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

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It’s the First Day of Preptober!!

It’s the first day of October and we’re getting into that holiday season but for writers it’s also a special time of year for a whole other reason. This is the month that we as writers use to prepare for the marathon month that November has become called National Novel Writing Month. Realistically if you’re serious about participating in NaNoWriMo then you probably have already formulated the idea for the story that you’re going to work on in November and you may have even began sketching out the characters for your story. If you haven’t, don’t worry, that is what the month of October is here for. There are many aspects to prepping for the NaNoWriMo experience but I’m here to give you some suggestions over the course of this month that will hopefully help you in the many ways they have helped me.

Today I’m going to focus on the first step you really need which is the idea for the story and typically a main character to center the story around. Now there are many different ways to start your planning process. Some people like to think of the way their story is going to end and kind of work their way backwards. I for one have never been able to start at the end but it works for some people. There is also a very small group of writers who like to start with the middle and build the story outwards, usually building up to the end first and then back in the other direction to the beginning. Then there are those strange birds like myself who actually like to take a story idea from the very beginning (sometimes even thinking of the opening scene) through to the middle and work my way to the end in a chronological order.

Now I know plenty of writers who have to have their character first and I will admit that I have had some stories where the character literally spoke to me and told me the story they wanted told but those occasions were rare for me. Most of time the story that needs to be told comes first and then the character presents themselves to me afterwards. After you’ve built the story idea and this is not to be confused with an actual outline) then you want to begin developing your characters. Some create character sketches that give the basic details of those characters and their background and their personalities and some like to go all in and create a character bible of sorts where the spend several pages on each character.

You have to find what works for you because one writer’s method may not be what works for your story. Once you have your story idea built and your character sketches done the next step is creating your outline, but that I will discuss in more detail in the next post. Throughout this Preptober series I will also include tips and specific book suggestions, as well as sharing some YouTube channels with you that can be of some use and help to you. Until the next time… #BePrepared

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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So About Oscar Night…

About Oscar Night 3

So this isn’t going to be a long post but I couldn’t let the day go by without acknowledging how amazing Oscar night was last night for women and people of color. The Oscars made history last night with the majority of the wins going to people of color and women, people who up until the last year or two were vastly overlooked when their work clearly deserved to be recognized.

It went from being the #Oscarssowhite a couple of years ago to being the #allinclusiveOscars this year. I must say that as a writer who had lofty dreams of one day writing my own screenplays and maybe even having a book or two of mine being made into a movie and winning an Oscar myself down the road it was definitely inspiring. I had put those hopes of an Oscar one day in my career to the side because frankly I couldn’t see them giving out too many Oscars to too many people of color because the Oscars has been considerably white washed throughout history ever since the Academy was created.

It seems that they are finally making room for a diverse group of artists to make waves and make a difference. It’s renewed my hope and even inspired a couple of new stories that I hope to tell over the course of my writing career. There’s something extra encouraging when you can see the possibility for your work to earn the highest honor an artist can achieve.

This is the type of encouragement that artists needed and I am so glad that the Oscars is finally catching up to including ALL artists in passing out distinguished honors. I hope you all are polishing up those novels and dusting off those screenplays that you gave up on because now’s the time to really get in the game.  There just might be an Oscar in your future yet!

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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The Creative Circle We Keep

Creative circle post

I had a wonderful, much needed conversation last night with one of my fellow creative friends and it gave me the extra boost that I was in need of. When you’re a creative it’s not always easy to find other creative people that will get you and your (sometimes out there) ideas the way that you do. I don’t need a lot of people around me, it goes against my solitary, anti-social (more like socially anxious) nature, but what I do need every once in a while is someone to throw ideas around with, preferably someone who isn’t just going to tell me something is a good idea because they can feel the sheer excitement that I have for it. I need someone honest, who’s going to tell me if it’s any good or even if it’s just so out there that it might actually work because chances are that I would otherwise second-guess myself right out of it.

Last night I got some clarity on a few things I was thinking about and she even gave me some perspective on some ideas that I wasn’t even viewing as broadly as I should have been. She’s a really good person, who understands my neuroses (because we’ve known each other for over a decade) and how sometimes the overload of ideas can drive you up a wall because she’s a creative too and she takes risks every day within her writing career. Today, carrying the words of our conversation in my mind, I was definitely more focused and I was a little more confident in taking a few risks I had been holding back on before. I felt inspired and I felt ready to inspire others!

I think that all creative people, especially writers, should make sure they have someone in their life, in their circle that they can help give them some kind of clarity on the ideas they are thinking of. If you’re anything like me, you need someone to keep you from second guessing everything wondering if this or that is going to work because inevitably there’s always going to be someone that isn’t going to like what you do and you can’t let the thoughts of those few that won’t like it and won’t get it detract from the hundreds, or thousands, maybe even millions of people who you could help or motivate or encourage with what you desire to put out into the world. If you already have that circle in place, treasure it and nurture it because it is precious and it is not always easy to come by.

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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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…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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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…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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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

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

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