Word of the Year 2022:
Leap is a many-sided word. Witness the merriam-webster.com definition which offers three very different points of view on the verb.
In the first I find freedom:
The second cautions, but does imply bravery in the contextual example provided:
While the third veers into the territory of downright criticism:
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.
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: