Monday Chitchat: Jessyca Thibault Guest Post

11:30 AM

As predicted: I am feeling under the weather again for Christmas. 
The good news? 
This weeks Monday Chitchat features a guest post from one of my favourites: Jessyca Thibault! 

Before Jessyca takes over for me, and tells you about her whirlwind year, here's a quick weekly wrap up for Booked J: 

 The Case for Jamie (Review) 
 The Darkest Legacy (Review) 

I also want to take a moment to express my gratitude for Jessyca Thibault for agreeing to do a guest post about her 2018. The experiences she's had in recent times have led to some of the most beautiful poetry releases and I'm so very proud of her and all she has accomplished--which is why I asked her to write something of a letter in response to this past year and all that she's explored. 

Poetry has the power of healing, of living, of connecting--it ties us together in the most simple of ways. In expressing ourselves through prose, we create something honest and full of life. We take despair and fashion it into hope. Poets are brave enough to show us that process. Good moments, bad lifetimes, poets bare themselves everyday in so few words--and the potency behind it is admirable

And now... Jessyca Thibault! 
My 2018

Was 2018 real? Did this year really actually happen? I am the most self-conscious, self-judging person on the planet and I released three poetry books. Three very personal books that basically gave readers a play by play at my failed attempts at relationships. I kind of feel like I should backspace on that statement because that sounds bad. I’m really thinking about it. 

I decided to leave all of that there. This is me and I can’t not be me. Yes, I wrote about a lot of pain and thinking back on it now, I feel like I was extremely naive. Maybe I was too honest. I told the world exactly what I was thinking while I was thinking it. I showed everyone that I’m messy and don’t always handle situations in the best way. I showed that I’m not perfect. 

I’m still getting used to being okay with that. You have to understand, I spent my entire childhood and adolescence striving for perfection. I didn’t let people see how badly I was hurting. I hid all of my pain. I hid everything. And this year I took that mindset and shattered it. I literally cut open my chest and poured the contents into three books. I think all my life I wanted to be heard but was too afraid to speak. This year I spoke and held my breath. The fear doesn’t go away, I’m still scared for being judged for the things I’ve said and felt, but the difference is I’m not letting that fear stop me. 

I want to take a minute and talk about the good and bad parts of publishing. I’m going to start by saying these books changed my life. I have cried multiple times when people have posted my book or taken the time to write a review. I’m actually crying right now because there aren’t words to describe how special that is. How much it fills my heart to have people believe in me. I don’t want people to feel what I’ve felt. I never wanted to feel it either. But when you experience heartbreak and pain, it does help to know you’re not alone. Authors have helped me in that way and to know that I was that person, the one that said “I know it hurts, but I’ve been there too,” it’s just surreal. 

I really am crying right now. I’m not going to lie, I did have two shots of tequila before writing this and that sometimes makes me emotional (in a good, happy way). Why did I just say that? Please don’t judge me. 

Now for the not so pretty side. I stopped reading reviews. I stopped looking at how many downloads I had and how many books I sold. I think what did it for me was an initial review on “doll eyes.” I had several really sweet, positive reviews and I was so overwhelmed with love. But then I read one more. All it takes is one. The person wrote that they had been through a similar situation, but they had handled it differently. This hit me hard because it felt like a jab at me as a person and not me as a writer. You don’t realize how big of a difference there is between those two people until it happens. I know that everyone isn’t going to like my work or think that I have something to offer the world. I know that I didn’t handle everything perfectly. But to have someone base their review on that hurt. This is kind of what I meant when I said that I feel like I was naive. I wrote about extremely personal things. That was my writing. People judge literary characters every day. I just happen to be the character of my books. So I stopped looking at that stuff. Once in a while I’ll check, but I usually leave the site really fast. I’m too affected by what people say, it’s something I’m still working on. 

Writers just feel a lot. It’s how we make our art.  

There’s no way that you could put pages and pages of emotion out there for the world if you didn’t have so much bubbling inside you. It’s a blessing and a curse. I write things that I can’t say out loud and I’m able to give a voice to people that might now know how to express their feelings either. But it’s draining. Every time I read back a poem that I’ve written, it all hits me again. I get flashbacks. This year I read my poetry to an audience for the first time in my life and I choked up on one of the poems. I tend to write and then block it out, so when I read my poems I get the deja vu feeling of “this is familiar but did this really happen to me before?” And when I realize it did, the feelings hit me like a truck. The editing process is really hard for me because of this. I relive everything several times before I hit that publish button. 

I’m getting self-conscious about everything I’ve just written. I think people would expect me to talk about how happy I am (and PLEASE don’t get me wrong, I love absolutely every person that has supported my books in any way this year) but if you’ve read my writing then you know I’ve had a REALLY hard year. I turned the pain into something beautiful but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel it, that I’m not still dealing with the aftermath of it. I just want to be honest. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. When I leave this earth I want people to be able to say that they knew who I was and what I was about because that’s what I showed. Being genuine is important to me. 

Now for the silver lining, because I am ending the year on a happier note and I want to end this post on one as well. It took me spending 75% of this year not thinking I was good enough to kick myself into letting that go. I’m trying to find the light in life a little more. I’m surrounding myself with people that really care. I’m trying to be gentler with my heart. And for the first time, I’m really focusing on showing more love to myself. If I could give anyone advice, it would be to do that. Don’t use your own heart as a punching bag. Like I said (not to mention showed in the number of times I openly second-guessed myself in this post) I’m not a pro at this. I’m still learning what self-love means. But the difference between myself now and myself twelve months ago is that I keep trying. I took a chance on myself this year and I learned that I’m worth that. I promise you are too. 

“doll eyes.” was me working through my hurt feelings in retrospect. “glass girl.” was me attempting to rebuild my present and learning that things aren’t always what they seem. “plastic heart.” was me tripping and stumbling and tripping again until I stumbled out of the dark tunnel I had spent the year traveling through. This was Jessyca 2018. 

I’m kind of ready to meet Jessyca 2019.
About Jessyca Thibault 

Jessyca Thibault is a 24-year-old writer living in Central Florida. She was born in Connecticut and spent much of her childhood in Rhode Island. Jessyca received her Bachelor's Degree in Business and Organizational Management in 2016 from the College of Central Florida. She has had poetry published in CF's literary magazine "Imprints." 

Find Jessyca's Poetry Collections on Amazon 

All three collections are free to Amazon users with Kindle Unlimited.  

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