About Jackie Lea Sommers

Minneapolis YA author who rather enjoys Jesus, stories, cute nerds, and cranky teenagers. Jackie blogs about OCD, faith, and creativity at www.jackieleasommers.com.

InstaThoughts

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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InstaThoughts

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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InstaThoughts

Six years ago today, I got my first book deal. I also had my first panic attack.
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Publishing was very hard for me, almost every single step. So hard, in fact, that I had a long crisis of identity with whether I even wanted to be an author.
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The first part to return to me was the writing.
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I knew I wanted to write. It took far longer to determine if I wanted to publish. Longer still to actually break through the wall of fear and actually get back to the work of writing. And then finally, finally: enjoying the writing.
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Will, then healing, then work, then wonder.
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Wonder came first, originally. First and second and third and last. All of it was wonder, the sheer thrill of creation, the rush of creativity and the power of decisions. Even the work and the will were, ultimately, chalked up to wonder.
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So it’s been a journey back to that. To loving the work I’m called to, to gratefully crafting the world and characters that will never be as perfect on paper as they are in my head. To remembering that writing is also for ME. In fact, writing with joy, knowing that the writing itself must be the reward because who knows if I will ever get published again? I’d like to. I hope to. That’s what I’m working toward. But it’s that question I’ve come back to over and over again in my life: if you knew you would not get published, would you still write?
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Yes.
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So here’s to six years of ups and downs and lessons upon lessons. Here’s to wonder.
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#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #joy #wonder #wonferofwriting #publishing #publish #lessons #lessonslearned #enneagram4

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Six years ago today, I got my first book deal. I also had my first panic attack. . Publishing was very hard for me, almost every single step. So hard, in fact, that I had a long crisis of identity with whether I even wanted to be an author. . The first part to return to me was the writing. . I knew I wanted to write. It took far longer to determine if I wanted to publish. Longer still to actually break through the wall of fear and actually get back to the work of writing. And then finally, finally: enjoying the writing. . Will, then healing, then work, then wonder. . Wonder came first, originally. First and second and third and last. All of it was wonder, the sheer thrill of creation, the rush of creativity and the power of decisions. Even the work and the will were, ultimately, chalked up to wonder. . So it's been a journey back to that. To loving the work I'm called to, to gratefully crafting the world and characters that will never be as perfect on paper as they are in my head. To remembering that writing is also for ME. In fact, writing with joy, knowing that the writing itself must be the reward because who knows if I will ever get published again? I'd like to. I hope to. That's what I'm working toward. But it's that question I've come back to over and over again in my life: if you knew you would not get published, would you still write? . Yes. . So here's to six years of ups and downs and lessons upon lessons. Here's to wonder. . . . #blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #joy #wonder #wonferofwriting #publishing #publish #lessons #lessonslearned #enneagram4

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InstaThoughts

November goals are a bit abstract.
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Explore systems. Record patterns. Find ideals. Make lists. Flu shot. Act like January 1, 2020, is Day One of New Life. What has to be ready?
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#blog #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #goals #novembergoals #cultivatewhatmatters #growthmindset #growth #courageovercomfort #AlwaysLearning #AlwaysSettingGoals #creativityrelationshipsgrowth

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InstaThoughts

I cannot seem to figure out pacing. Yesterday I killed it. Read, wrote, cleaned, therapy, work, signed the contract for my bathroom renovation (yes, finally, the clogged drain was August 4. Insurance is not fast.), wrote a letter, and watched two episodes of Limetown. Showered. Went to bed early. Slept like a ROCK.
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And am still in bed at 2 pm today.
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My tendency is to feel guilt and shame over this, especially when I also was out Tuesday morning. But I know I’m improving. I KNOW it. Measurable growth is all around me: I’ve revised 20 chapters of my novel since July 4th. I’ve rejoined eharmony. I am loving my job and have more admitted students now than I normally would have by the end of October. Better yet, I feel like my appointments are making real connections, meaningful ones. I am leaning into my empathic nature, trying to speak truth to young people, taking risks to tell them what I think they need to hear. My room is not a disaster. I’ve had opportunities to speak publicly this fall in ways that were meaningful. And, I repeat, I AM WRITING. That alone represents such a victory over fear and shame.
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So. Still figuring out pacing. Still in bed at 2 pm on a Thursday. But it doesn’t erase the rest of it. I’m so grateful to God for the steadfast spirit that never leaves.
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#blog #growth #courageovercomfort #courage #shame #radicalacceptance #radicalselfacceptance #bodypositivity #bodyposi #writing #writingcourage #saltnovel #chronicillness #sleepapnea

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I cannot seem to figure out pacing. Yesterday I killed it. Read, wrote, cleaned, therapy, work, signed the contract for my bathroom renovation (yes, finally, the clogged drain was August 4. Insurance is not fast.), wrote a letter, and watched two episodes of Limetown. Showered. Went to bed early. Slept like a ROCK. . And am still in bed at 2 pm today. . My tendency is to feel guilt and shame over this, especially when I also was out Tuesday morning. But I know I'm improving. I KNOW it. Measurable growth is all around me: I've revised 20 chapters of my novel since July 4th. I've rejoined eharmony. I am loving my job and have more admitted students now than I normally would have by the end of October. Better yet, I feel like my appointments are making real connections, meaningful ones. I am leaning into my empathic nature, trying to speak truth to young people, taking risks to tell them what I think they need to hear. My room is not a disaster. I've had opportunities to speak publicly this fall in ways that were meaningful. And, I repeat, I AM WRITING. That alone represents such a victory over fear and shame. . So. Still figuring out pacing. Still in bed at 2 pm on a Thursday. But it doesn't erase the rest of it. I'm so grateful to God for the steadfast spirit that never leaves. . #blog #growth #courageovercomfort #courage #shame #radicalacceptance #radicalselfacceptance #bodypositivity #bodyposi #writing #writingcourage #saltnovel #chronicillness #sleepapnea

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Salt & Selfishness

SALT

I’m working on Salt Novel regularly; it simultaneously feels great and difficult. I have a timeline/beat sheet, and yet, as I move forward, it keeps feeling off. I need to change it based on having revised the first two-thirds of the novel. Also: WOW. I’ve revised two-thirds of a novel that terrified me for a year and a half. “Stuck” isn’t a permanent location anymore; it’s a resting place for me to pray for what comes next.

SELFISHNESS

I am reading Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson, one of my favorite songwriters, perhaps my favorite songwriter– period. He’s got me thinking about selfish art and selfless art, about getting out of the way for God to use it and about what my artistic partnership with God looks like. I talked it out with my therapist today, but I need to pray about it too. I guess it’s a good think I’m in Stucksville for the night.

InstaThoughts

@andrewpetersonmusic’s Adorning the Dark is really ministering to my writer-heart tonight. So many good reminders in this book about the redemption of selfish art for the glory of God.
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I want to be audacious in my dreams and goals, brave with my life and art. I’m reminded again of what @judithhougen has told me often, a truth my heart has adopted even if my actions don’t always reflect it: I will not view my life through a success/failure dichotomy but through a lens of faithfulness.
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#blog #adorningthedark #writerslife #faifhfulness

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OCD Awareness Post at OFTAMS

I hope you’ll take a minute to read my guest blog about recognizing OCD over at the lovely new site Of Fig Trees and Mustard Seeds, featuring devotions for those with mental illness, written by those with mental illness.

It begins:

There’s a poem I love by Charles Finn, raw and real, that reads:

Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m not saying,

what I’d like to be able to say,

what for survival I need to say,

but what I can’t say.

I remember reading this poem aloud to audiences years ago, when I first began speaking publicly about obsessive-compulsive disorder; this was before I underwent the exposure therapy that God used to save my life, before I was able to even recognize that freedom from OCD was a possibility, and before I could imagine myself become a vocal advocate for OCD awareness.

Try to hear what I’m not saying. Yes. This.

In honor of OCD Awareness Week 2019, let me peel back the version of OCD the media loves to use (most commonly being either super-clean or super-organized) and look at the tender space beneath.

Read the rest here: https://offigtreesandmustardseeds.com/awareness-please-hear-what-im-not-saying/

InstaThoughts

Hey peeps, it’s #OCDweek, so I wanted to call attention to a couple things: @ocdtwincities is hosting a convo on Thursday between @bryanpiatt and OCDTC prez Alison. I’m guest blogging for a brand-new daily devotional for those with mental illness. And as always, there are a host of resources on my website about #OCD #erptherapy #cbttherapy #exposuretherapy #HOCD #ROCD #scrupulosity and more.
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#blog

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