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.

September 2015 Goals

PIC1068506062Ah, summer is finally gone. I can smell the start of autumn in the cool night air. My frustrations with heat and humidity combined with allergies and taking on too much made for a sick Ralene for most of the summer. Also, I realized that not taking my goals and priorities seriously caused a lot of the problems.

That brings us into September. A new month–a time for change. We’re done with the craziness of summer and ready to embrace the glories of fall and prepare for my favorite time of year–the holiday season between Halloween and New Years! But I digress . . . here are my goals for September!


1. Rediscover my priorities and develop a schedule that reflects said priorities. I have the coming weekend to think over things and decide what is most important and how much time I need to devote to the important things–and how flexible I need to be. Then I need to draft a schedule and talk it over with my hubby.

2. Finish editing Bellanok Pt. 1 and get it ready for publishing, then write Bellanok Pt. 2 & 3. I’m going to be setting a goal of 2,000 words/day, which would be 48,000 for the month. Ambitious, especially considering I have ACFW later in the month. Eep!

3. Reinstate family night and date night. With Ray’s school hours this year and my hectic work schedule, we have let go of these precious and important experiences. So, when I make up the schedule, I will choose a night for both and start planning out some family/date fun!


Baby steps. Those are important for me. Big chunks make me freeze. Anyone else like that? I keep thinking I can take on big chunks, but then when I fail I think I AM A FAILURE. Instead, I need to make sure I’m setting myself up for success. And, when I do fail, it is an opportunity to try again!


What are your goals for September? Let’s keep each other accountable! 

Tea with Me: BIG News, Priorities, and a Leap Second

file0002117963911Happy Friday, friends! As you sit there, reading this post, I’m busy visiting with family and friends at my parent’s house in VA. I only get out here about once a year, so it’s always so fun to catch up with everyone. Plus, we’re celebrating 2 very special birthdays–including my son’s June birthday. Love family fun!

But, that’s not why you came to visit, right? There’s questions that need to be answered. For instance, Cindy submitted 2 very interesting questions this week.

Cindy: What did you do with your leap second?

Me: Well, since the leap second was the last second in June, which means it came right before midnight, I was in bed, trying to sleep. Of course, sleep wouldn’t come because my mind was a whirl of excitement for the vacation to begin the next morning!

Cindy: I suddenly have free time! How do YOU establish your priorities to settle YOUR free time?

Me: That’s a loaded question! Priorities are so important when it comes to planning how we should spend our time. Without them, our temptation to say yes (or perhaps no) will overcome us and lead us to waste time on things we have no business doing or to over-commit ourselves.

My first response, though, was “what free time?” Ha! I really don’t seem to have much, but I can procrastinate with the best.

While choosing priorities is a whole blog post itself, I will say that to choose my priorities, I followed these steps:

1. Pray! Any decisions effecting our lives as a whole should not be made without prayer. How are we to know God’s path and plan for our lives if we don’t ask . . . and then listen?

2. Look to the Bible for answers or examples. The New Testament actually lays out a pretty good outline for priorities.

3. Establish priorities and then make sure activities fall in line. Once I established my priorities, I laid out all the activities I have throughout the week. If they didn’t line up with the priorities, I got rid of them!

4. Be sure to work in “me” time. It’s OK to have time to do things you enjoy, but they shouldn’t take up hours a day several days a week. Instead, work in a half an hour a day or an afternoon a week. It’s nice to get a break and relax!

For a look at my priorities (and what I use to inspire others), take a look at my article, Are Those YOUR Priorities or God’s?, on Managing Your Blessings.

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And finally . . .

My big news.


I’m going to officially be a published NOVELIST sometime in August!


My agent and I met this weekend to hash out details and decided to serialize my stand-alone novel, Bellanock. I’ll be self-publishing the story as a series of longer short stories, basically. If all goes well, I’ll be releasing the first one in August (we’re shooting for the first Tuesday!).

Eeeeee! I know, I’m so excited. And terrified.

So, what’s Bellanock about? I’m glad you asked!

Thousands of years ago, humans were expelled from Eden. God placed 2 angels and a spinning sword at the entrance to keep them out. But, as humans spread across the planet, some creatures of old became endangered, and God hid them–and Eden–on a small island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, Bellanock.

Now, though, a demon has found its way inside. It’s spreading its evil and changing the innocent creatures of folklore into monsters. It is up to Fauna, the fairy queen, to journey into the real world and find the savior she’s been dreaming about since she was a child.

In Chicago, Brian, a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up, is shocked when a crazy blonde tries to convince him that creatures like dragons, unicorns, and fairies really do exist–and he needs to save them. Even if he did believe her, what could he do? He knows demons exist, but how does one fight against them?

Brian and Fauna must return to Bellanock and defeat the demon before all that is pure is wiped from the realms of the universe.

What do you think?