this was just a horrible myth that I wanted to ignore. Now I’m starting to wonder if there isn’t some truth to it, mainly for two reasons.

It’s not that we creative types just have some type of genetic disposition for depression or emotional breakdowns but rather, I think it’s because we tap more into our emotions in order to write as well as taking on the emotions that we attribute to the characters that we are writing about (because yes, our characters are real people to us and they have real emotions that we must convey).

The second reason I somewhat buy into the myth of the artists struggle is more to the point of this post. It’s possible that writers or creative types in general are overly emotional, and are prone to depressive moods because we hold onto our emotions and don’t let them out. I mean sure we can use our writing to let out some emotions but that is a solitary act and it can still leave you feeling alone and as if your emotions and feelings don’t matter.

It is true that writers are known for, and most of the time, enjoy their solitude because it’s typically when the best creating gets done. However, that does not mean that writers don’t enjoy being around other people and venting or sharing their feelings with people that they care about or trust enough to be vulnerable with. If we don’t get those feelings out we tend to go further inside of ourselves and that leads to getting into a funk or a mood that may not in fact be productive or good for their creativity.

For me, it’s sometimes hard to detach myself from my emotions because I think that my emotions are what make me a better, more in tuned writer. On the flip side of that when I am going through an episode of depression, because there are so many emotions that I am internalizing and holding in, it’s harder for me to write.

I think that we artists have to stop holding things in and thinking that we’re just supposed to endure whatever feelings we’re having by ourselves. We have to be just as vulnerable with our own feelings as we are with the feelings of our characters because if we want to remain effective writers we have to learn to let go of some of that solitude that we hold so dear.

So if you’re feeling in a bit of a funk lately, a bit depressed maybe, try finding that one person that you can be open with and getting all of those feelings out. I think that you’ll be surprised at how freeing it can be and how good it will feel to get those emotions out and oddly enough you fill find that it will allow you to be more vulnerable in your writing and in expressing the emotions of your characters. Until next time… #BeVulnerble #BeOpen

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/ 

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For the Love of Books (A Preptober post)

Part of being prepared to write a book is also making sure that you read. Now it doesn’t matter what you read as long as you are reading but since we are mostly writers or creative individuals here I’m going to specifically focus on books that can help you strengthen your writing and your creative thought process. I’m sure that most of you know of or may have even read some of these books on the list below but these are definitely books that you could (and should) reread when you need extra motivation (or just because).

  1. On Wrting by Stephen King
  2. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
  3. Writer Mama by Christina Katz
  4. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont
  5. The Writer’s Workout by Christina Katz
  6. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  7. Higher is Waiting by Tyler Perry
  8. Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
  9. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
  10. On Writing Well by William Zinsser

All of these books are great reads for creative inspiration and they are extremely motivating and can of course be found on www.amazon.com. I suggest you buy them, read them, and reread them whenever necessary. Okay so that’s all I have for you today. I hope that all of your planning is going well. Until next time… #BePrepared #BeWellRead

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

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