10/16/2014 03:43 pm ET Updated Dec 16, 2014

My Biggest Failure and What I learned From It


I endured the biggest failure in my life when I was 15 years old.

For 365 days I obsessed over the idea of writing a book. It had only been a few months before my fifteenth birthday when I read a children's novel by Andrew Clements titled The School Story about a girl who got her first manuscript published when she was 12 years old.

There was something in the book that made me believe it was non-fiction. There was something in the book that made me naive enough to believe that if I worked on a novel for one year, I could get it published by my 15th birthday. That was the deadline I gave myself.

So as the days passed by, whether I was at school or at home, I kept working on different paragraphs for different chapters in the book that all revolved around a teenager being kidnapped from her home after her parents were murdered in front of her. The book followed the kidnapper and the girl through their journey across the United States from Texas to Washington D.C, where the girl was going to assist the man in taking over the White House.

I never told anyone that I was working on a novel -- which made it even more exciting.

But about eight months in, I came to the conclusion that I just couldn't do it. And I gave up.

Since it was my 15th birthday, my family had planned a trip to go to Seaworld and Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Texas. It was set to be my first visit to San Antonio, but I still couldn't enjoy it. I was going through the biggest failure in my life, and I was only 15 years old.

But it wasn't that I didn't write a book by my 15th birthday - it was that I quit before even getting there.

Looking back at it, I realize that it would have been logistically impossible to write a book and have it published all within a one year period -- and I'm ok with that. But it was not dreaming anymore that really caused me to be disappointed in myself.

Six years later, I haven't had a dream as big as the one I had back then. Somewhere along the lines of turning 18, and then 21 years old, I lost sight of dreaming. I forgot what meant to wish for the possible. And I think we ALL forget also.

It's ok to hold on to the dream of being a rockstar. Or being the next president. Or writing a book.

Life gets in the way sometimes, but that doesn't mean it has to get in the way of your dreams also.