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.

Company in the Wilderness

Today I listened to the @cities_arts podcast, an episode about being in a creative wilderness. There was so much wisdom in the conversation between @judithhougen and @addiezierman, and mostly, I just felt so SEEN. It felt like company in the wildnerness.
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Today reminded me why it’s so important to me to be vulnerable about the lonely, heartbreaking parts of the creative life. The shame we sometimes feel loses power in the light.
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#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020 #radicalacceptance #radicalselfacceptance #SaltNovel #unsplash #creativelife #creativity #shame #wilderness #vulnerability

Like Killing Butterflies

I have a scene I’m so excited to write that I’m psyching myself out!
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It’s like how Ann Patchett described it: “This book I have not yet written one word of is a thing of indescribable beauty, unpredictable in its patterns, piercing in its color, so wild and loyal in its nature that my love for this book, and my faith in it as I track its lazy flight, is the single perfect joy in my life. […] When I can’t think of another stall, when putting it off has actually become more painful than doing it, I reach up and pluck the butterfly from the air. I take it from the region of my head and I press it down against my desk, and there, with my own hand, I kill it. It’s not that I want to kill it, but it’s the only way I can get something that is so three-dimensional onto the flat page. Just to make sure the job is done I stick it into place with a pin. Imagine running over a butterfly with an SUV.”
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Yet this is somehow better, friends, because, one, it EXISTS, and two, it is shareable. The perfect book or scene or idea,  only in the writer’s mind, is not superior.
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So. I will pin that scene to the page today. Then I will somehow make it shine.
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#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020 #radicalacceptance #radicalselfacceptance #SaltNovel

This is What it’s like to be Human

If any one of the sweet girls I look out for had the week I had last week (full of every big emotion, sleeping SO much, eating unhealthy, etc.), what would I tell her?
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Dear one, this is a season of uncertainty, and there will be days (and weeks and months) like this, when all you’re feeling can’t be contained, when we reach for any comfort available–and, surprise!–this is what it’s like to be human.
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Be gentle with yourself. Rest. Breathe deeply till it doesn’t feel foreign to do so. Pray. Ask for help. Remember you’re never alone. Coping is something we do as people in a fallen world. Quit being cruel to your lovely, hurting heart.
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So I am saying those things to myself today too.
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#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020 #radicalacceptance #radicalselfacceptance #bodypositivity #bodyposi

The Year of Small Spaces

2020 has felt like four walls, at varying times moving closer to me or away. Usually closer.
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I have claustrophobia. It shows up most often in my nightmares, but any space that feels too small makes me feel like giving up, like hiding, like I can’t breathe.
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This is the year of small spaces. Of walls closing in. Of masks. Of anxiety and loss pressing hard on the heart, making even the chest feel like a smaller space.
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And I’d be remiss to ignore all my brothers and sisters crying, “I can’t breathe.” Not a metaphor, but an actuality.
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Jesus, bring freedom, healing, and space. Amen.
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#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020 #radicalacceptance #radicalselfacceptance #bodypositivity #bodyposi #unsplash #covid #claustrophobia #claustrophic

OCD Resources!

As a gentle reminder, my policy is to no longer engage in one-on-one conversations about OCD (that’s the job of a therapist, which I am not!).

However, I do hope you’ll find lots of resources on my site.

For more guidance, feel free to email jackieleaocd@gmail.com with either OCD or HOCD in the subject line, and you’ll get an auto-response full of resources.

You are beloved, friends. If you have even the slightest suspicion you’re dealing with OCD, get a book about exposure therapy and dive in. ERP, though frightening, is the key to your shackles.

Love,

Jackie

Can’t Sleep

This is the second night in a row I’ve been up till after 3 am. I’ve been working on revisions till midnight and then apparently my mind can’t settle itself.

It’s probably not fair to assess one’s wellbeing at 4 am, but I feel ALL THE FEELINGS. Shame. Fear. Gratitude. Hope.

Someone told me tonight he pictured God using me to go into a dark dungeon to love people back to life and release them to God. It’s so beautiful. I want that.

Then I think how silly and foolish and sinful I am. I know His power is made perfect in my weakness, but OH, I am SO WEAK.

Anastasis

Anastasis, noun.

1. Recovery from a debilitating condition

2. Rebirth

3. Resurrection

All three are on my mind this Holy Saturday.

This virus has ravaged the world and pinned us to cardboard like moths, even those who don’t have the disease. I can hardly bear to read the stories from actual sufferers. All I’m asked to do is stay home, and I feel the claustrophia of it even though no stone is rolled against my door.

And yet, it’s been beautiful to see so many rise up. You know the stories. You’ve seen the songs from balconies, the kitchens feeding those without homes, the notes on doors telling neighbors, “Just call me. I’ll get whatever you need.” I feel a companionship with the entire planet.

This has been an unusual holy week; sometimes I’ve forgotten what day it is. Palm Sunday snuck up on me like humility, which, of course, it is.

Yet somehow I so deeply relate. Surrounded on all sides by fear and suffering and death, I long for the resurrection of “regular life.” Tomorrow will unlikely be the miraculous end of COVID-19, but the resurrection joy I await is so palpably symbolic.

Easter has snuck up on me like hope, which, of course, it is.

#blog #easter #eastersunday #holysaturday #easterandcovid #covideaster

Quarantine Syllabus

nick-fewings-ka7REB1AJl4-unsplashHonestly, I’m taking this quarantine day by day (sometimes minute by minute), and I’m respecting my body and anxiety when they tells me they just want to be still or watch Netflix or take a second nap.

Motivation comes and goes. I am using this as a guide. Week one is just ending, and I only revised 15 of the 25 pages I’d hoped for. It’s okay. It’s all okay. I’m grateful for any steps I take; I’m [trying to be] gracious about any steps I can’t.

Posting this partially for accountability– but also just in case it helps anyone else.

Syllabus for Writing Salt Novel
14 Weeks

“[T]his ‘work’ had been driven by the question, What’s wrong with me? The question her Mentor replaced this with was, Which parts of myself need to be loved today?
The Hero is You, Kendra Levin

Required Reading
All That Is Made: a Guide to Faith and the Creative Life from Alabaster Co.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
Keep Going by Austin Kleon

March 30-April 5


Reading:

Part I, Ch. 1 All That Is Made 𛲠

Pg. 1-22 Gifts of Imperfection 𛲠

Step 1 of Keep Going 𛲠


Revise:

Pg. 1-25 𛲠

Related “Interview” Chapter Breaks 𛲠

 

April 6-April 12

Reading:

Part I, Ch. 2-3 All That Is Made 𛲠

Pg. 23-48 Gifts of Imperfection 𛲠

 

Revise:

Pg. 26-50 𛲠

Related “Interview” Chapter Breaks 𛲠

 

April 13-April 19

Reading:

Part I, Ch. 4 All That Is Made 𛲠

Guidepost #1 Gifts of Imperfection 𛲠

Step 2 of Keep Going 𛲠

 

Revise:

Pg. 51-75 𛲠

Related “Interview” Chapter Breaks 𛲠

 

Conversation with a Creative Ally 𛲠

 

April 20-April 26

Reading:

Part I, Ch. 5-6 All That Is Made 𛲠

Guidepost #2 Gifts of Imperfection 𛲠

 

Revise:

Pg. 76-100 𛲠

Related “Interview” Chapter Breaks 𛲠

 

April 27-May 3

Reading:

Part I, Ch. 7 All That Is Made 𛲠

Guidepost #3 Gifts of Imperfection 𛲠

Step 3 of Keep Going 𛲠

 

Revise:

Pg. 101-125 𛲠

Related “Interview” Chapter Breaks 𛲠

 

May 4-May 10

Reading:

Part I, Ch. 8-9 All That Is Made 𛲠

Guidepost #4 Gifts of Imperfection 𛲠

Step 4 of Keep Going 𛲠

 

No revisions this week/Catch-up

 

Conversation with a Creative Mentor 𛲠

 

May 11-May 17

Reading:

Part II, Ch. 1 All That Is Made 𛲠

Guidepost #5 Gifts of Imperfection 𛲠

Step 5 of Keep Going 𛲠

 

Revise:

Pg. 126-150 𛲠

Related “Interview” Chapter Breaks 𛲠

 

May 18-May 24

Reading:

Part II, Ch. 2-3 All That Is Made

Guidepost #6 Gifts of Imperfection

Step 6 of Keep Going

 

Revise:

Pg. 151-175 𛲠

Related “Interview” Chapter Breaks 𛲠

 

May 25-May 31

Reading:

Part II, Ch. 4 All That Is Made 𛲠

Guidepost #7 Gifts of Imperfection 𛲠

Step 7 of Keep Going 𛲠

 

Revise:

Pg. 176-200 𛲠

Related “Interview” Chapter Breaks 𛲠

 

Conversation with a Creative Ally 𛲠

 

June 1-June 7

Reading:

Part II, Ch. 5-6 All That Is Made 𛲠

Guidepost #8 Gifts of Imperfection 𛲠

Step 8 of Keep Going 𛲠

 

Revise:

Pg. 201-225 𛲠

Related “Interview” Chapter Breaks 𛲠

 

June 8-June 14

Reading:

Part III, Ch. 1 All That Is Made 𛲠

Guidepost #9 Gifts of Imperfection 𛲠

Step 9 of Keep Going 𛲠

 

Revise:

Pg. 226-250 𛲠

Related “Interview” Chapter Breaks 𛲠

 

June 15-June 21

Reading:

Part III, Ch. 2 All That Is Made 𛲠

Guidepost #10 Gifts of Imperfection 𛲠

Step 10 of Keep Going 𛲠

 

No revisions this week/Catch-up

 

Conversation with a Creative Mentor 𛲠

 

June 22-June 28

Reading:

Part III, Ch. 3-4 All That Is Made 𛲠

 

Revise:

Pg. 251-275 𛲠

Related “Interview” Chapter Breaks 𛲠

 

June 29-July 5

Reading:

Part III, Ch. 5-6 All That Is Made 𛲠

 

Revise:

Pg. 276-300 𛲠

Related “Interview” Chapter Breaks 𛲠

 

Celebrate Independence Day!

 

InstaThoughts

I don’t believe anyone needs to make this time special or productive. But I think *I* need to, as much as I can. I know there will be a lot of days that are just sad and full of coping. But, when I’m able, I want to use this time in ways that are meaningful to me.
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#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020 #radicalacceptance #radicalselfacceptance #bodypositivity#bodyposi #copingwithcovid #purposefulquarantine

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