InstaThoughts

I often spend my birthday considering all the things I didn’t achieve in the previous year, but not at 38. I told myself this year I would celebrate all I did accomplish, the ways I grew, the things I learned.
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I reclaimed my identity as a writer. I sat with shame and insecurity until lies started to reveal themselves. Beneath the bandages I found a badass woman. I revised approximately twenty chapters of my novel. πŸ“
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I did less public speaking than usual, but what I did was meaningful and impactful and usually on topics of leadership and identity. I also gave financial aid presentations that made people laugh.
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I made a lot of keto meals. 🍳
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I attended therapy almost weekly, investing in myself and in becoming the most self aware, empathetic version of myself. I cried a lot of tears in that office, but I also confronted lies about inadequacy, shame, fear.
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I survived online dating, which is a messy, emotional, and sometimes cruel and gross experience. I never settled in my continued search for a hero.
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I took kids to Justice, the movies, to the bookstore.
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I was, on at least two separate occasions, spontaneous. πŸ˜‚
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I did my very best to fully listen to every high schooler and college student I met with and to lean on my intuition for when to share my own story or a few words I felt they needed to hear.
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I gave money to causes I care about. I spoke my heart even when there was backlash. I defended underdogs. I reminded women of their worth.
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I did not let people talk down to me.
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I survived an HOA construction project as well as one in my own home. It felt like an elephant stood on my chest for over eight months, but I made it. 🐘
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I found rest and comfort and a fire for justice and mercy in the gospel.
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I practiced compassion as best I could. I am still learning.
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I read great books. πŸ“š
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I got incredible sleep thanks to a life changing CPAP machine. 😴
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I received the incredibly overwhelming love and kindness of friends and family. I hope my friends feel their hearts are as safe with me as I feel mine is with them. ❀️
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That was 37. Here’s to 38. I invite growth, challenge, wisdom, compassion and empathy, fire and fight.
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#blog

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I often spend my birthday considering all the things I didn't achieve in the previous year, but not at 38. I told myself this year I would celebrate all I did accomplish, the ways I grew, the things I learned. . I reclaimed my identity as a writer. I sat with shame and insecurity until lies started to reveal themselves. Beneath the bandages I found a badass woman. I revised approximately twenty chapters of my novel. πŸ“ . I did less public speaking than usual, but what I did was meaningful and impactful and usually on topics of leadership and identity. I also gave financial aid presentations that made people laugh. . I made a lot of keto meals. 🍳 . I attended therapy almost weekly, investing in myself and in becoming the most self aware, empathetic version of myself. I cried a lot of tears in that office, but I also confronted lies about inadequacy, shame, fear. . I survived online dating, which is a messy, emotional, and sometimes cruel and gross experience. I never settled in my continued search for a hero. . I took kids to Justice, the movies, to the bookstore. . I was, on at least two separate occasions, spontaneous. πŸ˜‚ . I did my very best to fully listen to every high schooler and college student I met with and to lean on my intuition for when to share my own story or a few words I felt they needed to hear. . I gave money to causes I care about. I spoke my heart even when there was backlash. I defended underdogs. I reminded women of their worth. . I did not let people talk down to me. . I survived an HOA construction project as well as one in my own home. It felt like an elephant stood on my chest for over eight months, but I made it. 🐘 . I found rest and comfort and a fire for justice and mercy in the gospel. . I practiced compassion as best I could. I am still learning. . I read great books. πŸ“š . I got incredible sleep thanks to a life changing CPAP machine. 😴 . I received the incredibly overwhelming love and kindness of friends and family. I hope my friends feel their hearts are as safe with me as I feel mine is with them. ❀️ . That was 37. Here's to 38. I invite growth, challenge, wisdom, compassion and empathy, fire and fight. . #blog

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Allow me to share a few excellent books on writing craft/writing life.

The Hero is You by Kendra Levin was life-changing for me; it is having a therapist/life coach/writing mentor walking beside you through artistic trauma and stagnancy.
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The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maas is an in-the-trenches look at what makes fiction work. I felt *enlightened* reading this one.
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Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life is a classic. (As is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, which seems to have wandered off my shelves.)
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The War of Art is a diatribe against resistance in the writing life. It challenged me. The Art of Slow Writing by Louise de Salvo is a patient reminder that making beautiful things out of words takes time.
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The Anatomy of Story by John Truby is fascinating: it helped me examine the story I was building from the inside out. Anatomy indeed.
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Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg is another classic. I revisited it recently and it gave me the same zing of excitement about writing that it did when I first read it in college.
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Save the Cat by Blake Snyder is the first book that’s given me a plot formula that is loose enough to *not* be formulaic. My WIP is benefitting hugely from this book. .
There are so many other good ones. Which ones do you suggest? Do any of these sound like books you need at this season of your craft?
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#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020 #bookrecs #writingcraft #booksaboutwriting

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Allow me to share a few excellent books on writing craft/writing life. The Hero is You by Kendra Levin was life-changing for me; it is having a therapist/life coach/writing mentor walking beside you through artistic trauma and stagnancy. . The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maas is an in-the-trenches look at what makes fiction work. I felt *enlightened* reading this one. . Annie Dillard's The Writing Life is a classic. (As is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, which seems to have wandered off my shelves.) . The War of Art is a diatribe against resistance in the writing life. It challenged me. The Art of Slow Writing by Louise de Salvo is a patient reminder that making beautiful things out of words takes time. . The Anatomy of Story by John Truby is fascinating: it helped me examine the story I was building from the inside out. Anatomy indeed. . Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg is another classic. I revisited it recently and it gave me the same zing of excitement about writing that it did when I first read it in college. . Save the Cat by Blake Snyder is the first book that's given me a plot formula that is loose enough to *not* be formulaic. My WIP is benefitting hugely from this book. . There are so many other good ones. Which ones do you suggest? Do any of these sound like books you need at this season of your craft? . #blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020 #bookrecs #writingcraft #booksaboutwriting

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The hypocrisy of the church is a deep wound. As @stephenmattson__author pointed out to me during the incredible popularity of the worship song “Oceans,” Christians could sing about keeping their eyes above the waves… While refugee families were risking everything and drowning in the Mediterranean.
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“no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark”… Go read the whole poem by @wu_shire please.
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2020 is an election year, and I intend to be bold about the gospel-directed reasons why I will vote Democrat. If you have ears to hear, I hope you’ll listen.
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#blog #election2020 #gospeldirectedvoting

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I asked some friends what one or two things I should start with in 2020 to make the rest of the year easier. I thought maybe a doctor visit or wrapping up the bathroom renovation, but @asherinley said “practice radical acceptance and no shaming language.”
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I posted this six months ago. It was a good reminder to raise that flag again. ❀️ #Repost @jackieleasommers
β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’
When reevaluating my goals for the rest of 2019, I decided to make a wild choice: to quit being so terrible to myself. What if I just… QUIT? Quit with the negative self talk, quit with the shame, and just CHOSE confidence, or at least chose to fake confidence.
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Courage is not the absence of fear; it’s bravery in spite of fear. What if I treated confidence the same way? Not the absence of insecurity, but boldness in spite of it. I’m not sure if that makes sense to anyone else.
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There is some evidence that “fake it till you make it” works (with caveats). And stigma and shame are not motivating. So, let’s see. A six-month experiment. Come January 1st, let’s see how I feel about my body, my writing, myself.
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I already feel freedom. How fitting to decide this while celebrating Independence Day.
#blog #courage #shame #radicalacceptance #radicalselfacceptance #bodypositivity #bodyposi #writing #writingcourage #freedom #confidence #choosecourage #noshame #endstigma #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020

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I asked some friends what one or two things I should start with in 2020 to make the rest of the year easier. I thought maybe a doctor visit or wrapping up the bathroom renovation, but @asherinley said "practice radical acceptance and no shaming language." . I posted this six months ago. It was a good reminder to raise that flag again. ❀️ #Repost @jackieleasommers β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ When reevaluating my goals for the rest of 2019, I decided to make a wild choice: to quit being so terrible to myself. What if I just… QUIT? Quit with the negative self talk, quit with the shame, and just CHOSE confidence, or at least chose to fake confidence. . . Courage is not the absence of fear; it's bravery in spite of fear. What if I treated confidence the same way? Not the absence of insecurity, but boldness in spite of it. I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone else. . . There is some evidence that "fake it till you make it" works (with caveats). And stigma and shame are not motivating. So, let's see. A six-month experiment. Come January 1st, let's see how I feel about my body, my writing, myself. . . I already feel freedom. How fitting to decide this while celebrating Independence Day. #blog #courage #shame #radicalacceptance #radicalselfacceptance #bodypositivity #bodyposi #writing #writingcourage #freedom #confidence #choosecourage #noshame #endstigma #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020

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Chose a cute, lighthearted photo of myself to post because I can’t bear another one of me lying in bed, looking sad and overwhelmed.
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I love, love, love the start of a new year. But I do place a lot of responsibility on myself. Goals. Resolutions. Self care. Plans for world domination. I have ten areas of my life I want to rock in 2020. Ten.
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So yeah, I’m overwhelmed. I can’t seem to focus. I feel like my body is a beehive. One thousand goals are buzzing around inside me, making me crazy and panicked. I hope hard work and magic turn them into honey.
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Why so many goals? Why not do something more manageable? Why bite off more than I can chew? Because I want it all. Because the areas overlap into each other. Because I’m called to some of it and some of it is forced on me.
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I think writing will be easier when I can reclaim my basement office. But renovations do not happen on my schedule. And writing will be easier if I can get some hormone help, but I’m nervous for the doctor and need someone to make me brave. But it’s just me. (No, it’s not, but that brings up the whole online dating scene, which is draining.) And I can’t handle draining things when I am already fatigued.
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It all ties together. I can’t isolate things. Maybe someone else can. I’ll ask my therapist. Maybe I should make a list. All I do lately is make lists. Lists keep me sane and give the illusion I’m making progress.
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I AM making progress.
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Sorry for the whining. I really needed to open the pressure valve though, and I do this by blogging. (LUCKY YOU.) ha!
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Welcome, 2020! I want you. Wipe my slate clean. New year, new joys, new mistakes. My theme for 2020 is Jesu Juva. Jesus, Help. Bach famously began his compositions with J.J. in the corner. This resonates deeply with me.
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#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020

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Chose a cute, lighthearted photo of myself to post because I can't bear another one of me lying in bed, looking sad and overwhelmed. . I love, love, love the start of a new year. But I do place a lot of responsibility on myself. Goals. Resolutions. Self care. Plans for world domination. I have ten areas of my life I want to rock in 2020. Ten. . So yeah, I'm overwhelmed. I can't seem to focus. I feel like my body is a beehive. One thousand goals are buzzing around inside me, making me crazy and panicked. I hope hard work and magic turn them into honey. . Why so many goals? Why not do something more manageable? Why bite off more than I can chew? Because I want it all. Because the areas overlap into each other. Because I'm called to some of it and some of it is forced on me. . I think writing will be easier when I can reclaim my basement office. But renovations do not happen on my schedule. And writing will be easier if I can get some hormone help, but I'm nervous for the doctor and need someone to make me brave. But it's just me. (No, it's not, but that brings up the whole online dating scene, which is draining.) And I can't handle draining things when I am already fatigued. . It all ties together. I can't isolate things. Maybe someone else can. I'll ask my therapist. Maybe I should make a list. All I do lately is make lists. Lists keep me sane and give the illusion I'm making progress. . I AM making progress. . Sorry for the whining. I really needed to open the pressure valve though, and I do this by blogging. (LUCKY YOU.) ha! . Welcome, 2020! I want you. Wipe my slate clean. New year, new joys, new mistakes. My theme for 2020 is Jesu Juva. Jesus, Help. Bach famously began his compositions with J.J. in the corner. This resonates deeply with me. . #blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020

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New year, new short assignments.
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All quotes by @annelamott
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#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #saltnovel

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Spending some time this afternoon in the height of comfort (i.e. Perkins booth with hot cocoa) to continue work on my goals for 2020.
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#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020 #JesuJuva

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Let me begin by saying that I am privileged to have a lovely, safe home; two meaningful careers; and so much support.
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But being a homeowner has been a slog in 2019. My HOA began a huge project in May that resulted in an upheaval of my life and finances until October.
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As the light was beginning to appear at the end of that tunnel, an obstructed drain in my basement overflowed in early August and moved the chaos and upheaval of life and finances indoors.
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I am emotional even as I write now about having my space, my home, be turned upside down for eight months. It has taken an emotional toll.
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Tomorrow the basement bathroom will be (mostly) finished. I’m so tired. I’m so relieved. I can’t stop sobbing thinking about getting my home to be a space I feel good about, safe in, a place to support my creative goals instead of press back against them.
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#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #renovation #basementreno #bathroomreno #livinginchaos #reclaimedspace #sooverwhelmed #imbroke #specialassessment #bobbyberksaveme #bringtantoo #andjvntoni #tellkaramotobringkleenex

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Let me begin by saying that I am privileged to have a lovely, safe home; two meaningful careers; and so much support. . But being a homeowner has been a slog in 2019. My HOA began a huge project in May that resulted in an upheaval of my life and finances until October. . As the light was beginning to appear at the end of that tunnel, an obstructed drain in my basement overflowed in early August and moved the chaos and upheaval of life and finances indoors. . I am emotional even as I write now about having my space, my home, be turned upside down for eight months. It has taken an emotional toll. . Tomorrow the basement bathroom will be (mostly) finished. I'm so tired. I'm so relieved. I can't stop sobbing thinking about getting my home to be a space I feel good about, safe in, a place to support my creative goals instead of press back against them. . #blog #writer #writing #writinglife #renovation #basementreno #bathroomreno #livinginchaos #reclaimedspace #sooverwhelmed #imbroke #specialassessment #bobbyberksaveme #bringtantoo #andjvntoni #tellkaramotobringkleenex

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Had a good chat with my therapist yesterday in which I complained that my life isn’t a straight upward trajectory of personal growth and health. Ha.
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Thing is, I KNOW that’s not realistic. I know that. So why am I still surprised to have bad/hard days mixed in with the good?
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Since July, I’ve been blossoming. With confidence, freedom, creativity, drive. If, in June, you’d have told me I’d have 2/3s of my manuscript revised by the end of the year, or that I’d be bursting with new ideas and spending days working out the kinks of my plot, I’d have rolled my eyes. I mean, I was scared of even opening up my manuscript at that point.
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And I’m not in daily pain anymore, thanks to a host of help, but I still battle to figure out keto and rest and spoons. But then I have weeks like this, where I get reacquainted with pain, and I forget all the growth.
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I want the impossible: all improvement, no steps back. Cool. Realistic.
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I’m trying to make a better effort of forgiving myself for being human (ha!), celebrating milestones, and recognizing pain and exhaustion as messages from my body that need responses. Life is good. Life is hard. It’s both. It’s life.
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#blog #spoonielife #writing #writingcourage #writinglife #spoonie #spoontheory

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Had a good chat with my therapist yesterday in which I complained that my life isn't a straight upward trajectory of personal growth and health. Ha. . Thing is, I KNOW that's not realistic. I know that. So why am I still surprised to have bad/hard days mixed in with the good? . Since July, I've been blossoming. With confidence, freedom, creativity, drive. If, in June, you'd have told me I'd have 2/3s of my manuscript revised by the end of the year, or that I'd be bursting with new ideas and spending days working out the kinks of my plot, I'd have rolled my eyes. I mean, I was scared of even opening up my manuscript at that point. . And I'm not in daily pain anymore, thanks to a host of help, but I still battle to figure out keto and rest and spoons. But then I have weeks like this, where I get reacquainted with pain, and I forget all the growth. . I want the impossible: all improvement, no steps back. Cool. Realistic. . I'm trying to make a better effort of forgiving myself for being human (ha!), celebrating milestones, and recognizing pain and exhaustion as messages from my body that need responses. Life is good. Life is hard. It's both. It's life. . . . #blog #spoonielife #writing #writingcourage #writinglife #spoonie #spoontheory

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One of my favorite people turns 35 today! @sommers_kristin, look how proud I am in this photo. I am STILL that proud of you, deet. You make me laugh constantly. Your heart is the size of the sun. You have an iron will and I have so much to learn from you. Love you like crazy.
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#blog #sisters

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