It’s funny how one person can change how you view your life with just one sentence. Some point to celebrities or world leaders for these kinds of impacts, but for me, that person was my wife. We were having dinner during the Christmas holiday and celebrating a night out at a nice restaurant for the evening. We began to discuss our lives: things we wanted to change, where we saw our future going, and what we wanted to accomplish in the coming year. It was a honest, insightful conversation in which we both opened up and spoke about our hopes and dreams, one which eventually evoked this question: “If you could quit your job today and be anything you wanted to be, what would you become?”
It didn’t take two seconds before the words “an author” came out of my mouth, surprising my wife.
“Really? You want to become a writer? Since when?” she asked.
“I don’t know. I’ve always wanted to. It makes me happy. I love reading, and I love to write. At least, I used to. I have so many book ideas just lying around in my closet, entire outlines for book series I just keep in my box.”
“Well, why did you stop?” she inquired.
I laughed and shook my head. “Because people told me I shouldn’t. There’s no money in it unless you’re the 1%, and it’s impossible to get a deal in the first place. I don’t know, it just seemed that every time I thought about it, someone was telling me that I should try something more ‘reliable’ and ‘safe’.”
There was a pause in the conversation before my wife looked me dead in the eyes and asked a monumental question that would eventually form the backbone of my debut novel: “So what’s stopping you now?”
It took me a while to answer that question, a sense of complete bewilderment overriding any decent rebuttal. What was stopping me? I was an adult now, more than capable of making my own decisions and forging a path for myself. I didn’t need to let the discouraging words of past detractors stop me from pursuing something I loved. I could find the time to pursue my dream, write that first novel, and prove to myself that I was capable of becoming an author. I had the ability inside of me, yearning to be released. All I needed to do was let go of the self-doubt and self-imposed shackles that I had placed all those years ago. I needed to let go of the fear of failure and embrace the gift I had been given, allowing it to take me down whatever road it may.
That night, my wife had me take a vow: to make my dream a reality and write my first book. We set a time-frame, one year, to complete the task, and she promised to support me every step of the way. She has been true to her word, writing motivational posts on my whiteboard and encouraging me to write well into the evening hours. As for me, I finished the book three months ahead of schedule.
Things seemed to come naturally as I wrote, the journey of Tristan Davids reflecting my own. The main character of my upcoming YA fantasy/superhero series, Metamorphs, Tristan Davids struggles a lot with his insecurities. He has so much potential, but the weight of family expectations and social negativity causes him to shy away from his true purpose. That is, until he meets a group of friends who, like my amazing wife, challenge him to let go of his fears and to discover his own self-worth.
Like me, like Tristan, we all have our self-doubts. But never allow people to hold you back from being the person you were created to be. You have the power over your self-belief. You are the one who decides whether to keep or take it away, not anyone else.
I hope you all enjoy reading Tristan’s journey as much as I enjoyed writing it. Hopefully, you can find a little bit of yourself in his underdog story as well. The book should be released by the end of the year, and I will have completed the first step in living out a life-long dream. Until then, thanks for reading, and keep imagining!