Mikey Brooks has a BS in English, emphasis in Creative Writing, from Utah State University, 2009. He author/illustrated ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures, 2013, Bean's Dragons, 2012, and Trouble with Bernie, 2012. He illustrated Lucius and the Christmas Star, by Jim Long, 2012, Bongo Flo and Ocelot Scott, both by Carolyn Quist, 2012. He's had various illustrations published for several authors and enjoys every minute he gets to create art. He’s had poetry and personal essays published in university sponsored literary magazines 2007-2009, and was awarded 3rd place for his personal essay, Waiting for the Morning Sun to Rise, in the Utah Arts 23rd Annual Writing Competition, 2011. Visit him at www.insidemikeysworld.com
Taking That Step Forward
By: Mikey Brooks
Often stories of triumph begin with someone chasing a dream. Why should mine be any different? I grew up in the southern part of Missouri in a rural town where our nearest neighbor was a mile down the dirt road. My grandparents had a farm that was surrounded by dense woods that for me became my playground. I remember one day stumbling across the remains of an old house. The stone steps and foundation was all the tornado had left behind. It wasn’t hard for me to believe that Dorothy visited Oz because I had seen her house. I had stood on those steps wishing I could step through the invisible doorway and find myself in a world of magic. I never did.
I began chasing my dream as most writers do—by wishing. Life happened and it wasn’t long until I found myself in my late twenties, married with a baby on the way. I hadn’t caught my dream, I wasn’t even close. Sure I’d written but those books were hidden away in the hard drive of my computer. Like Tracy Hickman had said, “a book doesn’t exist unless its read.” Self doubt and discouragement has a sneaky way of creeping in and taking over. It wasn’t long before I began to doubt that my chance would ever come. Part of me began to give up, to except what I’d become and live with it. The other part of me remembered that boy in the woods of Missouri.
I never went to a magical world because I’ll I did was stand on the threshold. I didn’t take the step forward. Who knows what would have happened if I had. Maybe I would have twinkled off into the Land of Oz or Narnia, or maybe I would have just stepped into the remains of a vanished house. The point is I’ll never know, because I did not step forward.
Triumph doesn’t necessarily come when the dream is achieved, mine didn’t. It came when I decided that I was no longer going to wish for my dream to happen—I was going to make it happen. In late February last year I declared to my wife that “I am a writer and I’m going to make my dream come true.” I stopped wishing and I started praying. I ask Heavenly Father to aid me in my efforts and he did. I believe he did because I had finally taken a step forward. I had passed the threshold of that stone foundation and entered another world.
What is the step you need to take in achieving your dream? Are you standing on the threshold to a new world? When you write your story of triumph remember that it’s not only the dream at the end that counts—it’s the journey in getting there. I’m no longer chasing, I’m no longer wishing—I’m making it happen. I took the step. Good luck on your journey and catch your dream!