Confessions of a Type A Creative

Confessionsof aType AYep. That’s me. I’m a walking oxymoron. I’m a spinner of tales and dabbler in acrylics and watercolor and digital media. On paper or walls or computers, I love to create. I get a high just by walking into the craft store. So much potential! Yet, I have a dark side. I’m a Type A personality. (AND C! The classic stuffer of emotions!) Sometimes I wonder how I can create at all.

Art needs to flow. Be free to express our inner struggles and reflect the beauty around us. To explore. Be spontaneous!

Which. I am not. I’m a control freak and a perfectionist. I have a color-coded planner and a weakness for volunteering for everything. I don’t make left turns if I can help it, and I take life way too seriously. I need to be DOING something at all times. And we all know if we can’t relax and refuel, our creative wells dry up. My perfectionism paralyzes me and I can’t create. Plus I deny my feelings and shove them under the rug.

And why am I in the creative field again?

Because it’s in there. It’s screaming inside to be set free. And I am learning to do just that. And when I do? Glorious peace!

As a mom to two young kiddos, trying to pen epic novels and dabble in art, I have to choose my battles. There is only so much time in one day. So . . . My house isn’t always as clean as I would like it to be. Oh, you say, that’s normal. Artsy people aren’t known for being neat freaks. Bah! My eye starts twitching when the bookshelves aren’t in order or when the toys aren’t in their labeled bins and on their appropriate shelves. I usually stay somewhat on top of it. Otherwise I freak out. My brain freezes and my writing suffers as well as our household. Sorry, so sorry, kiddos, I should be saving up for your counseling sessions.

You should have seen my house the past two months when I was getting Darkened Hope ready for publication and planning all the epic awesomeness that comes with launching a book out into the wild. On second thought  . . .  maybe you shouldn’t.

Another perfect example, as Ralene so kindly pointed out . . . (See, she’s my sanity anchor and encourager in Type A activities. SHE’S the one who suggested that I label my confession as a Type A Creative. Ha!) Anyway, my favorite planner was ending this month. I had been checking Amazon for the next one since the end of April. NOTHING. I tried not to freak out. My brain was hung up. I couldn’t think beyond my need to start scheduling things for July and August and beyond!

But by June 8th, it STILL wasn’t available. So I decided I would create my own. I spent the entire day at the computer. And I would have succeeded too, if it hadn’t been for my desire to maintain the connection between the template automatic update and my desire for a two-page monthly spread.

I am pleased to say that the new planner was FINALLY available mid-June and my order placed. Despite the fact that it doesn’t have the cover design that I wanted. 😛 By the time you read this, I will be drooling over it and marking it up. Ha! That said, this company keeps changing things, so I might just end up creating my own.

I’m sure I’m not the only Type A Creative. Right? RIGHT??? Looking at you, Ralene. (Ralene insert: *cough* I have no idea what she’s talking about. *hides lists and calendars*)Maybe we need to create a support group or something. But here is the good news! Personalities can be changed! According to my googling while I was writing this up.

I am trying to loosen up a bit. Relax a little more. Indulge freely in my creative pursuits.  Eventually. I am learning to choose my battles, set boundaries, and ignore my twitching eye. Otherwise I would not get anything done. AND I can’t forget to hang out with my friends. Sorry, so sorry guys! I am working on it!

I may be a mess, but I’m a work-in-progress. I’m a Type A Creative. (And Type C!)

Have you found your personality to be in conflict with your calling/talent/dream?


jlmbewe-profile-editedAuthor Bio:

Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, and wife, but not always in that order. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now braves the heat of Texas, but pines for the Northern Lights and the lakes of home every autumn. She loves trying to capture the abstract and make it concrete. She is currently living her second childhood with a wonderful husband and two precious children, who don’t seem to mind her eclectic collections of rocks, shells, and swords, among other things. Here, between reality and dreams, she is busily creating worlds inhabited by all sorts of fantasy creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril. She has two short stories published in The Clockwork Dragon anthology, and four short stories set in the world of Nälu. Her debut novel, Secrets Kept, was nominated for the 2014 Clive Staples Award.

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  1. I knew there was a reason we are friends! My mom once commented on how polar opposite my personality was because in high school my two greatest loves were science and art. As an ISTJ, I shouldn’t even be a creative writer. I should be an accountant or a admin assistant. Yeah for us type A creatives!

    • Yes! Sometimes I’ve tested as a ISTJ, I have tested a bunch of times as INTJ, but more recently, I have tested as a INFJ. I am all over the place. Ha! So I’m not sure how to label myself in that regard. But I do enjoy science and art too! Spectroscopy was awesome! And geology! And learning about plate tectonics and everything. Haha! And how did we become to this creative journey again??? I wonder if that plays a part in how we process our journey as well? Such as our wells going dry and how to refuel? And how to unleash our creative potential?? Hmmmm…

  2. lol Now I know why you spent 10 or so years world building before Secrets Kept came out. I would relate to you, but I’m more of a Type RS personality (Relaxing Specialist). I have a perfectionist side to me, but it’s often overpowered by the freelance pantser and an over-zealous imagination that prevents any solid work from getting done.

    • Ha! Thanks! You are right…I spent way too much time on trying to figure out the proper weather patterns in connection with geography and all. I am hoping my next project will be a bit more…flexible??? Ha!

      I hope you find a way to harness your freelance panster and over-zealous imagination to work in your favor!

  3. Thanks for hanging out with us, Jennette, and sharing your unique quirks. It’s always nice to know we’re not the only Type A creatives. 🙂

  4. Rachael Liankatawa

    Oh boy can I relate to this! I don’t know what personality type I am but I am a perfectionist. I am also a go-with-the-flow kind of girl too. So when I write it looks something like this: Start typing a few sentences, rethink it, start editing and revising, type a few more until I get to a challenging place, set it aside for eternity. *Sigh*
    My personality is to start and never finish my creative projects… literally have tons of crafts around the house lying around half-finished. Good to know personalities can be changed!
    On a side note, I think your personality enables you to get the job done which is something that is a huge obstacle for people like me!

    • Hi Rachael! You make a good point. Type A personalities are very driven and goal-oriented, so it does help in disciplining ourselves to finish what we’ve started. I don’t know if I’ve always been like this. I will have to ask my mom. Ha! But either way, you can work to finish those projects. Pick one and go with it!

      On the writing side of things. I can sit and rework a sentence for two hours and still have nothing to show for it. Ha! That is why I love National Novel Writing Month. I don’t allow myself to tinker (too much, ha!) and just work on getting the story down as quickly as possible. And then I can go back and rework everything. On the flip side, I’ve come across what I’ve written and have been clueless about what my intentions were for a piece. So…there are pros and cons either way. 🙂

      • By the way, about projects and all, it helps to be realistic about our expectations of ourselves and the season we are in. So don’t be discouraged while you are trying finish projects while chasing two little ones about. 🙂

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