What a Gift

Writing on sabbatical

Today my sabbatical ends.  Oh man, was it a gift.  Hardly ever in my professional life do I get to uni-task.  My professional days are usually like a multi-task dance recital of teaching classes, attending meetings, doing committee work, developing my courses, grading assignments, leading workshops, and emailing.  Not that I don't like all of those responsibilities, but it was a fantastic change to concentrate on just one thing:  writing a book.

That's it.

One task.

Just write a darn book.

Of course, that is easier said than done.  Uni-tasking, though, totally helped.  My goal for myself was to write half of the book before my sabbatical ended.  With eight chapters in the outline, I wrote four of them.  Four!  Half of the book.  Hurray!  Up to this point, I have written roughly 27,000 words.   I probably wrote a few thousand more words than that, but those words were deleted.  Some days, my writing was a total disaster.  My voice was unclear.  My comma usage was out-of-control.

But, I wrote.  "A goal without a plan is just a wish."  My wish became a goal.  I am incredibly grateful.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

I knew from this blog post here, I had something to say.   I knew it wasn't just a wish anymore, it was something burning inside of me.  Do you ever have those burning inside of you feelings?  They are like caged wild animals; they must be freed.

Though I'm certain I have many more people to thank, my sabbatical was successful due in part to following people and groups:
  • My college, Anne Arundel Community College - who granted me a sabbatical and thought my goal to write a book wasn't insane
  • My department chair, director, dean, and vice president  - Thank you for going to bat for me!
  • My amazing colleagues who have reached out and cheered me on during this journey.  Jax and Karen, you led the way!
  • My coach, Sue, our deadlines kept me focused
  • My lovely friends and family members who helped me edit my work:  Sue, Jesse, Susan, Jenn, Mom and Hilary.  One day we will celebrate at a book signing together!
  • My sister, brother-in-law and their amazing staff - They welcomed me in their office all sabbatical long to write and just be
  • My parents - who consistently checked on me to hear the progress I was making
  • My extended family and friends, your interest in the book was incredible
To Mr. UpCyclist and Lil O - I don't think it is even possible to say thank you to you both in words. You picked up my slack around the house when I was writing.  You gave me so much time to think, be, and just write. You took care of me on long writing days.  You provided space when I needed it most. You put up with me when I turned into crabby pants at night.  I am so not a night person.  You believed in me - and still do - and know how important this project is to me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  

The rest of January, I will be back in the teaching-college groove and writing much less.  I do plan to pick up where I left off in February and find either a literary agent or publisher for the book in late spring.  Have a shared the working title with you, yet?

Grow:  Championing the Growth of Others (and Yourself)

It feels so good to share that with you.   Thank you, amazing blog reader.  You keep coming back to this space and sharing in the journey.

With immense gratitude,

Jen




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