Word of the Year 2022:

Leap is a many-sided word. Witness the definition which offers three very different points of view on the verb.

In the first I find freedom:

Definition of leap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1: to spring free from or as if from the ground JUMP

leap over a fence, a fish leaps out of the water

The second cautions, but does imply bravery in the contextual example provided:

2a: to pass abruptly from one state or topic to another

the difficult leap from college to the workplace

While the third veers into the territory of downright criticism:

b: to act precipitately

leaped at the chance

Famous quotes about leaping also stretch from one extreme to the other, too.

Charlotte Brontë is full of caution with, “Look twice before you leap,” as is Louis Sachar: “It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.”

Most, if not all, of the quotes I found that encourage leaping (without looking in both directions first) come from artists or philosophers or teachers.

Leap, and the net will appear.

Julia Cameron, writer

All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.

Henry Miller, writer

We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.

Henry David Thoreau, philosopher

Love is always a leap into the unknown. You can try to control as many variables, and understand a situation as you can, but you’re still jumping off a cliff and hoping that someone catches you.

Lisa Kleypas, author

So why have I chosen LEAP as my word for 2022?

I mean, I’ve always been a bit of a leaper. I’ve moved across the country multiple times, often without a job in place. I published my first novel in 2020. That took a leap of confidence.

But this leap feels different.

This one is partly about choosing to leave something behind. For the most part, I’ve treated writing romance novels as a business from the beginning, but I kept my 20+ year day job as an audiobook narrator. In December, I decided that 2021 would be my last year to record books. For a variety of reasons, it’s time for me to leave my studio behind and take the plunge. Choosing writing as my primary creative venture and springing free from my identity as a narrator (and the income it provided)

feels both risky and liberating.

On a day-to-day level, I’m hoping that the word will remind me to take all the little gambols into the unknown, as I write the next book, make the new friend, explore the new neighborhood.

Some changes are happening quickly, others more gradually, but I’m ready for it all. I am vaulting into the unknown, and it’s exhilarating!

I’d love to hear what leaps you’re taking,

as well as the words you’re choosing to inspire you in 2022.

p.s. A final quote from author Jhumpa Lahiri, which celebrates the particular hubris of the writer, a point of view that I’d like to embrace as I take my leap into 2022:

“Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying ‘Listen to me’.”

One thought on “Word of the Year 2022:”

  1. Jen says:

    WOW!!! No more Karen White narration?? I’m a bit sad with that news, but I love that you remain a strong advocate for audio, especially in the romance genre. And I love listening to the audiobook productions of your own books!

    I love how you explained your word with quotes. Leap can mean so many things, but leaping forward and grabbing the future is a lovely one. I look forward to seeing where each leap takes you.

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