Don’t Over Plan Your Way Out of Opportunities

Missed Opportunities

I woke up today and realized something. I waste entirely too much time planning. I have always been a planner, one who has to have a list for everything and everything in its place before I go for the end goal. When I was younger it worked for me and my love for being the list maker and the consistent planner grew. But as I got older the plans and the lists began to hinder me because what I never accounted for in all my planning and goal setting was life just unfolding as it was going to, as it was inevitably meant to.

I have a tendency to plan so thoroughly that by the time I am done with the plan the opportunity to actually follow through with any of those plans has long passed me by. I will think of something, have a vision for something if you will, and by the time I have worked through all the lists and plans it ends up being too late and someone else has presented something to the world far too similar to mine for me to move ahead with it.

It’s like the story where the man is waiting to be rescued from the sinking boat he’s on and every person that is sent to rescue him he tells them that he is waiting on God to rescue him and to take someone else. When he drowns he asks God why didn’t he save him and God tells him that he sent three different people to rescue him and he refused them. Essentially he sent the opportunity that he needed and he missed it. I feel like I might have missed far too many opportunities that were sent my way because it didn’t fit with the plan, or undoubtedly because I hadn’t finished planning for that opportunity and I was blinded to what was presenting itself right in front of me.

For example, quite a long time ago I had an idea for a show about women living their lives behind prison bars and about what they go through, how they get treated, how they maneuver their new lives. I started making plans and lists but it was never quite as perfect as I needed it to be and before I knew it I was hearing about this new show on Netflix, “Orange is the New Black” and (No, no one stole my idea, I never communicated it to anyone else) I watched it and felt deflated as I saw what I had been planning for unfold from someone else’s imagination. It was my own fault and my own neurosis that kept me from what could’ve been a breakthrough opportunity had I only not wasted so much time trying to make it perfect.

I say all this to say that if you too are like I was, like I have been, stop wasting so much time trying to make everything just right, and planning everything through to a tee. I’m not saying don’t plan at all, or don’t have your lists. I’m saying don’t focus so much on the lists and the plans that you forget the goal, the vision, and so you don’t miss the opportunities that can come your way while you’re busy planning. Sometimes the opportunities can be so small that if you blink you’ll miss it so pay attention to what’s in front of you before your lists and plans are all that you end up with. Until next time… plan less, live more!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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Published in: on March 16, 2016 at 11:02 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Here’s to a New Year, Sky’s the Limit

New Year 2016

Happy New Year everyone! I know I haven’t posted here in a while. Truthfully, 2015, particularly the end of it, was not the greatest year for me. I won’t say it was a bad year because with everything that went on in the world last year and with the continued suffering of many who have far greater worries than I do, I can’t really complain. It wasn’t the year that I had mapped out and that I wanted it to be and that was largely in part to the depression that I sunk into, but I am heading into 2016 ready to leave 2015 right in the past where it should stay.

I do have plans to release quite a few things this year but I won’t discuss them in detail until the dates get closer. I also have some new things I’m planning on doing with the magazine, Write 2 Be Magazine, that I hope everyone will like and appreciate. I don’t plan on posting everyday here but I do plan on posting often enough for you to be kept in the loop. I hope you all have your plans in order and will challenge yourselves this year to do amazing and new things. Here’s a figurative toast to the New Year, New Goals, New Drive, and to saying YES to anything being possible. Happy New Year Everyone! Until next time…

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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Weighing the Odds

weighing the odds 2

I spend way too much time weighing the odds. I worry about things that haven’t happened yet and things that have happened in the past. I worry about things going wrong that haven’t even been attempted yet. I worry about rejections that have yet to come to a reality. In worrying about these things I end up stacking the odds against me (in my mind anyway) and then I play the odds game and talk myself right out of what it is that I wanted to get accomplished.

I sit and wonder, what are the odds that someone is going to accept my article? What are the odds that they will like my novel? What are the odds that the message I have, no one will want to hear? What are the odds that my words will make a difference to anyone?

The truth is that there are a lot of odds against everyone in this life but if you waste time playing the odds game every time you meet a new challenge you’re likely to talk yourself right out of going for what it is that you want most. So let’s just all (myself included of course) make a vow that we will stop playing the odds game and stop counting the many ways that things can go wrong. The odds are in your favor if you just believe that they are!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Published in: on September 24, 2015 at 1:07 PM  Comments (2)  
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I Have To Move Out of My Way

I have to get out of my own way 2

So I have been trying to figure out what it is that I have been doing wrong all this time to still not be where I should be in my career. It’s very disheartening when you realize that the person who has been standing in your way the most is you. I’ve posted here before that throughout my adult years I have suffered with bouts of depression, some worse than others, and one just recently in the beginning part of this year. I’m getting better and I’m starting to feel that drive and ambition come back but even still I think I have become somewhat lazy and I have no idea where that came from cause that has never been me.

In the past I was always that person who you couldn’t pull away from the computer or that notepad because I was always writing and working on something to further my dream but even then I think I’ve always been afraid of the submission part of things. Part of it is being scared to put myself out there but a larger part is being afraid that my work wouldn’t be seen as good enough, that I wouldn’t be good enough. And the times I do get rejected I take it really personal because I consider myself to be an extremely talented writer (which makes me wonder why I’m so scared to submit my work) and I suppose I still get offended that talent these days doesn’t seem to be enough.

I think another part of it is that when I dreamed of being a writer when I was younger and I dreamt up all the books and television shows and plays I would write I only thought of the artistry of it all. The business side of it was the part that I just completely ignored and that is the part of it that confronts me now. I have plenty of ideas and I have the words just lying dormant inside of me but what makes me anxious, what makes me fearful, what makes me downright panicked is the business side of writing.

When I think about it really, the submission process of writing is also the business side because I have to think about marketing and my numbers and stats and I have to create packets to present myself in just the right way, and sometimes I just want to write but when I think about the business of it my writing ceases up.

Sometimes it feels like an outer body experience. I can see all the potential, I can see the end game of what I want and I know the things I need to be doing to get there and I’m watching myself paralyzed by fear and sheer lack of confidence just standing there not moving. I want to scream at myself “what are you doing just standing there?” but nothing comes out and I remain still. I have to get out of this cycle because it’s the only way that I am going to see what I want become a reality. I swear I don’t mean to get in my own way.

I’m in a self-evaluation process because I know that I can’t fix the problem without analyzing and figuring out what all there is that I need to work on. I have to really evaluate where I went off track at to begin with. I am a work in progress but I have to be real with myself and truthful with myself if I expect to get myself back on track. So this is not a post excusing myself, in fact this is me realizing that I have no excuses and I can’t keep allowing myself to stand in my own way.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Published in: on August 21, 2015 at 12:23 PM  Comments (3)  
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How Do You Win a Battle Against Fear?

How Do You Win a Battle With Fear

It is instinct to be afraid of certain things. You don’t touch a hot stove because you don’t want to get burned. You don’t run out into the street without looking both ways because you don’t want to get hit by a car. You don’t antagonize someone who is holding a gun because you don’t want to risk getting shot. Things like that are natural to be fearful of and rightfully so. Those are fears that are necessary. However, when exactly does fear become unnecessary and illogical? When does someone’s fears become so overwhelming that they start to take over their lives?

I guess I am pondering these questions because I am trying to figure out at what point did I become so afraid of what could go wrong and what dreams I wouldn’t accomplish that I stopped fighting for my dreams altogether? I’m trying to backtrack and place in my mind when I got so far off track that I stopped believing in myself and in my dreams. Yet even as I pose the question to myself, it is not the dream or the vision that I stopped believing in, it is just myself as a writer that I stopped believing in.

There was a point, very young in my life, in which my mother and several members of my family would waste not time telling me how far out of reach my goals were. Even friends, the ones who didn’t understand what it was to be a visionary and a creative individual, would question my goals and mock my drive and passion for writing. But it never mattered before, I knew that I was going to prove them wrong and that I was going to be everything I said I was going to be and I was going to have everything that I felt God had proclaimed for me.

Life, and all of its infinite curveballs, somehow dampened my belief and my ambition. I didn’t even realize it was happening while it was happening. I feel like I need to take some kind of spiritual journey to get my drive and ambition and my belief in myself as a writer back but of course, life can’t just stop because we want it to. I slowly feel my drive coming back and that creative block releasing itself but slow at this point just isn’t good enough.

Yesterday someone who has known me for a long time asked me am I really blocked or do I just not love writing and not have anything to say anymore. It made me pause for just a second but my almost immediate response was that I have a lot to say, it’s as if the words are trapped inside me. They want to come out but for some reason they just can’t. I’m writing this post and I have been able to write bits and pieces here and there, and considering the fact that about three months ago nothing would come out its progress, but I know I’m capable of more.

I am making progress and I suppose I should just rejoice at that but I can’t help but want that non-stop creative flow back. Baby steps I guess but I have been losing this battle with fear for a while now and I just want to win again. I don’t want the fear to win and steal my dreams away from me. So tell me, how do you feel a person can win a battle with fear?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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Published in: on July 8, 2015 at 1:51 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Can’t Watch the Scoreboard and Play the Game

watching the scoreboard 3

I was watching a motivational video a few months ago, still in the fog of my depression and very much still creatively blocked, and they were talking about getting to that place of success that you want to get to in life. He had a lot to say about his journey to success and about the sheer work ethic that it takes to accomplish the goals that you set for yourself but I think the most profound statement he made was that you can’t play the game that you are in (because succeeding in life is very much like playing a game) and watch the scoreboard at the same time.

It’s something that sounds really obvious if we are actually talking about playing some type of sport but in the game that is life and success overall we don’t think about that. We’re always so busy checking to see what progress we’ve made, watching the scoreboard so to speak, that we don’t realize that all the time that we waste checking to see where we’re at in life is time that could be spent making more progress.

I do that a lot. I watch the scoreboard, waiting for my side to be in the lead, showing me that I am making progress and that I’m doing something. When I’m not in the lead, when my score is not reflecting my effort, I get defeated and then my effort starts to change. I think that if I weren’t so busy keeping score of my hits and my misses then I wouldn’t have time to get defeated or to feel the sting of the setback.

If I just kept my focus on what I want and know that that is what I am aiming for without continuously watching to see how far I’ve come in my journey, or sometimes how far I still have to go in my journey, I think I could actually get to where it is that I’m going. It’s like that watched pot that takes so long to boil when you are watching it. If you just walk away and let it be, stop hovering over it and trying to watch the water come to a rolling boil, it would happen a lot sooner than you might expect. So I’m going to work on not looking at the scoreboard as I travel on this journey and just trust that as long as I’m moving forward, and never backward, that I am winning!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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Letting Go of What Holds Me Back

Letting Go of Whats holding me back

I had a conversation with a very successful singer/songwriter a few weeks ago right at the point where I was starting to feel my creative block turn a corner. It was an unexpected phone call through a friend who knew that I needed the motivation and we had a 45 minute conversation about artistry and creativity. We talked about fear and being blocked and pushing past those obstacles that are in your way to fulfill a purpose.

Truthfully I suffer with bouts of depression and when these periods of depression come on (far more often than I would like) I get stuck in this fog of gloominess for an indefinite period of time. After talking to this artist I felt reinvigorated and once again energized but the fog was still there. For anyone who has ever suffered with depression or is currently suffering from it then you know to just say I don’t want to be in this state anymore is not enough.

One of the main things I remember her telling me in our conversation was that I needed to write down my list of fears because the fear is what is paralyzing me and sending me into depression. Then she said once I had written down everything that was paralyzing me with fear I needed to work on letting it go. I am guilty of dwelling in things for far too long. I dwell in the things I can’t change more specifically and I dwell in things that I fear that haven’t even happened yet. I get hit with a setback and I completely sit in the stickiness and muddiness of that mess of a setback and I dwell there.

It’s not something I am proud of but I figure if I can admit that this is my problem then I can better work on fixing it. So that’s what I am working on, letting go of those fears that old me back and that paralyze me. Learning to let go of the routine of things because the fact is that things do change and everything will not always go how you planned it out. My life is definitely not where I want it to be and in order to get it there I need to get over the fear of change and let go of all of the negative self-talk bouncing around in my head. Some things you just can’t hold onto forever.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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What Happened to That Girl?

What happened to that girl

I do not recognize the writer that I have become. I think back to my productivity and the ability to just sit down and write endlessly when I was in my teens and early twenties and I wonder what the hell happened. I used to write practically every moment of the day. If it was just moments in between moments that I could somehow grab or steal, I would write. You hardly ever saw me without a pen or pencil in my hand and as soon as I could get to a computer I would type until it was all transferred to the computer and my fingers were partially crippled from typing so much.

I know that things change when you get older have children, get a little more settled in life, but I never envisioned that the way I work, the way I write, would change. I suppose that I somehow thought that I would always be able to pull all-nighters or that my energy levels wouldn’t change (particularly when I developed anemia during pregnancy that never seemed to go away). I equate all night working with writing and getting work done but now I struggle just to keep my eyes open, let alone staying up all night long.

I feel like I’ve lost that girl somehow. That girl who was just so driven to get the words out that I sacrificed my sleep. I feel like I’ve lost a part of myself because I feel like I can’t seem to get it together and I know that I should be doing better than what I am doing, I know that I should be getting ready to publish my 10th book (at least) not still working on getting my 2nd out there. I dwell in things for far too long and I don’t really know how to pull myself out of the funk that I sometimes fall into. I don’t do well with change and when things change I don’t know how to cope.

Perhaps that is where I start to get a little piece of that girl back again. Maybe realizing that not only is change inevitable but rather necessary. I have to figure out how to make the changes that come along work for me instead of letting them go against me. I have to figure out a time that works for my productivity because clearly me trying to force writing to happen at night is not working and I am resisting the change in routine and that amounts to zero productivity. I want to find that girl again but perhaps introduce her to a new way of coping and doing things. But I’d like to keep her fire and her drive. That is one thing I don’t want to change.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Published in: on June 4, 2015 at 12:35 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Trying to Get Unblocked

Trying to get Unblocked

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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Published in: on June 2, 2015 at 12:47 PM  Comments (1)  
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It’s All In the Subtle Reminders

God's Subtle Reminders

It’s very funny how God works. I don’t mean funny as in a laughing matter but rather in an ironic one. I talk to God all the time but every once in a while when I get in that place of confusion and I start feeling like maybe I’m losing my way, or maybe I am not going in the right direction like I thought I was, I sit down and really pour my heart out to God and I talk to him, no holds barred. Sometimes I get so deep into my feelings in talking with him that it literally brings me to tears. And then I wait and I listen or I pay extra attention following that talk because sometimes in the silence God answers you. Well last night I had one of those no holds barred talks with him.

I was really trying to figure out what it is that I am doing wrong and whether or not I am really on the right path like I believe that I am. I suppose I was checking in to make sure that I was on the path that God wants me to be on. So after my talk I went to bed and I truly felt better that I had gotten all my frustrations out and asked all of my questions and now I just had to make sure I was paying attention.

So this morning as I was going through Facebook I saw that one of my friends had shared a video of a young girl, just starting high school, and the girl was sharing her story of how she had been bullied from quite a number of years and how it made her feel and the harm that it made her do to herself and she reminded people that everyone reacts to being bullied in different ways and words do hurt. In that moment I felt like it was God showing me that there is still a need for me, for my purpose, for what I set out to do in developing my Write 2 Be brand.

There are many purposes that I wanted to serve with my Write 2 Be brand. In developing what I wanted it to stand for I knew that one thing for sure was that I wanted it to serve a purpose for children who are suffering from being bullied and from feeling like something is wrong with them just because they’re different or unique from everyone else. I feel like coming across that video this morning was God’s way of telling me that I was still on the right path and that I have to remember all of the reasons why I am in pursuit of this dream of mine. Sure it’s to change my life and my daughter’s life but I feel like he was reminding me that it’s also about all of the lives that I want to improve with my work, my writing, my brand.

I have always wanted to make a difference and it wasn’t until the recent couple of years that I realized just how much I could actually make a difference and sometimes, when it gets really tough and when things don’t look like they’re going in the right direction, I forget that and I forget that I can really make a difference. God works in really ironic ways and I am thankful that he is so patient with my lack of patience and I am thankful for these subtle reminders.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Published in: on February 25, 2015 at 3:52 PM  Leave a Comment  
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