Well, I committed to the word Leap, and I made one leap today: I submitted my application for the Adjunct Certification Program at the college where I teach English. A couple of years ago, I took a huge leap when I applied for an adjunct faculty job after having been out of the workforce for over a decade.
I'll be completely honest - I had actually applied to teach at the same college several years prior, but when I was called to schedule the interview and I learned that I would need to present a teaching demonstration to a panel of professors, I chickened out and canceled. I had zero experience teaching in a classroom environment, and I didn't know the first thing about creating a lesson plan. I was terrified of humiliating myself. I've had that problem all my life, and I still struggle with it.
But a couple of years ago, for various reasons, I decided it was time to face my fears and try for the job again. I'm so glad I did. Teaching is the only job outside of my home that I have truly loved, and as I start my third semester I have decided to commit to a few workshops and seminars to help develop my teaching skills and strategies, and also to network and become more involved at the school. New endeavors generally scare me, so this program is pretty intimidating, but the application is in, so BOOM - I leapt!
My second leap is coming very soon, also! My proposal for another book (or more?) is in my sister Shirlee McCoy's hands right now, and as soon as I incorporate her feedback, I'll be submitting it to my editor. It's taken me longer than I wanted it to take, but what else is new? Shirlee actually took a first look at the proposal about a month ago, and she noticed some pretty serious issues I hadn't really spent enough time mulling over - especially involving character development. I really value her input, seeing as 1) she's written over 40 of these books, 2) she's my sister, and 3) she shuffles a lot of stuff to find time to look at my writing and actually provide meaningful feedback.
I actually have so many ideas for my next leaps that I'm not sure what I want to do next! Maybe focus on my mainstream women's fiction that has been sitting around unfinished for at least five years now. Maybe spend a little time submitting some magazine pitches or personal essays. Whatever I choose, I will be consistently working on my next LIS manuscript as I wait to hear back from my editor.
I did decide that every time I made a new leap, I would treat myself to some kind of reward. I think applying to the Adjunct Program was a pretty small leap, so I think I'll just order myself a new book on Amazon tonight, and schedule a reading-in-pajamas day for myself sometime soon. I can't remember the last time I read all day long, and I think it will be good for my soul. :)